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




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