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...