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I had THE LEGS, of that I am sure! Mental part turned “blonde” for few minutes during last part of the race and therefore it was decided.

What kind of question is that?? Of course I am happy. Both – for winning bronze medal and knowing that I was less than a step away to capture IT.

I liked the terrain and course and if it got boring for a while, I just ran faster.

Thanks to all the people who cheered and believed in me – you are the force, I am just a performer! Thanks to my SUPPORTERS who have made it possible for me to do the best preparations for this event. I am grateful to my family and my coaches who started this thing and have supported me all the way. And biggest share of my emotions goes to my lovely wife Kristine and little „Bean” as we call owner of smallest heart beating and cheering for me during my races.

 

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Photo by Jānis Tamužs

Fast Forward:

Spain
Serbia
Riga – snow, winter and disappointment
Winning Latvian XC champs
Slightly sick, leaving to SWE.
„Hitting the wall” @Silva League long distance, but otherwise good (considering sickness during whole week).
Moving to Tiomila neighborhood. Adjusting wake up time for last leg. Works bad and feeling is total sh*t. Fell on rocks and injured my leg.
Deciding to go to Vuoaktti at last minute and having great (can’t be said about weather) trainings with Danish team. Still in winter!
Still struggling with running speed in forest during Baltic champs. 3rd in long distance and getting boys to 2nd spot in relay after dramatic fight on non-forked last leg. At least and at last summer is here and I am at same place! Doesn’t happen to often lately….
Feeling better!
Coming to Finland to run TuMe’s selection races for Jukola. Night is total disaster, but managed to recover (also mentally) and win competitions on Sunday. Jukola is going to be tough stuff.
Running same hill training as year before. Same date, same place. Feeling is awesome and result is almost perfect match to last year.
Latvian champs in my home town Aluksne. Looking forward to sprint race, but screwed it up in forest part (my favorite part) and was completely doomed when lost my shoe in MARSH – yes, in a marsh, during sprint race! Long distance went much better and I was able to win with more than 5’ gap to 2nd place. Although my performance wasn’t perfect, but rather good for type of „jungle” we had to fight through. Was able to keep good pace and even speed up towards end.
Seems that I have injured myself without noticing it!
Terrible infection in my left eye turns out to be more serious then I suspected and I am suggested to go to hospital. They wanted to keep me there for a week or so explaining that I can lose my vision, but that was not an option. Feeling better after 2 days of treatment (including antibiotics injected straight into my eye) and on my way to Turku. Visiting doctor in Turku to get more opinions about my eye – „it should heal, however slight blurriness can never disappear!” I never learn from my mistakes (at least when it comes about sprint orienteering) and did run WC spectators sprint race. Skipped 3rd control, run back, missed even more on 11th, ended up in 24th spot. IN SPECTAtors race! Middle distance next day could have been pure enjoyment, but I decided to run with glasses as suggested. Missed more than 4’ on one control near the end (passing it with 2m). Took off my glasses and realized that I will never run with those again! Slightly better position – 13th spot and 4’45” down to Jonne Lehto.
Drove 8h to Vuokatti and here I am – trying to forge that living hell out there (middle distance terrain) and I love it! For real!

Wintertime madness

I don’t like being late so I expect everything and everyone around me to be on time. Something/someone is very late by now according to picture below. It was taken few days ago before I went to my morning run. Looks nice indeed, but not funny anymore!
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A little bit of history- Spain camp deserves overall rating of being good. I did about same amount of training as last year, but those were of higher quality this time. There were few drawbacks in shape of slight flue and motivation loss, but that’s how it goes – life would be terribly boring without those J Nevertheless it was great time I spend in Barbate and it would be stupid to argue about weather which wasn’t as perfect as expected
However I learnt two important training related things about myself:
- 3 weeks on training camp is ENOUGH! Move to another place or go home!
- spring feeling is very important to get ready for orienteering season. Can’t really get that in Spain (nor here either, yet!)
It was quite a shock for me to return home after training for almost 40 days in Spain. Good planning saved me from even bigger surprises since we spent few days in Serbia on the way back enjoying little snow, spring feeling and Belgrade open races. Surprisingly I was able to run well and even won both forest races (long and middle). Can’t say same about WRE sprint race where I finished 6th – even I was fast enough (which doesn’t happen too often in sprint races) I did one huge mistake starting to navigate to wrong control! Maybe I should give some attention to my sprint orienteering skills (or lack of those) before hitting NORT!?

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I was also tricked into believing that snow would be gone one weekend after our arrival in Riga, so I entered myself for first WRE race in Latvia „Kurzemes pavasaris”. How naive I was! Terrain was full of snow and I had rough time out there. I took 3rd spot 1’03” down to Timo Sild and 45” to Dmitriy Tsvetkov. I did almost clear run…..clear for summer conditions and according to runnabilty on map, but lost a lot of time by choosing to run on fields and open areas which were slow and tough in most of cases. Next day’s long distance was even more of a struggle for me since I didn’t finish that one. Snow conditions were even worse and I was out of the game after 2/3 of the race being barely able to WALK back to competition center. Dmitriy did right choice by not starting at all J Anyway I was happy to see my national team mates completing this race and catch very needed competition feeling again.

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For now I am focusing on Latvian XC champs on next weekend which will serve as a border between training and training/competition blocks. I am aiming for same result as last year (25’48” on 8km), but it might be impossible cause loop is still full of snow and it doesn’t seem to melt fast enough.
I will leave to Sweden around 24th and my main tasks will include visiting Kalvis, taking part in Silva League, training for Tiomila, Tio itself and finally going to Finland for first WOC camp….if that white stuff recedes at last!?

See you somewhere! Maybe!

Sun dust paradise. Chapter III: Summertime Sadness

Everything has its price! My eagerness and hunger for training is not an exception and I had to pay. I did 3 weeks of solid training, but totally „forgot” to include some easier days in my schedule and there it was – slight sickness, anxiety, insomnia, continuous tiredness (Summertime Sadness??) and all that stuff that comes with overtraining – knocking on my door and handling over a „bill” I had to pay. However, I could have blamed it on weather conditions since it was raining nonstop and wind had power of storm, but it would sound very silly considering that I am in Spain and very close to Africa. I managed to pay on time (more or less) and my „receipt” included only 2 key trainings, few strength sessions and some map trainings as well. In other words – it was time for second restart of this training camp! I had to get away from Canos de Meca and training for few days. I went to Malaga to pick up Kristine from airport, we had booked a very nice hotel room at Marbella, we met my running team mates (they had training camp at Marbella) and went to visit small town called Ronda. All together it left me exhausted, buti n a good way. I started my training with good swimming session on Monday (a week ago) and was able to move on with harder training along the week. On Saturday morning I managed to do very solid middle distance race at local competition and even did easy sprint race in Vjera la Fronteira in afternoon. I had my long training planned on Sunday and I did long distance race (which wasn’t so long) as part of it. Only thing was that I missed my start time with 4’ and was pretty tired at begining of race, since I had to push quite hard on the way to starting place (it was sandy 2km uphill with ~100m climb). I did few stupid mistakes on slopes and also on open  field, but most important was that running felt good and I was able to keep good training pace all the way.
Now I am a bit smarter….at least for a while….and we had a day off (well, only morning run and swimming at the evening).
We tryed to get close to Africa. Trip was worth it, even we didn’t make it to Gibraltar, since I forgot my passport!

Competition results: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6OpPJ8hQ5VfZFJYQlVwaWw1LUE/edit
Middle distance route
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Another interesting O task solved
Circle training

Next time we will make it. Maybe!
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How I see Africa!
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Sun dust paradise: continued!

Weather is perfect, I am healthy, team mates are doing well, manager is performing at his best (partly because of cheap vine Don Simon), kilometers are rolling and hours are flying by. So I am doing very well.
Last weekend I took part in my first orienteering competitions this season – Andalucía O meeting. I wasn’t really recovered from being sick so it was obvious decision to run Saturday’s long distance in training mode. It didn’t work out well and I made lot of stupid mistakes struggling to navigate through green areas. Frankly – I was so pi**ed off after half race that I couldn’t find any good reason to go on, but, since I needed longer training anyway, I finished race 28’ down to Thierry. However, for every cloud there is a silver lining – lesson learned – I should never race when raining and vice versa.
Sunday came with WRE middle distance and therefore task was more serious. I was one of last starters (based on current World ranking standings) and had overally acceptable race. I was well aware of fact that my speed wasn’t good enough yet so I had to push it over my limits at some point. I did two 30” mistakes and lot smaller ones too which put me into 6th position 3’30” down to Thierry. Martins did decent race and finished one spot before me. GPS tracking replay is also available here, but old fashioned hand drawing can be seen below.

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Yesterday we did one of TuMe camp highlights – relay type night training. I felt surprisingly good and, having to do my own job (forking left me alone early) for most of the course, I was able to keep my navigation in control for most of the course. At least I „won” this „race”!

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Our team runner, masterchef and photographer in one person - Erling Sommerfeldt took some amazing pictures just before we started training and I am sharing some of those with you!

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