This weekend there was a 3 day (sprint-middle-long) competition based very close to where I live in Trondheim. I had been suffering with a knee problem all week and hadn't trained at all, so I was just going to see how things went. Bigger priority is the World Cups next week.
So rocked up at the sprint, 5 mins down the road. Warmed up for a good while and knee felt nice after 4 days of nothing. I was pleased with my performance. I made sure I had full control and didn't ever feel like stepping on the gas (although of course I was running really hard, it just wasn't that I was focusing on it). I made some good route choice decisions about getting round tricky fences, walls and hedges and I barely missed. A slight error on two vegetation boundary controls. I did get a slightly different pain in my knee, behind on the outside but it didn't stop me too much.
I can't believe the result. I came 6th, about 1.30 down on the winner. Far beyond expectations and it shows that I am in good running shape and if it comes together technically then I am capable of some good results. I am now really looking forward to sprints at the Nordic Tour, but most importantly World Students. I think this is one of the first times that my new found speed and improved orienteering technique have come together at the same time, even if it was a sprint race. Its no coincidence this happened when I was not focusing on the running speed.
The middle distance was fun, but my knee pain got much worse. It didn't like terrain. I finished respectibly, with a bit of time loss, but certainly not the 10 mins behind the winner over 4km. That was a bit disappointing. I hope that it was the knee slowing me down, because otherwise its too much time to lose.
Long leg route choice - there was an option to come right which Andersen and Hausken did
I was uncertain whether to start Sunday given the knee situation. But tempted by the fact I would be wearing GPS, I decided to go out. I took it easy physically, although easier said than done given the climb between the first and third controls. I took a bad route choice to the second control, I was too rushed making a decision and I came out badly out of the control. It was nice enough after that. I could have done a better route on the long leg. Although it was good to cut through the forest, Mari Fasting showed that it was good to drop to the lower path on the steep slope. I stopped once I got to the spectator control. I don't want to run any risks.
So it's nearly the end of life in Trondheim. I have just defended my Master's Thesis and am now about to pack my room up before heading off to the Nordic Tour. My aim for these races is to give consistant results that I am proud of. Play it safe. I'm also very excited about Jukola where I am running last leg for NTNUI 3rd team. It looks like difficult technical terrain so I am going to use the same strategy of playing it very safe. Until then, I am going to take care of my knee and potentially try a speed session on the track if it can take it. It seems to be terrain that it doesn't like.