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;-)