“Feeling of being a part in a greater plan” describes my experience during recent team Latvia training camp in Mikelbaka, Latvia. With our international guests from Estonia and Belorussia it certainly created a competition spirit that so often is missing on small scale training camps. This was also my first time in last 5 months when I did close-to-race effort for 3 days in a row. Wasn’t that bad…someone with greater knowledge in sports physiology said I did surprisingly well.
Friday was dedicated for middle distance race simulation. Terrain was rather green on the map, but since it is still winter the real feel in terrain was much better. I did solid run and ended up running best time. Small victory, but I have to start somewhere! Saturday’s key action was one man relay mass start in Irbene – unique terrain that was used for EOC 2008 long distance. My performance was somewhat average since I managed to make my longer forking on first control even longer by executing route choice badly. I was 40″ down and with current shape, game was lost for me. The fun part was getting to starting place! Unique terrain required unique solutions – since there is no bridge over a river surrounding the terrain we had to take human power driven boat. It took some time and great effort of Jurģis and Edgars (big shout out to both heroes) to get all runners (around 50+ people with boat for 4 persons) on the other side….and back!
Was it worth it? Absolutely! And that is why we came back to the same place on Sunday for even better experience. We did orienteering intervals in trickiest part of the terrain. It brought back some good memories since I could easily recognize places, routes and controls from my best ever long distance performance in EOC (7th place) nearly 8 years ago. I also felt surprisingly strong being able to push hard during all intervals and even even managed to win few. Another small victory!
Maybe all that time spend on core&strength training wasn’t just a waste of time (although it was a good way to escape from harsh reality) during time when I couldn’t run?! Should be able to tell for sure soon.
I am on my way to Slovenia where I will test my abilities in rocky terrains during TuMe camp and easter4 (easter4.com) competition.