WOC week - I was too weak
After the middle qualification I was quite confident about the middle final, although I didn’t feel as good as I wanted. But it’s not all about the feeling. I tried to focus on the technique, taking as much time for map reading as necessary. I had a promising start with no troubles. To the 9th control, I wanted to stay on the same altitude level, but due to much fallen trees, I decided to go up again and down in the stony area, this cost some seconds.
I left control 13 in the wrong direction, having a wrong course picture in my mind. To the 15th I was a little bit too high and on the way to the 16th, out of the forest, where I just would have to go straight and then a little bit to the left, I turned to the right towards the camera crew and woke up at control 19. At least, I then knew which person I had to focus on when going to control 19. On the loop after the spectators’ control I navigated safely and felt quite satisfied with my race. Finally, I achieved place 17, with nearly 4 minutes behind, definitely more than I have expected after crossing the finish line. So, not only the technique was not good enough, but also the physical condition was not the best one.
Next day, new chance, with sprint qualification and final on one day. I had a solid race in the qualification with only two small mistakes. I finished on promising 4th place, but I also realised when checking the splits, that I lost quite much time at the uphill controls.
In the final, maybe as many other runners, I would have liked to have a better (faster) feeling in my legs. To the second control, I already made a wrong route choice decision, going on the right side, instead of the left. To the third, I ended up too far on the right side. In the zoo, I felt quite confident, except on the way to the 6th control, where I had to turn (as many others). When leaving the 12th control, I wanted to run between the two fences, but I couldn’t find the passage in the nature. After some seconds of hesitating, I decided to go completely around, which let me lose some more seconds. To control 19, I nearly headed to the women’s control. The remaining controls were fine. With place 23, I was not happy. I had really focused on the sprint, wanted to achieve a similar good result as the previous year. The gap to the winner, Andrey Khramov, who was in his own league, was definitely too big. Both, technically and physically, my performance was too bad for a better position.
After some analyses, I started to focus on the relay, coming the next day. Bindi on the start, Markus on second spot, and me, taking the last leg, after first leg last year. All three of us, had a mistake to the 3rd control. Unfortunately, Markus had a bad crash running down from the spectators’ control, hurting his shoulder. But somehow, he managed to finish his race, which was really though work.
It should not become the only injury this day.
I had a really bad race again. Bigger mistakes to the first and third control cost already 3-4 minutes. The next controls were fine, but I had to fight for every uphill step. The control before the spectators’, I lost some more seconds and also to the third last on the final loop, where Zinca Ionout was coming closer and closer. The second last, he just punched behind me. Fortunately for me, he had not that much energy left for spurting, so I could “come home” before him.
In the finish, I heard about what happened with the four leading teams. I hope that Martin Johansson will be running soon again. The same I hope for Markus.
My relay-race was just the continuation of the previous days. Both, physical and technical, my relay competition was just poor.
The whole week, I was not in the shape I would have liked to be. Bad luck, but I think something was not optimal during the final preparation. Technically, I have to say, that it was disappointing, because our team had a real good preparation with a lot of training camps in relevant terrain. But WOC competitions are finally decided in your brain ;)
After the WOC is before the WOC, next week our team will go to Trondheim…