After last year's WOC I knew that a place on the Long distance's FinalA was reachable and that the Sprint distance would be my main goal, so I worked for it all season long. However, the "Ulkomaalainen" caught a gastroenteritis 36h before the start of the LQ. I had a terrible night watching all the earlyTV Finnish programs and after 24h without eating and without proper medication with me, I had to go to the hospital.
I hate the feeling of "being-supposed-to-run-but-staying-seated-down-clapping-my-hands", but I wasn't able to run the LQ.
In the next day I ran the Sprint qualification (GPS here). I did a big mistake to the 19th but the result suprised me: more than 1min out of the final! I realized that I was fooled by my perceived exertion. I suffered during the race, but that corresponded to a slower speed. My body hadn't recovered and I couldn't give more than I had.
Then, in the relay, I ran the 2nd leg, through a safe and slow performance always by myself (GPS here). I didn't do big mistakes but also didn't go fast enough. Our team, once again, underperformed during the relay.
About the portuguese performance, this was the best WOC ever... a positive sign that our level is rising.
Among the genial IOF new rules, Portugal has risen 6 places this year, giving us a place in the 2nd division with 2 places in each final (Table here).
The portuguese team in front of our home with our landlords. New goal in life: cutting wood as that 92-year-old-man.
Wake-up music during the competition days.
What about my future in Orienteering? Right now the future is uncertain.
One part of me tells me that I won't ever have enough free time to invest in a proper amount of map training. That isn't smart to bet everything on a sport which is irrelevant in your country, when the kind of country itself is irrelevant to IOF.
Other part of me tells me that I can't live 1month without missing the feeling of navigating with a map in my hands. That I've been doing Orienteering for so long that a part of me dies if I stop.
I think it's just a matter of tuning the balance.. and that it's important doing it from time to time.
Whichever the case may be, I'm sure of one thing: I can't live without running and I really want to develop my physical capabilities. I think I haven't reached my boundaries and now I have all the proper facilities where I live.
So...what's next? Now I'll rest some days in order to recover from some smaller lesions that have been bothering me lately. Then the O'season dies in Portugal and I'll have from August to December some months full of intense sessions during the week and mountain running races in the weekends... can't wait for it!
P.S.- By the way... after being told dozens of times in the last years (3x this WOC) that I look like Grant Bluett, the Australian orienteer (I don't know him, since he isn't from my generation), I googled him... I might see some similarities, but I still can't understand the phenomenon.