The first camp was a Tess-and-Heather training week tagged on the front of a British squad training day. We did lots of hours and found lots of controls (even if the flags weren't there). We did quite a few sessions head to head and this was really useful. My favourite was on Hurst Wood, with serious contours left after mining works and north lines that were 20 years out of date. Our styles of orienteering are very different so it was good to learn from each other. I wish that the British girls could do more training together in groups as I really push myself physically and technically when training like that. We may not have the funding and organised camps anymore, but I think we should prioritise this. When you look at other national team training camps they have a lot of races and timed exercises. We need to put ourselves under more pressure more often.
The following weekend was the national cross country championships at Alton Towers. There was loads of mud and it was absolute chaos. The course got shortened about 10 minutes before the gun so we ended up running a flat 6km. I went out much harder than any other race this season and it felt good. I felt strong all the way until the end, and although some people passed me, I generally felt like I climbed a gradually through the field ending up in 40th place - 3 minutes down on the leader. So that's 30 seconds per km. Not that I have any major ambitions in cross country, but I want that gap to be smaller next year. As an extra bonus I was quite a way ahead of the other orienteers who are hoping to run internationally this year. That gives me a lot of confidence going into the orienteering races. I'm a bit disappointed this cross country season is over now, I was just getting started.
So for the third weekend in a row, I found myself in the Lakes - this time for the Twin Peaks. I was looking forward to doing it all at proper race pace. Sadly in the few days before my foot started to really hurt and I could barely walk on Thursday. I got it checked out by a physio to confirm it was only a bruise, but to be safe I decided to take the bike and give the running a miss for a few days. Shame, but I enjoyed the biking so much that I wasn't too upset. I took in some pretty major climbs.