My EOC 2016

1 06 2016

For your information: This is a very long blog which was needed to share all of my experiences from this Championship! I love to write a lot of details, mostly to be able to get back and remember this myself. Enjoy everything – or skip some parts… 😉

I went to the European Championships in Czech Republic with high expectations after a period with competitions where I’ve performed well.

I had known for a while that I should run sprint and middle (and my guess was also the finishing relay), but after a good performance on the sprint relay in Poland I also got the chance to run that discipline.

This was the start up of the championships. I ran the first leg and after me Gustav, Jonas & Helena ran. A great team with a big chance to win. It was really cool to get the opportunity to take part, but I was also very nervous. Though I did a good technical race except from the first long leg, but as everyone did almost the same it wasn’t a big deal. Unfortunately I hit the wall with some minutes of running left and I lost the eye-sight of the leaders and got caught by the big chasing group and fell down through the field. I guess I lost at least 15 seconds here. I was completely exhausted after finish and it didn’t feel so good to lose “that much” in the end as the sprint relay is a very tight race.

But Gustav and Jonas did fantastic races and put us in the lead. Helena was sent out approximately 20 seconds before the chasing group consists of Russia and Switzerland. I got the power back and so proud of the guys. Helena started with a big mistake and then she had troubles with her SI card which didn’t make any sound. This was for sure a big disturbance and unluckily she missed to pass one control which made our team disqualified even though we finished as 3rd and bronze medal position.

I feel of course very sad for Helena and our team, but shit happens and we need to be even more prepared next time. I have stuff to work on, Helena as well and also the boys who of course want to improve even more.

Sprint relay is a very demanding challenge. You run very close to maximum and if you step over the line and get too sore (as I did) you lose plenty of time which is hard to catch. At the same time you need to read the map and find the best route choices which sometimes just differ some meters. But, if you are not able to choose right and miss some of the best routes you lose too much time. While you are doing this while pushing as hard as you can physically you have a lot of runners around who also wants the best position along the narrow streets and tight turns around the corners. You have to keep an eye of this and also cars, public and random people inside the area to avoid collisions. If you also need to think if you have all the punches in your SI-card it makes it really really hard.

The day after the sprint relay it was the individual sprint.  During the qualification I fought against my sore thighs from the race the day before. My feeling in my body was really bad and I couldn’t really recognize it –it was the badest feeling since quite a time. I fought a lot mentally towards the final and I almost succeeded with my plan. The first loop was really good. Controlled and focused. After the map change I lost it. I had forgotten the map change in my plan and lost focus for some seconds and two bigger mistakes was done. I continued with one bigger mistake and with a total of 1.20min lost time it is completely over in a sprint. I finished 15th in a race which otherwise suited me very well. I got to learn a lot these two days, and unfortunately it was the hard way. Though I succeeded to accept my physical feeling, and it showed that the speed was high even though the feeling was bad.

Now I got three days of rest. The first day I made 30 min jogging, but was completely exhausted. My legs were “dead” and my mind as well. I had slept very bad for some nights and felt really dizzy. I continued with a complete rest day and followed the long final from home. It was great to follow the other Swedish runners who made an excellent job. Tove’s gold and Martin’s bronze as the tops of the pops!

I started to get some energy back and after a well done model event I felt ready for the middle distance. The qualification was though an awful experience as I missed the first control with 2 minutes. I was by the correct item two times, but I didn’t see the flag. The race was short and with a lot of controls in a bushy area so I realized that it is impossible to just run in some time. I had to orienteer very well technically. I did that most of the time, but I also continued with some minor mistakes. The complete race was a big stress. I qualified as the 10th (of 17 runners), so it was no danger in the end, but my feelings were mixed. Now I need to change something to the final.

I worked hard, but I found it. I made my plan and I manage to carry it out most of the time. The first part of the race was a great performance. On the second half I made one bad route choice, but also missed the 3rd last control with 30 seconds. I looked at items in the terrain, but lost the directions and went inside the green area where the control should be. Though I did a misinterpretation of the forest and saw a border which I thought was the one on the map. I lost the podium place here, which of course was sad as it was my goal, but it was close and a much better performance by me so I was happy. I ended as 8th. Tove won her second gold after an amazing race!

My stable performance at the middle got me the opportunity to run the first leg in the first team on the relay. Helena got sick during the night so we made a late change where Emma filled her spot. I still felt completely confident with my team, but I had to fight my “first-leg-ghost”. I did once more a stable performance. I had patience which was good. I was very defensive during the first half and got some more courage to be offensive in the end where I also ran very well. I sent Emma out as 4th (3rd as there were 2 Russian teams before), just 30 seconds behind. Emma did a solid race and though the hurt herself in the end of the course she fought over the finish line and sent out Tove as 2nd just 67 seconds behind leading Russia. Tove did again a nearly perfect race except from one misreading where she runs towards the 6th/7th control instead of the 4th. “Luckily” Russia did the same mistake, and even though it cost a lot of time the chance was still there. Tove was running well and while passing the arena she was in front with Finland very close behind. Then there were a lot of teams within 20-50 seconds behind so it was very tight. Tove performed well on the last technical controls and got the lead at the 2nd last. She fought up the last little hill, but Merja Rantanen from Finland had higher speed and could pass her. It was a battle towards the finish, but Merja was stronger and managed the gold and Tove brought our team to a silver medal. It was very very close, but I am so happy to get the possibility to fly back home with this silver. The Swedish second team made solid races all towards the relay and ended 7th.

This week was  a roller coaster and I’ve been fighting a lot, but I guess this was just what I needed to be able to do everything as I wish during races in the future.

Once again I need to thank all of you following at home, sending messages here and there.  Also thanks to my competitors who are extremely good at what you’re doing, but also extremely nice persons. To be competitors and friends at the same time, over country borders is something I really appreciate.

The biggest thanks goes to the whole Swedish Team. It’s been an amazing atmosphere the whole week despite bigger and smaller setbacks.  I got all the help that I’ve needed from the managers Håkan & Sussi, physios Fredrik & Hanna and team mates. I’ve got a silver medal to look at and remember all the moments we’ve had during these 10 days. I’ll keep this in my heart. THANK YOU. #världensbästalandslag

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