in june i managed the step into the competitive O world again. it felt good to be back. even though my running speed was not up to par at the world cup in finland, and thus missed the a-final, i was very pleased with my race in the quali. I lost two minute to simone n-l, which i find is not that much! in the b-final i also had a good race, and my result there plus my world ranking got me into the a-final in norway. wahoo! between world cup races i traveled to uppsala to hang out with my friends boris, suzanne, and cristina. We did some good trianing, and had a fun time. then i was off to karlstad (my swedish club) for one evening and then onwards to norway. I even got to do a training in oslo before heading over to hovden for the world cup. The terrain in hovden is to die for, so beautiful! i only wish i had had two days to adjust to the terrain, my race at the world cup would have gone much much better. next time i will take the time to get to know the terrain ahead of time. my race in the long distance the next day went much better. overall i felt like it was a successful trip and a good start back into racing after my ankle injury. (pictures in album section)
since then i went on a mini-vacation with marc to the engadin (also pictures in the album section). we managed to do a lot of training and still relax and enjoy being away from home and stress. it was really good.
yesterday i found out that i will be running the long and sprint at WOC. I am really excited about this. it's exactly what i wanted to run, and what i have run in the past. now there is only a month until woc begins, time to get psyched.
but before WOC kicks off, i will be in sweden for the O-Ringen and the next three world cup races. on this coming monday there is a mass-start long distance race, day 2 is a middle, and day 3 a sprint. I am looking forward to these races and really hope to run in the a-final for at least one of the races. we'll see.
until then it's time to organize the chaos that we have here at home, and get some good training in as well.
see some of you at O-Ringen, maybe others at WOC, and hopeful the rest of you another time!
here are four maps of trainings i have done in the last two weeks. i was able to do my first o training on the 22nd of may after 6.5 weeks of waiting since my injury. since then i have done 5 o trainings, one of them was a race. in the race i was too preoccupied with my ankle and made mistakes. luckily i have been able to build some confidence since then, and feel ready to race again. in my training today, i was able to run at a fairly full speed without worrying about my foot. that was nice.
i had a big delay along my way this week. i came down with a very strong cold on tuesday. it forced me into bed and away from training and work for 4 days. i feel better now, still some symptoms, but my energy level is normal again.
i have been watching a lot of the french open on tv. tennis is an amazing sport. the concentration and stamina that it takes to be good at this sport is baffling to me. i think we orienteers could learn a lot of from the mental strength that tennis players have to have. they must do a lot of mental training. it was interesting to watching how Sharapova always did the exact some movement before every serve. amazing.
i watched both swiss in the 8th final. very different games. the game between Schnyder and Sharapova was really intense. Patty Schnyder has one more fan after today's match. i found that she plays really well. she may not have the power that Sharapova has, but she plays with a sort of elegance and can be very good tactically. she went through ups and downs in this match and the commentator said she is not as mentally strong as some. i have heard people say that about me. the thing is, when she was "on" she was really good, and it seemed to me that she just lost confidence once in a while. Suzann seemed to be able to attack right after she lost a point, like it pissed her off. Patty seems much more calm. very interesting to watch. i felt sad for Schnyder that she lost, too bad.
i was also very impressed by the game between Federer and Youzhny. what impressed me the most is how Youzhny gave absolutely everything in every swing, hit and sprint he made. i can make a parallel to orienteering. i run against the best in the world a lot here in Switzerland, and i don't even believe i have a chance against her (which is actually true) and of course Youzhny has a better chance than i do at beating the number 1, but i still think i could try with a greater belief in myself, just like Youzhny. in the long run it would bring me closer.
interesting difference between the men's game and the women's game i watched. the women showed much more emotion. they showed that the were using some sort of self talk during the game. the men were like ice.
there is a commercial that plays during the french open that say: "in tennis, technique comes first" i think that is also true for orienteering.
motivation is a tricky thing, but i feel lucky that most often i have no lack of it. i do have to say though that since i injured my ankle i have had ups and downs in my motivation. of course i have felt super motivated to get better and be back where i was before the injury, but sometimes i felt frustrated, sometimes i was bored of biking, or strength. once i could start running i thought i would feel much better. well... instead of being super duper motivated it felt hard. i guess that is because in the beginning my ankle hurt after running, and sometimes it would swell up. it felt hard because i didn't feel light on my feet like i did before the injury. for the last week now i have felt tired. my motivation has been low and even though i was able to train at a higher quality than the other 5 weeks of non specific bike training, i wasn't able to motivate myself to train a lot. turns out that i was getting sick and the running i was doing just kept making me tired enough that any second training that day would feel too hard. so this weekend, even though i had time to train, i couldn't because of an oncoming illness. today, sunday i feel pretty good and don't think i will really get sick, which is great!
i have made a plan for the next 4 weeks of training, including the two world cups i will be participating in. i hope my plan can get me into decent shape and that i can start to feel like a normal athlete again.
i was looking at some pictures of orienteering events in the last year and i started to feel motivated again. i am also looking forward to seeing some friends again. Here are some of those pictures:
after a successful trip to sweden for the swedish ultralong championships (where i had a solid race and ended up 33rd) i felt good and ready for some quality training with the swiss national team in france. unfortunately in the first training i twisted my ankle very very badly. i tore the outer ligament and was not able to to a single training in the training camp. what's even worse, i have to wait 6 weeks before i can run through the woods again, at least i can start to cross-train next week, thank goodness, I am going crazy. Lots of hours on the bike and in the pool are ahead of me. it's a price i am willing to pay in order to rehab my ankle so that it fully heals and so that i don't have any problems with it in the future.
since i have some extra time, i started playing around with two films i took in Nant, france of two prominent orienteers. It was fun to put together a film. I have never done anything like this before, so it's very elementary, but turned out pretty cool anyway (or so I think, i'm such an amateur...)
there are also pictures in the album section of some swiss team member running through the woods, what else was I going to do?!?
since my last post in january a lot of things have happened. marc and i moved to magglingen where i work. magglingen is a small town above biel on a 'mountain slope' at about 900 meter elevation. from our new apartment we can see over most of the 'berner flachland' and on clear days we can see all of the alps in the back ground. we have already experience some incredible sunrises and sunsets. check out the album section for pictures.
my work has been quiet busy lately and has taken a lot of my free time. in february alone i worked 32 hours more than i *have* to, which just shows how much time I was at work. this had it's consequence on my training but more so on normal household duties and just the amount of sleep i have had. in any case i still have done a bunch of different stuff outside of work. i ran two cross country races, the first on my birthday was the canton bern championships. here i ended up 4th overall and 2nd in the canton. it was a good race for me, and i felt strong. i crossed the finish-line in 19min50" for the 5.5km course. the second cross country race was the swiss national championships, here i didn't feel that strong but had a decent race. The 8km race was completed on a 1km loop, which due to the rain was some what muddy. heavy underfoot made the times pretty slow. simone niggli was 2nd overall with a time of 31'46", i was 12th with a time of 35'50". (photo from Martin Jörg)
since returning from the US i have also been able to do some orienteering training. i was not able to go to portugal or spain for a winter training camp, but i kept a consistent amount of training here in switzerland on my own. at this put in the year my orienteering training consists of 25% of my total training hours. last week i was in the tessin (italian speaking canton in switzerland on the south side of the alps) for an orienteering coaching course. we always had time for our own orienteering training, and marc, some friends of ours and i stayed in the tessin a few days longer to enjoy the nice weather and do some more orienteering. it was great!
Marc and I traveled to Los Angeles on Wednesday Jan. 10th and stayed until Monday morning. We had the good luck of being offered a place to stay with Briget and Joel Thomson. The great hospitality and interesting hosts were only one of the pleasant surprises we had while visiting LA.
Since in our arrival in Aptos we have been able to do some really good training. I have been able to do 17 trainings in the last 8 days, trained a total of close to 15 hours. We have trained in all sorts of places too, in the woods, on the beach, in San Francisco and on the track...
We have all arrived here in Aptos, Anna, Christoph, John, Marc, Viktoria, Vladimir and I have moved into this great little house, a few meters away from the beach. Last night, after arriving, we changed into our training clothes and hurried to the beach to watch the sunset. We were a few minutes too late to see a really nice sunset, but we went on a really nice run on the beach.
This morning the group went out for an explore run, to see what the woods are like. Here are some pictures from the run.
Pictures speak for themselves, so check out the album section! Here is a short explanation of what we did. We went north of Phoenix to Verde Valley to take a train ride through a canyon on Friday. After the beautiful train ride, we went to Jerome, an old mining town up on the mountain slope where we stayed the night. On Saturday we drove to Sedona to do some awesome Mt. biking and running. Look at my training log to see details of our day. The sun is back, and the temperatures are increasing, which is really nice. Tomorrow we are going to Santa Cruz for a two week training camp with the US O Team. We are looking forward to lots of nice running, some interesting orienteering and good company. I will try to make some updates during the camp.
December 27th and 28th (day’s 1 & 2) After an uneventful trip across the Atlantic (although 10 hours on a plane is looong) we arrived in Dallas, Texas. We had a relatively short connection time, but not too stressful. The first excitement was clearing customs. The line for US citizens was short and I made it through in about 2 minutes. Pfew… on the “other” side. Marc, on the other hand, had a tremendous line in front of him. I told him I would wait for him directly after the costum booths, which I did for 50 minutes until he also made it to the "other" side.
At most orienteering races in Switzerland there are lots of familiar faces at a spectator control or finish shoot, one person in particular stands out from the rest, that is Martin Jörg.
The reason he stands out is because of his big camera, as a hobby photographer, Martin takes some really professional photos. The fun thing about him is that he sends you the photos he takes every few months. Its always an exciting surprise to see one of Martin's envelopes in our mail box. The last envelop I got had some really nice pictures from the whole season, and I thought it would be good to get them up here on my page and officially thank Martin for the service he has been providing. He is famous among the elite runners, who are all thankful every time they get a envelop from him. If you pay attention, many photos that Simone Niggli, Dani Hubmann, Matthias Merz, Lea Müller, or even Marc (coming soon) use in their webpage's come from Martin.
During my run today I was thinking about cows! Yes, but the reason is because we got our first frost, the ridge line of Les Prés d'Orvin had a dusting of snow, and the Chasseral was covered. So what is the connection between snow and cows, well there were no cows anymore on the alp where I was running, this is because they take the cows to lower elevations for the winter, mostly because it is dangerous for the cows to try to walk downhill when there is snow on the ground. Most cows are escorted the highlands in October sometime, and in some small towns there is almost a small parade when the cows come back to town. That is a site to see!
welcome!! it seems like life moves on in all sorts of directions, and since marc has decided to move out of www.samaonews.blogspot.com and move into www.marclauenstein.ch, i thought it was also time to find a new home. what i really wanted to be able to do at my own website is upload photo albums, and i can do that here, so i am happy! we'll see what comes of this little webpage, i know it's not sexy but it will do!