Last time I wrote that I'll fight for EOC. The long distance test race on Saturday was surely a mental fight, which turned out fine in the end. My situation wasn't the best before the start after having fever couple of days early in the week and flu for couple of weeks. You should have at least 1,5-2 weeks healthy period to recover totally, but I had only three days.
On Thursday 26th of April I felt better and did a very easy long run on paths, which felt ok. On Saturday morning I was fine and decided to fight as hard as I could. The day was beautiful and sunny, something I had waited for the whole April. The weather conditions have been somewhat arctic everyway. I did my normal routines with energizing and activations and had a good feeling before the race, although I got a bit of a hurry to start. Everything was as good as it can be after an illness.
I had a good 15000-scale race in Ankkurirastit a week ago, where I orienteered well straight from the beginning. I took the map and started to run to K-point. I had some difficulties to see where the first control is on the map and I was already in K-point. There was a steep downhill with some fallen trees and tence forest. Orienteering was just on my legs and it was hard to see the best route choice and have the thoughts ahead. Also the feeling was quite heavy and already after 200m of running I was running on or in a wet snowy marsh and after 1km of running I even was under the freezing water as high as my waist.
I was mentally ready for almost everything, but the start was still a bit surprising with all the hardcore terrain and challenging first leg. I survived ok and got my thoughts on the right track. I knew that this, if some, will become my mental fight. The results showed that experienced runners had an advantage. I ended 4th just 10 seconds after Airila and Anjala on second position. OMa was very good also this day.
Results and splits with colors (Aaaa'vot)
After my fight I felt good in the evening and I was pleased with my result. I felt that this is enough for EOC long distance, where I'm going to be in much better shape. The seconds were not on my side in the test races. I was 7th in middle and 4th in long, and I lost totally just 17 seconds to Hannu Airila, who was 3rd in middle and 2nd in long. Anyway, I was lucky that these were only qualification races and the result was enough. More valuable races are in couple of weeks in here - EOC. I hope to be enjoyably with a big smile on my face fighting for top performances on Tuesday 15th May (LQ), on Friday 18th May (LF) and on Sunday 20th May (relay).
This long distance race wasn't very harmonic, but the best thing is that I've orienteered very well in every kind of situation this spring. The harmony is important before the race so that I'll manage to do my best, and only in very good shape I feel the harmony during the task. That's when physics, skills and mental strength join together and I've prepared as well as possible for the task.
On Monday morning I felt physically and mentally healthy and my expectations for Tiomila and EOC are rising. I'm ready for the last leg in Tiomila and I hope that my teammates give me a position where I'll miss my mom. Hopefully I'm getting a very good challenge before travelling to Mora.
Yesterday was the last test race for EOC and I decided to join it so that I'll have an opening of my breath and lungs. The sprint task was suddenly tougher than I was ready, but I had very good legs and exercise. It was nice to see that Finnish sprint professionals are getting better and Tuomo Mäkelä showed a world class performance. Great!
My race was fine in the beginning and excellent in the end, but the controls 4, 6, 8, 9, 12, 13 and 16 were quite bad. I had bad choices and I ran too much around. During those 7/22 controls I lost to Mäkelä 57 seconds. and all the other 15 controls 20 seconds.
Results with winsplits