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!