Friday, December 20, 2013

Where have you been?

     Another damn year is coming to an end. Time still goes so much faster than me and it seems I've lost the sense of it, there is 5 days for christmas and I still don't believe it!
     My months have been full of studies, in november were the frequencies and in the december after the tests finished much more work came. I've been doing all it and for now I just have to worry with the upcoming exams in january, well that is what I call a "dog life".
   

    After that first cross I've done 2 more races: Other cross and a road 10K. The cross went again good, but I was too tired from not sleeping, anyway I felt again the evolution and improvement. It was 7,4km that I did in 24 minutes. The terrain was tough and there were lot of climbs, but I managed to fight and not to stay far from the front. Competition was fierce again, and the best national runners were there, I was fighting for 7th position but in the last lap I fadded to 14th. It wasn't too bad, I just got 35 seconds from the 4th place so in a better day things would be different!
    Last weekend I did a 10k on the road, I did a personal best: 33:10 minutes. It was kind of disappointing time, I've been doing good track workouts and I would expect something on the 31:30-32:30, but I make no excuses, neither road nor long distances are my strenght (yet) and I find difficult to handle such distance. I'm sure I'll have good wheels for a 3000m in january.
 

   Training is not going that fine, I lack of motivation. My life turned very hard this year and train alone almost everyday is really difficult..shall I blame myself? Keep this routine is very hard when you are just moved for love, there is the need to see something more. I don't find any support, but I prefer to keep it low than stop at all. I'm pushing my will to the extreme, maybe it is time to rethink.


Luis Silva

    

Monday, November 11, 2013

Good signs

  Hi there! November is there, and my time just runout with the amount of work that came..2 frequencies, lot things to study and lot of nights sleeping bad. University life!
  Well I found time to write here because big thing happened this weekend, it was the first big XC race of winter season and the first of two that serve to choose the guys that will be present in the European XC race championships, in December.
  My sport life isn't going great, I'm missing several days of training due to the lack of time and I guess that relfected yesterday on the race. Whatever, I have to dedicate most of my time to the studies, that is my choice. Well, the race started fine, I knew the competition would be fierce and I had to be ready to fight hard, 6,5km of race was waiting for me and to handle that you have to know you'll suffer. I was back there on the group and in the 2nd lap I caught the front guys and I stick there until the 3rd lap, when I faded back and eventually in the 4th and last lap I would lose some more places until my final classification, 13th.
  I guess I should be disappointed, but why? I tried to win, I give it a shot and I wasn't just back there waiting for an oportunity to grab the 6th place. There is no shame on trying, I felt good so I was on the front, of course I paid my effort but what if I was in a good day and I would be able to stick there until the end? I would never know.

 My pace was quite fine, I did the 6,5km in 19:55. That was a 3:08 minutes/km, that is so much more I ever done before. I'll have another shot 24th November, I'm sure I can do better than this and I'll go for it.


Luis Silva

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time, where are you?

  Gosh! time seems to run always faster than me. Some time passed since last time I posted here, not because I didn't wanted to write, but just because I couldn't find a little to come here and post some news.
   My life changed a lot, now I live in Lisbon, not alone but almost, and with that new responsabilities came to me. I've been doing serious work to keep in touch with my course, but it's being so hard this year..I always end up the week with nothing left and always wishing for a good rest, but most of the times that's impossible due to the work I have to do.

  Well, what I've been running these months? Not that much, I've trained, sometimes less than I should, but the essencial is that I felt some improvment and I can take that. I had 2 competitive experiences, road of course, first was in the begin of september, a 10k race and then it was a 5k race. I felt good on both, time were not so important but I wanted to remain competitive and I did that, so those were good experiences.
   I'm a bit worried that I'm not training that fine now, but I will not worry too much. Every year, by now I had already a lot of train on my legs and that eventually would make peak too soon, so this year I really hope to feel the peak as late as possible.
   My aims are not clear right now, I think I'm just looking to compete more and better, but of course I will not waste de 2014 European championships on my home land! I'm trying to not focusing particularly on a specific competition, I don't want another disapointment, but as I said I want to see how far can I go, with no pressure. First of all I need to find a routine, I've been having problems with time, but mostly I think that it is because I'm not being organized and that, for sure, I'll improve.

   I'll give news, I will have some activity in the begin on November and I really hope to comeback with good news!



Luis
 
   

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ready?

  My 2nd year is almost there! I know big wave of work is about to coming, my timetable is terrible! but that doesn't scare me, on the opposite of last year I know exactly what I have to do if I pretend to get the job done.
  Another big change will happen here. I will move finally my baggages for Lisbon, the city where I study, That will make everything so much easier, ok not everything..but at least I'll be close to my training place and my colleague, and that is the 2 major things I wanted to have!
  I'm training now for about 3 weeks. The first 2 weeks were nothing more than free running, but september brought more seriously training and I'm struggling little coming back to the usual training routine. Well I have a minor problem on my left leg but at least nothing compared with last year. I train now, more often, with my group and I have to say that with them things are so much easier! When it comes to a interval training, nothing better than do it with someone on your side, or even on your front.
   What is being different? Well as I said, I feel another purpose for running. I'm so much stronger than last years and that is making all difference on my daily routine, I hope I can carry this and in the end of next year I'll have another good stories to tell, another mistakes to point and much more to improve.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Last breaths of summer.

  Time flies.
  I see the end of my holidays coming fast, but I can't regret. I had good holidays, I could rest at home and dedicate myself doing other things and have new experiences.
  There were days where I was just lie down on computer, but with happiness I was able to get out of that lazy life and make myself active person again. I cycled to the beach, I swam there, I enjoyed good time with my friends, I went to discover pleasures of life I cannot meet during the year. So it worth, and I'm glad for that.
  It was good decision to stay at home this year and don't go on jwoc. I was little afraid I could regret my decision but not at all, it was so peacefull to get out of that world for a while..sometimes I felt like my life was dependent on the success I could get from there. Like I forgot how it was doing sport for simple pleasure. It is easy to talk about it, but in fact I think it is difficult to actually enjoy it when you have your head overloaded with those thoughts of results and that kind of crap. I know I would never call it that in the past, but time changes, as metality does as well.

  What about now? I'm little reluctant of leaving this kind of life behind, without big worries, but I guess I'll have to build up my routine again, this time, hopefully, more efficient. My season already started, but it wasn't like the past years whereI would just choose a day and say I would start to work hard, I just took long time to restart my engines. Slowly I started to cycle, at the begin just few days in the week. Then I started to run some few days, but still doing much less than cylce. Now I'm doing it everyday, but more running and for strenght I started to practice Muay Thai lessons, which I like because I can train my fight skills (kidding!) and also 'cause of the hard endurance work we do there. Later this month and next one I will start to run everyday and dedicate my atention on there, but I'm sure I made good decision on going really slow from the begin.

   My speech suprise me because I always find a way to forget the past and look on. I will never erase it. This blog is the proof, I did lot of mistakes and I payed for most of them. But at least I can look now and see that with time age seems to make me wiser and see things on other perspective.
   There still so many years to learn and see much more, I'll be glad to enjoy those.










LS



Thursday, July 25, 2013

The highlights of my season

  My season is finished, and as always I like to look behind and see what I did, where it brought me and if it was right.
  I guess I didn't have anything acumplished. I was little lost from September until November, when I suffered some injuries on my feet. I insisted that I suffering from my running technique and I started to change that, it was hard thing during this year but I guess it is working as I didn't suffered more injuries and I'm running considerably better. Finally in december I started to train and checking my train from there until now I predict that I did around 2500km of running, not including other types of training. I don't know if that is lot of km's, but for sure some months I was doing a lot of work and the worst was that I was doing it alone without the proper supervision. For sure my levels of endurance came up, but that only last couple of months before I started to suffer of tireness.
 

  I had some good races during the season. It was good experience to come up to the senior class, but after some reflection that was too soon, as I felt lot more pressure. Anyway I like to remember good moments and in february I was for sure with a really good shape, if I could be close to that in june I think jwoc would be seen in other way.
  Again I think I got too soon on top shape and I shouldn't but I can't avoid it, motivation is always big in the begin but then it start to decrease. It is strange because the harder training just came after and I was not running that much before february, so I think my attitude was the secret. When I was in Finland, the trains I did there with that cold...well I guess it was really hard and translate it to a hot warm it would had been really good speed. I think my problem is starting too fast, always give too much instead of taking it easy. Must start SLOWER!


   About running, this was a good year. In the end I was able to give a turnover and I dedicate more on track and field. I was never a track runner because I was used to run on the forest and that made me too heavy, as I like to say: "I was like a tank on the road" and even I was strong that wasn't so good. Incredible was the change I took in 2 months, thanks to my coach and I posted personal bests from 800m to 5000m. 1:58,13, 4:05,67 and 15:26,60. Those are not great time but I could have done it so much better if I trained for that. I think I'll cute much more seconds from those times.
   Next year for sure it will be different. My focus changed as now I'm looking more for running, this is not a: "Im leaving Orienteering ". No, never. I just want to develop myself as much as I can and alone I cannot do it, the only chance is with a good coach, good in the meaning I can see him almost everyday and he can tell me what to do and where to improve.
  That means that for now I just can do it on running. I don't think is easy to understand this choices but..well I just look for the future.


Luis Silva

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Nice :D

  Wednesday: 800m, friday: 400m, saturday: 1500m. All those 3 races took place during this week. I was rewarded with a good personal best at 800 and a savy race in the 1500m.
   The 800 were held in a very competitive race. I knew I had to play hard if I was going for a good time, and that is what I did. My start is always slow, but this time I said I wasn't going to be gapped and I went to catch the front guys, I was on the shoulder of the top 2 guys and I just fadded in the last 100m which brought me a 1:58.13. I was for sure on the route for 1:57ish and that is kind of weird for me because I didn't think that in my second experience in this distance I was going for that time :D, but I miss train so I was happy that I had a strong attitude.


  Friday worked as a preparation for today, I did a weak time: 54.20, but that was my first time in a 400 and it was cold and windy night, my body just didn't reacted. Anyway I acept what I got and for sure in the future I want to improve my speed.



   Today was the important day, very good field but a awfull day. Strong wind, and that was for sure a really factor. The race started fast and I was in the end of the group try to find a normal rythm. As the race followed up I was climbing positions and I was not so far from the front guys. I worked really hard to stay there but it was impossible not to fade on the last lap as I was working alone. I passed with 2:40 at 1000m and I ended in 4:07. It was a big death but considering the conditions and the position I end up I really believe it was a sub 4.


  Is this the end of the season? I guess so, tuesday maybe I'm going for another race of 1500m. I'm really enthusiastic to go there because I want to get close to 4 minutes.



Luis Silva

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer time!

   I missed to write here! After my exams I was finally in holidays mood and I've been relaxing and enjoying good time with friends.
   It is not usually for me to be free so early in the summer, usually I would get some international competition and I would still be on fire until july. But this was not a usual year and many things changed so I saw the Jwoc from home, it was different experience, I felt kind of sadness but for other side was good because I felt that orienteering still gives me motivation. For other side I knew I was right of not being there, it was a right decision for the future! Still I was glad to see how good portugueses went there, propz to all them and thank you to give a good image to Portugal!

  After this, it was time for an incredible Woc, where I saw the portugueses beating every best result we had ever had before. It was really nice and it made me very happy that finally someone that was capable of getting good results could deliver it on the moment. I guess it was a really big step into the future, a sign that beside difficulties there is still motivation to get results, so another big propz for all 4 and the coach!

  About me and my training, I still continue to train. I resumed it to easy runs and track workouts, major speed workouts. I was still aiming for a weekend race to end my competitive time and get the rest I need, and that happened this weekend where I went to participate in a 1500m and 800m. My aim was to beat personal bests, and that was what happened as I cameback home with 4:05.67 and 1:59,55. I guess I wanted little more but I never ran 800m before and in 1500 I did some mistake.
  The 1500 was the race I knew I had to push to have a good time, the guys there had moreless the same level so I had to work. 65 for the 1st quarter, 2:10 for 800m, 2:42-2:43 for 1000m which mean the race was paced good. I pushed the first 800, than I let myself get little behind in order to have something in the end, but that was the mistake as 2 guys passed me and give a push which left me alone, I worked hard in the last lap to get them but I just could end right behind one of them.
  In the 800 today I guess I was afraid, I started fast and I tried to cover the fast early pace. 58-59 range at 400 and I started to push harder in the last lap but I was afraid to blow up and I ended with something left on the tank. I was happy anyway, because I never did ran that distance so be able to start under the 2 minutes line has to be motivating for me.


  Well, I still have one more race on wednesday, another 800 and after that I will continue moving until 31st july where I hope finally to stop for a while and start to think on another season. Until there see ya!




Luis Silva

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fine weeks

  Much time passed since last time I posted here. It wasn't because anything was happening on my life, I was just looking to find my way of getting out of the hole. I thought giving up on Jwoc would be difficult and big thing but I was surprised how good and easy it was, it was like a big weight I took of me.
  How deeper than this I had still to go to be satisfied? No more, this was what I was looking for, piece and mental rest. I'm too young to be pressured about such goals, train so hard and suffer so much.
  After this I thought my season was over and I just needed to study for a little more and then I could enjoy summer. I could not be more wrong as with the time I started to react to the train and I had some competitions again, but this time just running on the track, nothing more. I started with a 1500m, just to see where I could get without any specific preparation. I went to a race where were really good guys, I started with them and I did 1000m on the group (I passed there with 2'41) but then two guys left from the race and a gap was opened between me and the group and I had to hang on alone on the last lap, coming home with 4'06 and much more to give but still really satisfied because that was the turn over I needed to regain some confidence.


  One week after I competed again, this time on 5000m. I wasn't particularly happy of going run such distance, I knew I was going to struggle and the problem was that I was in a really competitive field, fighting in the national track and field clubs championships, where what counts is the place you get on the race. My coach gave me instructions to don't take any risks and just sit back there in a group trying to get 15'35. I started relaxed and soon I got my position behind the 2nd group as the 1st was too strong for me, 1st k was hit in 3'03 and I thought I wasn't suffering at all but I was scared I struggle with the fast pace. 2nd and 3rd came in 3'08 and the 3k mark was 9'20. From there finally I decided to take the risk and I broke way from the group of 8 runners. It wasn't my plan to give that sprint, as first I just moved next to group leader shoulder but then I saw a runner some meters ahead and I thought that maybe I could get him and I went, I passed him and I found myself alone. I did the last 2 k's in 6'06 on my own to get 15'26 and the guys from the group never came to catch me, there were some juniors so I'm happy I got the 2nd best national mark of the year.

  It was for sure a good time for a 1st time in this distance, but I'm surprised because I thought I would never get to such time that easily. I felt like I could get to the 15'00 barrier, even alone, as I was running with scare of push harder. 2 days after I run again that distance on the road, but this time alone and with some climbs I did 15'32.
 

  Everything seems to go on the right direction, and getting far from somethings just helped me. This weekend I'll go down the distance again with a 1500m and 800m to gain some speed. Next year will be more about this, feels right to be running without feeling stuck and I want to continue.




LS

Monday, May 27, 2013

An earlier end

  My orienteering season ended last week with the NC of middle and relay. It is little sad that I had to ended it with a DNF on the middle and a poor performance on the relay, that didn't allowed my team to keep the national title. I really can't understand what happened that from few weeks ago all I know to do is giving up and don't even try to be competitive. I thought on physical reasons but I guess my training is going fine, so I think I'm just going thought a difficult time mentally...don't know why but I have to do some choices and solve this problem as soon as I can.
  So Jwoc will not be a reality for me anymore, I'm just out because I know I will not deal with it. And I'll be also out of orienteering for few months, until I can see a really good reason to get back on there. I never expected choices to be easy, but all I know is that I don't want to be on there anymore. It is not positive when I let people full my head of shit and I forgot that I was really doing it because I just liked and I had some fun. When that ended I knew something was not going fine and my latest performances tell everything to me.
  I'll take this time out to dedicate myself for other things. I'll run, study and try to be close to the people who really care about me, I think that will help me to get to me again. After exams I'll be finally free to holidays! it is nice to see that so close..





Orienteers,
LS

Thursday, May 23, 2013

"Clash of the titans"

    Back to orienteering. This weekend I will be on the forest again, running the national championships of middle and relay. In the middle is where I expect to be stronger, and in the relay I hope to help my team to defend the title we earned last year. That will be difficult task as this year we'll face strong opposition from other teams, anyway it will give a good show and it will be quite interesting to see..I just hope we all can have good performances and keep it with us. In the middle I'll face the elite class again (as on the relay but there I'm not alone) and I just can expect for a fine performance as I'm not at the same level of the guys there. I'll be just happy to touch on the map again, as the last time were on the long distance and sprint NC..I'll be little rusty, but I'll take it out slow and carefully.

   Lot of things changed during last month that I've been training under the new coach. It takes time to get used to new methods, but I guess will be positive in long term to change some things and correct some mistakes that I made during last years. Due to the many km's I used to do my muscles were getting affected and with that my way to run, it is too soon to tell that now it is changed but for sure I feel some signs of improvement and run on the track is not so difficult now. I always wanted to learn how to run and now I think I will have finally my opportunity, after Jwoc I will look to project some aims on cross country and even on the track in order to improve more my running ability, for now I'll keep trying to look like the guys there..
  Ah! exams are coming...better be prepare for it!




Orienteers,
LS















Sunday, May 19, 2013

With the failures we learn

  Second try to run a nice 10k, second fail. I ran again the distance but this time on the road, and the final time was 34'53. Last weekend I just gave up, but here I made the effort to continue and don't get out of there with that shame.
  My week was good, and despite strong winds yesterday I was feeling good to run strong. My plan was to keep a controlled pace, something between 3'15-3'20 in order to deep under the 33 barrier. I started really fine, as I predicted, and I hit the 1st k in 3'12. In the first half I did 16'20 and all km's were balanced so it seemed to be good day but then my speed fell and I ended up in that time. What happened? There was anything that made me fall? No, I just run out of gas..is as simple as that. I was not with heavy breath or tired, my legs were just heavy because of the lactate and that happened because I was simply going too fast.
   I'm just not fit enough to run good 10k. Is not that I can't run fast but just because I'm orienteer doesn't mean  I have to be good long distance runner. I have speed, I have strength  I just don't have aerobic endurance to keep high speed for long time..naturally I'm already a middle distance runner, so that means and even without train I will not run a good 10k.
   I don't mean I can't run 10k, I already did more in training. I just mean that I can't run it at the same level I show in other situations. For example I can hammer short interval training like 15x400 and do it really fast but when it is 5x1200 I'm not as good as in the first, not even close, and the distance is the same. Young runners are supposed to be this way, fast and powerful, and going up on the distance takes years of train and endurance. I could force that now and do lot and lot of km's but I would compromise the future with that and I was risking an injury. I was wrong and equivocated about what I thought I knew, time to calm down and be patient.


Orienteers,
LS

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Brain damage

  Fuck me, what a disastrous weekend.
  Last weekend I was on the national 10 000m championships. My hope was to deal fine with the 25 laps around the track and get a time that would raise little bit my ego..but it all ended up when I stepped out of the track just after I passed the 6th km. Maybe I was just dizzy of so many laps and I made confusion between 15 and 25 or if I want to get closer to the truth I'd say I just don't have the wheels that I need to run it. I really tried to enter carefully and don't waste too much energy in the begin, and the plan was just going fine when I got 3'14 without getting harmed, but my head was just fighting against me and telling me to stop and go home, I could handle 6k with that little voice inside me but then it was just too difficult to stand. My week before that was just awful as I suffered headache, maybe caused by stress and not enough sleep, every single day and when I got to the day I wasn't on the mood to suffer.
 
   Well what can I say? It wasn't just the result I wanted and my ego, again, suffers a cut. The fact is that we all have sometimes our down times and the capacity to raise up is requested all the time. For now I'm dealing again with some easy and quality training, I just don't see myself under any pressure again...for long time this season I was under many possibilities and dreams of great things, but I guess there is the day when you just wake up to reality right?
   


Orienteers,
LS

Thursday, May 9, 2013

NC - Long and Sprint

   During last weekend took place the Portuguese national championships of long distance and Sprint. The map and the terrain used for the long race were already known as we were there in February, WRE race after Portugal O'meeting.
    I participated in the elite category, to help my club to get the national titles on those distances. Of course due to my age and a long distance of 16,5 km I would not be able to have that good performances, but anyway, I just focused on going with the pace I could handle and the most important: no mistake. I went out fine, maybe I was not that fluent on my orienteering skills because I didn't touch a map for long time before this race, but I tried to get all controls without lose much time. The plan went fine and my speed were controlled, the 6th leg was tricky so I tried to catch a good reference (you can check on my gps file), I ended up to see other runner and I went after him, making me lost almost 2 minutes.
   That was ok, 2 minutes is not big deal in a long distance, I just had to do the remaining course in good speed and without more loses. Next control we had to cross a pipe over a water line, it was the only way, from the 6th control I realized that there were a small shortcut through the dense green and I tried to got it, but I failed and I went all around to catch the path, that meant another mistake and 1:30 minutes for the first split. I got the control fine, now I could finally start to doing orienteering again without any more tricks but in the 8th control I did my biggest mistake (5 minutes) and that was ridiculous because it was obviously lack of map navigation. I ended up caught by the runner behind and I went with him until the end, finished in 8th place with a time of 1:39:03.
 
Some quick thoughts:
 # Orienteering isn't a sport that you get there with lack of map training and you navigate like a pro still.
 # Don't step up too soon, a long distance is a big deal for young runners. It was not too difficult but still the heat made me dehydrate a lot and in the end I was almost faint.
 #Attention to you "moderate speed" in the begin, is not stupid to start slow and then end up fast. I went out in a quite honest pace and I was navigate over my own skills. When the first mistake came I couldn't reenter on the map again.



   On the sprint race I was too tired to run fast. I went out good but soon I lost my power and my speed went down. Almost in the end I had a giant mistakes of 2 minutes and my race was over from there, sprint will never be my distance no matter what.  
   I just want to finish this post with some short commentary about 10mila. I was kind of sad/disappoint that I could not be there this year, it is always an amazing show of orienteering and not be there is heartbreaking. I give a praise of the junior runners who compete there and can get up to the top level, they made me see that there is no dreams for who doesn't give a honest effort to get that level. Jwoc will be tough and I already let my child dreams about that..




Orienteers,
LS

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Get faster and faster

  Time is running faster than me. May finally is coming and this will be the last month of my first year of university. It was good experience to come there and face new challenges, I've not been the best student but I've done (almost) my best and I think I can get everything done.
 
   Running also had its changes on me. I started my quality work about 3 weeks ago and now I will keep it until the big competition comes, after several months of hard work now it is time to release myself of heavy training and get faster, and the most important of all: get motivated and confident. I never gave much importance in the previous years for this fact and I thought that in this time of season was still to put heavy training on my wheels, but the result of that was always the same...I got into the competitions tired and I hadn't anything good from it.
   I will also trying to race more often this month. First race will be the national championships of long distance and sprint, I will face the elite long distance of 16,7km which I hope to handle fine. The weekend after that will be also room for a 10 000m race on the track, I really don't know what to expect but I think I can go anywhere from 31 to 33 range according to my trains. It will be tough to handle it but I think I'm prepared enough.
   I've embraced new group of training about one week ago. Sometimes the perfect way is not the best one and even I was having good success with my coach, the worst ended up to come: my motivation came down because I was training by myself. It is normal in a long distance relation coaching, I trust in my coach more than anything but sometimes is just too hard to handle some factors, so now I found a coach near to me and good group to train with. Of course they are athletic guys and I'm orienteering but for me is great motivation to keep with guys that can run 14'30 to 5000 or a 30 minutes to 10k. I'm sure the results of this change will appear soon, it appeared in the last trains I did on the track with them.

Btw, here I let the picture of the last Thursday road relay I did of 4x1500m (1450m in gps). I handled the first place of the team in the 3rd leg and I did a good split: 4'00. Which surprised me, my speed seems to get more endure and that time came with easiness. 





Orienteers,
LS

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Get some guts and move!

   Amazing, is the first word that describes my reaction about this weekend race. I was back to orienteering and this time in the 2nd highest mountain in Portugal, Serra da Estrela (Star Mountains). My week was awful  due to the 2 tests I had to do, one of them in Saturday morning, and I was quite tired to go still orienteer in the weekend, but I went still, because I saw good training opportunity there on Sunday with long distance and I can say that I didn't got disappointed.
   Yesterday I got there in the afternoon, ready (or at least I thought I was) to the sprint race in Gouveia. Race starts and I realized right there that it would be difficult, "must focus and do good route choices" my goal was, but I got caught by tricky legs and it was a disaster. I was not even tired when I finished it and I got almost 2 minutes from the 1st place, there is no miracles when you take 2 minutes in a sprint and if I was already under motivated I had now good reasons to be even more. Even I was extremely awful, the race was very well planed and the courses were all a real challenge, so, congratulations for it!
  Today. I was still feeling stupid about yesterday performance and I really wanted to get motivated and go hard. It was a short long distance and I thought I could do it really fast...when I went out I looked at the map and it looked like a ugly thing was about to coming out. I was not wrong and even my mistakes wasn't serious, I gave up mentally right after the 4th leg (20% of the race) it was just too extreme, too difficult and I didn't want to sacrifice myself there. Vegetation was everywhere, find a control was a real challenge, I was so angry and frustrated that I sit down in a rock and I stopped for a moments to recover myself. It wasn't just possible, I went really slowly all way to the end and I got 1h 37 on that terrain, it was a mental and physical torture, like I never tasted before. Even my harder races are some levels down than this race. It was extreme, but still I won, how? Don't know, but I didn't deserved it.
   If I could had done it better? Yes I could, but I'm really under motivated to push hard, maybe is because I'm tired from previous hard weeks but I'm kind of worry about this. If I can't support races like this, I can't support anything, but there still a months for it. Lets hope that this is just a moment.



Orienteers,
LS

Monday, April 8, 2013

Gaining experience.

   No time to stop. After tough weeks I had the right to have a break during last week but this weekend I was already back to competition, this time in the north of Portugal. I kind like to run on the maps we have here in the north, because I always feel like I'm running in other countries, especially in middle Europe, so I was expecting to run some nice races there.

   First day was time for middle and sprint. In the middle I got out carefully, trying mainly to focus on the race. First control came with safety and after that I started to caught some runners, due to their mistakes, and I motivated myself to run fast. Almost in the end, I and the runners with me did a mistake and we punched a control that weren't ours and because of that we all got missing point...I guess it was little shame for me, because it was a really stupid mistake and  we all had some fault because we just didn't payed attention. I remember that I knew it was in other place, but I just ignored that idea and I moved on to punch the wrong control. In the end I knew I would have won by 5 minutes, which makes my mistake even more stupid. The terrain was fabulous, but the map had some cartography mistakes that made several runners did lot of mistakes. In the sprint I ran slow but still some mistakes came, sprint is still so challenging for me because I don't have that quick decisions and I'm quite undecided on my route choices, I ended up to lose lot of time for the 1st runner and so on I guess it was just one more train.

   In the long distance again I told myself to get it easy and have good route choices. Well I really heard myself as I went out really easy (maybe too easy..) and my rhythm was always too slow. I didn't had serious mistakes but I had bad route choices and I lost several minutes. I think I have problem with this distance, I guess it was because I used to went out hard and then I used to die and now I just go during all race in so slow rhythm, and in the end I didn't gave anything from me. I was afraid of the long distance on this kind of terrain because is too hilly and tough but such fear wasn't necessary, I was more than able to handle it. I felt lazy during the race and that made my orienteering become slower.

  Long distance in the queen race of orienteering and you just can call yourself top orienteer when you have top performances on long distance, I really have to work my mind on this, I know I'm physically endure enough to run fast during 12 or 13 km, but my mind is too afraid and lazy for this. This will be the next challenge: become long distance pro.



Orienteers,
LS

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Work, Ambition, Talent(?)

   This title came in the sequence of an interview I read from Albin Ridefelt in Portuguese orienteering blog. I believe in work, that is why I train, I believe in ambition or I wouldn't be stupid enough to have bigger goals than my capacity can afford, talent I don't know...but I think it doesn't matter when you are inspired for better things.
 
   During last month I've done lot of stuff, even I didn't wrote anything it was full month, I ran some pb's, some trails and even some good orienteering competitions. Most of those performances were quite surprising for me, after many time expecting so much maybe now I just expect too little and that is why I was surprised, but as I'm getting older I guess that is the natural evolution expected. My train had changed a lot as I told so much in the begin it would, sometimes is just too hard to go out and run another impossible workout but I think this was one of the reasons of my physical evolution, my endurance grew up a lot and I'm stepping up and competing with those "big" guys that used to be miles away. 
 
   I should be happy but my latest races doesn't indicate that I'm improving. I've been doing some poor technical performances, losing lot of time and doing silly mistakes just because I can't put my head on what I'm doing. I analyse my races and even it is good result that is not my best performance, there is always a control where I will, for any reason, lost my focus and have some mistake. Other feeling is the speed I put on my race, when I did a good performance on other eyes I just think how bad I actually felt because I didn't even give anything on that race, I just control  my rhythm and try to not lose much time. Other wise when I go out hard, I usually lose enough time that without it I would make a super performance. Anyway I will lose time in both ways, one for being too slow, another for being too fast. 
    
 Seems that my ambition has no control, and I, by myself, see that I'm worried about my latest performances make me feel some kind of person I always hated, but I see there is unfulfilled room on me and I just want to be able to use it.   

    Next weekend I'll have race, I'm competing now in elite class. Going up on category was necessary as I need to get myself kicked by better athletes..Let see what will happen.







Orienteers,
LS
 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Run light, run faster.

   After this stop to think and reevaluate many things I decided to write here again. It is something I always liked and I'll not stop because of what other think, my blog is my responsibility and what I write here belongs just to me.
   My comeback is too announce about my new supporter-Inov- a shoes brand well known by orienteers. The reason I asked the support is because after my injuries on my feet I realized that the traditional shoes were affecting my running technique and with that I was loosing my speed and, as I said before, injuries were coming up. Inov has a great variety of shoes: For orienteering, for trail running and even for track and field. Now I'm using 2 different types, the orienteering shoes and the track shoes.
    I could not be more satisfied as I'm able now to run without problems and I feel comfortable with them. In orienteering I started to use the Oroc 280, specially designed for all types of terrains, from rock to sand you can use them in every places. They are resistant, I don't feel almost the impact of the spikes on the ground and they are light enough to let me still feel fast.


             
    Track shoes are something I tried to found for long time: barefoot shoes. I confess I thought that maybe it can be danger for my tendons and it really can be, but of course if your muscles and tendons were not used to the impact, they will suffer with the big change, that is why it has to be gradual. The reinforcement that you gain on your calves muscles and Achilles tendon, helps you to have a more efficient stride and gain more meters without spend so much energy. I can say by myself that I feel like "flying", maybe at the begin is strange because you are so used to have soft and in now is just tough, but give it a months and you will be sprinting. As great coach Alberto Salazar said: "To be a great distance runner, you have to learn to run like a sprinter."












Orienteers,
LS






Saturday, February 23, 2013

Last post

  I'm done about write here, I don't see any more meaning about show an image that is not your real person. This space was fine because I like to write, but it brought me problems, much more than I wanted so it is an end, maybe not definitive but will be long one.
   In my last report I have to say that I got the sponsor of Inov and this week the training camp with RR was awesome and I could learn really much. For now I'm sure about one thing: I will do it fine.








Orienteers,
LS

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Good job!

    1st test and everything was fine so I guess it is time to looking foward and move up. Today in middle I aimed again to go simple and fast, simple was possible, fast I'm not sure because yesterday took a lot from me and I'm not with train enough to handle this, but I can't be sad as I acumplished my job and now I'll have oportunity to go for other training time.


    
   Now it is time to be 1 week training with RR and start to put km again on my legs, I'll look mainly on my technical performances to correct mistakes I usually do, and in the next race I hope to show new athlete. I will compete in the elit again! Let see what can I do.




Orienteers,
LS

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The best performance

   The last few days, as I said, I was in Marinha grande training with the portuguese national team. It was important in the point I could recover from the POM and get ready for this competition, which is one small aim I have to see what I have to do to get the level I need for Jwoc. In the camp it was really good to be there with the portuguese team and also my coach, I could learn a lot and he could give me some advices for my orienteering technique. Is not that I'm bad orienteer, I can be fast on map reading but still if I want the best performance I have to look deep over all details, why I lose time and what could be done better. It was  days of that and today when the race finally came, in long distance of 11,2 km in hard terrain I had, what I can considerer, a good performance. I did 1:00:57, winning 4 minutes for the 2nd, but still was not perfect, I lost 1 minutes in a mistake and 3 other minutes in route choices.
    I feel I still have a lot to improve to get my own level, and something I'm really thinking about all the time is simplify, I realise that I will just be able to use all my speed if I learn to take it simple. is something I've been working since last summer when I was in Finland but now it is making more sense for me, because I want to get another step and that step requires that I look for the map with other eyes, that I can see those simple options that are hidden for almost everyone's eyes, and today was good lesson for that. I'm happy with myself, I think my attitude is much better as I'm starting to hear what my coach and people that know about this, have to tell me. I know that the image of me as professional athlete is far, but I can imagine it more and more clearly, I never thought to say this but I considerer to make my sport a priority, because I think I can do more and get higher levels of performance, but if before I was just dreaming about medals and glory, now I want to know more and more about how this amazing sport works and trust me, when I catch a map and I go out there it is amazing to run fast with it and solve those puzzles. It is a real mental exercise, every leg is a question for me and even all my answers are not always the best I think someday I will find the best one.




Orienteers,
LS

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Doping in the sport - Lance Armstrong and his confession

   Recently it had been in the mouths of the world the confession of one of the biggest sportman that ever existed that he used drugs to aid his incredible performances during all his competitive years. He was the winner of 7 tours de France, and also bronze medalist in olympic games, in his later career he almost died with cancer and his "cameback to live" as thriatlon athlete crowned the life of this incredible athlete that became a sign of hope for all cancer people in the world, but with his big fame came also the jealous, and he was said as a drug cheater even he never failed a single doping test, and now he just confess that he was really a drug cheater, after 100 million dollars and an incredible spread of his name, now he just put it on the mud, associated with anti-sportive attitude, cheater, acused of lie to everyone and not deserve anything he ever won in his career.
    It is quite easy to acuse this athlete, it is true he is a drug cheater and that is awfull to be done but is it really fair? all this pursuit for this athlete? no one question about how many top athletes are actually under doping, I would say that Lance is guilty but as he is, so many others are, but people just go over him because he was the best, call him lier, ok, but don't come to say he is the only one to do it, he just did what almost everyone do in his sport, and every sport where money has influence. It is incredible how more and more athletes work on laboratory and forgot what is the mean of hard and pure work, and it is just for more money. I never thought in using drugs to aid my performance and it would be ridiculous of my part that I would do it, why? it is prejudicial for my health and I can't give for my body what I couldn't get on my genes.
     Is just sad what money does for sport, it turn it a business and athletes are like objects that are made to get better performances and with that more money, we don't claim anymore the best athlete in the world, but only the best cheater. Sport is corrupted with the money, and the problem is that the world is also, no one can live without it and it gives power for the people that have it, if our idols aren't clean, the people that we look as an example and we admire, then everything is lost.


Orienteers and all sport lovers,
LS

Orienteering wave coming!

   I didn't wrote a lot before this race weekend because I was little busy with one exam to do on friday but the truth is that one really big wave of orienteering is coming to me! It started with this weekend but next week will be Portugal O'meeting, the king event of our sport. I'm amazed with the visibility that this race already have and also the recognizement that people give for our sport, we are not seen anymore as a joke sport and we won our respect, my father - a guy that barelly could believe orienteering would be big sport here - was really impressed when the TV news showed how people of Idanha-a-Nova were preparing to welcome all orienteers in their hometown. I'm living in the transition period, when orienteering pass from a unknown sport to a very potential one, much more than other, and i'm really proud of making part of the organizer team, it took 1 year of preparations and plans to give live to this event and for sure it will be a success. About the strong that orienteering has here, well it  was just possible with the work of some people who put the "house in order" when it was all mess and desorganized and I'm glad that the most of those people are still there to hold it, I may had spoken against them but now I recognize I was wrong and even sometimes we cannot agree with everything, something I can't deny is if I have still sport alive is because of that.
   After the POM I still go to the select team camp, and then it is time for my first real competition, I'm not that entusiastic about this, because it will just show what I know already: I need to train, and hard. But the good news is that I still have training camp with RR in the week after, good to put some km's of orienteering and start to built myself propelly. Can't wait for it...but still there is one exam to get done and for now I will just worry about that.



Orienteers,
LS

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good surprise!

   This weekend, officially, the portuguese calendar oppened with the North Alentejano O'meeting, a race that figure in our calendar since 2004, with the signature of GD4C (portuguese team) and with a middle distance counting for world ranking event. In my first competitive race since November I came up on men elite class, and of course I knew I would just go there to see how am I doing, because it is too early to compete with the world elite class guys, I tried anyway to give my best in both days and the result was for sure a positive surprise but also sign that there is more to do.
    After a tough week of training (I didn't rested for this) in the first middle distance was more less a disaster, not because of my position, but because I felt too headless. From the start I never felt really confortable with the map and I was running too fast for my orienteering level, so I was taking too many risks and the result was small mistakes everywhere, include direction mistakes in the end that made me lost around 2'30 minutes. A small analysis to the split times and I can see what I told, in the begin I lost too much seconds and even I could enter on the map later and do some good splits, the later mistakes took me the chance of have a good race. Anyway, 35'40 in 6,7km was not that bad but I was feelling little disappointed because I was making child mistakes. Still in that day I went to the night sprint race, held in Nisa. The official distance of the race was 3'6km but on the map was the distance of the best option, due to the organizer it would be around 5km, so I knew it would be tough. When I started I tried to use my sprint tatics and I ended up to do a good race, being 10th place in elite with a time of 17'14, around 1'20 behind the eventual winner, Frederic Tranchand. I was quite happy with my performance because even I didn't suffered too much I was able to keep a good pace, sign that my endurance got a ton better that it was before and even it was almost just running sprint I found interesting all those long legs, whose were quite good train. So I could save my day with this race, just had to wait for WRE and hope that I could do better.
    Next day I would be one of the first athlete to start because I never ran a world ranking event race before and so on I don't figure on world ranking. Anyway I was not afraid of the race and I was focused in doing it fast and without mistake, even I was tired I wanted to get out of this race with good feelling so I started strong and confident, I had quite good time in spectator and after that I gave my maximum and I could avoid almost mistakes, I just had small mistakes that maybe would take me 30 seconds. When I got to the end I had the 3rd best time at the moment, 32'50 for 7km middle, not bad I think, when Philippe Adamski made 29'16, and a deeper look on the splits made me see that I actually didn't lost that much in my free-mistake splits, even the long ones. I did my first pontuation, around 1087 points, so I won the day in my view.
   What means this? I hadn't a great performance in result, I was just the 5th portuguese athlete and I was 30th, even there were 100 athletes. I think doing this kind of speed on this distance was something light-years away from me in the last year, I also pushed a lot for myself and alone I could aford to do good splits, the second long leg I just lost 15 seconds for the first split, and physically I'm still too weak, portuguese level was really good and I lost 1'30 for the first portuguese guy. I'm not any sad, I'm young and I still have so many years to get better but still this was just factor to make my confidence get solid, I don't feel anymore as unexperienced or with lack of capacities, I think I have now good margin to improve and with this my primary aim now is work myself and improve, I need to improve before I can really look for something big, for now it is just time to prepare the plan.





Orienteers,
LS

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Almost getting back to the sun!

   After last post I wrote I've not done that much, just training, training and more training and of course study for more exams. It has been quite strange experience to be here, relaxing in some way but I could say that the cold is just factor to keep people home and to leave for training is really big sacrifice, but I had to leave and I could do some good trains always in the forest full of snow, enjoy was difficult but at least I had to suffer something that usually i'm not used to do.
   Today, the pre last day here I went to do some trial 5000m run with my finish club, and it just went awfull because I'm such an asshole. I should knew that no one with so few training, alone and in the debut on a distance can expect to run a good time and I ended up to give at 4 k (12'40), I could had run the last k, but my head just betraied me once more and I lost the oportunity to go under 16. I think it was really good that I could fall this way, next time I will take it easier from the begin and I will not go like this and maybe I can finish my race, with assholes happen this way! First beat with your head in the wall and then maybe learn something. Glad at least I could do some training after.



Orienteers,
LS

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quote of the week!

"Endurance is one of the most difficult disciplines, but it is the one who endures that the final victory comes."
-Guatama Siddharta
 
  In honor of my last week 100km of training in the snow!
 
 
 
 
 
Orienteers,
LS 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Finland journey - icy holidays!

   18 january, my last exam toke place and it was time to go take the plane, Finland was waiting for me! and my deserved rest too, after tough times of study I just wanted to find some place where I could rest my head and have some good time. Here may not be the perfect holidays due to the rigorous winter that is here, but now I think that this may can be a quite good experience, train on so tough conditions teach what is real suffer...
   Anyway, I arrived 19 at 00:30 am, and when I left outside there was a nice temperature of -25º and it was the strangest experience I had ever had because when it looked like I entered in my fridge and my feet and hands got cold right after, well hopefully I hadn't to stay outside that long but and in the next day when I went to the camp of my finish club (Rajamaen) I was thinking how could someone train with such temperature...well I didn't had to wait that much to discover how it was and after a soft morning on the gym, in the afternoon was time to do the first real train: uphills and 2 sprints after it. Dressed like I would be in one of the coldest days in portugal, I went training but still I was frozen and when I finished all train my face was white and my head hurting like I just hited a wall. Anyway it was a good train, and today morning we did 2 more sprints to end this training camp.
   Now I see how lucky I'm to live in Portugal, is almost impossible to train here in winter time, or at least you need to have such a great motivation that you can do it every single day. So maybe this will be good lesson for when I think on not leaving home for train. The camp was a really good experience and most of all, was really good to have contact with such good orienteers, because I know it will be only with this experiences that I can hope to improve more, I have to thank for all because if I was feel little "outsider" on there, they helpped me to integrate. Can't wait for next time!
   Time to be on Helsinky for the rest of the days, I will keep giving news, if I can survive with this cold...:D


Orienteers,
LS

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Weekend double: 1500m/3000m

     Exams time, just study and study and more studying. I barelly found time for the rest of my things, maybe train and eat...and this weekend going for a double in athletics district championships  in 1500m and 3000m with 1 month of pre-season training. Well what to expect?
     Saturday was time for 1500m and I knew that wasn't impossible to do great time because I'm just too slow and things always work under some rules. Anyway I went to the run and I started carefully in middle of the pack, chasing the second and third guy (the first went on his own pace and ended to win alone) try to feel confortable but only after 200m of the begin I was loosing contact but for lucky other guy made the conection between me and the front and I was able to keep there. Around 1100m I took my chance and I kicked so damn so hard that anyone could follow me, but it was too soon and in the last 200m I fall dead and a guy came from behind to pass me and I got 3rd place in a tatic race. Time? I wondered, I thought maybe with lucky I had done less than 4'15 but when I saw it, I wasn't expecting at all 4'10, my best time for nearly 6 seconds. I knew that if I had kicked little later I would had gone for 4'07 which is a quite good time.
    After yesterday "victory", I had 3000m today and if I was feelling that good on shorter distance maybe I could go on my big ambition, go under 9' minutes. When I got to the track and I felt the wind and the rain I knew it would be tough mission, so I let my expectations little on my side and I just focused on coach words, follow the group until I can. There were some good runners at national level, so maybe I could have the luck of regular pace. Race started, I put myself behind the first 2 guys, 3'05 for the first km and everything was perfect, I was feelling good so I knew I could had gone really hard for the other 2 km's but I decided to stay behind and I just start to felt too good on there...not normal thing when you want good time and when I heard 6'20 for the 2 km (3'15 in the second) I just decided that I would not stay there and I give a hard kick to go away breaking the group, I hanged on but the best guy on the field waited and passed me, I didn't gave up and I continued hanging on for 2nd but in the last 200m again the punch came and I fall dead being passed for other guy. Result: 9'14 with last k in 2'54...with rainy day. What to complain about? nothing I guess.
   I just surprised myself this weekend, I'm training barelly for 1 month and it is not any specific. Well I guess the quantity of km were benefic for me because I felt resistent and confortable so good change this year! Next time we will see what can I do, my goals are there to be done and for now just go for exams and more train.




Orienteers
LS