from EOC to WOC and more

Quite a lot has happened since the last post in February. There were several trainingcamps in France, Italy and Czech Republic. And I also finished the sports military service in the end of March.

So, I’m officially a sports-soldier now. The last weeks there went past quite fast and it was a weird feeling to pack everything in the bags again and leave for good this time. I’ll always look back at the time in Magglingen with a big smile and miss living there with all the other athletes. I also appreciated having gyms, physio, massage and much more in walking distance, not to forget the delicious food every day. But I’m also happy to get some freedom back and decide on my own what to train and be again more spontaneous with individual training camps or trips to nice places. In the past months, I learned how to live like a professional (train, eat, sleep, repeat), drink lots of coffee (Magglingen has the best coffee), got better in quiz and got to know the candidates on “the Bachelor”. Thank you very much Armee Suisse for giving me the opportunity!

One week in France (Fontainebleau) with cool trainings in the rocky forests and tricky sprint cities ended already on the second last day when (despite all of us having a negative covid-test at the beginning of the camp and living in separate accommodations) several covid-cases were detected and all of us packed their bags to drive back to Switzerland as soon as possible. Luckily there was no positive case in the “Girls-Castle”. However, I was limited in my training the next two weeks as I managed to strain my calf-muscle in the last training in Fontainebleau. So I got to spend also the last weeks of sports-military in Magglingen on the spinning-bike and in the water instead of training with the others (already some calf-problems before the training camp). Not what I had wished for.2021-02-27 111618jpgTraining camp Fontainebleau (Photo by Swiss Orienteering)

2021-03-20 093424jpgDischarge in Magglingen (Photo by Armee Suisse)

Directly from discharge in Magglingen two weeks later, I drove almost 7h to Italy for my first MOC with Kasper and my brother. A great feeling to feel some nervousness again and run against international athletes and also the calf was totally fine again. I’m also happy with my sprint-shape-test, which resulted in two victories at the MOC-Champs. And in approximately 9kg cheese and wine, which filled up the whole car on the way back (besides tons of cake we got).

MOC-Camp was organized directly afterwards, so Kasper and I took the chance to run some more sprint training-competitions on the way to EOC in Neuchâtel. A big thanks at this point to Park World Tour for the great trainings despite the Covid-situation.

Short stop in Switzerland and then finally off to another camp in Czech Republic in the beginning of April. I could work hard on my orienteering-technique and managed to have some good training competitions on the “road to WOC”.2021-04-17 112701jpgTraining camp April for WOC 2021 in Czech Republic (Photo by Orienteering Focus)

The test races for EOC started only one week later with the 5000m-test on the track. I wasn’t really in shape to run a fast 5000m-test just one week after a tough trainingcamp. So the result was 40 seconds slower than two years ago, which was really disappointing even though I knew that I wasn’t in shape at all. Luckily the “real” testraces (4 sprints and one sprint-track-test) in Ticino happened already less than one week later. Definitely more “my thing” as I could win 3 out of 4 sprints despite not having the great physical feeling I used to have. This gave me some self-confidence back and showed me that I’m on the way back to feeling better.2021-04-25 161352-1jpgTestraces Ticino with some sightseeing (Photo by Kasper Fosser)

The sprint-testraces also kicked-off the final preparations (and full focus on sprint) for home-EOC in Neuchâtel, which would be a pure sprint-championship. With the sprint-camp only 1.5 weeks later, I got the competition-feeling again and managed to make another step forward in my sprint-skills. The victory at the Sprint Swiss Champs in the end of the camp was the best confirmation of my shape I could get and I suddenly felt more than ready for the European Champs.2021-05-09 152432jpgVictory at the sprint swiss champs (Photo by Remo Schönenberger)

Still surprised how it worked that my shape came back from one moment to the other, it still got better at EOC. After a great start with becoming European Champions in Sprint-Relay my motivation was high for the second part of those championships. Having some stomach problems at knock-out qualification the day after sprint relay, got me some mixed feelings but with the right food I got everything under control for the finals the next day. Being extremely nervous isn’t quite the best thing for digesting food, apparently.2021-05-14 070525jpgSprint-relay European-Champions!! (Photo by Rémy Steinegger)

Following the corona-rules meant having the heat-choice online the evening after the qualification. I’ve never thought about that much when choosing my heat nor have I been that nervous for a heat-choice before. Happy with my heat, I already got nervous again for the quarter finals and was quite afraid I wouldn’t make it to the semis. No need to worry, I could even enjoy the run-in together with Tove. 90min later (and some long minutes in quarantine) it was time to fight for 2 of the 6 spots in the final. Some hectic moments in quarantine, when we were told to take the same bib-number as in the quarter finals (I changed my shirt in the finish area and left the bib-number on the used one there) were solved by a nice organiser, who drew a personal (quite fancy) bib-number for me. I wasn’t really surprised that there was a runners choice and felt quite well-prepared for it. I wanted to reach that final so much as I had always got knocked out in the semis so far. That’s why I couldn’t really believe that I managed it after I crossed the finish line. That meant changing fast, running back to the quarantine, eating and drinking something small and running to the start again. It first felt quite hard to focus again because I already reached my actual goal of a spot in the final. Latest at the start, when I heard from the speakers that Kasper just won a medal, I got maybe even more nervous than before. Maybe because I always dream of a medal or of winning when I stand at the start of a competition and hearing the price giving ceremony made me want to stand up there as well. All in from the beginning and trying to run as fast as possible until the end sounds quite good in theory. But one small hesitation in the castle where I slipped with the compass and thought I had to turn left to get up to the bridge, got Andrine a small lead. I tried to close the gap again but had no chance against Tove and Andrine down the stairs (even though my shoes were perfect in those wet conditions). Choosing the better route back to the arena got Tove and me the lead again but I just didn’t have the energy anymore to close the gap. So the goal was to just keep Andrine behind me, which worked and got me the definitely unexpected silver medal in Knock-out Sprint. Had someone told me that I would fight against Tove for the victory in Knock-out Sprint, I wouldn’t have believed it. I had always had some problems in that new discipline and had never really managed to still have some energy left for the final (not mentioning the missing energy already for the semifinals). But for the first time, everything went as planned and I had even the feeling that I felt stronger after the quarterfinals. Definitely more than just happy with silver!2021-05-16 225339jpgSilver in K.O.-sprint (Photo by Rémy Steinegger)

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K.O.-Sprint Semi-Final, note my nice bib-number ;) (Photo by Rémy Steinegger)

Thanks to our physio my legs were again ready to fight for a sprint-medal. I somehow didn’t really manage to get into the competition-feeling right before the start after being extremely nervous in and before quarantine. Luckily I managed to concentrate well anyways after the start. Except for one bad route choice (which I still don’t really understand why it is that much slower), everything went pretty well. When I heard that I was only 7 seconds behind Elena at the arena-passage, I tried to push as hard as I could in the last part. It paid off and if it hadn’t been for the run-in, we would have had the same finish-time. A bronze medal for me behind Tove and Elena meant a whole set of medals for me at this championship. A bit disappointed about being only 6 seconds behind the victory and loosing about 15 seconds on the long route but looking back at those championships I definitely achieved more than I thought would be possible. A big thanks to everyone supporting me from home, there or wherever they were, I wouldn’t have managed without you (big thanks also to Kasper for destroying me with a lot of training some weeks before EOC ;P )! And most of all: a huge thanks to the organizers of EOC, who made an excellent job organizing the first international competition after World Cup in China 2019! It was soooo fun to compete again!!!!2021-05-16 224222jpgSprint Neuchâtel (Photo by Rémy Steinegger)

Some easy days at home, celebrating 17de Mai and our 6 medals at EOC were the best recovery to get ready for the Czech sandstone and mountain terrains. P2100590JPG6! Tried to get as many medals as we could ;) (Photo by Christian Aebersold)

So leaving for Czech Republic only 4 days after coming home from EOC was a good change. 1.5 weeks with the Norwegian team before the selectionraces for WOC got me not only really tired but also a lot of experience in those special terrains. But was also the reason why I wasn’t really satisfied with my performance at the selection races. I wasn’t fully able to concentrate on route choices and technical orienteering as I was too focused on keeping up the speed.MIR_7023jpg

Official WOC-selectionrace long distance (Photo by Petr Kadeřávek)

One week more in a cozy little cottage at the edge of Jablonec with Kasper and the Hubmänner before the official WOC-selectionraces, which we ran as a training. Not really satisfied with my performances there either due to the same reason. But anyways a good feedback, that the technique is getting better. Driving home with lots of experience in the Czech forests after about 3 weeks of hard training for almost two weeks of recovery from the steep hills. Looking forward to more of Czech Republic!

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Long distance training (Photo by Orienteering Focus)