Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another scorelauf and JWOC 4 years later...

Firstly, I must admit the party was really cool and I had a really good fun till 5:30. The details, I think, are inappropriate to publish on this blog. However, now it's time to come back to normal life and my daily routine called... running!

So-called scorelauf from the mountain (yesterday)

I hadn't thought we could manage to attend this training after only 3 hours of sleeping but we DID! And for that reason we are the true winners!

As far as the training is concerned, I made almost the best route choice (5,43km) but almost makes a great difference. I should have taken control no. 31 at first and finish my course with the leg 40-39. This way (330m shorter) was chosen by Piotrek and Kamil who beat me by about a minute.

My running speed was quite high. I hadn't thought I would be able to run that fast after such a night. My biggest mistake (2 minutes) appeared at control number 40. Unfortunately, I can't say why I made it. Probably my brain was just too tired and lazy to think after about half an hour of strong running (having had only 3 hours' rest). Then I lost my motivation and slowed down very much. I couldn't really feel my legs working at all. They became so heavy that I had problems carrying them!

My running time was about 34:40. Taking into account my tiredness, huge mistake and not the best way taken, I think the time of 30 mins was within the reach of my legs.

JWOC 2004 (Gdynia, POL) middle distance final

Jacek didn't want to be worse than me and organised a nice training for me today. We ran the middle distance final from the JWOC 2004 in Gdynia.

Jacek started 10 minutes ahead of me to hang white A4 sheets of paper where the real controls should be situated. Ula was with us there as well and helped to gather those 'controls' afterwards. We left no rubbish in the forest!

Unfortunately, that was the worst day after the party. Although I slept 3 times longer, I felt at least 5 times worse than yesterday. As for the technical aspects I must admit it's a quite tough type of terrain here. It becomes really easy after couple of trainings but for the first time after over 2 months it turned out to be very difficult.

The course parameters were 4,61km long and 230m up-hill. My running time was 37:31 and Jacek's one was 29:34 (he ran this course for the second time now) while the winner's (Audun Bjerkreim Nilsen from Norway) time was about 27 minutes.

My pulse rate was really high as for me (avg 176, max 187) and it only stems from my enormous tiredness, not my fast pace.

Below you can see today's map and the deep analysis of each control.

I think I chose the best possible way. I could only shorten it a bit by avoiding running to the path's bend. Unfortunately, several metres before the control a group of boars whizzed in front of me and I got a little bit scared.

I confused the re-entrants. I thought that I was already on the right spur. If there had been no ditch there, I would have lost much more time!

There were two possible ways to reach the control and as you can see on the map both of them were used during the today's training. Jacek's one meant running further from the red line but almost no up-hill running and easier part of the map to read. I must admit it was immensely better!

No problems finding the control but lots of dry branches lying disorderly on the ground made me run too much to the left from the third control.

Really easy control. Normally I would choose the same way as Jacek did but today I was probably so tired that I wanted to avoid as much up-hill running as possible.

I lost accurate contact with the map just some 30 metres before the control but fortunately easily gained my concentration back.

Nothing special. The easiest control of the whole course.

There was one small path more there. I thought that's the one I had to cross and started looking for the control too early. But that's NO excuse! I should have looked much more on the contours.

Good one for me;)

If I had run as Jacek did (I mean the fact that I ran too much to the left about 100m before the control), it would have been a perfect route choice!

After beautiful white forest it also came time for some struggling with the horribly green forest.

Jacek had known there is a new track just some meters east from the control. I hadn't...

Looking at the split times, it was my best control of that course. It was a kind of central Poland's running (so flat), maybe that's why...?

I forgot I was not in Sweden, where such marshes are easy to run through, and my legs got drowned (to the knees). Furthermore, I hadn't checked the control description and didn't know it was a tower. It made me feel a little bit unsecure just before the control.

It was extremely hard for me to force myself to run at the highest speed but Jacek did his best to help me:)

(JWOC 2008 middle distance gold medalist, click on his name to check this out!) short summary:

Having run this course in May, I wanted to make it better by avoiding mistakes I had made that time. The first step was to choose another route choice to 1st control and this time it was successful (in May I missed there about 0'45). The next controls were really nice (especially the long one to number 3) until number 6 where I missed about 10 seconds. 9th control was another 0'10 left, but the final part of the course was almost perfect. To conclude, I am really happy with my performance, because I managed to avoid big mistakes (which was not difficult when running the course the second time :-). However, I know that I am a little bit slower than in May because of the JWOC gold medal race ;-).
When it comes to Podzio, I am not disappointed with his performance, because he is really tired this weekend (after a hard night training on Friday) and I hope it was a good lesson for him which will result in better races in the future.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Home boredom is bound to end now!

I've decided to write my last note before the long journey to Switzerland now because the coming days are going to be really exciting and my free time will be greatly limited.

Tomorrow just after my visit to the dentist, I am going to pick up Jacek from the Fabryczny railway station. We plan to do some training using 'Zdrowie' map and then in the evening the biggest orienteering party ever is to start. This is the 18th birthday of Marta and Anna in Pabianice. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!

I hope we'll manage to wake up early enough to attend our club training on Saturday. Unfortunately, I think I won't be able to publish any note including my route choices afterwards as we arranged to leave at about 16:50 to reach Gdynia before midnight.

We are going to do two training sessions more on Sunday and Monday. Finally, at 15:00 on 28th July we are to begin our long and probably very tiring journey to Switzerland, by bus of course.

In Daniel Hubmann's homeland we are going to prepare for the coming European Youth Orienteering Championship, which will be held in October. After some 10 days of trainings we are going to compete in a competition ending with a chasing start named Aargauer 3-Tage-OL 2008. Keep your fingers crossed for our whole team!

The exemplary picture from the competition area (third day).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My memory is quite good :)

Firstly, I would like to present a short summary of my performances at Orienteering Festival 2008, so let's begin:
  • 6 days
  • 33,3km of courses
  • 1170m climbing
  • 98 controls found
  • running time of 242:41.
It all allowed me to reach the 13th place (of 75 competitors in M18). Although the scoring system (only 4 best results were taken into account) was quite fair of course, it was really unfavourable for my prestart assumptions as I wanted to have six equal and technically good races... and more or less I had! Therefore I am very satisfied with my performance in Czech Republic and happy about the great opportunity we all had to spend a week among our sports idols.

The men's podium in the most prestigious distance at WOC 2008 - long.

Technical training in our favourite terrain ;-)

I have had no technical training in Łagiewnicki forest for a long time but I was looking forward for that fantastic day to come. In the morning we all gathered in the so-called 'Bar under the larch' to improve our memory and techniques.

The main goal of this training was to collect as many points (out of 12) as possible in the time of 45 minutes. It was a scorelauf so the order of points didn't really matter. It was also quite a good challenge for our memories as we had no map in hand while running, these were only at the start and every control.

My starting minute was one of the last ones and I was strongly surprised when I came into the finish and saw almost no-one there! However, I hadn't planned to run fast but after control number 35, where I saw Piotrek and his quite high speed level, I began to speed up.

I only wish I had run in my perfect Salomon shoes, which I had even taken in my backpack, but it became impossible as I forgot that one of the laces had been ripped during my training camp in Sweden and I was too lazy to change them before and after this training session. But in fact, it wasn't that bad to run in the ordinary Nike shoes =)

I have just one little problem after today's race. I'll have to look for some empty space on my wall to hang the today's results there. There are not so many days in year that you manage to beat our chairman...!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

O-fun and the second half of Orienteering Festival 2008

Great fun at supersprint on the outskirts of Olomouc!

This additional competition was completely free for all the competitors of OF 2008 and was organised by Gigasport (large sports company) after the 3rd day of struggle in WOC Public Race. The course was very, very short and running lasted only about 8 minutes but it was a great pleasure to find easy controls situated on the area including huge supermarket and extensive parking place. I must admit that it was a brilliant change after looking for much more difficult controls in Czech forests.

OF 2008 - fourth day (middle distance)

Even before arrival in Czech Republic I checked my minutes on all 6 stages and situation around me. There was no day I was 'in danger', apart from today! Rino was to start 3 minutes behind me and we even talked about it during our warm-up exercises. I felt quite secure because 3' is a vast amount of time, I think. Despite some significant mistakes at 2nd & 4th control and the fact that I (unnecessarily!) started looking behind me, I met Rino only on my way back from SI-card reading point.
Remember! There's no need to look at the others, you just need to focus on your own race.

OF 2008 - fifth day (middle distance)

Just look at the parameters: 4,8km and 260m climbing. It was bound to be a tough, hilly race. I planned to run less than 40' and expected that this time would allow me to reach the top 10. How wrong I was! The 'Łódź beginning' (really flat) let the runners reach high speed and save a lot of time. There were only two very steep slopes to climb (controls number 9 and 11) and it forced us to slow down incredibly. It was rather walking than running towards these controls. But it didn't prevent the winner from achieving the time of half an hour! And mine wasn't much worse... ;-)

OF 2008 - sixth and last day (middle distance)

As it was the last opportunity to run in Czech forest for now, I was very determined to do my best and gain my best result at OF 2008. Just after the race and tiring long finish, while staying in a really long queue to read my SI-card, I was very disappointed because I knew I had made two large mistakes. But when I got my split times, these two mistakes turned out not to be that large and I ended on the 6th position less than 2 minutes behind the leader.
Furthermore, it was really impressing to run the same finish and search for controls in partly the same terrain as the WOC 2008 long distance final participants did!

Monday, July 21, 2008

WOC 2008 & Public Race for ordinary people in Czech Republic

I called us ordinary people as we were only the background for the whole pack of stars like Thierry, Dani or Minna. However, we were having a really good time there and I wasn't looking forward to come back home.

Our so-called 'Orientuś superelite' who visited Olomouc consisted of 10 people: Gwoździk, Gosiaczek, Amelka, Ewuś, Ala, Zielu, Piotrek, Kamiliusz (Swedish runner), head coach Pasza and me.

As far as our results are concerned, Piotrek and Kamil managed to reach the podium (2nd and 3rd in M21B). Congratulations!

Now it's time to tell you something about my races in Orienteering Festival 2008. My main goal for this competition was to take a little rest after hard 3 weeks of trainings and JWOC 2008 in Norway and Sweden. So my running speed wasn't supposed to be at its best but my technique should have been at the highest level possible and I must admit that day by day it was getting better and better - that's why I am so satisfied with this 6 days O-competition.

I would also like to add that my stay in Czech was not only the relief for my legs but also for my brain because reading the map in continental terrain is not as difficult as in Nordic countries.

But now to the point...

OF 2008 - first day (long distance)

I had been looking forward to this first start in Czech Republic since my comeback from Sweden. I started my race pretty well. After 5th and 6th control I was leading. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to avoid a really huge mistake at control number 12 and landed almost 0,5km away from the point. Nevertheless, the biggest problem which appeared almost every day during OF was the difference in size of rocks, rocky walls and mounds that were unbelievably smaller than their 'friends' in Sweden. The winner of the race was Pole - Rino!

By clicking on the 3 items above you can see my route choices, comments & my own mark of the race and split times as well.

OF 2008 - second day (long distance)

The course parameters looked quite encouraging for me as it was quite a lot of running but the course was supposed to be fairly smooth. The only thing that didn't suit me was the fact that I was the second one to enter the forest and it meant slower speed in bushy and grassy areas. The terrain and course planner turned out to be really demanding and there were some controls hidden in green areas. Furthermore, the end of the course was quite tricky as there was a huge bushy area near the finish which included a lot of tiny clearings. Moreover, the scale 1:15000 made it even more difficult! It was definitely my worst performance at OF 2008.

OF 2008 - third day (middle distance)

Middle distances in Sweden were a great technical challenge and they almost ruled out the possibility of fast running. But after two days spent on Czech maps I realised it won't be the same and I was right. I don't think the course was much more difficult and my pace was even better than before. That day my category showed how important every second is. I lost 3:13 to the winner and was only 13th. If I had lost the same amount of time in middle distance at Polish Championship, I would have been the owner of bronze medal...

Beginning not so tough...

I got up at 12:30 this morning (afternoon:P) and it took me (only?) 4 hours to create my own blog. What for?

After my performance in JWOC 2008 in Goteborg and long stay with our national team I think I became more mature and professional. That's one of the reasons why I started writing my own blog. But not the only one! Among others is also the fact that I really love this game and it's a great place and time to commit my feelings and experiences to paper.

I decided to use English on my blog to become more available for foreign visitors as well. On the other hand it's also a great opportunity to improve my (and your! ;)) language skills. If any problems with understanding occur, use the web dictionary It's the one I use during writing my notes whenever I need some help.

Don't hesitate to comment, it doesn't matter which language you use. The ones I undestand are Polish, English and German. In some time I'll publish my first interesting note about WOC 2008 and Orienteering Festival in Czech Republic.

I hope you'll enjoy your visit to my website!