Carl: Leading up to now I was studying in South Africa and then the past month I have been in Northern Scotland. Unfortunately there wasn't a great deal of orienteering in the areas I was in, but I still found time between school work, classes, and my internship to do some training. I made it to nearly every PenOC meet and then did additional trainings on my own, which all added up to doing some sort of training 4 or 5 days a week. It was tough to get the motivation to train on my own, but now that I am with the team it will be much easier to consistently train for the next two weeks.
Yesterday commenced the pre-JWOC training in the Czech Republic. We all met up in the Prague airport and the majority of the team got in the vans and headed for Trutnov. But Anna SS and I waited back for Melanie's and Barbara's flights to arrive. I was able to get in a good training run before they arrived, and when they finally did arrive they went for a short run while Anna and I figured out the rental car situation. It took our best navigational abilities to find our way out of Prague, but from there it was clear sailing all the way to Trutnov. When we finally arrived to the hotel everyone else had been asleep for a while so it was just a quick shower for me and then passing out on my bed.
Today we did two different trainings. In the morning we partnered up and did a course with the focus to work on flow. The map had all the trails and clearings taken off it so that added an extra challenge, but having two sets of eyes made it a bit easier. I found it very interesting to hear what Connor paid attention to while orienteering, and it was nice to have someone to point out alternative route choices that I would not have noticed on my own.
After a replenishing lunch and some downtime back at the hotel we all regathered for our afternoon festivities. Some people did armchair training while a group of us headed for the forest. We worked on having flow while running long legs. It was wonderful, the entire time there was a refreshing rain coming down that somewhat numbed the sting of the nettles. This map was not altered and was up to date, so it was great to get a chance to actually see what the terrain looked like in comparison to the map. I'm looking forward to continue with our training and get more experience with the terrain that we will running on. Tomorrow we are doing a track workout on the morning so that will be great fun.
Addison: My mom and grandfather drove me up to Boston and I stayed with the Bryants for a couple of days. We flew out of Boston on Sunady, and it was my first time flying (other than when I was little, before I can remember), and it was amazing. The view and everything else was just incredible. Getting here, seeing the architecture and history was great . The woods was something else – a lot more challenging than I thought – more hilly than back home.
Hanging out with everybody is fun, getting to know everybody better and making new friends.
Nate: I got moved up to business class I had all this leg room, and they served me steak. Then I slept the rest of the way to London, and to Prague except for breakfast. I met up with Carl and we went to Prague, saw the castle, and walked around the center of the city. We went out at night, and had some fun. The next day we met the team at the rental car station.
Today was our first experience of the woods. It was very nice, steep, easy to navigate through, so speed is key. Erin had us work with a map having contours and vegetation only, which forced us to select different route choices than trails. After a fast lunch and short break, we went to the monsoon of a training event. I ran hard through the woods. I was confronted by a cow with horns; that was interesting. I was a big man about it and took him on. Barb: if it was a cow, it was a “her”. Nate: It was aa bull, it had horns. It pawed the ground.
There is still a lot I need to learn, how to physically get through it without killing myself. I need to learn how to select better route choices.
On the plus side, I had good compass technique and was able to read the contours well. Addison: John said you were like an animal and could go fast through lots of trees while keeping a bearing.
Addison: Ethan taught me how to slow down and relocate instead of just panicking and going further. We discussed route choices and compromised. Etuan would stop and review the route choices and give me his experience and his thoughts; he was a good mentor.
Nate: We had chicken for the 5th time in a row. Chicken, rice and potatos. Flashbacks to Slovakia.
Tomorrow, breakfast at 8, then training intervals on the track at 10. A slow middle training in the afternoon. The intervals are going to be tough; but I need it; it will be good for me. I run cross-country not track, and am more a long-distance person.
Isabel: We arrived in Prague at 3:30am our time (9:30 Prague time). Then we waited for three hours outside of customs for the rest of the team. The hotel is awesome! And there is a water park next door.
6/16-17 The day started in the USA and was a day full of travel. I got up at 10 and headed for the airport at noon after a good cinnamon roll breakfast. I boarded my transatlantic flight at 3 and listened to country and then comedy for about 2 hours. Then I realized the movies were free so I watched Gladiator. Halfway through the entertainment had to reboot so I lost my place. Once I got off the plane I met with Isabel, Addison and Barb looking for where our next plane would be. Both flights were really early. We got the next gate and had to wait like 3 hours. A Czech American talked to us for like 30 minutes about the Czech language and then beer and Budweiser. Then we flew and I read Eragon on the flight. I got to page 100 and was so proud of myself. Once we landed we waited in baggage claim but then walked through customs and waited some more. We created Euroday and had your-a-day jokes. We were going to try and stay up until 8:35. Once we found everyone we got in the van and were out instantaneously. In Trutnov we got rooms and my roommate was Addison. People went for a cool-down run but Addison and I found them after starting 10 minutes late. We ran for 20 minutes and then did an intense agility training. Then we showered and ate dinner. We had a team meeting about goals and then went to sleep and slept like rocks.
6/18 We woke up at 7:55 for an 8 am breakfast. I was so dazed I could barely serve myself. We met at 9:30 to go to a long training which was supposed to be 20 minutes away but was really an hour. Then warm up 5 minutes and then had a 6.5 k course with a buddy, but maps were not complete. I was paired with Duncan and got truly exhausted. We went to 12 instead of 10 but Erin told us to go on because training was supposed to be an hour but took us 1:45. Then we went back for lunch. Some would go to another training and some to the grocery store. I went to the training but first I went to the grocery to buy cheese balls for about 2 dollars. They were bland but good. Then on the way to the training it started raining. I ran but since I was looking for stakes at the control locations, I got disoriented and finished last. I got depressed and mad at myself. We came back and showered before dinner at 7. Then we had a meeting at 8 about the agreement and a first course review. Then we relaxed until 10:30. Addison and I washed clothes. And I slept horribly and woke at 4.