Injured and a new job as a coach

26 10 2019

This summer I quite spontaneously applied for a job, which I got just before WOC. It was a half time job at the orienteering high school in Gothenburg. The reasons why I wanted to start to work are shared between the fact that I need money, and some practical issues about my studies. I am studying pedagogies (50%) and have one year left (to get a specific sport teachers’ license). Though, one big part of these remaining studies is practical work, which I am now able to do in combination with a real job.

So, I started at 2nd of September, and got into it really fast. I am working together with Fredrik Bakkman (which is an awesome colleague) and together we try to offer the students/runners the best possibilities to develop during their junior time. A cool challenge, and an exciting and multidimensional job! Read more about our school here [In Swedish:]

However, as many already know, I suddenly got injured right before the World Cup races in Switzerland in the end of September. I had spent a week up in Hälsingland running both SM-weekends. It was tough and crazy stony. I had 48 hours of rest after the last SM race and the evening before going to Switzerland I jogged 60 minutes on gravel road at home. However, I started to feel some pain in my foot during the last 15 minutes. However, it was not that bad as I could run back home without trouble. However, when going from the sofa after having dinner one hour later, I was limping. A little bit better the morning after, but I still felt pain when walking. I went to Switzerland this morning, as I had no time to visit a doctor before departure. I discussed with the physios, and did a test jog for 10 minutes at Thursday morning, but the pain increased during those minutes and it was an easy decision to skip the races as I clearly wasn’t able to run. I flew home, got an MRI and discussed with doctors and the result was an oedema in the 3rd metatarsal bone in my left forefoot. No stress fracture, but it could have happened if I had tried to run in Switzerland. So, at least it was good there was no fracture, but still the foot needed completely recovery for 4-6 weeks. This meant I had to cancel the World Cup final in China as well.

So, the last month have been about resting. As the season was over for me, I decided to take the season rest immediately as this also was the best for the foot. I have done some core strength and easy indoor biking (but only 3-4 hours a week). I have also not been able to walk that much, so I have been a bit restricted of what to do in normal life as well. So, it’s been a bit of a challenge, as I mentally wasn’t ready for a season rest. My mind was completely focused on changing into sprint mode and finish this season properly. Now, I didn’t get the chance. Luckily I have put this energy into work instead, which have kept me busy. But I had so much wanted to be in China competing at the moment, and it is always challenging to follow races you want to run from distance. But after those races, the season is over for everyone, and then it is all about 2020.

Now it was 4,5 weeks since I became injured and my foot is ready to handle a little bit more of alternative training. This means the off season is over and it is time to start to build up a higher training load including some intensity sessions. But I will wait a couple of more weeks before I start with some running.

I am looking forward to go into a new training season. This year it will be a new challenge to combine it with both work and studies. But, with a good plan, I hope this will work well, as my main goal is to continue develop and take one more step next year.

Memories from competing in China at PWT last year:

And, as everything isn’t as it looks in holiday pictures, Gustav Bergman have wrote and linked to important stuff about what you don’t see in all runners Instagram photos from China:

The WOC story pt. 5 – Summary & gratitude

11 10 2019

This week was of course a big achievement for me with my first individual medal and a relay gold, where I performed a super run. (Approximately half a minute better than anyone else one on first/second leg, but with reservation for the different forkings of course…)  I can still feel some disappointment about the middle distance, as it was far from what I know I can do. But these seven seconds would have been the difference from success to absurd success, so it’s still something I can deal with. 🙂

My two coaches
There are two persons I want to mention as these two play a big part of my achievements this WOC.

First, Thierry. It’s indescribable how you have supported me during the road to WOC. You know every part of international elite orienteering and all the challenges one face when choosing the way to become a world champion.. I have learnt a lot from you and what is needed to take the next step. How you have challenged me during my specific preparations is what made the big difference to why I succeeded this year. You know what to tell me the day before a race, the morning before a race and the last minutes before a race. It’s your voice that I hear in my head during a race, telling me what to do, even if it is about keeping the grip or just to push harder than ever before. Merci beaucoup.

Second, Ola. My coach who sets my daily training schedule. The one I have been in contact with almost every day the past year. Also you have challenged me during the winter, just what I needed to build a more stable shape. The work we did during the winter, was what I could rely on and surf on for the entire season. The schedule also saved me in periods where I doubted my shape before important test races. I always feel you care and that you always do everything to create the best possible schedule. I also appreciate that you give me Kudos on Strava for each part of my training. 😉 I have full trust in you and I am looking forward to the coming winter. Tusen tack!

Thanks for all support
I am also thankful to all the physios who have helped me during the past year and the other coaches in the national team (from you who have put several controls, to Henrik as the master chef in the kitchen!). I am also happy to represent Göteborg-Majorna OK and I’ve got a huge cheering support from you. It was cool to see how many of you who travelled to Norway or followed by TV! What also makes a difference is the support from the closest friends and family, both the emotional, economic and materalistic support.


Gratitude to my few – but valuable sponsors

IcebugShoe perfection. Other brands stole the slogan about the best grip – but your shoes are the ones with the truly best grip! And they are comfortable for my sensitive heels. Nothing more to say.
MaurtenEnergy perfection. Without your 320-drinks I wouldn’t have survived this training load up to WOC. And you are the coolest company ever. I want to work at Maurten just to hang out with you!
Restaurang FeliciaFood perfection. I am so thankful for the opportunity I got with complete lunches and food boxes from you. You really saved my spring, when the energy levels were low, but thanks to this cooperation I managed to keep up the good work.

Thank you all for this year. Due to my foot injury (stress oedema in my left fore foot), I had to cancel the two last World Cup rounds. I felt it was sad as I was looking forward to sprint again and to see how far I could have reached in a specific sprint race but also in the World Cup total. Well, that’s for next year. Now I have a smaller season break and then I will start up the work for next year. So long!


The WOC story pt. 4 – the golden relay

11 10 2019

The last 24 hours before the relay
The evening after the middle was emotional for all of us three in the team, and especially as we all went to the medal ceremony in Sarpsborg. Me, happy to get my silver medal, but tired after the middle disappointment. Tove, happy about her double win, but super tired after those discharging performances. Karro, disappointed of her races so far, and with just one chance left to save her championship.

During the afternoon we decided to stick with plan A about the running order; me at the 1st, Tove at the 2nd and Karro finishing at the 3rd leg. This to get 100 % out of each person’s strength when it comes to relay running. We decided to present a team photo which should show those strengths and let the picture speak for itself. Me and Tove being sharp and precise with our performances and then Karro with the mission to kill it. A bit cocky, but still with sense of humour! 😉 We knew everyone saw us as the main favourites (ourselves among them!). At the same time we knew it will be a tight race as always. 3 times 30 minutes and the margins will be tiny.  But let’s: ”Carpe Fucking Diem”.


During the morning I was out for a short jog with Gustav, and two of our leaders Göran and Håkan. The rain was already pouring down and I felt my mind was partly everywhere. However, my preparations for the relay has been sharp, so even though pessimistic thoughts passed through my mind (for example about my heavy legs from the day before), I still knew what was needed to be done to do my shit for the team. A team that I wanted to do exactly everything for.

The relay run
The rain kept pouring down during the warm up and when starting. Always special to head up for the starting line, shoulder to shoulder with my competitors representing the other teams. At least 5 of us knowing we have chances of the gold, but all in front of a race where we almost only have stuff to lose. Running the first leg means the mission is to come back in the leading pack, otherwise you have lost time and this will make it harder for your team mates.

So, off we went, splashing over the soaking golf course. People always run fast towards the starting point. I put myself a little bit back in the pack, but we split up early due to forkings, and I was in the lead of my group. I was then more or less first up to the 4th post when Sabine for Switzerland stepped in before me towards the arena. No stress, just hung on to her speed and I felt strong during the arena passing. A long leg was waiting. I noticed we were not so many teams hanging on to our group. As the margins are small in those relays, one can’t be too comfortable in the group. I mean, if I feel strong, I need to push, as each team we lose earlier, the better chances we will have in the end. However, there is a fine margin to do this solid or to take stupid decisions. But, I felt strong. And confident. And determined. A good combination. I tried to keep the speed high on the road towards the hill and Sabine helped pushing hard. Into the forest, up a steep hill I suddenly was alone. “It must be a forking”. Sharp orienteering and I hit mine perfectly. I kept working strongly in the uphill towards the next one. Still all alone. I remember thinking “this is what I’ve been training for” and was thinking both being alone in the lead, but also about the terrain; this part was typical Norwegian forest, and very similar to most of the training areas. From this moment, I knew exactly what to do.

I did sharp orienteering, one control at a time. I knew all the time I was alone in the lead. And to be honest, I thought the gap was bigger already at the first TV control, but when watching the broadcast after the race I realised the gap at that point actually was kind of small and that I partly could have been in sight for the others. This made me nervous by watching it, but lucky I didn’t know it during my run. 😉 I remember one time looking back over my shoulder, it was towards the 9th control, when I was on top of a hill in a very open area. I didn’t see anyone. I can say, it was a good feeling! I chose the right route to the 2nd last control, the last tricky control of this race and my WOC week. I hit it well and then I was running my last meters in the forest for this championship. I took one jump over the ditch to enter the golf course, then looking up to see the very last control and finally I was facing the cheering crowd. It was so cool to do the run in, still all alone, with all people cheering and among them my whole family, knowing I had done exactly what I have been dreaming to do. I pushed hard all the way, knowing every second counts. I pulled the map and handed it over to Tove – the double gold champion during the championship and the best woman orienteer during the past years. Of course I felt confident about that. 🙂  I had time to put my arms in the sky and then face the other runners coming towards the finish. I had given Tove a leading gap of 44 seconds.

The wait after my race
I knew Tove was tired from the previous performances, so I realised quite early during her race that her legs was not with her this day. Switzerland came closer and closer and in the end they were past, but I am so very impressed of Tove who still managed to perform almost perfect orienteering, even though her legs screamed stop. She did everything she could this day, and she did the important stuff to keep close to Switzerland who now was in the lead. We were still in the game, only 6 seconds behind. And even though our dream and plan A was to be alone in the lead from start to finish as we did at the World Cup relay the year before, we also knew we could win when having company on the last leg.

During the first half of the last leg I was not able to watch. I was super nervous. I knew that it soon will be decided and that we soon will have the chance to fulfill our dream. I never doubted Karro on the last leg, but I still have huge respect for our competitors who weren’t chasing that far behind. When our coaches were watching the TV I was too nervous. I went up to the team tent to find Tove. I found her sitting on the floor, with some kind of food in her hand, with empty eyes. At that moment I truly realised how tired she was. But I was so excited of the race, so I tried to wake her up: “We are in the gold fight, they are on their way back!!” Then it got back to her that we actually were running the world championships relay and that we were running for gold. As two excited little girls, we ran down towards the finish area, to follow the last minutes of the race in front of the screen, behind the finish. At that time we realised that the chasing teams behind would not make it to catch Karro or Julia for Switzerland, so now it was only a battle between Sweden and Switzerland for the gold. I know Julia (SUI) is strong in the end, but we had our full trust in Karro to win the final sprint. It was an incredible feeling to stand together with Tove, see Karro jump the same ditch as both me and Tove had jumped earlier during the relay. We knew that now it will happen, now she will use her strength, right according to our plan. It was great to see her increase the speed one time to pass Switzerland and she got the gap directly.  Then the gap increased meter for meter. It was never a battle, Karro outsprinted for gold and I will always remember the moment when she crossed the finish line and we all gather in a group hug, all falling down on the wet ground, feeling WE DID IT.


One year. One dream shared by three girls. One dream which was part of almost every day of my preparations. A dream both about how to run my own specific race, but also how the relay would end after a solid team performance. I had dreamt of running alone in the lead, giving my team the perfect start. That I did just that, doing one of my best races ever (so far), when it matters the most, makes me so proud. I am for sure also so proud of my team mates, also doing exactly what they are the best of doing, even though both faced big challenges this day. Thank you Tove and Karro, the best team mates in a relay one could wish for!

Team success
That we later on could celebrate with the complete team, as the boys won the men’s relay, makes the best dream even better. This day was so damn cool, that I almost can’t believe it’s true. Lucky we could celebrate everything during the banquet night which was awesome, but way too short :).

Photos from the relay without a photograper mark: Sven Alexandersson


The WOC story pt. 3 – The middle distance

6 10 2019

3 p.m at Thursday afternoon. Time to put the middle distance into my mind. I may be the silver medalist on long, but I knew what I had achieved during several middle distance training sessions in Norwegian terrain, and for sure I had a new medal chance on this one. And my plan was to give myself the opportunity.

The middle distance fight
I kept my plan during the start of the race. I read the map carefully, I chose wise routes amd I was offensive. Unfortunately the tiredness hit me hard very early. I pushed hard, but the legs felt empty. However, I’ve been running several races with that tired feeling as well, and my plan was to keep focus technically no matter whar. But, I struggled with this, doing zick-zack running, reading towards wrong control and choosing worse routes. The middle section of the race was not good enough. I am disappointed I was more a quitter than a fighter towards both the physical and mental tiredness that hit me so hard this day.

I went through the arena passing with a completely dizzy mind. I remember Håkan screaming I am in the fight for the medals, but I could not take it in. I had to put all energy on keeping myself running. “YOU FIGHT. Keep going. NO, don’t stop, FIGHT!”. However, I was not sharp enough with compass and didn’t do direct routes either to the first control after the arena or the last one in forest, before the last control at the golf course. It was first heading the final sprint I realised I will make it to the finish and that I am in the fight for the bronze medal. I put on a super sprint, being two seconds faster than any girl else (so there was for sure some power in my legs left). But in the middle of this sprint I heard I will be too late. I crossed the finish line. Seven seconds away.


Seven seconds away
Seven seconds from a bronze medal. The disappointment is a fact. I couldn’t actually get that I was so close after that performance. I felt shitty physically, but kept pushing hard. I am proud of that part. But I let it affect my technique which was far away from what I had performed during all those preparing middle training sessions. That’s why my disappointment was even bigger.  I first questioned myself why I didn’t do or feel better this day, but most I questioned myself letting those feelings of disappointment taking over already during the race. This probably had cost me a medal. (Of course I realise that there were many girls in the fight for the medals today, and many of us did smaller mistakes, so I am not the only one able to say I was the one giving the medal away.) But still, 7 seconds away, and only 7th. Not even on the podium.

That the disappointment was so big after being so close was for sure a confirmation about my high self confidence. I knew I could do better. It was also a confirmation that I had managed to put the long distance performance on hold: my mind was fully into the challenge for the middle distance that day. And right after the middle disappointment I tried to put this in my backpack to give myself the opportunity to finish this WOC week as I have dreamt it should be, almost every day from that World Cup relay little less than a year ago.

Photos without photographer mark: Sven Alexandersson

The WOC story pt. 2 – The long distance

6 10 2019

One day to go
One day to go to the long distance final and the championships started with the middle qualification. My legs felt heavy, but the course was tough and the terrain as well, and a heavy feeling was calculated as I often feel heavy the first fast run after some easy days. Normally I do this start up the day before the first competition, but as the WOC week was going to be tough in total, I limited my fast sessions for the week, by taking this start up at the middle quali. This worked well as I still did solid orienteering and ended 2nd in my heat, just some seconds behind. Now, this shit will start for real. My next race, is the long distance final. Let’s go!

middle Q.jpg

The long distance day
Late start and almost 6 hours in quarantine. However, this time went on quite fast. I was perhaps one of the few who were happy about the views we had from quarantine 2: a lot of running over the golf course. “This will suit me well”.

Some minutes after 4 o’clock p.m I grabbed my map and the race started. No rush, but offensive. I got the first controls okay and went on the long route to control 5. Almost 1k of asphalt running and an easy way up to the control. I knew the long legs are super important on a long distance and I felt I nailed the first one. The following controls went on solid as well, and I felt my legs were on a good enough level today. After 30 minutes of running I was clear 2nd , 1:23 behind Tove.

longstart svenA.jpg

Now it was time for the 2nd long leg. I chose route choice while running on the 1st long leg, but I should have looked for the options once more before leaving that control, with some more information about the forest terrain in that part of the map. However, I went for the left route and was met by high grass on the open field. Then I started to feel the first tiredness and lost the grip while heading the wide stream. I spent some time searching for a passage, and found a narrow woodcut. One deep breath to find some balance skills when the heart rate is over 90 %, and I made it without falling into the water. We had got information about this stream being deep, and I didn’t want to take the risk jumping in it as it would take more time to pass it and also risk the map being wet and dirty. After this I struggeled with both the map reading and the running flow for some minutes, but got it back and finish that leg solid. However, I had lost a lot of time, and was now 3rd in the race (which I of course didn’t know anything about at this moment of the race).

Then 45 minutes of the race had passed, and this is the time when you start to feel some tiredness and when it is easy to start to do the silly mistakes. I felt I had done mostly good stuff so far, and it was not so many controls before entering the golf course and arena passing. I continued to choose easy route choices where my speed could be high. Coming closer to the arena I heard people shouting I was in the lead – but I had an quite early start among the runners in the game for the medals, but I also heard that I still was in the lead at a previous radio control after 6k which confirmed a my feelings of this being a good race so far. I ran through the arena with a, at that moment, 30 seconds lead to Simona Aebersold, “but Lina has lost a lot of time against Simona since the last radio control”, the speaker said. Shit, how fast is she going? I haven’t done any mistakes? At that moment I could chose between my thoughts of her being strong and me being tired, or focus on me being in the lead and push the tiredness away and just focus on the last loop. One control at the time. I pushed hard out of the arena, not being a quitter, but a fighter. It was a true fight against my mind to keep the grip on the map and being offensive in the terrain, which was super heavy with high blueberry bushes and many smaller marshes. Once again out on the golf course, for the last time. I had catched some runners who started ahead and had these backs towards the 3rd last control. When approaching the 2nd last, I heard Thierry shouting that I am running for a medal.

When hearing this, I can feel my body want to react emotionally on this. I mean, a medal!? My dream! I am in the fight for it, but do I have it or what is happening?! But, the race wasn’t finished. I had to put these emotions on hold. 2 controls left, basically just running over the golf course, but there are still one minute of work that has to be done, and this minute could be the one to decide everything. It could end up in seconds. I have to push all I got, and just focus on one step after the other. And so I did. I tried to increase my speed. I remember hearing people cheering, but everything is a bit grey. I am still truly connected to my mind, my determination of ending this with full focus, and keep the grip. Those last meters the grip was not about the map grip, but the grip of my sprinting; fast feet against the finish line.


I crossed the finish line, falling and rolling in the grass. I heard I had managed to keep the lead. I finished with a new best time by 44 seconds and the speaker said this will probably be a medal race. But during this moment, when lying in the grass, closing my eyes, feeling the lactate acid in my legs and my heart rate pumping fast – I felt I had done everything I could. Everything. Up to this day and during the race. I opened my eyes, raised up and met people. I remember hugs and smiles. Håkan told me it probably will be a medal, but that both Marika Teini and Sabine Hauswirth may be in the fight, ”but Sabine is most probably too far behind”.

finsih line remy steinegger

Then I went towards the media zone. Stopped by SVT, and right before this interview the feelings about this ”fight” got to me. I started to cry even before the first question, and there was no way of holding back. “At least this is good TV”, I said in between my tearing…  During all interviews my medal was clear, but was it going to be a silver or a bronze? Tove was running for a clear gold, but Marika Teini passed the arena only 14 seconds behind me, but she lost time and some minutes later, when Tove finished, I knew the silver was mine! I met Tove and we could celebrate together; a great feeling for sure. A double win for Sweden, Tove being a superhero with her amazing race – the best one in history so far – and me taking my first individual medal. I was stuck with a smile for the rest of this day.

The bubble after the silver medal
I am super proud of this race and I am thankful to all of you who have sent your greetings. I tried to stay in the bubble for some time. Those feelings which takes over your body after performances like these are something extra and something which is hard to feel other times. However, this was not the last race of the WOC week, two more important ones are ahead. I was prepared for this, putting a deadline of celebrating and when to start up the middle focus.

Photos without photograper mark: Sven Alexandersson (and the last one: WOC 2019)