Returning home has been very rewarding, and I have gained a lot of energy from seeing my family, friends and my awesome dog yogi. The travels from Sweden went pretty smooth, and a stop over in Dubai broke up the long trip. I found a nice hotel in Dubai, so that I could do a short training on the tredmill and have a few hours of really good sleep. I felt this was really beneficial to minimising the effects of the long haul flight from Dubai to Melbourne, so that when I arrived in NZ, I didnt feel anywhere near as smashed as I have been in the past from travelling. Upon landing in NZ I met up with my dad, and then we picked up Albin who had arrived 10 hours earlier, and then I found myself in my NZ home. It was really fun seeing everyone again, and noticing that nothing had really changed, and then after just one day it felt like I had never even left.
I didn’t stay at home for long though, as Albin and I had planned a NZ Linné Training Camp which started in Christchurch and finished in Auckland 11 days later. The goal of the training camp was to of course have a period of really good training, but also to visit some of NZ’s most beautiful spots so that Albin could get a taste of NZ. I also wanted to go back to some of NZ’s most iconic maps, so we managed a few high quality technical sessions amongst all the running which can be found in my doma. We flew into Christchurch and picked up a cheap and perfectly shitty rental car. The first 2 days were spent in Castle Hill, staying in a cosy house at the foot of Mt Cheeseman. Our first big mission saw us summit Mt Cheeseman, in a session with over 2000 metres of climb. I listened to Albin prior to the run and decided to take no food, which I regretted repeatedly after 3 hours of running. I am not really a believer in Albins philosophy “hit the wall before taking food on a run”.
We then headed north to St Arnaud, where would stay for 3 days with Jason Markham and his father. A huge thanks to Jason for letting us stay with him. It was great fun to talk about NZ orienteering, mapping, Tour de France and other things amongst all the running. I had a small leg infection, which I was a little concerned about, but with application of some tee tree oil and betadine it subsided pretty quickly. Which was really good, as I could run without any worries on our next mission. We ran from Mt Robert carpark, up Mt Robert, along the ridgeline and then down back to the carpark around Lake Rotoiti. We were fortunate to have a spectacular day, so we could witness some great views.
Following St Arnaud, we drove north to Picton, dropped off our rental car and took the ferry across to Wellington. Here we picked up our second perfectly shitty rental car which would take us back to Auckland. The North Island was maybe not as impressive when compared with the South Island, but it was still really fun to go to Junior Camp and run around Tongariro. Cameron joined us after Junior Camp which was fun, although sometimes hardwork with the constancy at which Cameron talks. Unfortunately when we did the Tongariro crossing (well some version of it) the weather was pretty average, and we couldn’t see much more than the few rocks in front of us. We finished up in Taupo, where Albin and I did some nice intervals, before Cameron and I left for Auckland, leaving Albin in Taupo.
Overall the training camp was a huge success, and both Albin and I were constantly amazed by the #PerfectFlow, which we seemed to experience. In the end we had climbed 11,000 metres in 14 days, a significant increase from our climbing load in Uppsala.
Now I am spending time with my family for Christmas, before heading to Tasmania for the World Cups. I was in Tasmania a little under a year ago now, and I really enjoyed taking part in the Australian HP training camp. Soon it is time to implement that training, but first some excessive consumption of food and training back in my home forest, Woodhill.
I have decided just to run to the middle and long in Tasmania, a decision made after serious thought about what I want to gain from my time in Tasmania, experiences from last year and my goals for 2015. I want to have a training camp in the first week I am in Tasmania, as I really want to experience some of the running and orienteering that Tasmania has to offer. Then I will taper, and be in beastly shape for the middle and long. The terrain looks great, and the organisation appears to be world class, so I expect some very high quality races. The field is small, but still the best in the world are here, so it will be a nice opportunity to quantify the gains I have made in the past months in preparation for the 2015 season.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!