Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quick catching up before JWOC!

I haven't written for a very long time, but now it's high time I fixed it;)

Polish Champs in Gdańsk

The sprint distance went pretty well for me. I managed to keep a really good speed throughout the race and gained the 2nd place (5secs behind Hewi). Analysing my route choices and splits, it turned out that I lost gold because of being too hesitant just after the 3rd control. However, I was very satisfied with my performance.

The middle distance wasn't as technical as it should be. Despite that fact, I didn't succeed in avoiding making mistakes. The worst one came while running to the 3rd control. I saw Drągu, who started 2mins ahead of me, got this weird feeling and misunderstood the contours completely. Eventually, I achieved the silver medal... 7secs behind... Hewi. I felt a little bit disappointed, but still very happy about my stable shape.
The most wonderful thing is the fact that on both days the podium looked the same: Hewi, me and Rino. Nevertheless, not only the people were the same, but also the time difference between the winner and bronze medalist - 21secs!

In relay we knew that it would be very difficult for us to reach the podium, but we never gave up! I ran the last leg in my team and started to the forest as the 6th runner. During the race I managed to catch Włodar (2'34) and Jacek Kowalczyk (5'16). Running with Włodar was a real pleasure, because the pace was very high and everything happened so quickly. At the very end I had a shorter forking and had the opportunity to gain some advantage over him. I managed, but he was incredibly fast before the finish and I lost the 4th by some 5 seconds. Respect!

Technical camp in Białogóra

The first two days were full of slow, easy running, because we were taking rest after the demanding PC weekend.

On Wednesday we ran a very interesting sprint in Gdynia (the map from EYOC 2002). The start interval was 15secs, what made this race much faster, I think. I took stupid route choice to the 7th control (too much climb) and lost some time close to the control, as well. Apart from that, I ran really well and lost 15secs to the winner - Rino.

On Thursday we had a really tiring long distance (12,65km). It consisted of 3 loops. The first 2 of them went pretty well, but the last one was a real disaster - due to my tiredness, all the scrapes on my feet and bent north lines on the map... Unfortunately, 2 controls were set in wrong places and I didn't find them. However, I lost some time while running around and looking for them everywhere. After all, my performance was quite satisfying;)

Kytäjä-Jukola 2010

On the ferry between Stockholm and Helsinki something really amazing happened. We took part in an orienteering competition!!! Just see the map and regret not having been there:)

On Saturday afternoon Olej and I decided to run a short technical training session to familiarize ourselves with the terrain and get to know what was waiting for us in the nearest future. Since that moment we had known that we were going to run in the most challenging terrain in our lives!

I wanted to run the 1st leg and I got the chance! The start was at 22:55 (Finnish time - sunset). Unfortunately, it was raining (what made the terrain even more difficult), but I felt really hot and excited inside. I stood in the 3rd row among 1534 other runners! The music at the start was really thrilling, I remember. And it all began...
The decisive moment was the forking before the long leg, where I lost touch with my group and had to run the very long leg with a much slower and technically worse tram. While heading to the finish, I thought I would take the 500th place. To my surprise, I was 102nd (a little less than 12mins behind the leaders). All things considered, it was an average performance, but the experience was unbelievable!

Vestjysk 2-dages in Denmark

Only some time after a long plane (2 times) and car journey we were to run the sprint. The course was really long - 4km (my watch states that I ran 6,37km!). The terrain was very demanding physically because of numerous meters of climb. The map was a little bit imprecise. There was quite an interesting route choice to the 15th one. What would you choose? I lost more than a minute to the 17th control due to the fact that the map was not made in accordance with ISSOM.

The next day we competed in a very challenging long distance race - 10,4km. I made some mistakes (especially to the 22nd one...), but I must admit that the terrain was very tricky - full of green areas and winding contours. I was very happy about my result, since I managed to achieved the 3rd spot (behind some elite runners and ahead of my peers, with whom I'll fight in one week's time at JWOC).
Note: the map was made by the Poles: Lech Trzpil and Piotr Sierzputowski.

3 days ago we decided for a middle distance. That day I felt completely out of tune, probably due to my enormous headache the previous evening. That's why my only dream was to finish the course and take some rest. Fortunately, we got the opportunity to run in the dunes. The last part of the course was very greeeeen and running was almost impossible. To sum it up, that stay in Denmark was very useful before the coming JWOC competitions and my performance during the long distance made me believe in my abilities;-)


Yesterday I decided to make some blood tests and got to know that my results are better than ever! What's more, I changed my hairstyle and am much lighter now;) Moreover, I passed my A-level exams even better than I had expected. It's not a place to boast about it, but I just can't help telling you that I got 99% in written Polish (basic level, of course) - I still can't believe it, haha! Furthermore, I did 2 great physical training sessions yesterday and today, during which my legs were close to flying;)
It's all a very positive signal for the nearest future and in the future comes...

JWOC 2010 in Denmark

I am leaving at 22:10 to Świnoujście tonight and then, probably on Saturday, to Aalborg. I am going to run the long distance (6th July), middle distance qualification (8th July), hopefully middle A-final (9th July) and relay (10th July). I promise to do my best and fulfil my expectations!
All the appropriate information here.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I've finally found the right rhythm!

It all began almost 2 weeks ago when I left Łódź for a long sport camp.

After taking part in short medical tests in the north of Poland we made our way towards Germany to compete in International Ostsee OL 2010. It was the last chance for me to show something before announcing the list of runners to represent Poland at the coming JWOC in Denmark. However, I felt no pressure at all, because I had completely changed my attitude after a real disaster at PCC one week earlier... and it was the best thing I could have done at that moment!

On Friday we took part in a model event so as to get used to this kind of terrain.

The competition itself started on Saturday with the middle distance race. That day I felt quite well physically, but I wasn't able to feel the map. I had problems understanding the contours, estimating the distance and keeping the direction. That's why I made more than 5mins of mistakes and got a miserable place on the result list.

Next day there was a WRE race - 15,7km and 450m of climb. I had been looking forward to taking part in it for a really long time. My performance was very close to perfect! I took a round route choice to the 5th control (which turned out to be pretty good). It involved extremely fast running using tracks. Probably that's why I got a bit tired afterwards and lost about 2mins to the next control... However, I decided not to give up, because I still felt a grat chance of achieving a brilliant result. The rest of the course went pretty well (despite some hesitations near controls: 12, 23 and 25). I only thought that my pace at the end of the race was too slow. Nevertheless, it turned out that everyone got tired then and my pace was one of the best ones (comparing to other Polish runners). Eventually, I managed to gain a podium place (3rd) and the best time among the Poles (18secs faster than Rino and 5mins ahead of Hewi). I really needed this magnificent performance, because it made me believe it is possible to win with them - a positive signal before the Polish Champs:) What's more, I think this race showed me and everyone else that I am the appropriate person to run JWOC 2010.

The same day in the evening we took part in a nice city sprint in Heringsdorf. We felt really tired and decided to take it easy, just for fun. Only Hewi decided to run a bit faster and won the elite class;) Seeing the control descriptions before the race we organized a small competition for us all. The aim was to achieve the best time possible on the leg 10-11. The winner was Rino (who took the left route choice) with the time of 1:06. Slavko and I took the 2nd place (following the red line) - 1:08.

On Monday there was a hunting start. The course was quite long again - 11,2km. Although I didn't manage to catch Rino during the race, I was very satisfied with my performance, because I achieved the best time among the Poles once again (over 1 minute ahead or Rino and Hewi). The course was physically demanding, but as for the technical aspects - it was much too easy...

All in all, the only thing I can regret is the poor performance at the 1st stage, because of which I missed the podium (4th place in general classification). However, I am incredibly happy about this stay in Germany, because it just must have been a real breakthrough in my career during this season!

Afterwards Rino and I waited for Pałka and Dyzia to come from Baltic Cup in Poland and we all travelled to Denmark for a short technical camp before JWOC 2010 then.

My goal was to familiarize myself with the challenging terrain, especially running (or even walking) and orienteering through the green areas (they are awfully green, I must say!), reading the dunes precisely and keeping the right direction.

I had 8 technical trainings there, 2 of which were fast ones. Comparing my technical performance to the one from the last year (on the same maps) I got to know that I made an enormous progress and I am so happy about it! ;-)

On 29th June we travelled to Szklarska Poręba by car (more than 1000km!) to spend some days working on our physical abilities. I must admit this camp wasn't so exhausting as the previous one about a month ago. However, we did some demanding training sessions - we even had a technical training in pairs once;) Unfortunately, the weather was awful almost all the time...

On Friday evening we moved to Czech Republic with the Polish Junior Team and competed in two races of Gigasport Cesky pohar 2010. Most of us decided to run at full speed only during the middle distance course on Saturday. That day the terrain was just too challenging for us all and the results we achieved were miserable. It's been my first time in the rocks this year, so nothing to be surprised at.

I took the tough long distance race on Sunday very easily. My pace was really close to the so-called 'holiday' one - I only tried to avoid making unnecessary mistakes and I somehow managed. I succeeded in gaining the 14th spot (exactly the same as in the middle) - weird... To tell you everything, this time the weather was just brilliant, even a bit too brilliant;)

After all these amazing adventures I could finally reach my home on Sunday evening and take a wonderful rest! Now I am just ahead of an interval training before Polish Championships in Gdańsk this weekend.
Can't wait to fight for the medals there!