Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Why do all good things come to an end?

...because the better ones are going to replace them;)

Last weekend was the official end of 2010 O-season! To be more precise, Saturday was its end, whereas Sunday was the beginning of the next training period - 2011.

On Saturday we had a nice club technical training, which was in the form of a corridor and Swiss game. I managed to avoid making mistakes and I was really satisfied about it. However, I just can't put up with running in this forest any more...

On Sunday we took part in the first stage (out of 6) of Grand Prix of Łódź in Cross-Country Running. The course length was about 5,13km (due to my Garmin; my friends' Garmins stated that: 5,14, 5,15 or even 5,19). My running time was 17:30, which makes an average pace of 3:24/km (5km in 17:00). The conditions were pretty difficult, because the ground was very slippery and hard. What's more, the route included two 180-degree returns. That's why I am really happy about my performance. To sum it up, I managed to get the 4th spot, exactly 1 minute behind the winner:)

And now it's high time for me to write a short summary of the last season.

weeks - 52   (5 of them - cooling down period)
km in total - 3802,92   (73,13 per week)
km (orienteering) - 1235,6   (32,49%)
running hours in total - 360:51   (6:56 per week)
orienteering hours - 127:50   (35,43%)
hours of different exercises (like strength, streching etc.) - 116:48
hours of other sports (like swimming, cycling, sauna etc.) - 77:18
training hours in total - 554:57   (10:40 per week).

It all makes a really nice day average of 10,45km and 1:31 hours of training.

I must admit that it was a really good and solid O-season. I managed to pursue a lot of my goals. Furthermore, what's even more important, I didn't get injured and had almost no problems with my health;)

Below I present my results from the most important races of 2010:

JWOC, Denmark
long - 26th
middle qual - 8th
middle final - 14th
relay - 5th

BJC, Lithuania
long - 5th
mixed relay - 5th

WRE during IOOL in Germany
long - 3rd

Polish Championships
sprint - 2nd
middle - 2nd
relay - 5th
night - 1st
long - 2nd
superlong - 2nd

Polish Club Championships
relay - 2nd
long - 4th
sprint - dsq
sprint - 1st
middle - 10th
club relay - 3rd.

I am satisfied with the last season, but feel that some of the things went wrong. Luckily, my last year as a junior has only just begun!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Deserved and desired rest at home

The last weekend I spent at home before the long one in November (11-14) was 11-12th September. That's why I really wanted to sleep in my own bed during Saturday's night. And it happened at the afore-mentioned weekend. At last!

Since then I took part in some technical trainings in the most boring and the least challenging forest in the world (in my subjective opinion!). I think it's really NOT worth losing time to describe them. But one map (out of 3) will do;)

Friday, November 19, 2010

National end of 2010 O-season

It all happened - 2 weeks ago in Warsaw - during an amazing weekend competition named Fast Brain 2010. It consisted of 3 sprints (with chasing start at the last one) and was created/organized by Slavko and Jacek - I give you a big hand! Thank you:)

I wasn't sure about my shape because I had been in the so-called cooling down period for almost 2 weeks at that moment. However, my legs worked pretty fast and that made me enjoy these fascinating races much more!

Nevertheless, I must admit that the key to my success during this 2-day competition was my technique. I was able to find the best route choices in most cases. I had no problems finding the controls at the end of the legs. I read control descriptions precisely. I was self-confident and calm. It is the way it should always look like in a sprint competition!;)

In the Men's class 52 competitors took part. My stage places were: 3rd, 2nd and 4th. In general classification I managed to keep my surprising 3rd place! My overall running time was 52:29. Only 1:05 of that was lost due to my mistakes! All these figures are really promising and extremely satisfying;)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

International end of 2010 O-season

On 25th October I began quite a nice period of the so-called cooling down.

However, I could not stop competing at all, because I was chosen to run the 3rd leg for my Swedish club - Nybro OK - at Smålandskavlen in Tranås.

Interesting thing about this competition is the fact that the first 2 legs are night ones and there is NO mass start. There's interval start, I mean.
The rest of the competition (legs 3-5) is held during the following day and the 3rd leg is the one with chasing start.

My leg was the shortest one (6,85km) and I had a miserable race...
I made 2 awful mistakes:
127 - I wanted to be more cunning than my companions and ran mindlessly forward, 2'10 lost;
143 - I ran up the hill and suddenly my compass needle turned around and I completely didn't know what to do, 1'00 lost.
1 considerable mistake:
33 - poor 'in' (attacking this control) and poor 'out' (leaving the previous control), 0'25 lost.
And 7 minor mistakes:
88, 49, 48, 42, 135, 128, 144 - 1'20 lost in total.

It was not possible for me to be satisfied with my performance (50th leg time and only 1 place up at the changeover). However, I was really happy that I got the opportunity to be the member of Polish relay (Mały, Olej, me, Lupek, Włodar) in Swedish club. Finally, we reached the 44th spot (118 teams took part).

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last orienteering journey of 2010

It consisted of Polish Championships in Superlong, technical camp in Rumia with the Danes and Baltic Junior Cup in Lithuania. Oh, I should also mention that it began exactly 4 weeks ago...

The day before the last PC race I took part in Sulejów Cup. The map fell short of my expectations. However, the terrain was very nice and pretty fast;) Everyone took this competition very easily, but I decided to run at full speed and I do not regret it! I managed to win the men's elite class and got... a bottle of wine. Such a prize was worth an effort:)

On Sunday I wanted to pursue one of my pre-season goals: achieve 5 out of 5 possible medals from the individual races during Polish Championships. After a constant and solid performance at this tiring superlong distance I did manage by winning the silver. Rino had a brilliant race and totally deserved the title of Polish Champion.
The funny thing is that this year in M20 class the podium looked the same in all individual PC races: Hewi, Rino and me. We only exchanged the colours of medals sometimes;)

Only some hours after this exhausting competition Pałka, Olej and I made our way towards Rumia in order to take part in JWOC 2011 technical camp organized by the Danes. We got to know really nice people and made friends with them. There were not only the Danes, but also two Swiss girls and Norwegian superstar, Eskil Kinneberg - probably the best junior at the time.

We had lots of interesting training sessions, two of which are especially worth mentioning:

~ O-intervals with mass start and no forkings - we got a great opportunity to compete with great juniors from Scandinavia and made a wonderful speed and strength training!

~ long route-choice course - the course was really demanding and challenging, but the weather was even more difficult to put up with: it was raining, the wind was blowing and my hands froze over...

THANK YOU for all the maps & courses and nice time spent together!

As soon as on Thursday afternoon Olej and I had to drive to Warsaw so as to head for Baltic Junior Cup the following day. The national team was strongly experimental and I was the oldest member of it, I felt pretty strange about it;)

As for the races, I made quite a solid performance during the long distance course of 13,4km. I gained the 5th place, 38 seconds ahead of Olej. Unfortunately, I missed the podium by only 1'33 and felt disappointed about it. If it hadn't been for my tired legs...

The next day the well-known mixed relay awaited us. I was chosen to run the last leg in our first team. My starting position looked quite promising: 5th place, 2'04 to the podium and 1'39 ahead of the chasing teams. Already on my way to the 1st control I passed the guy from the 3rd (!) spot. Then, I made a close-to-clean race (losing only some 35 seconds) to the spectator (12th) control. While attacking the 15th one, I saw the guy from 4th spot and succeeded in passing him at the 17th one. Unfortunately, control no. 19 was a real disaster for me. Olej (who ran the 1st leg) told me about this particular place before the race and I stopped thinking on my own... I lost so much time there (1'15!) and lost my dream bronze medal position:( Later on, I was not able to calm down and lost my concentration completely. On the way to the second last control I decided to do my best to win at least the 5th place for my team and ran as fast as possible. I managed to run away from the other competitor and had 'only' to find one of the easiest controls of the whole race. Being really close to it, I lost my mind and went left to the wrong field. When I turned back, I saw the afore-mentioned guy reaching the control... I ended up on 6th spot, but it turned out that the Finnish team got disqualified and we eventually took the disappointing 5th place.

All in all, my performance at this final leg was terrible and I am very sorry for the whole team. On the other hand, I gained lots of invaluable experience! That's why I am really satisfied with that O-weekend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

a time shortage...

You've probably noticed that my summer holidays came to an end and I started studying Financial and Actuarial Maths at university. That's why I don't have so much time as in June, July, August, September...

Chronologically, I have to begin with Bóbr Valley Cup. It was a really well-organized 2-day competition consisting of 3 stages. My physical shape fell short of my expectations, but I still tried to do my best. Fortunately, my head worked quite well and I managed to win all races in my age class.

The first distance to compete in was middle. Although the forest was awful with lots of blackberry bushes, the course was really challenging. I made a very stupid mistake to the 5th control (0'40) in spite of spotting the correct re-entrant in the terrain. Moreover, I nearly mispunched, because I punched the wrong control close to the 13th one. Luckily, I checked the code number;)

On Saturday's afternoon I took part in the best sprint race I have ever run in Poland! During the sprint course it is acceptable for me to make a route choice mistake, such as the one to the 13th control - it should have been 'right-left-right'. But I just can't stand reaching the dead-end! 4th (0'25) ...

The last race was a long distance. The terrain was very tricky and it was hardly possible to have a clean race. I made as many as 4 considerable mistakes: disregarding the 9th control (1'10); 12th - wrong direction, going too far and I didn't manage to catch the fence in the green area (1'10); 18th - as above (0'40); 26th - wrong route choice and getting stuck in pricking bushes, the control was situated in the white forest... (1'10). On the other hand, I am very proud of my route choice to the 21st control. I remembered Robert Banach's words (see map: 2nd leg) and crossed the fence. Obviously, I succeeded in winning this split time - even comparing to the elite runners:)

M20 had the same courses as M21E, so I could easily compare my results to the strongest competitors. In the Men's elite class I would have taken the 4th place, only 3 seconds behind Jacek - not bad;-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Saturday's orienteering and Sunday's halfmarathon

It was a wonderful weekend! Lots of running - that's what I actually love;)

On Saturday I took part in UKS's Tournament. Middle in the morning - close to the Lublinek Airport - and sprint in the afternoon - in my park called 'Zdrowie'.

The middle distance race was very fast and pleasant - except for the western side of the map! It was not a marsh... it was a pond! Terrible...
As for my technical performance, I made 2 considerable mistakes: wrong route choice to the 14th control (I had enough of cold water and thought it would be faster), 0'20 lost; huge problems while looking for the 15th one in the green area, 0'35. My legs worked quite well, but 'no fireworks'.
I managed to win my class (M21) easily. However, my time was 0:41 worse than the winner of M18 class - Olej.

I felt really self-confident before the second race of the day - sprint distance. Why? Because I did numerous training sessions in this park during the past 3 years.
This time my physical shape was perfect. Nevertheless, I made an enormous mistake to the 14th control! As many as 40 seconds! I trivialized this control and lost my concentration completely...
Due to this fact, I lost my clear victory and took the 2nd spot - 16 seconds behind Chrupek.

On Sunday some orienteers decided to do a demanding training before the coming Polish Championships in Superlong. I mean - Olej, Chrupek, Pasza, Dzidek, my father (not an orienteer actually) and me. All of us competed in the 1st Szakal's Halfmarathon Around the Łagiewnicki Forest. My goal was clear - not to run as fast as possible, but ~4:00/km.
The first 8 kilometres were very easy (4:02, 3:51, 3:56, 3:54, 3:54, 3:58, 3:47, 3:58) and I felt just wonderful. Then, some climbs began and it was quite difficult to keep the constant pace (4:15, 3:44, 4:22, 4:00, 3:43, 4:08, 3:54, 4:04). The last part of the race was rather flat and we had no trouble increasing our speed (3:49, 3:58, 3:40, 3:41, 3:42, 0:13).
Throughout the whole course my companion was Olej and we crossed the finish line hand in hand with exactly the same time of 1:22:41. It makes a nice average of 3:55/km. Surprisingly, we managed to gain the 3rd place!
Heart rate - 166/177.

P.S. Today's weight - 67,9kg!

Friday, October 1, 2010

head > legs

I have always felt really well prepared for the Polish Championships in Night Orienteering.
Two years ago I was very self-confident after having a great race only some 2 weeks before PC and it turned out that... I was too (!) self-confident and my running speed was so high that I wasn't able to read the map properly. 8th place and more than 16 minutes of mistakes - a total disaster!
Last year just after crossing the finish line I felt quite happy about my performance, because I was certain it would be enough for a medal. At least the bronze (I thought only Olej and Papuś were able to beat me). Unfortunately, I had to experience the bitter taste of defeat and be satisfied (impossible, isn't it?) with the 4th spot.
And this year...


My main goal was to be fully prepared mentally and technically. That's why I decided to analyse all the maps from my night trainings and races. What's more, instead of drawing my own route choices on the map from Wednesday's training, I analysed thoroughly how it all SHOULD look like. Furthermore, I made some pre-race assumptions:
- have great respect for the course
- do not rush towards the 1st control
- take the most obvious and easiest routes.

Despite making a small mistake to the 1st control, I managed to fulfil the second goal perfectly. The first 5 controls of the course went as it had been planned. I ran past the 6th control and had to go back. It was only a minor time loss, but I started feeling nervous and lost as much as 1 minute to the 7th one! During the small loop in the white forest I performed quite well (apart from control no. 10, where I lost some time close to the control). That enabled me to catch Łukasz (10') and Rino (5'). It really boosted my morale! Rino and I split on the long leg to the 13th control. He chose the right one, whereas I decided to go more or less straight. Unfortunately, I got stuck in the green area some 400m before the control because of very high and thick blackberries (in my opinion, this kind of bushes should be marked on the map with green lines - it would be much easier to estimate if it's worth going through). Although Rino punched the 13th control one minute ahead of me, I succeeded in cathing him already at the following one. I took risky, straight route choice to the 15th one and got a bit lost close to control. Luckily, Rino came from the right and helped me a lot - thank you! The rest of the course passed really quickly and I reached the finish line some 8 seconds before Rino. I got to know that I took the lead and had to wait 5 minutes for Hewi to come (preferably NOT to come). I must admit it's a really long time...;)

On Saturday the organizers prepared a great fun for us all - 2 people, 6 legs, sprint and relay. Obviously, I competed in MIX relays with Nati. I finished the last leg as the 4th runner. However, Papuś mispunched and we could be happy about the podium place behind Kocona&Dwojadżer and Ala&Pasza.
My technique was flawless that day, but my legs were very heavy and didn't work as I would have wished them to.
Congratulations to the organizers!

On Sunday we were to take part in the most prestigious distance in orienteering - long. Already during the warm-up I felt that my physical shape fell short of my expectations. However, I was pretty sure that my head might give me a medal and it didn't let me down;)

I don't feel like describing the whole race, but I would like to mention some interesting facts.
I made only about 2'30 of mistakes, 1'30 of which while going to the junction control (16/19/22). I really could not understand the map there...
Rino won with the advantage of 2:08 over me and I am really happy that it was him who won the race, because he really deserved it!
There is one amazing thing about this race. During the course I met as many as 8 runners from my class! Patela, Rysiu Piekarski, Slavko, Hewi, Rino, Drągu, Mościu and Charubcia. Unusual...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Night fever!

Yesterday, in the evening, I had my last technical training before tomorrow's Polish Championships in Night Orienteering. My performance was quite satisfying and I drew a lot of useful conclusions. Nothing more to say. Right now;)

You win some, you lose some...

The 2nd round of Polish Club Championships is over and we eventually managed to secure our 2nd place in Poland! Good job all!

On Friday, just after a long bus journey, we were to compete in sprint. I was very eager for winning this race and I actually did so;) I made my biggest mistake (about 0'15) while running to the 14th control - I had no plan for this control, so I ran to the field; then, jogged hesitantly towards the control and found it luckily. Moreover, I made some minor mistakes of about 2-3 seconds to controls no. 7, 11, 13, 15 and 19. All in all, it was a really good and solid performance I was very satisfied with! Not only did I manage to win my class, but also to achieve the 3rd best time in the elite class;)

The next day 2 races waited for me: middle and club relay. Let's begin with the former. I felt too self-confident at the start. My legs were too fast for my brain. I think that's enough. I made a technically awful race! I lost as much as 8 minutes in the forest! Massacre to the 2nd control - 3'30! Disaster to the 6th one - 1'30! Tragedies to the 1st, 11th and 12th - 3x~0'45! Mistakes to the 9th, 10th and 14th - 3x~0'10.
While approaching the finish I thought I would take some 5th or 6th place. However, I must have underestimated my rivals, because I landed on the 10th spot! After all, I am happy that I was easily able to laugh at myself and didn't cry over spilt milk;)

In the evening I got the opportunity to run the 1st (night) leg in the so-called generations' relay. We (the people under 20) made an enormous mistake to the 1st control and lost about 1'40 to the elite runners (Dwojadżer, Jacek, Mały, Grabek). I knew I had the same butterfly as Olej, so my aim was to catch up with him (since he punched the 1st control some seconds ahead of me). Nevertheless, it wasn't that easy, because he ran incredibly fast and made almost no mistakes! On the track towards the 11th control I decided to stake everything on one card and caught them (Olej and Wojtek P.)! Then, at the micro-butterflies we saw the elite runners and succeeded in catching them - unbelievable! I was really happy about it, but felt that I may not be able to keep their speed (as my legs were very tired at that moment) and reached the finish line exactly 40 seconds behind the winner - Wojtek Dwojak from Śląsk Wrocław.
who let the dogs out?!
On Sunday my clubmates made 6 good races - oh, maybe 5;) - and we gained the 3rd place after an exciting finish!

Unfortunately, I came back home with a little cold, but it's getting better and better right now:) The most important thing - I didn't miss any training session! Freak...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It is all about the psyche!

Just after coming back home from Bieszkowice I decided to take 2 days off. I didn't run anything. I only visited sauna on Monday, went cycling and did some stretching on Tuesday.
The first 2 physical trainings done with passion and great motivation came on the next two days. Unfortunately, I caught a little cold after the latter...
The very same day (having a high fever) I travelled to my uncle's house in Gdańsk with my parents. Fortunately, on Friday I could sleep well and very looong, so I started feeling much better. There was no training session planned for that day, therefore I didn't miss anything.

1km before the finish
On Saturday my father and I were to start in the 48th Westerplatte Street Race. The course was approved for exactly 10km. I decided to take part in it, although I didn't feel perfectly well. I didn't know whether to fight for the best time possible or simply enjoy the race running much more slowly. However, I decided to do my best and see what happens. I started quite calmly and after some time saw Hewi and Grabek some 200m ahead of me. Throughout the whole race my main goal was to catch them. Nevertheless, I had to struggle with an enormous crisis just before the half of the course. Fortunately, the other runners surrounding me helped me get back into the game. The second part of the race was only about the will power! I managed to catch Hewi only some 150m before the finish line. As soon as he had spotted me, he started an impressive finish and I was not able to keep up with him. Eventually, I finished 39th overall with the time of 35:43 (3:34/km). Due to the poor results system I also managed to get the prize for the 5th place in 16-19 men's class. I actually achieved the 7th place (out of the podium). There was one more disadvantage of this race: the 'km' sings were located in wrong places. Just take a look at my splits: 3:54, 3:34, 3:49, 3:39, 7:32 (2km), 3:48, 2:30, 3:36, 3:22. All in all, each competitor got a brilliant medal and I am sure it was a very important start as for my mental state and physical shape before the 2 part of the O-season;)
I would also like to add that my father achieved his PB - 46:54 (4:41/km) - and started training 4 times a week (instead of 3)! Running is strongly addictive, isn't it?

On Sunday I attended a short training session with my father and we returned home the next day. On Monday afternoon I did 12x1' intervals and was sure that my shape is constantly rising - my favourite feeling, I must admit!

On Tuesday late in the evening I took part in a night O-training prepared by Pasza. I took it very seriously and wanted to perform as well as possible. Unfortunately, I didn't succeed in avoiding making two considerable mistakes: 1st control (really difficult one, I should have used the bigger path much longer...) and 13th (I am not sure if it was situated in the right place, in my opinion - too much to the right). I also made a mistake of about 25'' while approaching the 6th control (I lost direction). Moreover, I hesitated a bit in the areas close to the controls: 3rd, 11th and 14th. Course length - 5,47km, time - 32:53, pace - 6:01/km, mistakes - 4'20. To sum it up, despite making the aforementioned mistakes, I am quite satisfied with my performance, because I was really self-confident in the forest and managed to find a good flow even at night.

Later on, I had very good physical trainings on Wednesday and Thursday and a wonderful rest day on Friday, which ended with Bany's 18th birthday party in Huta Dłutowska.

At the weekend the time came for the ŁOZBnO Championships consisting of 3 races: middle and relay on Saturday and sprint on Sunday.

Just after the great party Byku drove us to Grotniki for the first competition - middle distance. I felt quite well physically, because I managed to behave sensibly at night (and I am very proud of it!). That's why I knew I had a huge advantage over my rivals. Technically, my race went quite ok as well. I missed the 3rd control, where I lost about 30 seconds, and couldn't find the hole in a flat area (6th one - 25''). Furthermore, I hesitated too much while running to the 1st one (5''), completely lost concentration on my way to the 7th one (15'') and lost direction in the green area to the 11th control (10''). All things considered, it was a really good performance and I managed to win the competition with the advantage of 2:44 over Olej.

In the afternoon the relay race waited for us. I decided to run with Kubiaczek and Witek (who has a new sport blog address!). Obviously, I wanted to take part in the mass start to fight with Olej, Chrupek, Tomek and so on. There were only 2 forkings during the course (3rd and 9th one). I punched the first two controls first and found a really good rhythm. Unfortunately, I got a much longer forking on the 3rd one and had to chase Olej. There were some new fences on the big field close to the 4th control, which made me lose another 10 seconds (I punched it 34 seconds behind Olej). Unfortunately, I got too furious while following him and made an enormous mistakes at the 5th control, losing almost 2 minutes... The rest of the course went pretty well (I only lost some 5 seconds on the way to the 14th one - a bit too much to the right and a small hesitation), because I managed to catch Tomek and Chrupek and gained the 2nd place for our team in the finish, less than 2 minutes behind Olej.
Unfortunately, Kubiaczek looked for the 2nd control somewhere amongst the letters: PZOS: 10-31-1597/ŁDZ and lost sooo much time there. Witek had a really good race, but there was no possiblity of reaching the podium. Oh, actually there was! We achieved the 3rd place, because of Józef Kłos missing the 10th control. Orienteering - I love this game;)

On Sunday we competed in the sprint distance in Julianowski Park. Everyone had a good night's sleep and we were ready to rumble! I did a proper warm-up and started my race. The first 4 controls went flawlessly. To the 5th one I used my memory (I ran a technical training some 2 months ago there) and didn't manage to spot the left (smaller) bridge early enough. That's why I chose a longer route choice and lost about 8 seconds (6'' - route choice and 2'' - I should have run more straight to the bridge). Then, an easier part of the course, just running across the river. I took my time to find the best route choice to the 10th control, but it turned out that mine was much worse... I lost as much as 7 seconds there! Strange... (see the paragraph below to get to know why). To the 12th control it was better to take the right route choice, not the straight one as I did - I lost 4 seconds there. I had to struggle against a little physical crisis towards the controls no. 16 and 19. What's more, I completely didn't check where the 18th control was situated and lost some 2 seconds there. To the 19th one I should have gone more straight at the beginning to avoid muddy ground under my feet (2''). I finished the course with the feeling that it was a very solid performance and had to wait about 3 minutes for Olej to come. Exactly 3:00 in fact! And we achieved the 1st place ex aequo:) With the time of 14:37 - 4:59/km.

WORTH A READ! The course was full of different route choice options. That's why I decided to check, which ones were shorter. I used Ocad 8 to carry out my research.
1. - 380m (left) < 400m (right) - quite obvious
3. - 340m (right) < 380m (left) - as much as 12''!
5. - 230m (left) < 250m (right) - about 6 seconds
10. - 270m (LEFT!) < 290m (right) - I lost 7'' taking the shorter one!
12. - 200m (straight) < 210m (right) - I lost 4'' taking the straight one.

Controls no. 10 and 12 are both quite bizarre. I must agree that the straight way to the 12th control included a lot of curves and it might have slowed down my running speed. But I just can't understand why - choosing a 20m shorter route choice to the 10th control - I lost as much as 7 seconds! There must be something wrong with the map there. What? No idea...

This week I am getting ready for the coming Polish Club Championships in Białka. My plan for the 2nd part of the season looks quite impressive:

17-19.09. - PCC in Białka (sprint, middle, club relay - 1st leg at night)
24-26.09. - PC in Lidzbark Welski (night and classic)
2.10. - some regional competition (middle and sprint)
3.10. - halfmarathon in Łagiewnicki Forest
9-10.10. - Bóbr Valley's Cup in Bolesławiec (middle, sprint and classic)
17.10. - PC in Sulejów (long)
22-24.10. - BJC in Lithuania (classic and mixed relay)
30-31.10. - Smålandskavlen in Sweden (night/day 5-leg relay)
6-7.11. - Fast Brain 2010 in Warsaw organized by Slavko and Jacek!

I am totally ready to enjoy it!:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Completely fed up with camps and technical trainings...

HD quality, isn't it?
Fortunately, the title of this note is out-of-date right now, but I write posts in chronological order and had a little delay;)

The last 10 days of the 'normal' holidays I spent with our provincial team in Bieszkowice, where we had a technical camp, which ended with a 3-day competition called Grand Prix Pomorza 2010.

We had a wide variety of technical trainings there, like loops, memory training, classic races, maps with no tracks, night trainings, following the line and so on.

I felt that I had had enough of everything and found no pleasure in orienteering at that time. That's why I don't feel like describing all these courses.
I would only like to mention 3 things, which I would call O-FUN:
- sprint in the lake (organized by Tom and Mary; our aim was to punch controls - situated in the lake - in the right order presented on a small sheet of paper)
mispunched at 23rd
- microsprint (organized by Łukasz; he prepared the map on his own! a lot of controls everywhere and a very tricky course, I must say!)
- playing Chinese wispers (again Tom and Mary - thanks! we were divided into groups of 4 people and had to draw the same line on a clean map as the one presented on another one, only by using... check the meaning of this idiom and you'll understand everything!).

At the end of our camp we took part in GP Pomorza. My only goal for this competition was to finish the elite courses. The terrains were quite interesting and very demanding physically. The courses weren't too difficult (probably due to my snail speed). The controls were situated almost always in right places. The control descriptions were almost always the right ones. The tracks were almost always visible on the map.

So happy I came back home on 29th August in the late evening!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

29 days out of home!

It's been by far the longest journey in my life. It began on 19th July...

Day 1
Train to Gdynia. Waiting for Olej. Shopping in Tesco. Pizza in DaGrasso. Sleeping at AP's house.

Day 2
Ferry to Karlskrona. Michael (from Nybro OK) takes us to their clubhouse. Wow! We've already been there (Baltic Junior Cup 2008).

Day 3
The best O-training in my life! Normal course, Swiss game, in and out, contours and corridor. Just see how close to the control (a piece of toilet paper) I was during the 'Swiss game' part of the map! Then, sauna in the evening;)

Day 4
In the morning a middle distance course. I was very satisfied with my orienteering. In the afternoon we decided to check if the BJC 2008 mixed relay terrain was really so difficult and we made sure it was NOT. It means that we were poor some 22 months ago...

Day 5
Finally reaching Örebro for O-Ringen! Unfortunately, no tehcnical training, because the map was miserable and it cost 50 SEK. Exaggeration!

Day 6
Short physical training with Photo Orienteering as a part of it. Really nice to look for some small features in the city centre;)

Day 7
1st stage of O-Ringen. 10,7km. 92:34. Started quite good, but lost concentration after some stick stuck in my shoe near the 4th control. What's more, the map near the 8th control seemed just impossible to read for me... Afterwards wrong direction and not using the path on the long leg to the 12th one.

Day 8
2nd stage. 4,2km. 44:10. Great time, wasn't it? I spent so much time walking in the green area just before the 7th control that my only dream was to finish the course since that moment. Obviously, I didn't manage to avoid making mistakes later on...

Day 9
3rd stage. 11,4km. 99:07. Technically, the first half of the course went relatively well. Then, Gustav Bergman caught me at the 8th control and I took advantage of him towards the 12th control. I could have followed him till the end, but I decided to make my own race and let him go. Suddenly, I started to feel dizzy and terribly exhausted. I had problems walking on my own legs during the last part of the course...

Day 10
At last a day off! Generally, we did nothing. We only tried a combination of badminton and tennis - called speedminton.

Day 11
4th stage. 11,3km. 77:23. Certainly, it was my best performance at this year's O-Ringen. 36th place....... Matthias Kyburz caught me at the end of the long leg to the 15th control and showed me how to orienteer in this type of terrain. He is fucking fast, I must say! However, he lost some time to the 18th control and I kept my 'lead' till the finish line. Half a loaf is better than no bread;)

Day 12
5th stage. Handicap. 11,4km. 106:55. There was no transport to the arena because we were told it was within walking distance from the camping. Yeah... more than half an hour to the event centre, 2,5km to the start, almost 2 hours in the forest and more than 30 minutes of coming back. I had enough! My race? From the very beginning my only wish was to reach the finish line.
In the afternoon to Karlskrona by car and then a night ferry to Gdynia. At last!

Day 13
Waiting some long hours in McDonald's for the beginning of the official JWOC 2011 training camp.
And the first technical training. It seemed to be nothing special, but for me it was like salvation. I regained my lost motivation and power in my legs - brilliant!

Day 14
Morning: quite a long course on a map with scale 1:15000. The course included nice butterflies.
Afternoon: map with contours only. Unfortunately, there was no control flags in the forest - ridiculous... And the funny thing, I was sure I found controls no. 42, 38 and 37, but realized I had not after I got completely lost on my way towards the 43rd control. The biggest and most long-lasting parallel mistake in my life!

Day 15
M: a classic race. Our goal was to run the even controls fast and to rest at the odd ones. Very nice, but horribly exhausting training session!
A: some short and boring course in a flat terrain.

Day 16
M: middle distance with lots of butterflies. I could not understand the terrain properly. Fortunately, there is still much time to learn before JWOC 2011;)
A: just some stretching with all the people and taking rest before tomorrow's looong.

Day 17
M: 13,6km. I took this training very seriously, as a competition. I felt really well during the whole course and my technique was close to perfect. I only regret misinterpreting the map at the end of the longest leg and losing some time at controls no. 4 and 15 due to some new fences in the terrain.
A: a very interesting lecture with dr Jeremi Ściepurko. Really worth listening to!

Day 18
M&A: 2 technical training sessions in flat terrains. I started understanding this kind of terrain much better and feel more self-confident right now;)

Day 19
M: middle distance on a map with no tracks. We were bound to run with a competition pace. Unfortunately, I had problems understanding the map in some places and lost far too much time. Nevertheless, my running speed was promising;)
A: sprint in Rumia. I know this map well, cause I took part in some competition there in April this year. So it was only about the fast legs and Papuś was faster by 6 seconds that day.

Day 20
M: I wanted to run the long distance course that day. However, I was forced to make it shorter, because I had a really bad day and was not able to focus on map reading.
A: sprint in Wejherowo. The map quality is ridiculous... Furthermore, we had some closed gates and had to run around or climb up the fences. Moreover, I found a new gate in the terrain (while going to the 2nd control), by sheer coincidence. After all, the sprint was very nice and I had a really good race despite all the adversities.

Day 21
First legs training. Unfortunately, the controls situated in the forest weren't proper to set an interesting and FAIR course. I was far behind Olej already after the first double forking, but didn't give up. However, after losing plenty of time near the 106th control (where the map was just awful!) I decided to jog...
Afterwards the whole team left us and it was only me, Nati and Olej who decided to spend 2 more days in the JWOC 2011 terrain.

Day 22
M: I had a nice freestyle technical training with Olej. I was in my element while running in this forest.
A: We had a short course on a 1:15000 map 'Rogulewo' drawn by AP for us. I couldn't find the appropriate rhythm during this training session.

Day 23
In the morning Nati set controls in the forest for me and Olej. Thanks to her we had an opportunity to take part in a nice memory training. 2 times 3 courses with 2 controls on each of them.
Just after it we picked Hewi from Gdańsk and started our journey to Baniocha, because... Jolanta was organising a party there. It was a fancy dress ball and I decided to be an unemployed;) The party was outstanding!

Day 24
You should know what people tend to do after parties;-)

Day 25
We made our way to Przeworsk in order to take part in this year's GP Polonia.
On the very same day we competed in the 1st Unofficial World Orienteering Championships of Tied Couples. My partner was Nati and we became vicechampions! Incredible success:)

Day 26
1st stage of GPP. I made an enormous mistake (just the same as last year) and lost chances of winning the competition. However, I decided not to give up and finished 2nd in men's elite. Funny;)
In the late afternoon there was a sprint qualification race. I agreed to run in my 'unemployed' shoes (from Jolanta's party) and proved that shoes do not run, because I achieved the 3rd place only some 6 seconds behind the leader, Hewi.

Day 27
2nd stage of GPP. I just loved that forest! It was flat, only with some small hills and the runnability was brilliant. I made an average performance, losing only 1'35 to Włodar - nice!
In the evening the time came for the sprint final. The course was very tricky and interesting. Because of that I took wrong route choices 2 times and lost more than 40 seconds. I should have been angry at myself, but I wasn't, because my speed was awesome that day (winning 5 out of 10 splits) and I lost only 22 seconds to the unbeatable winner, Włodar.

Day 28
Last stage of GPP - sprint. Men's elite class was the last one to start that day, so we had a great opportunity to have a good laugh waiting some 2 hours for our start. The course was really demanding and I made an awful mistake while running to the 7th control, because I didn't see the black wall and had to turn back. Moreover, number '7' is situated in a wrong place on a map, because I thought that a gate under this number would be open... Nevertheless, my time loss to the leader was huge (14 mins) and my time advantage over the 3rd place was big (6mins), so my only goal was to finish the course not being disqualified. Somehow I managed;)
Then, I was ready for the bus journey to Łódź. That night I slept at grandma's.

Day 29
Finally, back at home!!!