Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Training

It's quite enjoyable to get out and go run now that the weather is nice again and we've had a lot of really fun training sessions recently. The last Silva League race weekend was up in Sundsvall and that was our first real taste of summer. It was sunny and hot both days, and the terrain was challenging. On the first day I managed to make mistakes on all 6 first controls, before I settled in. Not coincidentally, that's also when it stopped going uphill.

Hanging out by the river near our lodging. The water was freezing!
Two weekends ago we headed to Jämsä, where Jukola/Venla will be held in only a few weeks. The terrain there was also tough for me. The moss on the ground was sometimes mid-calf deep and the pines were exceptionally thick in the green areas. We ran a race on Sunday and I had to stop and walk the whole second half of the course. Physically, I just couldn't take it anymore. Luckily, training camps are not only about orienteering, but about hanging out with your clubmates and having a good time. It was another summer weekend and we spent our downtime enjoying the sunshine.

Swimming between trainings on Saturday.

Grilling lots of food on Saturday night

Eating dinner in the sunshine

Showers after the race on Sunday
Last week, after a weekend of feeling like I had no strength, I had one of my most fun training weeks in a long time.
Here it is, an almost ideal training week for Sam:

On Monday I did the normal, jog, rock gymp and innebandy. I love rock gympa because of the chatting time I have with people. Plus, innebandy is like field hockey but you don't have to reverse stick. Perfect.

Tuesday I ran Backbana, the hill course in town. Uppsala is pretty flat, so I have to consciously run hills to be ready for racing elsewhere in the world. I ran my fastest time by about 40 seconds on the hill course, pushing myself all the way. It just felt great to push my body that hard, to push through the mental barrier that I hit when it starts to hurt, and to be rewarded with a PR.

On Wednesday I went orienteering with the club, and a co-worker came with me. He has never really orienteered before and we headed out on an advanced course together. I explained the map symbols, and how to come up with a plan and we ran together. I did most of the leading, but we worked together on the plan, stopping at each control. It was really fun and, I think, a great way to introduce someone to orienteering. It's more fun to crash through beautiful forests than run only on trails. And more rewarding when you finally find the controls!

Thursday was District Sprint Championships in Ultuna. It was on the same map that I used to set courses for the middle school students in the fall. I felt really loopy on the way there, since I hadn't eaten enough that day and I was running later than usual (start time after 8pm). But, once I started running the lightheadedness went away and I ran a fairly clean race. Got beat by most of my clubmates, but wasn't too far behind. Encouraging to see.

Friday was track workout day, simply because Ross suggested it, so why not? Lisa ran over to the track with me, and I ran 4 400s, with about 2.5 minutes of rest between. I was running them pretty hard and aiming for 81 seconds, which is what Daniel's suggested for R pace. I was a bit faster on all of them, which is sometimes a nice way to run. And you can get away with that when you're only doing 4 :)

Saturday I finally caught up with Rasa, after not really seeing her for months. We ran o-intervals on an old course in Lunsen. When I first arrived here, I couldn't understand the fascination with Lunsen. And, when I'm tired and in the greener sections, I still sometimes forget why it's so wonderful. But, on Saturday it was beautiful. We raced to each control, paused for only a moment for the one behind to catch up, and then set off again. Flowing through the marshes and over the small hills, being able to keep track of the details while going full speed is just awesome. It didn't work perfectly on every control, but it was so much fun to run hard and still be able to navigate. I know I could not have done this a year ago.

Finally, on Sunday I did a long orienteering course with Lisa. We traded off navigating legs, and besides my one rather large mistake, we ran well. The woods were a mixture of beautiful, open hilltops and clearcut slash :) After over 2 hours of that, I came home and collapsed into bed.

Of course, interspersed with it all, we relax with friends.

Ross found his new favorite chair.