20 April 2010

Feeling about

Starting from two weekends ago: first there was a night competition on friday. The course was simple and consisted of a lot of road- and pathrunning. After a difficult run in the morning, I was surprised by how loose my feet were. The feeling was so light that I constantly had to remind myself to run faster. Technically, I managed without big misses but made some small unnecessary detours. On the long leg I took a wrong routechoice - I went from the right. Lost a lot on that leg, but some of that can be blamed on the snow on the narrow rides. But I probably would have lost on that choice without the snow too.
Results, map

On the following two days, there was another traditional spring competition called Peko Kevad. Already on the first day's warm-up I didn't feel any freshness in my feet. I tried not to think about it and wanted to run an ordinarily ok long distance race. I started rather fast to determine my situation physically. On the way to the first control it was already clear that te whole race emphasised running and when already reaching the first control, it was clear that my questioned situation stinked. A lot. The difficult feeling was probably caused by the very first warm day at a competition. Plus, the night event didn't help either. I also did a lot of small (and foolish) mistakes. For me it's ordinary to have an unsolid race when I'm unable to run fast. The technical and physical performances usually go hand in hand.
Results, map

Photo: Jonatan, our club's young talent

On the next day, however, the feeling was very different. The warm-up didn't indicate any big changes, but when finally on the course, I felt great! This time the course was technically more demanding, which suited me well. I had really good flow, until I messed up on a longer leg. I went on a parallel situation and lost a minute. I tried to continue well and managed to get the flow again. The rest of the course went without significant misses. If leaving out the one big miss, I can be satisfied with this race.

Results, map

Last weekend, the Jüriöö relay was held, which is basically Estonia's 10Mila or Jukola, but with mixed teams - 3 men and 2 women. Our team: Jaagup on the first leg, then Karmen, Markus and Vieda. I was running the last leg this time. Jaagup wasn't very satisfied with his result as he came out 8th, 4 minutes behind. Karmen was doing very well, until she made an almost 15-minute mistake with her 6th control. We had dropped 19th, already 23 minutes behind. Markus on the other hand, made and incredible race and won the 3rd leg with a big margin. He raised us to the 3rd place and now 16 minutes behind! Vieda was stable and came out also 3rd, 17 minutes behind the leader and 2 minutes behind the 2nd place. I wanted to catch the 2nd place, who was Kenny Kivikas. Unexpectedly, I saw him before the 4th control and had caught him by the 5th control. But then the biggest miss of the night with the 6th control. Though everything seems simple and easy, it was difficult to match the map to the terrain. And so we both made a 2:30 mistake and got caught by the 4th place runner Kristjan Trossmann. The next leg we all stayed together. Then I wanted avoid running side-by-side and tried to run my own race. So I made a small gap on the next leg and kept in all the time. It's very difficult to make a gap so long at a night race, that the runners behind just drop out of sight. While running in my own bubble, I sometimes just saw light coming from behind me. Fortunately I managed to keep that crucial gap til the end. Only then I saw that it was Kristjan following me and Kenny wasn't with us at all. He had lost his SI-card in the thick forest and had lost a minute, that's where his chance went. Too bad!
I'm happy with how our team's race turned out in the end! Everyone has their good and bad days...
Results, map

Photo: Kristo winning the first leg

Next: another local 2-day event.
No 10Mila this year, Ilves 3-days instead.

8 April 2010

I can see the ground!

At last the snow has melted and the soft ground that lies underneath, can be touched again. The very first time I set foot on the soil this year, felt relly strange at first, but after a few training sessions I've already gotten used to the good old feeling.

Photo: First start of the season

I had no real expectations before this seasons kick-off last weekend. The competition consisted of
a 12,7 km mass start long distance and a 6 km middle distance race. To tell you the truth, on the first day I felt like I had runner's block - I was breathing through a straw and my shoelaces were tied to eachother. Furthermore, the map in my hand was quite useless since I didn't bother to read it very often and made several mistakes. I came out 6th, about 4 minutes after Peeter Pihl. It was good to see that my good friends and opponents are in quite good shape though, this only rejoices me. I hope to see strong races from them on this seasons big events!
Routes and results
On the second day, the forest was more friendy to me and so was my body, though it was still very difficult to move fast and tolerate the intensity. Surely, I was not the only one to experience this feeling, I am more than sure of that. Despite a small mist
ake in the beginning, I made a rather clean race and even won the stage. My overall place was 3rd, just 6 seconds behind Kenny Kivikas.
Routes (M21A) and results
When thinking of my past year's first starts, I wouldn't be worried about my condition right now. Springs have always been tough for me and afterall, it would be strange if I were in shape right now...

Photo: Finishing side first?