Earlier I always did a summary of our year, but not in the past few years… But since this year I started blogging again, I thought I would start with the summaries as well.
Let’s start with one of the most important changes, which determined the whole year in a way… Running. In February I have decided, that it’s about time for me to start training again. First I was looking at gym memberships and group trainings, but then after thinking what I really want, I have decided to go for something else. I have been doing canicross for 10 years, and I hope to be doing it for at least another 10, so I thought it was about time to actually put some effort and work into this sport. I contacted Ben Robinson, and started my sessions almost right away, with a quite big goal in the end: to run the IFSS World Championships with Anti in Autumn.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Still, it felt good to finally do something with myself and soon Mikal also started to join me. Even though he did different trainings it was a nice way to have some “couple time” during the busy work and school days.
The winter was not an easy season, I only ran up and down a road pretty much, but once spring has arrived suddenly there were so many possibilities to choose from. I got familiar with the local paths, I put some elevation in my legs and I started not to get hysterical if I accidentally ended up in a swampy area.
The huskies also got to join me on some of the trainings and we were having loads of fun. The only thing I was missing was competitions… We could only run at one in the spring season, in Oslo, where Koda and I had to do two round on the same track… First went amazing, but I did not get too much help on the second one. Still, I was amazed by the speed I could maintain without even being pulled, so after all it was a success.
Another milestone was my first sub 3 minute kilometer with Anti, we ran 1.03 km with 2:56 avg, a speed I did not know I could ever run. Especially, since I did not feel so strong around that time… I have realized, that I can pretty much reach anything I want with hard work, and even though this resulted in some expectations, it was a great realisation.
In the autumn we could attend one more race, where I ran Koda the first day, but he decided I should do most of the work by myself, and Spinnvill from Lena Boysen on the second one, where we took the first place with the overall best canicross time! I was really happy, I needed a bit of reassurance, that all the training is not for nothing, I am improving.
1,5 week before the World Championship I had one last race, the Norwegian Championship where I ran with Lychee from Tessa Philippaerts. We`ve trained several times together, on the trail where the race was supposed to be, but unfortunately this was changed the last minute without me knowing. I was a bit screwed up mentally and had to restart too, and my performance afterwards was not the best… I felt so bad for Lychee, I felt like I was an anchor behind her. I won`t lie, I was really bummed after the race, the only thing that cheered me up was the relay afterwards, Lychee loved the mass start, and that made my mood also a bit better. Also, thanks to this race we went training several times with Tessa, which gave me a super possibility to finally socialise in Norway, get tips from a fantastic athlete and make a new close friend which I am super thankful for.
Then came the big goal, THE event in the season… The World Championship! I was so stoked. The first day went amazing, the only bad thing was the high temperature, which was hard on Anti, especially by the end of the trail, but we have managed to still run with an average speed of 18,6 km/h, which I was satisfied with and was enough to place us number 13 that day.
Unfortunately the second day I was sore and very stressed and ran way slower, so finished on the 16th place overall. I was a bit bummed, but it is still a nice result, and got me motivated to continue working in order to avoid the mistakes I made and improve my weaknesses.
I was done after this race I thought. I did not run for a week, I needed a good rest and to find some new goals for the next season. But then suddenly, as a random idea I entered the Hungarian Championships, and after some thinking I decided to not run it with Anti, but to borrow a dog from team Run 4 Fun. It was supposed to be their GSP Csapas, but then because of an accident I ended up running Proton, their most successful dog, who was also doing bikejoring that weekend. We met the day before the race, ran 2 km (which is not ideal race prep, but we wanted to see how it works out for us) and decided to go for it, if Proton will look ready for a second round.
For me it was a mentally tough race, because it was one of the longest canicross distances I have ever raced on, and definitely longer than what I was training for during the year. 6.1km, very flat and non-technical trail. Still, thanks to Proton we ran super fast, which resulted in 2nd place, 11sec away from the first place on day 1, with an average of 3:13 min/km. What?? Insane speed for me on such a long distance. The second day the first three were starting together, and the plan was to keep up with the first place and try to pass her in the end, but when I saw the speed she was dictating on the first few kilometers (first km was under 3 minutes, then the next two were also around 3 min/km), I knew I cannot win this. The last 2 km were really slow, so we ran almost 50 seconds slower than the day before. 2nd place at the nationals is not the worst after all, and even though I had a silver already from a few years ago, back then we got over 3 minutes on 5 km trail from the gold winner (same person), so this was a huge success for me, and this silver shined a bit brighter than the one before.
After I was finally done with the season I had to overcome some difficulties. To be honest, I still have to. All those pains I was feeling occasionally, but were swept under the carpet, because I felt I could not afford to rest, are now forcing me to take it slower then I would like to. December was also a mentally and phisically demanding month for me, so I look forward to leave it behind, with all the injuries and sicknesses.
But 2019 was not only about running after all. We also got a new member, Kute, who is teaching me a lot about his breed and sleddog sports in general. I also got to start on my first skijoring race ever, with my amazing husky duo, Nina and Koda. I started university, a new work, we`ve moved to a bigger house, had our hard times, but also many amazing ones. It was a good year overall, I cannot complain.
So what about the goals for 2020? I have them lined up, no worries…
Firstly, both to avoid injuries and to be able to perform well over two days I want to start with some strength training. I really think it will help me perform better and make me feel less beaten up at races after the first day. Focusing more on skiing during the winter will hopefully also work well as cross-training.
Secondly, I want to learn to eat better. Luckily my weight is quite well under control now because of the running trainings ( I lost 7 kilos since February), but I can go a day without eating simply because I am busy and I forget about it. I want to be more cautious about my diet in order to boost my performance. I also have several food intolerancies, that I usually simply ignore and then end up having stomach pains… So getting a hold of my eating habits is definitely an important goal for the upcoming year.
Thirdly I want to step up my mental game. I am pretty sure this will be one of the toughest tasks, we will see how I manage…
So overall this was a year with ups and downs, and (especially running-wise) a crazy journey. I have learnt so much about canicross, even after doing it for over 10 years and I really look forward to next year. I have some big plans, also some big hopes, so far it seems like another exciting year.
I would like to thank our friends and family for all the support and help, for all the amazing dogs I got to run with, I am a quite asocial person, so I am extra grateful for those people I get to have by my side, despite not always keeping in touch.
Thank you also to the ones, that our reading my posts.
Happy New Year from us! 🙂