Thursday, May 3, 2012

Orienteering, for the Win?

Here I am sitting in my apartment, after a 12hr shift at the hospital with another tomorrow and then a night after that, trying to put into words the idea I have had for a while about my blog post. Therefore, I apologize in advance as my writing tends to deteriorate near the end of a long day.  Probably not helping is that the type of writing I have been doing in the last little bit has been nursing charting, which is mostly comprised of short, to the point sentences. BUT let’s not get caught up in that and move away from Foley catheters and dressing changes to things like orienteering, running and training!

This year (well the winter season after JWOC) I have tried to keep my training hours up, to keep in shape, knowing I would have to dedicate this summer to nursing school and not gallivanting around the country/world chasing orienteering flags. I was, I would say… semi successful in this. This spring a group of kids from the university outdoor club signed up for a half marathon together. Now, being young and stupid most of us didn’t do very much (if any) specific training for it, but still expected respectable times. Come race day I had been running 3-4 times a week regularly, among other things and had done two 20km ish runs the weekends leading up. All of which seemed to be too much for my knees. After consulting with a physio (who’s main recommendation was to do more cross training) I bought some knee braces and that seemed to help, a bit.

So I start the race. I get to Km 10 around the 1 hour mark thinking ‘ok this isn’t that bad, I can do this, just pick up the pace Tori’. Then I get to kilometer 14. I am not staying on my pace and I want to die. My knees hurt, my legs hurt… I hurt and I am now thinking ‘ why am I doing this? This sucks’. At around kilometer 17 I start bargaining with myself ‘Ok Tori if you finish this and get a decent time I will never make you race this again’. The last three kilometers go on forever, then I see the finish, then we proceed to run all the way around the building instead of going straight (which was torture for me incase you didn’t figure that one out : ) ). Then I am done. Yey? I can’t even tell if I am happy, I am just so relieved I can stop running.

I was a lot slower than what I would like to be (mostly because the time my mother got when she was mid fifties was a lot faster than mine, which is borderline depressing) but I was under 2hours…barely BUT I hear a couple mins is enough to be considered under. Overall it wasn’t the best time and needless to say I have not signed up for another pounding, endless road slog in the near future : ).

Although, couple weekends later I did get the opportunity to go to Washington with the Rennie’s (and rather large part of GVOC) for the US interscholastic champs. Let me just lay some ground work for those of you who haven’t talked to anyone that went to this event. It was on the west coast. By that I mean west coast forest and by THAT I mean the ENTIRE map was some shade of green. I know some west coasters will scoff but for this prairie Albertan girl it was pretty crazy foliage.

The first day the women’s course was 6ish km. It took me just under two hours to run, climb, crawl and/or fight my way through the forest. While I was on my hands and knees crawling through a bush (this is literally what I was doing, no metaphor here!) I couldn’t help and think that this was equivalent to my km 15 in my half and I almost laughed. This was so much MORE FUN! Why would anyone choose running on a road over THIS!? I get to run (ok, it was more like move…) as fast as I can through impossible woods, I get to think and part of my race depends on my thinking. I realized after my half marathon that maybe long distance racing isn’t for me, but as I was sprinting for the finish control, after fighting through the bush for two hours, I was thinking about how I want to be able to keep doing this, and for a long time! So to borrow the phrase from the weekend: Orienteering, for the win!


  1. Wha a great post Tori! Thanks.

  2. Super promotion for orienteering. Thanks Tori!