Friday, September 28, 2012

Wild satisfaction!

Sometimes I think I do sports to feel this incredible satisfaction of achieving something that might have seemed so unattainable before. For sure, this is the case this time!

First things first. While staying on a technical camp in Czech Republic, taking part in a magnificent O-competition called Brada, having a really great time with a very precise map of the 2nd stage and approaching the 7th control, I twisted my right ankle. I was not able to jog and could hardly walk. It was the 18th August. At the very moment it happened, I knew it was something serious... As soon as possible I began my rehabilitation process (physiotherapy and so on). Thanks to it - after 10 days of break - I could start running on the 29th August (little more than 3 weeks before Polish Champs).

All these factors made me think if I should have run the Polish Championships in night and long. Immediately, I decided to skip the long distance. Going to Kwidzyn to run the mixed relay only might have sounded surreal, so I took the night challenge (after days of hesitation). Interesting - my last night forest race/training took place 96 days before PC.

Getting the 3rd place in the sprint distance during Polish Club Champs made me feel it should have been easier for me to win a medal in the afore-mentioned mixed relay with Nati. I really thought so... But now I can see how wrong I was! I lacked the necessary speed and strength to be able to fight against such a freak like Papuś on such short and a bit hilly sprint courses. Fortunately, already the day before I could celebrate my first M21E Polish Champs medal!

How did it happen? I simply believed. Frankly speaking, I really believed, but did not expect it.

Before the start I didn't feel well, I got a headache at the end of our trip to Kwidzyn and suffered a bit. I was bound to start at 22:07 - only 4mins before Kowal. I am not going to hide that I intended to have a smooth beginning and then take the advantage of him. I went to the event centre to check the startlists and got to know that the minutes had changed in my class. Better late than never... It turned out that I was going to start more than half an hour earlier, so I did a proper warm-up and grabbed the map.

At the moment I was taking the map, I forgot about all the problems, all the distracting thoughts in my head. There was only me, myself and I. And the next control. I did a really solid race, having full control almost all the time. However, I made 3 crucial mistakes in close-to-control areas (1'00 + 2'30 + 1'10 = 4'40). Moreover, I had loads of power in my legs throughout the whole course (even managed to win a 6-minute leg!). While crossing the finish line, I felt that I had done my best and could only wait for the others to come.

After quite a long jogging I came to the resultlist and saw Wojtek Dwojak leading, 3:10 ahead of me. Then, a little hope for the medal appeared in my head, knowing that his technical skills are awesome and 3 minutes is not much, taking into account the running time of more than 100'. Nevertheless, quite soon Alek Bernaciak came to the finish beating me by... 4 seconds. My medal dreams went away as fast as they appeared, since there were still 3 very strong runners in the forest: Jacek, Kowal and Mały. So - not willing to see someone putting me out of the podium - I went back to our bus to get dressed. Once I got off the bus, I saw Pasza going to me. I thought: 'Everything must be clear now'. He said: 'Congratulations, you've got the bronze medal. Their time to come is over'. I squatted down and couldn't believe it. However, then it didn't really matter, because I did believe before the race and it seemed to be enough the key.

P.S. Girls, you are amazing! Thank you for the whole joy of that unforgettable night!

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