17 August 2009

Busy summer

It's been a long time since I got some time off. The busy period started from the end of June with the one week long pre-JWOC camp. For me, those trainings were the first time on JWOC relevant terrains, so I made the best of what we got.

The competition week started with the sprint, which definitely was not my goal, but with a solid flawless race I knew I could make it to the top 10. My goal still remained the same: to get the engine running for the long distance. I liked the idea of the course being very hard to follow between the narrow tricky streets. On those parts I managed well and was even competing for my predicted position, but on a long leg in the end I misread a spot and thought that i couldn't get through from where I had first planned to go. Having changed my previous plan very quickly, I ran into a wrong street (which was not actually a street) and got very confused... After some adventures, I started running the last loop in the wrong direction and that was that. 65th place in the end. But what concerned me more, were my stiff feet, which didn't allow very quick movements.
Sprint splits, map.

Then the day I had been waiting for... Right from the morning I felt great! Had I achieved this years top shape? The warm-up was modest - a tough course was ahead. I took a bit more secure approaches in the beginning as this was the first run with a 1:15000 scale map. After a great hit off, I added speed and combined the map reading and running perfectly. I had never felt this good this season! It felt great when I had the option to add speed to the already fast running! The first minor mistakes too place after the long leg, where I didn't quite hit the flags as I expected, but I continued to have a solid race. The butterfly was easy and then the climbing started. I didn't have much against the strong hill runners, so I just had to make a clean race. Unfortunately, that didn't happen. I missed a control in an area, where i had already been, cause I didn't see the re-entrant where the control stood. Right after that, I kind of wanted to make up for the loss and climbed up quickly to the next control. Before entering the control area, I stopped for a sec to make sure of my position, which I wasn't. Out of stupidity, I guess, I didn't realise I had to cross the first ditch, instead of starting to look for the hill where the control was. Those were the decisive mistakes. After the spectator control, I was just so tired of the climbing and lost quite a lot to the leaders there. I even walked a part of the climb to the last control. My goal was a medal, which was very close, but since a stupid mistake like that, i can't be very satisfied. Nor am I very sad, but it still doesn't feel good to be the first without a medal.
splits, map.

Photo: looks like running, but really isn't

The next days were tough. The muscles on my feet ached for three days after I had given almost everything on the long distance. So the middle distance races were somewhat more difficult. But most of the loss was still gathered from mistakes. In the qualification I made one bad routechoise, but otherwise a solid race and finished exactly where I w
anted (between 3rd-5th place). In the final, the technical side started failing already from the beginning. There were only few controls that I passed perfectly. The race was awarded by the same position as last year - 17th.
Middle fina
l splits, map.

On the relay I felt better than on the middle or sprint. I was running the 2nd leg, with Kristo on the 1st and Henrik on the 3rd. Kristo was tired and lost a lot in the second part, so I started well behind (23rd, +4:20) with a lot of catching up to do. In the first part, I made quite a clean race and catught a group that I was able to pass by making a clever rout
e choice. Unfortunately I lost that gap with a slope control (~45-60 second mistake) before the second spectator control. With a long spurt, I kept the lead on that group and finished 10th, with 6:06 behind. The 6th time on the second leg, but only 14 seconds behind the 2nd time. I am satisfied, considering I wasn't fighting for medals. Henrik lost 4 places and a lot of time, so overall 14th place.
Relay results, map lap 1, lap 2.

This JWOC showed me that I can concentrate on my main goals and achieve the best shape when needed. JWOC 2010, watch out!

Photo: On top of the world