Tuesday, February 25, 2014

All About Fun!

   Are you seeing those maps? Yeah that's right, they are in Portugal and I was there last weekend running and enjoying them. Somehow I got surprised with my own country, I thought we (in Portugal) had great maps already but seeing those makes me wonder if around there there is even better maps.
   Last weekend I continued my racing strike, but this time I went to compete in M20 instead of staying in Elite class. I guess I needed some confidence and feel that I still can compete and be on the top, which is normal because I'm still junior and if I was in the elite class this race I would suffer too much and not enjoying anything.
 
   Saturday took place the middle distance. I started very carefully and I was able to keep my race clean of big mistakes. The map proved to be very challeging, mostly because of the difficult progression due to the dense forest but also very technical with many rocky zones. I really enjoyed it, the 4th control was my favourite because those kind of legs are really demanding and require all your abilities.
   I ended up in 3rd place, beaten by 2 nordic athletes. Well even I tried to stay out of big mistakes, it surelly happened, in 8th I lost 1 min and on the rest it was about 2 more minutes of route choices.
   I did 39:01 in 4,6km of race.

   That night took place another sprint race. As I said previously, I'm fast and sprints are my best races now. It happened to be a night sprint and I was without of light but still I had fun and I felt really good. The result wasn't the best but at least I have more facility now to keep focused.


   Sunday was marked by the real challenge, the Long distance race. It is not that I don't like it, it is just that I feel still an handicap when I'm running such distances, but this one was not too long (9,8km) so I was motivated to try it.
   I started, my first option was very very safe. It is good thing now that I start really slow, I never have the best split but at least I get motivated for the rest of the race and I knew I would need that. The 2nd control was also fine even I had bad route choice (I went to the left), the 3rd was the first big leg but from there on this race was just craziness. I always like to think that even in the most difficult leg you will have a simple option, but this wasn't the case, legs were just difficult both technically and physically. I can't find a race where I had so much fun (maybe in Finland), that terrain was just something wonderfull and the map was really really good, so I give a big thanks to the mapmakers (I know who they are!).


  I ended up in the 2nd place overall, because I did a good long distance (I was 2nd place). My performances were all about of being average. I didn't any amazing race, I just made use of my experience because I know no one can't take from me what I was in the past. I don't want to think much more about this, I had so much fun but it can't go further than that, I have to finish my studies and that is what takes my atention now.


Luis Silva

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Keep pushing it

   Fighting, that is the word I would use to define what I'm doing. Getting back on the trail is more difficult than I thought it would be. Since January I've been trying to get back to my old shape in orienteering but that proved to be a very difficult task. But still I keep fighting on, eyeing the European and give everything to be on there and at least be "relevant".

    After Naom, I kept training. That weekend I had a track race on saturday followed by a cross country on sunday. In the track I did an 800 meter, the race was tactical and the day really cold for a good time so I wasn't disappointed with 1:58 for a start of the season. I did a down split (60-58) but I made a mistake when I gave my push with 400m to go and not saved it for the last 200m.

 
  Sunday it was time for cross country in a park with a lot of uphill and downhill. It was 5,5km of pure strenght, so I got confident for it, maybe too much as I took the lead too soon and I gaped the field like 30 meters. I pushed alone until 4km, but then I faded and I would end up on 4th but still, close to the front. I think I could handle it if I hadn't the race in the previous day, I felt bit tired and without strenght in the last climb and was there that the runner behind caught me. Resuming it, I'm still running headless..
 

  2 weeks ago I cameback to orienteering, quite close to my hometown. Saturday was a middle/long distance (I'm not sure wich one) in a old and green map, one of the maps where I learnt orienteering years ago. I was not expecting a great course in that map and I was just looking for a good challenge to mantain focus in difficult situation (an important skill). It would end up to be even worse than I expected, the map was too green and I got really tired of the constant climbs and greens I had to cross. That afternoon I was with the national senior team doing some sprint trainings in Setúbal, preparing the european. There was a nice spirit there and it was a fruitful train.


     To end up my holidays, last weekend I went Spain to participate on Andalucia O'meeting. There were 2 WRE races and it was good oportunity to fight again for some points. It was not what I expected, the middle distance (saturday) went quite bad as I felt both physicall and technical wasted. The Sprint was a good turn up, I did a very consistent race (25 seconds off the world champion) even I was 1:30 minutes behind the winning time, still I performed well and it was kind of motivating. I think I faded a bit in the end but I was strong all the way and my orienteering was very safe. The long distance ended up to be a long run with the map as I had not intention of competing there.

   I have to focus on sprint races now, the European is quite close and my best chances are in the sprint even it doesn't please me because I think I'm not a sprint athlete, my election distance is the middle distance as it has lot more to due with my own style, I'm strong runner and my orienteering is very agressive, but I admit the impossibility to train better for forest races for now. I feel a big handicap on my run, I miss training volume and lost strenght. That is not a surprise, I've been averaging 60-80 km a week so there is no miracle. No worries, future will be better.





Luis Silva

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Reflexão.

   Há dias que tenho vindo a reflectir se escreveria isto ou não. Foi com calma que analisei os prós e os contras desta situação e acabei por concluir que a liberdade de expressão não me pode ser negada. Em Portugal, liberdade de expressão não costuma ser uma expressão bem vindo para a maioria das pessoas porque um ignorante não gosta, nem se permite ser criticado e usualmente toma isso como um ataque pessoal. Mas também não creio que essa liberdade seja absoluta, pois a minha liberdade acaba onde começa a do outro e é por isso que vou procurar evitar cometer falácias no que vou dizer, porque o meu objectivo é mostrar indignação para com injustiça e não apresentar uma verdade absoluta.

   A seleção nacional para a taça dos países mediterrânicos saiu faz dias. Para os menos entendidos, passo a informar que existe um documento que tem como objectivo regulamentar o processo de selecção  e preparação dos atletas com mais possibilidades de ser convocados. Começo já por dizer que é um documento muito bem organizado e explicito, o que revela um bom trabalho por parte da federação. Mas a quem cabe executar esta selecção? Aos seleccionadores nacionais, sempre tendo em conta o regulamento existente.
   Neste caso a selecção feita esteve correta no seu todo, mas vejo-me forçado a discordar do escalão júnior e venha lá quem vier, digam o que disserem, os critérios não foram respeitados. Se os atletas estão lá e mostram que têm valor, devem ser recompensados com um lugar na selecção nacional, aos restantes deve ser dado incentivo e motivação para continuarem mas independentemente da pessoa em questão, se está escrito tem de ser cumprido.

  Não foi o que aconteceu, decerto, com o Miguel Ferreira, atleta do meu clube. Ele esteve na prova de selecção, venceu claramente o escalão em causa e ainda assim forjam uma razão, que eu tenho muitas dificuldades em perceber, para que possam deixar o atleta de fora e no seu lugar convocar dois atletas, com valor como e óbvio, mas que neste caso se encontravam fora dos requisitos.
   Tem de haver aqui alguma coisa de errado. Isto já parece o nosso governo, só os "amigos" é que têm lugar e o que eu vejo é que os atletas da ADFA são constantemente prejudicados e analisados com uns critérios especiais. Não é com orgulho que digo isto desta forma, mas não querendo "puxar a brasa à minha sardinha", começo por dizer que no passado o atleta em questão deu problemas pela sua atitude em algumas situações menos felizes. Pagou com uma suspensão, já esta em circunstâncias duvidosas e passado este tempo todo o rancor ainda permanece e incrivelmente isso é razão para não se seleccionar mais o atleta. Atenção que não estamos a falar de alguém que seja problemático na sua própria vida, mas que neste caso é tratado como tal e por essa razão vê-se excluído. Errar é próprio de todos nós e até hoje ainda não encontrei ninguém que não errasse na sua vida, até a pior pessoa deste mundo tem o direito de errar quanto mais o Miguel Ferreira.

  Isto não tem cabimento em lado algum, ninguém neste mundo me convenceria do contrário. Isto não se faz, pois é claramente dizer: "Não vens à selecção porque o teu nome é Miguel Ferreira" e isto não é de modo algum democrático, é uma censura descarada. Nem vou falar do meu caso, pois vi um risco ser colocado em cima do meu nome, creio que igualmente por "critérios de personalidade". O mais impressionante é o quão pouco me conhecem. Nem os meus pais me conhecem totalmente e eu sou filho deles, quanto mais alguém que vejo 10 vezes por ano.

  Acho que não vale a pena continuar este depoimento. Já disse o essencial, e provavelmente até demais! De certeza que ainda vou receber uns emails pouco amigáveis mas acho que valeu a pena poder expressar-me. Esta mensagem não é para a federação, mas sim para o CTOP e os seus seleccionadores, e que estes saibam que até o maior dos orgulhos é quebrado perante as evidências e estas não tardam a vir ao de cima.



Luís Silva