Monday, March 22, 2010

Off to the Woods Once More

This whole weekend was pretty fabulous, but Sunday was, by far, the best.  At least in my opinion.
Saturday was a pretty normal, and busy, Saturday.  Drop Gak off at work.  Boo and I went to swim class, which he continues to enjoy.  Afterwards, we met up with Kat and Zoe right as Zoe was finishing up bowling.  We then spend some time trying to find, and eventually deciding on some birthday party invitations for Zoe.  Meanwhile, the whole time we were in the party store every time Boo would see an Elmo he would exclaim "Elmo!" and also "Abby!" when he saw an Abby Cadabby.  (He's pretty good at his Sesame Street people, other than getting Bert and Ernie backwards a lot, but that's OK.  Ernie is the Extrovert, or as my mom used to say, Bert's the banana-head...)  After invitation purchasing and balloon purchasing we went to lunch with Scott and Dianne.  Oh, and a belated happy 40th! birthday to Allen.  That's who the balloons were for.  Finally we made it home for a nap and then up again in time to get Poppa from work.  Then it was off to Target to pick up a few things, including new sandals for a boy that he liked in the store, but hated without socks... and a new T-shirt that was on clearance.  After a quick dinner the boys dropped me off at the laundromat and they headed off to the Q-mart for a bit.  I was doing laundry on Saturday because on Sunday, well, Sunday I was finally going to get back to orienteering.
Yep, that's right.  I finally was able to hit the trails again.  2007 was just a bad year in so many ways, then in 2008 I was very pregnant at the beginning of the season and then had a newborn that I really wanted to spend all my time with.  That and I probably wasn't really up to walking 2-3 Km even on trails at that point.  Last year, I just couldn't seem to manage it and had a 1 year old that I still really wanted to spend time with.  That and having Sunday as our only day that all of us are home together for the full day, really made me feel guilty about wanting to go out on the trails then.
But, the weather this week was so beautiful.  And the event was going to be at Warwick County Park, which isn't all that far from Amma and PopPop's.  And Gak was really needing a couch potato (or computer chair potato as the case may be) day.  Amma was more than happy to watch after Boo for a couple of hours while I went and ran in the woods.  Well, walked quickly is more like it.  One day I may run, but not any time soon.
When I was orienteering all the time, I had worked up to being very comfortable on an Orange course (intermediate, the courses from easiest to hardest are White, Yellow, Orange and then Brown, Green, Red and Blue are just different lengths of the same difficulty).  But, since I'd been away for over 2 years, almost 3, I figured I'd play it safe and stick with the Yellow.  I probably could have done the Orange.  While I did have difficulty with the first two controls, the only thing really holding me back was my speed.  This was a pretty easy Yellow course, mostly along or near the trails with only a couple of "good" legs that urged people to ditch the trails and go cross country.
Can I tell you how much I enjoy e-punch?  I had picked up my e-punch (a $40 investment) shortly before I stopped going.  At the time, maybe a few events a year were e-punch.  Now, just about every event is.  It's so much easier for the people compiling the results and you get so much more information.  I now know what every split is, not just my total time.  The down side is, no more strings of pink cards fluttering in the wind to give you a clue of how well (or badly) you did before you leave.  Oh well, I'm sure the rankings will be up today or tomorrow on the site.
I did get a chance to say hi to a couple of people I used to talk to all the time.  It was good to see them.  They were all happy to see me and see me back as well.  I've got to get my registration form and $16 together for the next event.  (This Sunday's is actually pretty close to here, just a little further than work...)  Of course, everyone was asking where Boo was, but since I don't have a kid carrier back pack of some description, I wasn't about to bring him.  It turns out I could have brought him and Amma with me as the start/finish was right at a wonderful playground.
I feel like I did pretty well, for me and for having been away for so long.  I did 3.4 Km (as mapped) in 1 hour, 6 minutes.  So, no, not a very fast pace, but in reality, I probably did more like 4K and there was a nice bit of climb, but not too much.  I had problems with the first control because I was holding my map upside down and I didn't look up and around where I was (embarrassing!) and the second control I started double guessing myself because I didn't have a feel for the distance on the map vs. real life "time" distance.  Once I reminded myself to trusts myself and that I know what I'm doing, I was off and running... err... walking.  After that, it was all pretty simple (but not downhill for the most part...).
Anyhow, I hope to get out more often this summer, and maybe even take the boys with me at some point.  I really want to take Boo.  I'm sure he'd love being out in the woods, I'd have to do a White or a Yellow though, I'm not sure I could take him cross country like I do with an Orange or carry him that long for that matter.  He's a heavy boy now, over 26 lb with clothes on!

While I was walking my trail, I remembered a wonderful piece of advice I got from Uday via Rick... "don't loose touch with the map".  I think it's one of my favorite pieces of advice, and not just for Orienteering.  I mean, sure, knowing where you are on the map is about 75% of the battle in the woods, but same can be said for the rest of life.  If you know where you are, and know where you want to get to, the only thing left is to get there.  And if you get side tracked on the way, but still know where you are on the map, everything will still be OK.  I think I needed to remind myself of that this weekend, especially with everything going on at work and the state of my finances (or lack there of...).  Hopefully, I know where I am on the map of life and can find a destination I want to get to, there are several forks in the road to navigate.

Anyhow, I've got to wrap this up so I can get out the door for another Monday.  This should be an interesting week at work.  We've got New Corporate and Big Corporate from KC coming on Wednesday.  The closing will be on Friday.  Next week well start the real adventure.

Peace to all and may your weekends be wonderful, and your compass and map be true.

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