World cup final – end of season

15 10 2018

Last weekend I closed the season by running all races at the world cup final in Czech Republic. Let’s take it one competition by one…

We arrived at Monday 1st of October in Prague and went straight to an amazing rock area outside Turnov. It was kind of the best terrain I’ve ever run in. So cool and so much fun! It was easy to look forward to the middle distance which was going to be held in a similar area some days later. We stayed one night and did the model event Tuesday morning before going back to our world cup accomodation in Prague. We had an easy day at Wednesday where we also had some time to visit the city centre. A really nice capital, but unfortunately we did not so much touristing at it was neccessary to save all energy for the upcoming races; 4 competition days in a row and the first one, the knock-out sprint with a possibility of 4 sprint races in one day.

It started at Thursday morning with the qualification. An easy park-land course and I did a controlled race and won my heat, which meant I got a good position in the heat choosing for the quarter final. I chose as runner nr 6 and chose the one quarter that still was empty, the first one. This started then only 50 minutes later and this was also the first time for me with the new forking method called ”runners choice”. It means that you the last minute before your start are able to see a small part of the course, with three different forkings (shown on three different maps put on a table). You are able to look at those for 20s before you have to make a decision which one you want to run. I thought I had a strategy, but I found it hard when I stood there and changed my mind in the moment when I picked the map. This was a bad decision as I probably chose the longest one. Although, I got a good start and the others was behind, but after the 2nd control (where I had a control more far) I was almost last. However I felt the speed in the lead wasn’t that high so I could increase my speed a little and get up in the lead again. I then did a micro route towards the 6th control which was some metres longer and I lost the lead again. I was still 2nd and I felt I had some extra gears if it was needed. Then it was a route choice to the 7th control and I chose one and decided to speed up a bit as I wanted to be in control and be 1st at the last three short controls. It was no problem and I also got a small gap which meant I could cruise to the finish without sprinting and win my heat (the three best qualified, but a heat victory meant running in the 1st semi final which meant more rest to a possible final). So far, so good. Then it was some hours of rest before the semifinal. My semi, however, become very tough with Judith Wyder, Tove Alexandersson, Maija Sianoja, Alva Olsson and Amanda Falck-Weber. So, not everything as planned any more… 😉 Of course I had respect for them, but I still felt in good shape so a top 2 (which was needed for qualifying for final) would not be impossible even if it was going to be tough. Forking method was runners choice again, and this time I was a little bit more stressed as I found it impossible to have a chance to look at all three possibilities… And off we went, and I had troubles reading the map to the first control where it was some very narrow stairs. I was just behind Judith and Tove when we all stopped as no one had seen the passage. I thought it was a dead end, so I turned and ran around the fountain, but this decision was way too quick as some of the others found the passage and got a big gap right from the start. Unfortunately I had also chosen one of the longer forkings (which I also didn’t execute so well), so I had no chance closing this gap… I finished 4th – was knocked out – and felt very frustrated. I did some bad decisions right from the start, and felt I never really gave myself the chance. I had still so much power in my legs – but when the tactics and technique fails, it is not enough. I had to follow the final from the roof and it was cool to see my club mate Judith win and Karro, Tove, Jonas and GB finish 2nds and 3rds.

The next day it was time for sprint relay. My first one since European champs and I was once again given the opportunity to run the first leg. Again on a hilly course, but this time in much better shape than during the spring. I got a good start on the route choice to the first control, but somehow I managed to run to the wrong forking, so a little bit of nervouseness… Though, I increased the speed slowly and caught the lead some minutes later. Before the last big uphill I was in the back of Russia, Switzerland and Austria. At least Russia had one extra control before going up, and at that moment I decided to increase the speed once more and got a gap. I pushed hard on the flat towards the arena and the gap increased. It continued during the last part and I changed over to Emil in a 25s(!) lead. He increased it with some seconds and it looked really good for our team. However, Jonas and Tove had some of their very seldom bad days and did some mistakes, so we ended up as 2nds. However, we did what we needed to reach the possible 2nd spot in the relay cup, so mission accomplished.

Some race enjoyment, one doping control and a sunset cool down later it was time to focus on the next race; the middle distance the next morning. Karro and I took a sunrise BBA and then off to the area around Turnov again. Some hours well spent in the quarantine ❤ and then time to start. I did once again a small mistake already to the first control, but the following controls went well. At the 5th control I saw Mironova who started 90s ahead of me and lost my focus a bit, so I did a minute mistake to the 6th. I also chose the wrong route to nr 8, but didn’t do any control mistakes, even though some routes may have been slower, but in this kind of terrain it is almost impossible to run a clear race. On the long leg back I stood still for some time wanting to run around, but didn’t found it that good as I didn’t find the best way out from the control. Therefor I chose straight, but regret it in the steep uphill where I felt so tired. I tried to push what I had in the downhill, but again I felt empty when it was steep. I saw that the course soon was finished, and therefor I chose the route choice of the day (it is self-announced, and yes, i am proud) which meant going all the way around to the last control. I won it by 20s and gained almost a minute on the competitors who fought for a top position. This brought me almost to the 2nd place, but to 3rd (1s behind, and 1.11 from the victory). This meant I reached a world cup top 3 individually even this year – a great success of course! It was also awesome to share it with Karro who took her first world cup victory!

Skärmklipp

The day after it was time to close the season by the last sprint race. I felt my body was tired, but still there was some power left… However, my mind was empty and I didn’t manage to keep it together. I did a mistake running in a dead end already to the first control, and also out of the 2nd control. Then I missed the fastest way down to nr 8 and once more a dead end out from the 9th. Surprisingly, I anyway had the lead at control 11, but then I touched one control, turned and ran up the stairs, but realised I had been at the wrong one. Down again, 20s lost. I continued my fight, but unfortunately I did this once more towards the 16th, and this time I didn’t realise it. I turned by the men’s control some metres ahead of ours (as 6 other girls did) and my announced leading time at finish soon became a disqualification. My time had probably been enough to a new top 3 if I had continued to the right control, but if doesn’t exist in elite sports, so it was for sure a big failure. Too much power but no focus is not a good combination. I was so frustrated about this and this was kind of the worst way to end a season. Especially when you, too late, realise that you would have had a chance to win it all, and instead you fuck up. I hate to not take the chance.

Photos above: wcup.cz / Stefan Månsson

Well, with some perspectives, I am able to see that I have succeeded with almost all my races since WOC this summer and I am very proud of many things. I have for sure raised my level during the whole autumn and the world cup final showed it where I ran races with a capacity to win, which not have been a fact earlier. However, it was still a bitter end, which means there is still much work to do to actually go all the way.

So, I went home with lots of frustration. I therefor entered a 10k race (Running Lights in Alingsås) which I ran this Saturday, almost a week after the failure. I was able to use the last bit of a shape and ran a time of 35.50 which I am very happy with. Nice to confirm my running shape with a time.

Now I will continue my offseason with a trip to China and PWT. Looking forward!

Photo: Sara Hagström





Euromeeting – a knock-out sprint day

24 09 2018

The past weekend was spent in Kolding, Denmark, running the Euromeeting and pre-WOC 2020. This as a part of my preparations for the world cup final which will be held in 1,5 weeks from now. The programme was from friday to sunday with sprint relay, knock-out sprint and a normal individual sprint.

Saturday was the day for the knock-out sprint. It started at 9 am in the morning with the qualification. I did my normal warm-up routines and used the warm-up map area.

qual wu.PNG

~3,8 km (area diameter 0,6 km)

The qualification went well. I tried to cruise through the course and waste as little energy as possible but still to reach the goal of being among the 12th best. I did some smaller route choice mistakes, but was in full control and managed to take a clear win in my heat. However, it did not matter as the selections for the quarter finals were done via world ranking and not qualification time. After the race I did some proper cool down at the arena which was the only place allowed.

qual-cd.png
~2,2 km (1 round ~120 m)

As I had the best world ranking among the starters at Euromeeting I was put in the first quarter final which started 15.24. So, at 14.45 it was time to start the warm up for the 2nd race of the day. This time back and forth at the track in the quarantine for the quarter final.

qf wu
~4 km (area diameter 100 m)

The quarter final went smooth in the beginning. I was in front, cruising, but then the Finish girls started to push harder, but I felt in control and towards the 3rd last I came up in front again due to better map reading. Unfortunately my map reading to the 2nd last was not the best as I had not seen a closed passage, so I went wrong. I realised the mistake quite fast, but as the group was almost all together at the previous control all the other 5 runners had passed me when I turned back. I was therefore last with just a couple of 100 meters to go. Luckily I had a lot of power so I passed 3 of them rather quick. This meant I didn’t need to sprint all the way to the finish as I had secured the 3rd place, which however was the last qualifying spot, but still the one who brought me to the first semifinal which I wished for.

Then it was time for a quick cool down inside quarantine 2 which was the place to be after finishing the quarter final.

qf cd.PNG
~1,4 km (1 round ~190 m)

As I had qualified for the semifinal I had to move to quarantine 3, which was inside an old barn. This was also the ”rather limited” warm-up area for the semifinal.

sf wu.PNG
~2 km (1 round ~80 m)

The semifinal started 17.07 (half an hour late), and it went all well. Me and Karro was put in the same semi and it was only going to be 2 runners who qualified for the final in each heat, so we knew we had to be nr 1 and 2. We tried to push quite hard from the beginning but it was a challenge to get any gaps as it was lots of controls and also a map change which made the course tricky. I did one route choice mistake in the middle of the course and had to chase some seconds, and towards the 2nd last control I was 3rd behind Martina Ruch and Karro. However I trusted my sprint speed and also due to some good map reading I could pass both of them out of that control and after a quick speed up Karro and me got a gap so we could cruise the last meters to the finish as nr 1 and 2 which meant both qualified for the final! Mission completed, but it was a quite tough one. The margins are not big in races like this.

Once again a quick cool down, for the 3rd time this day and 2nd time round that small house in quarantine 2.

sf cd.PNG
~1,4 km (1 round ~190 m)

Once again we had to enter the barn for the last quarantine of the day and also the last short warm up for the day. Now it was time for the final which started 18.00.

f wu
~1 km (1 round ~80 m)

The final also went well, but it is very hard to stick to the pre-decided tactics as you never know what the others will do and when people do mistakes or not. I was sometimes in the lead, but at the arena passage also 4th. I did some good routes after the passage and got the lead again. However I did some minor hesitations towards the 2nd last and lost the grip on the map and did not manage to chose the planned route to the last control. During this hesitations Karro passed me, and then it was full speed towards the last. She was very quick out from that one and even if I managed to catch some meters towards the finish line, the sprint was a little bit too short and I finished just half a meter behind her after a very good sprint by both of us. I love it when it is tight, and it is interesting how small the margins are. It was also nice with a Swedish triple as Alva finished 3rd and two good runs in the men class by Isak and Anton who finished 2nd and 3rd.

As it was one more race to prepare for the day after this one, we draged ourselves out on the 4th and last cool down for the day. Once more around the garden! (Even though we at this time may have been allowed to run somewhere else as the competition was over…)

f cd.PNG
~1,7 km (1 round ~190 m)

Well, this was a day of a knock out sprint. In total 26 km running, and the warm up for the afternoon started before 3 pm and ended more than 3,5 hours later, around 6.30 pm. As you can see we are often offered very limited spaced for warm up and cool down during international sprint races. This time if was extra ordinary with the warm up for the semifinal and final inside the barn (with a concrete floor) with a maxium round of approximately 80 meters. You have to be ready for whatever.

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The afternoon before the knock out sprint we ran a sprint relay. I ran in Sweden’s 1st team with Max-Peter Bejmer, Eric Börjeskog and Karro. I did quite a stressed race as I had troubles getting into the map, but managed to stick close to the lead all the way anyway. In the end I tried to close the small gap to the Finish 1st team runner Maija Sianoja, but she was strong and I did two smaller mistakes, so I did not manage to reach her and changed over to Max as 2nd, 5s behind. Max did a very good race, changed in shared lead with Finland and with 20s down to the 3rd team. Eric also ran well, but did some smaller mistakes and some other teams were running fast, but he still kept us close to the favourite teams and sent out Karro as 4th, 19s behind. Karro delivered as always on the last leg and brought us all the way up to a victory! Always so much fun to win a relay!

sr laget.JPG

Photo: Danish Orienteering

The day after the knock out sprint it was an individual sprint. My legs felt very tired after completing the full knock out the day before. (It is actually a bit unfair if there is important races already the morning after a knock out as it is quite uneven if you do 1, 2, 3 or 4 races that day. 4 races and 26 km of running can kill your legs quite a lot…) However, I managed to find some energy and push hard all the way even though it hurt. I did some route choice mistakes and also a control mistake on the 2nd last control. Again it was a tight fight against Karro and again she had the margins one her side. I was 3s behind on 2nd spot. I just love our tight fights! All in all a great weekend with important preparations for the world cup final in 1,5 week.

tko.jpg

Photo: Øystein K. Østerbø

Maps and results can be found here.
The Swedish team for the world cup final can be found here.





SM – 2 x gold!!!

20 09 2018

Last weekend I ran the Swedish middle and relay championsships and it was some magical 24 hours as it ended with two gold medals. It just couldn’t have gone better!

After World Cup in Norway I started up my practical work at Hallsbergs orienteering school where I will “work” as a coach for a total of five weeks until the beginning of November. I also skipped the Swedish long distance championships the weekend after the world cup as I was too mentally tired to compete again so soon. Instead I spent the weekend at home in Gotehnburg, visiting friends and family and also got the time to do some good training sessions focusing on the world cup final in Czech Republic which are some weeks away.

After one more week in Hallsberg I felt ready to hit the competition scene again and it started with the middle qualification. I ran a solid race without any mistakes. I just had some small hesitations during the second part of the course where I tried to find the right “qualification intensity”. I won my heat with over a minute and gave myself a good starting position in tomorrow’s final – the 4th last starter (as I was in qualification heat D).

The final started good – I got a good feeling both physically and technically and after watching the splits I would say it was even a very good start. Already at the 4th control I had a 38s lead. I would say it was not due to hybris ;), it was more due to a very offensive but secure orienteering. However I missed the right route choice to the 5th, I saw it some seconds too late and also I misinterpreted the height of the hill on the left route. I changed route half way and decided to go straight, but hesitated a bit through the cutten green and also got stuck a bit in the cliffs. I got some negative thoughts “now I fucked up the race”. However, I was able to leave it behind and I “only” lost 30s to Karro (who managed to carry out the same route as me half a minute faster), and 35s to the best split. After the 5th I saw Elin Månsson who started two minutes ahead so I got into positive vibes quite fast again even though I felt I had lost time on the previous route. I passed Elin almost directly by doing better micro routes and could continue with great orienteering. I did a small direction mistake to nr 9, and also some small hesitations to control 13 otherwise it was perfect navigation. When approaching the arena passage with only a few controls left I felt I had done really good and just waited to get the positive feedback from the cheering crowd and the speaker. I heard that I took the lead by over 2 minutes and that Elin, who I had caught, was the one at 2nd place. However I knew that Karro started 6 minutes behind and to be able to beat her I knew I must continue to run a clean race. The last loop went through some really open white forest, but I fought hard to keep my focus and to push hard physically. Luckily my body still had some power so I was able to keep my speed high all the way to the finish line.

I took the lead by almost 3 minutes (but Elin came in 15 seconds later, so the  lead was then 2 minutes 14 seconds). I knew I had at least a silver medal, but the speaker shouted out that it only had been seconds separating Karro and me out in the forest. Soon Karro came to the arena passage and at that moment she was 19 seconds behind. I know that if its someone who can run in 19 seconds on a short last loop, when she has a scent for victory, it is Karro. It was then very exciting following the speaker counting down (which you by the way should not do as a speaker!), and I felt that no matter how it ended I had reached my goal with doing a very good race, and also that me and Karro took the gold and silver (which we ”decided” in the quarantine some hours earlier) – but of course I crossed my fingers for the gold medal. Karro catched a lot of seconds by winning the last 6 split times, but she was 7 seconds too late and then it was clear: I HAD WON! I had won my first medal in middle distance at the Swedish Championships and It was a gold medal after a very very good race! An incredible feeling! [Results.] (I have two gold medals from Swedish championships before, one from long distance 2012 and one from the relay 2016).

After prize giving I celebrated the gold by being the last one left on the arena due to a doping control, but I guess that’s how champions often celebrate their wins! 😉 Later during the evening we had a nice dinner with the club and putting the focus on for next day’s relay.

GMOK-babes had 4 teams on the starting line in W21, and in my team Lisa Holer ran the first leg and Viktoria Tingström the second. No one of them were in the team when we won 2 years ago (then it was Kristine Berglia and Anna Forsberg). We had set up the tactics the day before and I felt very relaxed for what we were going to do out there in the forest.

Lisa did a solid start. A run with a lot of patience she worked herself up in the field, passed the arena as 2nd and kept it up until the finish. At that time it had split up quite much behind. She was one minute behind Linköping – who had their best runner on the first leg, and then a 40 seconds gap down to Lidingö on 3rd place with some other teams quite close behind that. Viktoria continued the relay and one could see some nervousness in that girl when heading out ;), but I had full trust in her capacity. Soon she over took the lead and did very well. There was some teams who went fast behind and catched some time, so by the changeover we were 3rd, but just 8 seconds behind leading Tisaren and with Tullinge SK in-between. A perfect starting position for me – I seemed to like it. 😉 (Look at the photos below.)

I passed Tullinge already on the long run towards the starting point and then I passed Tisaren on my way out to the road on the right route choice on the long leg to the first control. I could still see Josse in Tisaren towards the 2nd, but after the 2nd control (where I had a lead of 25 seconds) I didn’t see anyone. I did a small mistake out of the 4th control, but felt quite relaxed and ran with 100% focus and with route choices that meant no risk at all – but without being defensive. I didn’t feel fresh in my body when it was uphill, so it was a fight. Towards the arena passing I was eager to hear how big my gap was. I felt relaxed, but always with a small feeling that Karro for Järla soon can show up in my back. But, after passing the arena I could hear that I had a 2,5 minutes lead (still to Tisaren) by that control. However, I started to be really tired and did a small hesitation to the 2nd control after the arena passing and also a bad route to the 4th last control. But, I felt that I still had plenty of time – that had probably just cost a minute, and by keeping full focus the last controls it will go my way. I stuck to my plan, hit the controls well and by the 2nd last control I dared to relax and let the feelings of running towards a 2nd relay gold medal and a 2nd gold medal during the weekend, come to me. It was just amazing. I cruised to the last control and then when I saw the crowd and Lisa and Viktoria I could start celebratitg for real. It is such an awesome feeling doing a run in together with your whole team and just enjoy all emotions of happiness and satisfaction! So cool and I could do it over and over again!

Our relay performance was solid from start to finish. We were all happy with our races – a true team performance. I also felt a lot of joy for Viktoria who became injured some weeks before the relay two years ago and was not able to run when we won that time. It was also fun to follow the other gmokbabes-teams as we became the best 2nd team (11th) and also the best 3rd and 4th team. [Results.]

stafett 8

Now I’m in Denmark at Euromeeting ready to do some sprint preparations for the world cup final. We will run a sprint relay tomorrow (my team: me – Max-Peter – Eric B – Karro) and then a knockout-sprint on Saturday and normal sprint on Sunday.

 





World cup round 3 – 6-6-6 and a win!

4 09 2018

I am just starting to recover from the very tough world cup weekend in Norway with 4 races within 48 hours – but what a weekend! 6th in all individual races and a win in the relay where I also managed to win the first leg.

My shape has been good since WOC and training has been going on just as planned. The weekend before the World Cup I ran a 12km race in Idre (2XU Idre Fjällmaraton). It was a race with a mix of terrains: from asphalt and gravel roads, to small paths, pure mountain forest and marshes. I won the race clearly, as it unfortunately was not so many high level competitors on the short course, but still it was a sign of a good shape.

Photos: Nisse Schmidt / Anna-Lena Andersson

The whole summer I’ve been focusing on sprint and flat asphalt running, but after some high speed forest orienteering sessions the past weeks I noticed that the shape in forest was there as well, so I went to Norway with a good self confidence.

The day before the long I woke up with a sore throat so I skipped the model event and slept more or less the whole day. And when I didn’t sleep I ate. Somewhere inbetween two-hour nap 2 and 3 the soreness disappeared. I took a walk in the evening (round the building x3) and then went to bed for the night and woke up feeling ready for the long distance.

I have not been completing many long distance races the last couple of years due to both injuries, sicknesses and selections. This means I am not so very used to the 1:15 000 scale, but the map and the terrain during this world cup long distance was clear enough to read and much a like what I am used to from Gothenburg so this was not as big problem as I may have expected. I had some smaller hestitations the first 4 controls, but got into it more and more. I felt strong in the flatter parts and also in the heavy marshes as I am used to the running technique which is needed in the grass. I did a small mistake on the second last control, but I still felt that I had done a good race when crossing the finish line. It ended up with my best ever long distance result internationally with a 6th place – the previous best was 8th on EOC in Sweden 2012, so it was on time.

The next day it was time for a prologue in the morning and then a pursuit in the afternoon. I did a stable race in at the prologue and the result was 6th again (shared with Marianne Andersen). However I was more than 2 minutes after Tove, but it was tighter to the girls before me, but also to the ones behind. I have learnt to like head-to-head running so I was looking forward to the pursuit. Again some smaller hesitations in the beginning of the course, but managed to catch the ones who went out as 4th and 5th, but got caught by Sabine who went out as 8th. Marianne got a small gap and disappeared to the 8th, and me and Sabine splited up in two different route choices. However we came together again, but I still thought Marianne was before, even though we now have passed her. During the arena passing I did not get I was 4th, and also not that the big chasing group was that close behind. I ran very well and offensive towards the 10th control and got a gap on Sabine. Unfortunately I did a face plant on the way to the 11th, lost my direction and had to change route choice. I did not execute it well and lost one minute. When running towards the 11th control I saw a big group coming from the right and I just managed to grab the tail of the group. I had to accept the new race conditions and try to be smart. However I was too far down in the group to manage to get Kamilla Olaussons back when she chose an own route to the 13th. The girls before me did a good orienteering job and it was hard to get a better position… I tried towards the second last but got stuck between some trees just before the control and was only 8th there. I know I have a strong sprint finish, but it was a little bit too rough way out to the field so Marianne got a too big gap, but I did manage to pass two runners and get the 6th place – once again. Three times 6th – the number of the beast – and very stable individual performances. No race was perfect, but I am happy to be able to do that good forest orienteering again and reach the podium twice!

15 hours later it was time for the last race – the relay. I was selected to run the first leg in the first team – finally I was going to run a relay in the same team as Karro and Tove. I started offensive as I knew my shape was good. I got into it very well to the first control but got a little bit too relaxed towards the 2nd and did a small mistake. No stress, I got back into it and managed to get back into the lead at the 5th control. I pushed hard towards the arena and also on the road after. I felt that it started to split up behind, but then I got really tired in the uphill. Luckily Lisa in our 2nd team had a strong part and I could just stay in her back and read my map. When we had reached the top I felt my legs came back to me again – I still felt very fresh in the flat parts, so I tried to keep up the speed, but also stay close to the map to not to any stupid mistakes in the end. No control mistakes, but a small direction mistake out from the 2nd last, but I could run offensive down the slope and still sprint into a victory of the first leg and send out Karro in a leading position. A perfect start and a perfect end as both Karro and Tove did very well and we won with almost 2,5 minutes! A world cup victory – a perfect end on an awesome weekend! It didn’t look good at Thursday morning, but it shows that things can change rather quick… 🙂

Photos: Stefan Månsson / WOC 2019 Karl Orud/Martin Nielsen

All in all a super weekend as so many runners in our team did so well. Sweden took all victories but one (not the men’s relay – but it was a close call as they were 2nd and 3rd, only some seconds behind). The terrain for next year’s world championships seems to suit us well, and I am eager to do the forest job which is needed to perform in the area again in a little less than one year.

Link to results, GPS and maps.





WOC in Latvia – 5th and PB!

25 08 2018

It is soon 2 weeks since WOC ended and 3 weeks since my only race during the week. It is more than time to write some words about it, as it is soon time for the next competition – the world cup round 3 in Norway next weekend. Why it has been taken this long to write is partly because of the “WOC depression” that always hit me, but also because I have had too much to do. More about this later.

WOC – world championships in Latvia, the main goal of the season. I was selected (only) for the sprint in Riga, but was substitute for all other races (but the long distance). The troubling winter and spring (many small injuries and a relationship break-up) affected my training why my shape was not good enough to qualify for more distances this year. Actually I qualified for the middle, but as I felt more joy for the sprint and Sara for the middle we did an exchange.

From the second week in June I focused my training with the goal to perform on the sprint the 4th of August. I contacted my “old” coach Ola Jodal and together we set up a daily training schedule which I really believed in. I was also very motivated for each session as I felt quite fast that my body responded well. I was also eager to work hard with my sprint routines which I had started up during the winter but not really was able to continue due to some injuries. I went to several camps (Örebro with a small part of the national team and Thierry, the national team precamp in Latvia and Chamonix/Annecy in France with Karro & Tove). All those camps with a perfect mix of technical and physical training and all of them went on very well. With one week to go to my WOC start all sessions the last six weeks had went on almost exactly as planned. I did my last really hard session at Friday one week before WOC. This also went well, but the following days when I started to rest I also felt a little sick. Probably it was due to the warm weather and some smaller dehydration, but it is never fun when you get that feeling just some days before the most important race of the year. But, no worries, I felt ready when I left for Latvia at Wednesday – i just had to take some more rest – which also can be good as it sometimes is hard to dare to rest enough! I enjoyed to meet up with the team and I felt good vibes coming.

Saturday and sprint day. Probably my only WOC performance this year. I felt so light during the qualification warm up and even though some nervousness hit me right at the start the race was controlled and relaxed. I became 2nd in my heat and felt ready for the final. Inbetween the races I tried to sleep for a while but could feel the pulse in my entire body and that is when you really feel it is the WOC day. However, I felt more relaxed when entering the quarantine and soon it was time to race!

The race was good. I had some small stress in the beginning when realising it is a lot of people in the city (a bike blocking a passage to the 3rd control et c), but got into it quite fast. From the 4th control I felt in very good control and all decisions I made was active. When looking back at the race I have taken some wrong routes (nr 3, nr 8 and nr 16) but during the race I did not take notice about this except from to the 16th control. I was so tired in the end of the course, and had been running with some chest pain (the kind you get when you for example have eaten too close to the race) for the last minutes. I saw the straight route choice but chose the one to the right as it looked more easy to execute. I did not dare to go straight as I found it a bigger risk to take a wrong turn as I felt too tired to read the map.  I then did some small hesitations before the 16th control and also at the last control with some seconds lost, but I fought all the way to the finish line. At the moment I crossed it I felt happy about my race. The minute I laid on the ground after the finish line I felt that I had done as planned and it felt good. I was also happy to get the final result which was 5th – a big personal best result at WOC. It was great to finally succeed individually – at the competition when all the best took part and when all runners do everything to perform their best. That is cool. And the best thing – it feels start I’ve just started my journey  – even if that is a lie as I’ve been in this circus for some time now, haha – but still, there is more to come.

The day after I was ready to run the sprint relay if I was needed, but both Karro and Tove felt fresh so after fixing Karros hair I went out on a second jog instead of entering a new quarantine. My legs felt so damn good and I was not really prepared to the feeling of wanting so much to run that sprint relay, as I totally had no difficulties about the selections. I just wanted to run as it is the most fun thing you can do, and it is even more fun when your legs are flying. So, this feelings was a bit new to me (also because I more or less always run at least 3 races during a championship week). These feelings continued the whole week. My body felt super, and I was ready for each race if changes would happen, but it did not. However, I had not expected to run anything more than the sprint, so I still had a very good week. A lot of cheering of course, but also some fun chit chat trainings with the boys, a visit to the (fake) sea with some beach volley and fika.

Photos: Sara Hagström

At Friday when I knew that I would not race anything I ran the middle course. Thierry put out controls and we simulated a WOC race as good as we could. I had also not been checking out any analysis about the competition from Tuesday and not really been looking at the map except from some short live GPS looks at the big screen during the competition. Already then I had decided that I wanted to run the course later.

I ran, it went very well, almost no mistakes and still a strong body. Towards the last control Thierry and William cheered as hell telling I was “going to made the podium”. I sprinted all out (it really felt as a competition!) and then William told I had “beaten” the best time. I had 31:40 – however with a start a little too close to the starting point, but instead I ran too long during the arena passage. Of course it is hard to say how much tracks it was when I ran compared to the competitors during the WOC middle and how much knowledge I hsd got from following the competition at the arena, so you can of course not make a true comparison – but for me this was good for my self confidence – to really believe I can go all the way with a good race. As I have the best national team coach in the world he set up a prize giving ceremony with medal, flowers and national anthem. Haha, so much fun.

Thank you national team members for another great week. Big thanks to the coaches, physios and the chef! Thank you Karro for being the best room mate. Thank you Ola for helping with my training schedule – I think we reached the maximum of what we could do with 7 weeks! Looking forward to continue the work! And thank you Thierry for helping me with so much more than just the technical stuff.

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It was tough to get home, but I soon planned a tight schedule with lots of stuff to do to get distracted. I still felt light in my body so I started up the training quite fast and had a good training day in Jönköping with my club towards SM last Saturday and I also ran a local middle distance competition at home that weekend. Additionally I put my apartment out for rent, so know there will be some months with the bag. This due to that I will spend parts of September and October on the orienteering school in Hallsberg as i have a practical work period in my pedagogical studies at the university. I am looking forward! I have also spending a lot of time with friends and among that a visit in Stockholm at Karros place. #life

At the moment I am in Idre Fjäll, in the north of Sweden together with my nice sponsor 2XU compression. Today I will run a 12k race here and enjoy the mountains. Tomorrow I go back to Göteborg before going to the World Cup in Norway on Wednesday. It will be fun to compete internationally again and excited to see if my shape will continue to be good…





Shaping up in France

24 07 2018

In the beginning of the summer I was selected to run the sprint at WOC in Latva. Or… I was selected for the middle, but Sara and me did an exchange as I was more up for the sprint and vice versa. After a successful sprint camp in Örebro I went to Latvia and our precamp. Had some good sprint days and also spent some time in the forest as I am substitute for some of the forest disciplines.

After some days at home I went to France for a training vacation with Karro and Tove. We didn’t want to spend the whole summer at home or in Latvia just training for WOC, and France seemed like a good option to still get good training but in nice surroundings and to feel some holiday vibes as well.

I arrived some hours before the others and went for a long run up Crêt de la Neige, outside Geneva. Perfect start of the trip, and the Jura mountains are wonderful. Then I picked the girls, and we drove to our first destination: Chamonix. We had rented an apartment in town with a great view of Mount Blanc. Then there were days with training, both track intervals, flat thresholds and long runs up up and up! It is crazy how you can trick your mind to not feel tired just because you drown in the amazing views.

When we were in Chamonix France celebrated its national day. However, it may been too many tourists in town as we did not see that much of celebrating. Or perhaps everyone was waiting for the next day, the World Cup final in football? How great to be in France when France is playing for gold? I was looking forward to this and we planned the day to be in town at 5 pm when the game started. Before that we took the bahn up to Aiguille the midi, 3842 masl. Not the best way to recover after a threshold session, and it was a bit cloudy, but still cool to visit that place (together with half of Japan)… Then it was time for the game and the athmosphere was awesome as France played well and later on won. Me and Karro had dressed up in French jackets and tried to hang on with the celebrations as best as we could! Felt a bit French for a while ;)…

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The morning after we left Chamonix and did a sprint and track training in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois before heading to St Jorioz south of Annecy where we had an apartment just by the lake. Now it was Tour de France time in town and the 10th stage passed on the road outside our place which meant the road was closed from early in the morning. Therefore we couldn’t take the car and go to one of the TDF-climbings as we wanted, and instead we ran up a mountain close to where we lived and then continued to the starting place of the tour. It said swosch, and then all the cyclists had passed, but still it was interesting to take part of the big tour de France circus. Now we had got an enough load of testosterone sports, so the following day we went to Chambéry to show the city people some sprint orienteering. We simulated a WOC day with qualification and final and I had two good runs. The city was perfect for sprint and we could feel the vibes from the Swedish success at the WOC sprint 2011 with Linnéa, Helena and Lena top 3 and Anders as 2nd. Way to go!

The last days in Annecy was spent with a spectacular long run up La Tournette (2351 masl) with a panorama view that could make anyone crying of happiness. We also tried a Via Ferrata (first time for me and Karro). Hanging on this mountain wall also almost made us cry, but not due to happiness, but longing for mama (due to fear of hights…). At friday we ran a last sprint in Annecy town, which is just beautiful and with lots of nice coffee and ice cream places. Before heading home on Saturday I had a great threshold session along the biking road by the Annecy lake. Just flat and straight – when did I start to love that? Would have been great to do a 10k race there. Probably a good way to set a record :).

Thanks to Thierry and Göran who fixed maps and planned some courses to us, and thanks to the french people who helped putting out controls for the sprints. Valuable for our sprint preparations towards WOC. Merci beaucoup!

Now I am home again, and it is just 12 days until WOC starts at the 4th of August.

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Could it BEE more beautiful?





2nd at Venla with #gmokbabes

19 06 2018

The Jukola weekend in Finland is over for this year and once again it was some memorable days. As usual the surroundings were great: sunshine, a nice staying by a lake in the forest with the club and a cool competition terrain!

We went there on Thursday and got out in the forest and realised it looked like we have expected. ”Just as Tibro”. Then eating dinner and preparation meeting with the whole squad (4 venla teams and 2 jukola teams). The night ended with a movie task where we in groups of 4 made a short movie with the theme ”anything”. The result of the filming was going to be shown the day after…

At Friday we once again went out in the forest. A bit more tricky area, but still I got a good flow. The last runners arrived and after a relaxing afternoon and evening with team photos and team meetings we watched the movies from the day before. So much fun and the team spirit was on top!

Saturday – relay day! 4 venla teams on the starting line (for the first time in GMOK history). Line for our 2nd team showed the zebra legs were fast that day by being in the lead to the starting point. Lisa was running for my team and she followed our tactics by being in control all the time. There were some really fast runners pushing hard on the 1st leg (smahing the estimated times by far) so Lisa sent out Anna on the 2nd leg as nr 33, +2:42. Line for the 2nd team was 84 (+5:58), Marcia for 4th team 146 +8:16 and Jolanta for 3rd +8:20 at 152nd spot. A stable start!

Anna is the 2nd leg specialist and she overtook many positions as usual. I am also always very confident when Anna runs as she almost never do any big mistakes. She kept it together this time as well, just a small mistake at one control. She sent me out as number 13, +2:55 after leading MS Parma. In our 2nd team Moa E did a fantastic race (having the best time on the 2nd leg) and passed 67(!) teams up to position 17, actually only less than 40 seconds behind us in the 1st team. So cool! Viktoria for our 3rd team had a tough day, but Moa P for the 4th team did a nice comeback after an injury and changed over as 99th.

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Finally it was my turn. Had some runners going out both close before and after, but never saw anyone of them after the starting point :). It meant I pushed hard from the start as the course was so short. I used my very restricted finish vocabulary to ask the slow runners from earlier legs to get out of the way towards the first controls, and it worked out quite well. The flat area in the beginning was a bit scary. Was a bit unsure towards the 2nd control as it was a lot of forking in this area. However, I stayed in control and got it nicely. Was still all alone towards the 3rd, first common control. Afterwards I saw that my forking was the only one giving the opportunity to go left around the big pit and therefore I did not see anyone else and this was also a bit longer. Towards the TV-control on 5th i saw SNO and thereafter also Stora Tuna who had been going out 1:15 ahead of me. Perfect. The 8th control was the only one really tricky, but I was in full control and did not have any problems with that. However, I stressed a bit out of the 9th, not checking where I passed the track and Tuna passed me again. However, I realised it fast and could run up her back close after. We then pushed hard towards the finish, and I could send out Judith as nr 7, 3:03 behind the leading OL Norska, but in the back of Tuna and Tove. I was 3rd at the 3rd leg, so it was a good run! Runa for our 2nd team did well, and sent out Kristine as nr 21 very close to IFK Göteborg 2 who was the best second team at that moment. Kerstin for the 4th team picked some spots to 96th and Hanna for the 3rd picked some teams up to 125.

It was then awesome to follow Judith on the last leg, smashing through the field, passing team by team when they were doing mistakes. Tove was running incredibly good for Tuna so the victory was unreachable, but it was a great feeling to jump the fence and wait for Judith to come to the last control as 2nd!!! She saw us waiting before entering the run in, and was so surprised. We showed and screamed we were 2nd, and she could almost not believe it! Finally we succeeded at Venla as well after being 2nd two times at 10-mila and 3rd once the last 5 years, but ”only” 5th as best at Venla. It was also great to see how our 2nd team continued to run so well and ran in as 21st team, and the best second team, with only young runners who really have the future ahead. I am very proud of how we all stuck to the plan and how we ran during the relay! The 3rd team ended as 110 and the 4th team unfortunately DSQ, but still good performances by these girls.

After the prize giving we celebrated with some prosecco, sauna and late night swim in the lake by our house. A great end of an awesome day with the fantastic gmokbabes gang! You are the best and now we will go for the victory for sure!

Thank you coaches for all your help before and during the weekend. GMOK is well organised as always. Also thanks to the men teams who were cheering, supporting and running well themselves! The future looks bright.

Photos: Robbie Anderson, Mikael Eliasson, Moa Gustafsson, Lars Rönnols, Jukola 2018

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