After five weeks of travelling every weekend I was exhausted after the two hour drive from work to the Forest Of Dean. I had just finished a two day training course with the coach Nick Bates – a really useful course that I coined ‘Mind Gym’ as it was more tiring than I would have expected! I arrived in Parkend Friday night, early enough for dinner and Kris Jones doughnut eating birthday challenge.
A week before the camp I’d emailed some of the BOF staff if we could have a catch up about my orienteering, their expectations and just so we can all have an honest chat about what I was really doing. After BUCS, although I was really pleased with the race i felt a loss of confidence over the weeks simply because I didn’t feel noticed. I really needed some feedback on the race and so had a chat Friday evening with Jackie and Ed to run over my thoughts. It was good to let them know I how saw myself and what I expected but also for them to feedback to me. Unfortunately I’m not confident enough to use a good race to motivate me and still rely on the extrinsic support to help realise when I’ve had a good or bad performance. Although I realise this is a pretty unstable and vulnerable model for motivation I’m happy that I am aware of it.
I’ve always found it stupid when people have said:, ‘Oh you really shouldn’t care about what other people think’ or, ‘You need to be happy with your run over the result’ as I KNOW I SHOULDN’T CARE OR RELY ON OTHERS PRAISE but it’s not as easy just stating it and then expecting it to happen overnight. Therefore I’ve set myself some smaller goals which still mean something to me. I have also not committed to Jukola or Tiomila this year (:’() as I am going right back to square one and just getting confident with British races before I progress!
Considering the mental overdrive I was putting my brain through with orienteering and work thoughts it’s not surprising I didn’t sleep well and the following day had a disaster (or what felt like it). I was staggering around with no attention to detail or discipline and just couldn’t get my head in orienteering gear. After about 3km of orienteering I sacked it in to go and have a cry in the car!! After some food and attention I was right as rain again but decided to steer clear of the orienteering for the rest of the day. The weather brightened up and I went for a little jog later in the afternoon as I was still wary of the stress reaction.
The following day I made sure I limited my orienteering to again about 3km and gave the map more focus. The terrain suited my legs and I felt happier and more confident. I got tired pretty quick (after about 2km!!!) and had to work hard to prove that one mistake did not mean I was shit at orienteering and in need of a whole life evaluation! Again I went for a little jog after but had to cut it shorter than what I would have liked because of the ankle.
It felt like a bit of a disaster weekend but also a wake-up call to really address the issues instead of reassuring myself I’d be fine. It was good to touch base with the squad but I did feel like I was dropping off the edge with it all and at the moment in time feel like I don’t have the energy to proof myself to everyone.