Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sage Stomp

This spring has been an interesting one for my training. While looking at the schedule of orienteering meets and camps sometime in December I realized that I would not be able to go to a couple of the staple events this year (mostly because I was in Ghana, Western Africa for 7 weeks, and early June was my RN licensing exam and graduation). So, on this lovely day in December, I started going into pre-emptive orienteering withdrawal, which is probably why I thought it was a good idea to sign up for Sage Stomp the weekend after I returned from my trip. I even convinced myself that I might not be in that bad of running shape, thinking that I would run when I was in Ghana, which I did end up doing most days. However, having to get up at 5:30-6 to run before it got too hot meant that most of my runs were under 45 mins...

So I arrived back the Tuesday at midnight after 19 hours of travel, had a work orientation at 8 am for the next two days and then travel out to the camp. Needless to say I was a tad tired at the camp; ok that’s an understatement, I was completely physically and emotionally exhausted (as only working in a third world medical system can do to you)  BUT I think I was able to get benefit out of the camp non-the-less! The terrain at McQueen Lake thankfully involves some areas of open running with hills and clumps of trees (nice big features for me to navigate off) and it was great to be back on a map! There were, however, areas with less enormous features, and the fact that I hadn’t been on an orienteering map since sprint camp became painfully obvious at those points!

This camp served as reinforcement to me around the complexities of this sport; it is not like a track workout where you can just show up in body and hope that you will get some benefit. Your mind needs also to be present and able to concentrate. By the Monday morning when I was doing (for by this point you cannot call what I was doing running) the last training exercise I found myself continuously getting distracted by the approaching start of my ‘grown up job’ (nursing on an orthopedic surgical floor, my first shift being that night at 7 pm – again great planning Tori), and my RN licensing exam, which I was running out of days to study for... It reinforced to me what coaches have been saying for years (namely Brent..) about the importance of having the ability to refocus (i.e. with a focus word) so that as an athlete you are able to bring your focus back to the map, compass and your race. It won’t always be outside the sport things that are stressful, the pressure of a big race or competition itself can be distracting. It is something that I plan on working on now that I have a bit more spare time!

1 comment:

  1. Tori, I am looking forward to hearing more about your trip to Ghana. Congrats on the "real job" stuff. Hope it's rewarding!