24 May 2013

End of Act One

Baltic Championships marked the end of the spring season. The weather had become unbearably hot, a near 30 degree heatwave made the long distance very difficult. The previous week it was just warm and it already felt uncomfortable, now it was much worse. The legs were thick and as if glued to the ground. Nothing new. I felt generally discomposed, but I was trying to get in the right mode. The start went well, I was still pretty much in the game until about half an hour. It was already hard, but from approximately the 6th-7th control it was a whole other type of pushing. I had to force myself physically and technically the whole course after that. Small climbs were as walls, but fortunately I was still able to run (or sometimes walk) technically well. Different routechoices were pretty equal - if you're not strong enough, you lose anyway. It was a struggle til the end, but it could have been worse. On long distances in this kind of weather I've usually lost from 7 to 15 minutes or even more to the winner, this time it was "only" 6:20. I have to turn more attention to this matter, though it seems to be a bit better than before. The starting field was strong, fortunately the victory was left home anyway!
Photo: Mihkel Järveoja
What a man-to-man race the relay turned out to be! Because of an organisational mishap, the first teams of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had all the same forkings throughout all three legs. The fast course made the race very tight, it all lasted til the last climb on the last leg...
Peeter's intro went well and he finished first with some seconds ahead. I was in the lead most of the second leg and was disappointed that the closest rivals always had the same controls. I had no physical advantage, I was stiff and they were strong. On the long leg I made a surprise routechoice and gained some 15 meters, which melted very quickly. A mistake with the 12th reversed our order, but it was pretty clear that we would finish pretty much together. Pushed as I could up the last hill. Timo was doing a good job, but as already said, it all worked out on the last climb. See the video! This time, Lithuania won, Latvia second and we got the bronze. The every-second-counts race may have been very exciting for the spectator, but I think it did not offer much orienteering for the competitors. At least it was not as bad as Tomáš' weekend in Finland.
"Right there I saw Raphanus"
Photo: Andy Karjus
Now it is time to thoroughly recover and build up some base again. So mostly basic aerobic training is on the menu for the following short training cycle. First, Jukola camp on the weekend, just to get familiar with what we're up against. Then WOC camp in Koli area. It's going to be a progressive cycle with good company!
What do you make of this?
Photo: Mihkel Järveoja

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