Just like most of world top orienteering athletes (I dare to count myself in) I was in France to take part in official WOC training camp. I and LOST (Latvian Orienteering Super Team) did well in both-long distance competition and training wise.
I started my week with trip to Tallinn where I had few job related meetings, but I managed to do few good training between them as well. On Thursday I flew to Milan where I met rest of team and we were ready to hit the road (of curse I did some running there as well while waiting for plane from Riga to land and enjoyed close to +40C heat).
At about midnight, after 5h of mad, close to limit driving we and our Fiat Doblo (which is counted a station wagon only in Italy) were finally there in Conjux. Our accommodation place was perfect – 3 floor villa, with view to lake Bourget, endless hill running possibilities, cherries and many more. I took first two days easy, because my main aim was to perform well in long distance competition on Sunday. So I started with returning to Arith (was there during WC 2010). No surprises, same tough, slow and extremely demanding terrain was there for us. Next day we took part in middle distance, but I run it in moderate training mode. Also I got chance to learn from very bests – Philipe Adamski caught me and I tried to keep up with him. No success. I couldn’t look at my map at all, my whole attention was focused on stony ground. I was on my own for last part, but was quite surprised when arrived at finish less than 1′ after Philipe.
Sunday came with good weather, but competition feeling was missing. I was very lazy with my warm up and couldn’t switch myself to competition mode. Surprisingly it all changed when I started my race. I felt very strong and confident, but luck wasn’t with me and I managed to brake my compass on way to 5th control (ironically I fell while running on road). I made a mistake on 5th control and it took a while to solve it without compass. Imagine how big was my surprise when I saw Mertz near 6th control (he started 2′ before me). I met few other runners and we caught Mathiass on way to 10th. We managed to keep good speed and eliminate mistakes till 15th control and “butterfly” where I stayed alone and missed a lot on first loop, mostly because I lacked my compass. After “butterfly” there was a group of about 4 runners and I was part of it till the finish. I took 16th place with 1h52′ (Thierry won with ~1h30′ on 13,1 km course, so it gives some idea about “running” speed there) and was very satisfied with my performance. I made about 10′ mistakes which was too much, even in terrain like this. Fact that top 6 was possible, gives me a good kick for next training sessions and last preparation work for WOC.
On Monday we returned to Le Revard once again to clear things out on 1:10 000 scale and that made a great change. Weather was also nice and we took some good pictures with team and Mont Blanc.
Sunny weather was gone by Tuesday, but it didn’t stop us from taking it hard. Yeah snow that came during night to Wednesday made us to cancel our orienteering training at Le Revard, but we decided to have long run from our villa at Conjux. It turned out to be a real trial for me, Kalvis (CK), Martins and Janis. We started by going up and our plan was to run some 20 km. Eventually we started to go around mountain and hit 15 km without any clue how to get back to Conjux. We found some map and realized that we have two options – to go few km’s back and make turn or to keep going and hope that there is passage between mountains. Martins chosed first one, but CK convinced me and Janis to continue. Passage was far more further that we expected and climb to it was f*cking steep. We passed mountain hitting 21 km and saw Aix-les-Bains on opposite side of the lake, which meant that there is about 16 km to go. So we did 36 km in 2h38′ with more than 1500m climb. We survived. Barely.
Last training was most demanding one. There was still snow in forest and it took me 2h for 7km course. At least I found all the controls, which wasn’t an easy task.
My week in total was about 18h and 170km. Some recovery is a must now and Latvian championships in sprint & long distance during last weekend proves it. Martins didn’t start at all (right choice after all). I couldn’t get my legs to work and did 7th in sprint and 6th in long (shame). CK, Janis and others from camp also didn’t do too well.
As for now I have my focus set to Jukola and last leg for TuMe.