Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, busy and... busy

I hoped to write notes about Sweden, School Championships and VII Piotrkowska Street Race tonight but it's got a bit too late right now and I want to sleep a bit as I have to get up very early tomorrow (before 6 a.m.!). We are heading for the very south of Germany. I promise I will catch up with everything as soon as I come back :-)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Amazing Tiomila!

I've just come back to our school in Perstorp after running the 3rd leg in this year's 10Mila. I started at the 77th place and finished at 68th, so this means I improved our position by 9 places! I had the 53rd time of my leg (7km - 46:39). I made mistakes at three and a half controls, that cost me some 3 minutes or so... However, I am really surprised and satisfied with my legs' shape, which were really flying tonight! Now I am going to follow the online results as this particular night happens only once a year! ;-)

We managed to achieve the 70th place at Tiomila 2009! It means an improvement of 73 positions comparing to our last year's result. What's more, a time of about 30 minutes shorter was easily reachable for our team... and that would have been a place in TOP 50 ;-) Maybe in 2010?

Monday, April 13, 2009

H21 ELIT 4 - getting better?

Today I started in the Men's Elite 4th (last) final of the Elitserien event. I wanted to run faster than yesterday and I did manage. However, it was really far from something I could call 'a good shape'.
The only thing that consoles me is the fact that I could easily read the details on the map and had a technically good race. The only exception was control no. 6, where I completely misunderstood the contours and lost 4 minutes wandering around! Nevertheless, the rest of the course went quite OK and my legs were working a bit better than on previous days.
I hope I'm gonna get out of this down-breaking crisis as soon as possible and start having fun while orienteering...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Elitserien Middle Qualification - result known already before the start :[

I was to start at 10:43. I made my way to the start (where I hoped to collect my number) about half an hour before. I was jogging easily when I saw Pałka and Dyzia running at full speed back to the event centre. I realised immediately what was going on! We had some 15 minutes left to start and had to hurry to get our number bibs, which were compulsory.
I managed to arrive at the start again about 90 seconds before my starting time. Thanks to Pepe and Kaszub, who helped me attach my number bibs to the front and back of my T-shirt, I was able to start at the right time. Nevertheless, I was so upset and my legs were so tired that I already knew it was not possible for me to perform well today.
Tomorrow I am going to compete in the 4th elite final as most of our team...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Hässleholms Long - greater result than effort...

Today my first individual competition in Sweden this year took place. I was incredibly happy that it was going to be held during the day. I wanted to take pains to perform as well as possible. However, my legs' opinion was much different... I felt as if their weight was about 15kg more than usually. Moreover, I didn't manage to pursue the main goal for this race - keeping a constant touch with my map - already at the very beginning of the first long leg. Nevertheless, I succeeded in regaining my concentration and had a technically 'not-so-bad' race.
The course was 6,5km and my time was 45:10. I must admit there were fairly high mountains in the forest. I achieved the third place, over 3 minutes behind the winner and exactly 2 minutes behind Olej. That speaks for a very poor level in our class...

Friday, April 10, 2009

7-manna - great performance of Polish Junior Team ;-)

We are in Sweden for 3 days now and yesterday our first competition took place. For my team it was a 7-person relay. The first 3 legs (me, Olej, Jacek) were held at night while the other 4 (Jasina, Hewi, Stefan, Rino) - during the day.
Our night trio made a really good start for our team, especially the very first leg. Already before the mass start I felt I was not going to compete well that day. I had been trying to get these thoughts out of my mind but I did not manage...
We started really fast and I did my best to keep up with the leaders. Unfortunately, I only succeeded in doing it to the first control, which was ridiculously easy. Then, at the second control a huge forking came and I lost contact with the map and leading group completely. I had found 2 or 3 other controls before actually finding mine. Having punched this control, I knew I would have to run the rest of the course alone and felt a bit confused and discouraged.
However, I had nothing else to do than run forward and reach the next controls as quickly as possible.
The 5th control was a really long leg and I felt a bit afraid of it whereas I am not good enough at choosing long route choices in Sweden. What's more, it was a night orienteering course! My pace was very miserable, although I managed to find this control after facing some minor difficulties.
On my way to the 10th control I already knew it would be very hard not to make any mistake... and I was pretty right. I pushed my pace a bit hoping to get out of this tricky area as fast as possible. While looking for this control I saw a whole pack or runners behind me including some 'M65s' and a black man. I felt so ashamed and wanted to finish my course right now! I lost about 4 minutes there...
At the 11th control I decided to take my revenge and be the man to follow towards it, but it was a poor consolation.
To the next control I made another mistake of some 3 minutes. I don't really want to describe it precisely, but I could not understand the map just before the control because there were so many rocks in the terrain!
To fulfil my yesterday's nightmare I made a 'M10'-mistake having enormous problems to find the control no. 100.
To sum it all up, I made an awful race losing almost 25 minutes to the winner, achieving the 60th position (of 73 competitors). Luckily, Olej wasn't much better and my mood got a bit better after his race. Eventually, we finished at 45th place.......

And now a special bonus for all of you!
Although I had a bad day at yesterday's competition, Kaszub made a race of his life at his today's 6th leg. I really wish he had run for my relay as he made only 11 minutes of mistakes and reach the time of 47:04 on the 5,4km course. We are very proud of him and hope he's gonna smash his opponents' asses at tomorrow long distance in Hassleholm. Keep your fingers crossed for him at 10:18! :-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Great training week and brilliant performance:)

My good performance at Spring Cup in Denmark gave me a lot of needed motivation to train as hard as possible. What's more, my injured right foot started getting better and better and piercing pain went off slowly. I felt so fresh and determined during last week's trainings! It was not only my own feeling as it turned out on Saturday. But let's begin with Wednesday's School Provincial Champs in 10-person Cross-Country Relay...

Obviously, we were not among the favourites and I took this race as a part of my speed training. The distance was said to be 1200m in an almost totally flat terrain. I was chosen to run the last leg of course. Unfortunately, when I started - being in the second last position - I could not even see the runners ahead of me! Although I had known it would be immensely difficult to reach them, I decided to push hard to skip one place up at least. However, the gap turned out to be too large and we missed the 11th place by some 100m. My time was 3:40, which makes an average of 3:03 per km. I was pretty satisfied, but very tired after spending half a day in hot sun beams...

And now I would like to pass on to the aforementioned Saturday. Yeah... 2 days ago we had our own 'spring cup' in Łódź. It was called 'Welcoming the spring', indeed. Much earlier I had decided to compete in elite class in order to have a longer course and more fun! I made a brilliant race and have beaten my own trainer for the very first time in an official Polish ranking competition. Moreover, I'll hopefully get some delicious ice-cream from Zielu since he bet on me winning with Pasza and Amelka is bound to buy some ice-cream for him at one of the coming competitions. I would also like to add that the most prestigious classes were won by Gwoździu, Nati, Zielu and me. Funny, isn't it? :)

Uff... now I have clear conscience and can easily head for Sweden tomorrow. I recommend you to take a look at Jacek Morawski's website to check all the competition races we are going to take part in. As far as the night relays (7-manna and 10mila) are concerned, I am going to run the first legs in both of them. I got to know the plan of technical trainings as well and judging from it we are going to face 17 O-challenges with a map - it sounds really wonderful!

CU back on 20th!

Orienteering - wake up!

And I must admit I've really woken up! ...thanks to Spring Cup 2009 competition;) which was held in Hillerod [DEN]. We were to run 3 O-courses there. I was looking forward to taking part in them very much. However, I hadn't actually expected such good results judging from my shape and tiredness at Thursday's training. Fortunately, it went quite well...

Night Relay on Friday
Each team consisted of 4 runners in Men's Open. It was arranged for me to run the second leg - I don't know why, cause I was almost sure I was going to compete with the 1st leg runners. But it didn't really matter for me, I was even pleased with this decision since I was able to make the whole race on my own, not having to push the pace following the leaders. I took this course as a perfect opportunity to improve my orienteering technique at night and made a pretty satisfying race, although I didn't manage to avoid one sooo stupid mistake! In the end, we crossed the finish line as the 39th team. Nevertheless, it was only a small warm-up before the most important 2 challenges of the weekend :-)

Classic on Saturday
Our head coach had decided that Polish Junior Team runners from M18 were going to compete in M20. It seemed to be quite a good idea until we got to know that the courses are the same in both classes and the reward for the winners in these elite classes was 1,500 DKK ;-D However, I did not take any special notice of that fact - I only wanted to perform well and be satisfied with my run. And I pretty managed! Though the beginning of the course was quite tricky and my legs weren't working as I would have wished to, the very end of the race went just superb regarding not only my technique, but also running speed. I took a satisfying 7th place in H19-20E being the best among the Poles. What's more, if I had run in H17-18E, I would have reached the podium! I got a real buzz out of my performance and my self-esteem has heightened significantly. To conclude, I would also like to add that the result of the great running/orienteering fight between Nati + me vs. Dyzia + Olej is 3:1! We both achieved victories at the weekend :) I must admit Nati's success was much more clear than mine of 13 seconds ahead of Olej, but still...

Relay on Sunday
I was really looking forward to taking part in this particular relay competition for many reasons. Two of these were: my true love for running relays and a great chance of obtaining a good place in this race.
Not surprisingly, I was chosen to run the first physically demanding leg. I expected a fast race with a whole group of strong runners. But already the 1st control made me forget about my predictions. I left the starting flag as a third runner and almost immediately realised the other competitors were going in a strange direction. I decided to believe in myself and went completely alone to my first control. While leaving it, it was so funny to look at those lost guys heading for the same control from the place the other forking was;-)
Having left the first control, I saw a whole pack of runners from my class some 100m or more ahead of me running to my 2nd control. I got a bit angry, looked at the map for a short while to check the direction, held it strongly in my hand and started chasing them furiously! It turned out to be quite easy to catch up with the leaders. Then we reached the area close to controls no. 70 & 116 and stood for a while looking at each other. I suppose no-one was actually looking at the map precisely while running;-)
Having found these controls, we were to enter the part of the course with no forkings. I decided to push the pace and wanted to lead the whole group. I succeeded in doing it since I was the one to follow between 4th and 7th control.
I was so delighted with my shape and technique that I lost a bit of my concentration and instead of finding my 8th control on the yellow field I reached the control of the very different forking. I could only look at 3 guys punching it and making their way towards the next one.
Having spend about half a minute there, I still believed to catch up with the leaders. Unfortunately, at the 10th control another unlucky forking came and I had even punched control no. 81 and wanted to go ahead when I realised it was not my description! I lost another precious seconds there and it became almost impossible to reach the leading group now.
I reached my 13th control in a brilliant way, but didn't manage to stay concentrated enough during such fast running and missed 1 minute(!) to the next, 14th control.
The last part of the course after the spectator control went pretty well, with no huge difficulties. Only the 16th control should have been found faster and in an easier way.
At the very end of the race I was overtaken by some British guy who followed me almost all the time! I finished 4th, just one second behind him...
Then, I had nothing more to do than just take some rest and wait for Duduś and Olej to see the result of our team work. The result turned out to be magnificent! Since Olej was the first one to cross the finish line with the advantage of almost 2 minutes over the Swedish team :-)
We got some nice, miniature backpacks and were ready for a long journey home.......