Thursday, March 26, 2009

A very pleasant night-O course:)

Yesterday I visited 'Bar under the Larch' to have some fun and gain lots of useful experience needed for night orienteering competitions. When I heard that we were going to run on a map called 'Arturówek', I got a little surprised since I was almost certain the training would take place on a boring and well-known side of the forest. It was my first race since last weekend, so I decided to take pains to perform well - actually to improve my self-esteem a bit:P ...and I did manage! I made a really good race and enjoyed every minute of it:)
I hope it's gonna be similar on Friday's night relay in Denmark. Yeah, today in the evening at 9:15 p.m. we are leaving for Hillerod! Keep your fingers crossed for our whole team and my right foot;-) Actually, there is one main challenge I'll have to face at Spring Cup relay race - to give the correct map to Duduś:-D Remember last year? Who does - is now laughing, who doesn't - should start right now;)
That's all for now, I hope I'll come back in a mood good enough to write my next note as soon as possible!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I've run out of motivation completely!

Last weekend the first important competition of the year was held. Although it was not an orienteering course, I tried to do my best to perform well. I was quite unsure about my shape, but still hoped to take the first place in my class. However, Olej made a superb race that day and beat me by over 40 seconds! I had nothing else to do but congratulate him and analyse this cross thoroughly to find the reasons for my weak performance.

Here's what came to my mind:
- illness (with taking antibiotics) just one week before the start, which made me stay at home for 3 days losing 3 training sessions; what's more, it was not finished when I began to train again and I felt really weakened...
- right foot injury having its climax two days before the race and not allowing me to finish my Thursday's training; nevertheless, I must admit it had no impact on my running on Saturday because the pain went off at the very beginning of the course...
- two parties (especially the second one was a real excess!) at the weekend before and huge problems with sleeping lasting 3 nights...
- having stuffy nose because of piercing cold at night in our cosy room, which caused great problems with breathing during the race (especially at the last lap)...
- running the whole 2nd lap behind Patela, who had just started, was fresh and exaggerated with his pace a bit and slowed down at the beginning of the third one of mine, which I only noticed having run 500m about 13sec slower than before...

On no account do these factors justify my performance, but it is a way to improve my lame mood ;-)

Results and splits.

I've also prepared some charts showing the importance of starting calmly and slowly. Note that Olej was 7th at the first control, easily sped up and eventually succeeded in taking a clear lead.

After such a wise analysis the time came for a special bonus... I hope the main hero of this chart will like it! :-)

Afterwards we had some nice technical trainings in the surrounding forests. I did not take them too seriously because of my injury and just tried to enjoy map reading (and help my clubmates a bit!). I present all the maps below...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

My foot leaves much to be desired...

Below I present the maps from our weekend's trainings.

I think there's nothing to add - they are simply too boring and... out-of-date to comment!

Tomorrow we are going to Podlesice to attend the annual meeting of junior orienteers from the whole country. The climax of this meeting is the famous cross on Saturday morning. I would think I am prepared really well for it if it wasn't for my injured right foot... which led to an unexpected interruption of today's training:(

Fortunately, I have one day off more and hopefully it will get better. Wait and see...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Ups and downs...

Last Saturday, just a few days after coming back home from Portugal, I was to compete in a so-called cross-test named 'Sprawdź się sam' in Ruda Pabianicka. I didn't feel well that day and wasn't sure if I would manage to perform at a really good and satisfying level.
The length of the longest race was 8,08km with 200m climb. It consisted of 4 loops of 2,02km and 8 controls to punch every 1,01km. A result with '29' at the beginning was my goal I tried to pursue. Unfortunately, performing an excellent race I achieved the time of 30:05. Although I missed my aim by 6 seconds, I felt incredibly satisfied!
Now I would like to compare it to my last year's race at the same course and with very similar weather conditions...

No. 2008 2009 difference
1. 3:33 3:47 +0:14
2. 3:53 3:55 +0:02
3. 4:02 3:45 -0:17
4. 4:06 3:47 -0:19
5. 4:12 3:39 -0:33
6. 4:12 3:49 -0:23
7. 4:09 3:41 -0:28
8. 4:03 3:42 -0:21
T 32:10 30:05 -2:05!

My pace during this year's competition was 3:43/km (2008 - 3:59/km). My HR was almost the same - 185/192 (2008 - 184/192). However, the difference between best and worst lap was relatively small - 16sec (2008 - 39sec!).
It is also worth noticing the importance of starting calmly. Speeding at the beginning was the main reason of my last year's poor performance.
To sum it all up, I think I made a considerable progress thanks to hard and respectable trainings. I hope it will continue in the future!
Here are the results and splits.

Yeah... it was clearly an UP. Nevertheless, the title sounds 'Ups and DOWNS...'. Now I am ill sitting in from of my computer at home. It all began soon after my come back from hot Portugal. I tried to train with no breaks and hoped everything would be alright. Unfortunately, after Monday's training with Zielu I started feeling worse and worse... and realised I was overwhelmed by an illness:(
On Tuesday I missed my first training session since 24th November. After 106 days of fabulous training I had to give up and stay at home. However, I have no right to groan and moan as I had over 15 weeks of magnificent health. Now I really hunger for running and am looking forward to competing in Saturday's PoZnO. I hope.......

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

XI Meeting Orientacao Centro

28 II 2009

Dia 1 - middle WRE
I made quite a good race that day. Although I made some minor mistakes, I managed to avoid a mistake of more than half a minute. Unfortunately, the weather got a bit worse and it wasn't as sunny as it used to. It got colder and it rained a bit...:(

Urban Night Sprint in Alcobaca
The map looked pretty interesting and it was a really fascinating sprint distance course. Especially the surroundings of the 14th and 15th controls! There were ruined walls in a complete darkness at night. It looked amazing, so I decided to stay there 1 minute more than I should have;)

1 III 2009

Dia 2 - long
In comparison to the last week's long distance, it is like comparing heaven to hell. I was easily able to break a magic border of 100 minutes. My time was almost 30min better than at POM! I am particularly happy with my performance at the longest leg and the very end of the course.

Just after the prize giving ceremony we returned to our bungalows and started getting ready for the following day's journey back home. All good things come to an end... don't they?
10 days in Portugal
187,73km run
9 competition races
7 technical trainings
1 physical training
19 new maps
193 - highest heart rate
56 conclusions drawn

Sophisticated technical trainings in Pataias

On our way to Pataias a beautiful well-known town was situated - Fatima. We just couldn't miss the opportunity to visit it! We took some lovely photos, lit two candles with intention of Polish Junior Team, eat some rice or pasta in a cosy Chinese restaurant and drove away. We reached our final destination quite soon despite some localization problems;-P We settled in two spacious bungalows and started enjoying a carefree life of orienteers;)

25 II 2009

3 loops with moderate intensity
Each of us got a special objectives to pursue during this particular session. I was told to take the first loop easily as a warm-up, run the second one at full speed and the third one with an average pace. In the beginning, I was a bit taken aback that we were going to run so fast just one day after such a long and tiring competition. However, eventually, it turned out it was quite a good idea and I enjoyed the courses very much!

Memory training - in pairs, only 1 map
We all got a bit shocked as we heard the rules of this training (described on the map). Nonetheless, it was a really fantastic training, in my opinion. I felt as if I could go on forever... Hewi and I managed to gain a great speed at the legs and even our O-technique wasn't that bad:)

'Circle' - no north, no compass!
None of us was sure if we were going to run the difficult-looking course easily. Neither was I, but had a great time in the forest finding all the controls with enormous pleasure and crossed the finish line shouting 'What a crit training!'.

26 II 2009

Middle on WMOC 2008 long distance map
Our coach wanted us to run the course as if it was a competition. I didn't feel well enough to run at the highest speed and orienteering level. The reason was heavy legs and exhaustion after 5 days of tough orienteering. That's why I made lots of stupid mistakes on the course...

Just after this training we spent almost an hour pulling out our car from a huge sandy hole. Afterwards we had to clean our hands a bit. It turned out that the nearest place to do it was the Atlantic Ocean:-)

Sprint - save your neck!
I must admit Nazare is a very interesting city to organize a sprint competition in. However, no control flags, crowd in the narrow alleys and two threatening dogs spoilt the whole O-fun:[

27 II 2009

1st & 2nd Model Event
I took both Model Events very easily and tried to take some rest before the coming competition races. In spite of a meagre pace I did not succeed in avoiding mistakes. Nevertheless, these mistakes are actually the thing we learn from!

The following day we were going to compete in the next competition...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Portugal "O" Meeting 2009

We started our long journey to Portugal at about 12 on Thursday. I met with Olej at the Fabryczny railway station and made our way to Warsaw. I ran a bit with Jacek there and had a nice dinner prepared by the house owner;-D it was really tasty! Then, Slavko visited us as well and accompanied us in our bus trip to the national airport. After some time spent on waiting for the others to come we went to check-in desks. Everything went just superb until one of the 3 guys (Jacek, Hewi, Mały) tried to put his baggage on a special scales. It turned out they had their flight reservations for 16:50 or so... and we all got REALLY confused! In the end, we had to board our plane and they had to wait and see what happens. Firstly, we were told we are obliged to pay almost 5000zł for them to travel with us. Fortunately, the airlines owned up to their mistake and arranged a flight to Lisbon through Brussels for them the next day in the morning. We sighed with relief...

Consequently, we arrived a bit too late in Mora and didn't have enough time to find the Model Event area, so we decided to go jogging and picked lots of fresh oranges straight from the trees. I already started to love Portugal!

21 II 2009

Model Event
The map looked really demanding before the training. However, it turned out to be a great fun to run with! The weather was just beautiful and we were all full of energy to compete in the coming races :-)

Dia 1 - middle
It was such a pleasure to run with SI-card after such a long time! I made a decent warm-up and started my course. It went quite well taking into account the long winter break in orienteering;)

Urban night sprint
It was my very first time to run in this type of competition and I must admit it's a really funny thing! Nevertheless, it is NOT the same to run a sprint distance in the daylight since you do not see the objects that are far away...

22 II 2009

Dia 2 - long WRE
On the one hand, I was looking forward to compete in this particular race; on the other hand, I was a bit afraid of my shape and didn't know if I would manage to perform well. That's why I ran very carefully and didn't succeed in avoiding stupid mistakes... Moreover, I didn't like that day's terrain at all!

23 II 2009

Dia 3 - middle
Incredibly fast and lovely terrain! Although I had some problems with my right foot after the previous day's long distance race, I felt strong enough to made a really good race and lose only 5:44 to Matthias Merz, whose performances are unbelievable at the beginning of the season:)

It was the first and LAST(!) time I was disqualified this year. I only wish I hadn't missed the chance to win 100 Euros;-P and would like to congratulate Hania and Mały for winning the silver medals and... 50 Euros... to spend in Silva store.

24 II 2009

Dia 4 - intermediate distance
The terrain was the same as the previous day and I just had to compete well:-) Meeting Wojtek Dwojak on course just helped me speed up and orienteer more confidently. But don't you think I followed him all the time! Read the race analysis before making a judgement. Certainly, it was my best race in Portugal, but I still hope to get into a better shape to set a new record!

Just after the competition we came back to our school, had shower and jumped into the cars. Final destination - Pataias...