Our first day of mountain bike orienteering here at the World Championships was a Long (Qualifer), which emphasized the ability to make smart route choices on long legs. The second day was a Sprint, on what I would call a technical map, that emphasized quick map reading, quick decisions, quick execution- oh and quick pedaling too with a bunch of off-track travel thrown in. (The Sprint was really hard, and immensely enjoyable).
Today! Today was the Middle. Middle is known to be the race that emphasizes the ability to interpret 'map detail.' I thought this race would suit me well. Before I became part of the US MTBO Team, I would describe myself as 60% foot orienteer and 40% mountain biker. I thought this balance of skill would work well for me in the Middle, since I had decent foot-O experience which is all about map detail. I also thought it would be an ideal distance for my type of power and endurance on the bike.
I think my self-analysis was right. The Middle went (mostly) well for me! I had good flow and decent speed. I was able to plan my routes ahead of time, so I wasn't stopping at controls for 15 seconds to plan my next route. I wasn't doubting myself, but rode with confidence and always knew where I was at. I problem solved quickly, instead of blowing up. And I was so estactic toward the end of the race, that I rushed, misread the map, and navigated BACK to a previous control instead of the next one. "Hey, this ruin looks familiNOOOO!!!!"
Ah, so it goes in orienteering. After I shook off my grumpiness for my frustrating mistake, I realized that I was having a BLAST out there and I'm ready to do so much more mtb-o!
Now it's time to relax. Tomorrow is REST DAY!