Wednesday, 26 January 2011

A great start to 2011

There were a couple of reasons why I had a great start to 2011. The first being that I woke up on 1st January in a Swiss alpine ski village and went for a 22km run. I was staying with an old school friend who is now a ski instructor so I had 3 days of snowy fun reminding myself how to cross country ski again. I loved it. More photos are here.

Another reason is that my orienteering is going well. I finished 2010 in a bit of a boo with the sport and I kept making a mess of finding the controls. On January 16th ,I ran in the Compass Sport Cup qualifier for Harlequins - keen to make it 3 years in a row in the final. I know Sutton Park fairly well after a few years in Birmingham and having planned the Peter Palmer Relays there in 2006-ish. It's always trickier than you think. The gorse bushes are really fast to run around but really easy to confuse. The forest areas can be quite slow to run through and impossible to find the pits in.

The picture shows my route - I didn't really miss too much. The route to 12 /13 is wrong - I couldn't quite match up all the points. I just ran down the path and straight into 12. Kept going down the reentrant to the path and took the smaller path to the right on the edge of the OOB. Then it pretty much picks up the GPS trace again. I lost time a little bit at 4 and 8. I was a bit slow and hesitant going to 14 and I made a mess coming out. It doesn't look too bad on the trace but I ran a few metres right down the track before doubling back. I probably could have been more ambitious to 15 and take the straighter line in, but I wanted to be safe. Small mess coming out of 16, but I really am being picky. I was very happy with my run and time, winning ahead of Finnish world champs team member Riina Kuuselo. Results are here. Harlequins made it through to the final in October.

A final, probably connected reason, why 2011 has been great is that I've put together a really good month of training. I got ill in late December but I've picked up well and am feeling fitter and faster. It has meant I've been absolutely knackered but I'm looking forward to posting a good time at the Watford Half Marathon in February and racing hard at the Southern Cross Country Champs at the end of January. My time-lagged training diary is here.

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