National Long Distance and Relay Championships

DAY1, Long distance, 11,5k, (535m) - Even if I took all my asthma medication properly, there was something in the air that didn't let me breathe well. I started loosing time to my rivals since the beginning. It was painful to run the race and in the end it took some time to recover my normal breathing. I was really disappointed in the end with all my previous months of trainings being unnefective due to this situation. 2 years ago, a similar thing happened to me: I ended a race with my knees like handball balls due to an allergic reaction. Another big mistake to the 18th and a doubtful option in the long leg (the uphill greens are more closed that what is in the map).

You may draw your option in the long leg below...

Powered by WebRoute -

DAY 2, Relay, 5,1k, (210m) - The combinatioon of my first controls were different than the other best athletes. I stayed behind the pack and did the first 5 controls alone. Surprisingly I realized in the path to the 6th that I was in the lead and that the pack had done some mistakes in the previous controls. More different combinations than the pack and some lack of self-confidence and in the long path to the 12th I saw the pack 400m ahead. I tried to run fast and punched the 12th with the pack. I punched the spectator control with Joaquim Sousa, in the lead. In the last controls there were many controls in the area that made me loose some time. I ended 2nd, just a few seconds after Marco Póvoa. My teammates did a regular race and we ended 3rd overall.
(the map below is from Jorge and my controls are drawn with red circles)

Below there are some photos of the weekend. With this national champs we earned some portuguese high quality maps to train. You may find more photos at the O'galleries section.

Oh Struggling One

Dear Little Brother,

I won’t deny it when you tell me I don’t understand you. You’re right, I don’t understand you. But I’m still hanging on to the thought that soon, reason will come knocking on your head.

I don’t know where to start. I like an algebra equation canceling myself out every time. I don’t want to sound preachy, yet I have so much to say to you. I don’t want to compare my life to yours, yet I don’t have a more concrete basis but my life. I don’t want to be the righteous hypocritical older sister. But I want you to listen to me, or at least try to.

You’re directing a movie which you’re also starring in. You come up with your own cast, whoever’s fitted for the character plays the role. You choose your leading lady and you choose your nemesis (who is currently played by me, mama and papa). But of course you focus on the starring role, you. Who are you? What defines you? You carefully examine your daily struggles and delightful moments. You choose your main conflict and you anxiously await for the climax.

You’re not just an actor, you are THE movie star. So you take care of your image and make sure nobody messes it all up. But have I told you the only one watching the movie is you?

And now that you’re making a movie, I hope you are aware that all responsibilities are in your hands.

Just make goddamn sure your screenplay is well-written and seamless. Your dialogues should matter and your actions life-changing. Make sure each and every scene is shot at their best angles, in their best points of view. And put on some cool musical scoring, not just some lame pop music parading as a pseudo-post hardcore.

You want to make a movie? Better make it good, little brother.

Papa and mama has given you a glimpse of independence. Independence may be lustrous at the first touch, but you just felt the tip of it. Don’t forcefully pull it all away. You may not be ready to put it all upon your shoulders.

You may run away and choose not to look back for a while. And we’re tough enough not to chase you. We will pretend not to care anymore. But we all know you’d come running back for help. Because you see, you just had a glimpse of life and it’s the high school teeny part of it.

High school may be everything for now. But it won’t be anymore, count two more years.

Trust me.


Your Antagonistic Older Sister

You know you're an orienteerer when...

Found this in a Facebook group. I don't know who is the author but is simply genial!


(1) Your compass is one of your most prized possessions

(2) You optimize your route choices to and from the supermarket

(3) You orient a street map of your town to the magnetic north, even
if it means all the street names are upside down

(4) You think there's nothing wrong with wearing clothes made up of 6 different colours

(5) You always have at least one O-map in the toilet

(6) You are always obliged to explain to your friend what orienteering is

(7) You consider taping the shoelaces on your dress shoes

(8) You hang a control point up to your driving mirror

(9) You are the first to go to sleep during a party because you must be awakened sunday early in the morning

(10) You can recite your Sport Ident/E-card number from memory, but often have trouble remembering your phone number

(11) You contemplate moving to Sweden

(12) All of your white socks are no longer white or you buy grey or black socks so the dirt doesn’t show

(13) OCAD is the only software graphics package you know how to use, so you do everything with it

(14) If you’re a Mac’user, you've kept that old Windows PC, but only for running all the orienteering software that only runs on Windows (eg OCAD, Catching Features)

(15) You think nothing of driving for 16 hours in order to
run around in a strange place for 90 minutes.

(16) When your friends no longer think you're insane, and you have even managed to convince one or two to go hiking out back and swim in the muddy swamp with you

(17) You spend a lot of your time surfing random orienteering websites

(18) When your kids think it's normal to find Xmas presents by using OCAD maps of the interior of your house

(19) Your child can read the IOF symbols before they can read the "beginner" clue sheets

(20) There is a bag on the floor you have yet to fully unpack from your most recent orienteering trip

(21) While driving, you never actually get lost, you just make "x min mistakes".

(22) When you get lost on the way to someone's house, they tease you about it for being an orienteer, and you protest that you didn't have a map

(23) You are amazed to think that someone might NOT enjoy running around alone off-trail in the woods, possibly in the dark

(24) You complain about people who park their huge mobile homes between two trees and announce they are "camping."

(25) You read all of the above and find it funny, not disturbing

(26) You are able to speak 2 hours about route choices of a 1 hour race.

(27) You get so pissed off about a race you did you swear never to orienteer again, and then turn around and do another O race the next weekend, loving every minute of it!!

(28) You look at the countryside around you and analyze whether it would make a good orienteering map.

(29) My 2 year old drew triangles on tiles in the bathroom.

(30) You constantly have to tell people you haven´t been in knife fight, got scratched by a cat or had wild sex last weekend.... you were orienteering.

(31) You use the word re-entrant instead of valley, and everybody gives you a funny look.

(32) You think nothing of dropping 400 bucks on a new headlamp.

(33) You own more than one compass.

(34) You teach Orienteering as part of your phys ed curriculum and your students think you're insane.

and João Valente from my club added

35) When somebody asks you your age and you answer M-35...

Weekend's training camp

This weekend I participated in the COC/Ori-Estarreja training camp in S.Pedro do sul/Gafanhas, in order to train in similar terrains to the next weekend's National championships.

Saturday morning, 6xshort loops - I did some hesitations in the first loops that costed me some time. I usually do this kind of mistakes in the 1st controls of 1st competition days.

Saturday afternoon, 5k course - In a rocky terrain where the progression was really difficult. It was a chasing start. There was Macro-o (I missed the 16th) and loops. In the 11th control we had to flip the map over. I was expecting worst, once I have some difficulty in these maps (I'm not able to run fast in this rocky terrains and I have to develop my "rocky O'technique"). I usually train on the road or track. I really need more off-road trainings in hilly or rocky terrains in order to develop this kind of running technique.

Saturday evening - We trained anticipation in a sprint course. While running to a control we had to memorize the next one.

Sunday morning 7x ~=1,5k loops - Really nice training. We did each loop with a mass start (2 or 3 at a time) with forking and different controls. In the end, 12,5k in a fast pace. I analysed the pace graphs and the goal for the next weeks is to minimize the red bar, tryingto go at a slower pace without those hesitations (I'm not referring to the next graph where the red bar is control punching).

I'm really thankful to Bruno Nazário who organized this weekend trainings and also who invited me and to Ana Oliveira's family with whom I stayed with.

Conclusion of the rocky terrains - Start slow and navigate precisely (it isn't possible to run really fast). Don't attack a control without knowing the element of the control and without a consistent route attack.

Ori-Alentejo Trophy

Today I went to Arraiolos to participate in the 3rd OriAlentejo Trophy and to train the rest of the day there.

Competition, 5,9k (195m) 48'08 - I did a good start in the fast area. I entered well the closed area. It was really difficult to run in the greens and the visibility was reduced. After the 2nd spectator control (11th to 12th) I caught another athlete, didn't attack the control to the left and ended in the greens. To the 18th, huge mistake! It's unforgivable. I was with the athlete that I had caught previously and ran faster than I should in the open area and passed next to it. Even if I won the race I was disappointed with my course.

Afternoon, 3,4k, 23'59 - We went to Sabugueiro to train in a mixed map. We went in a normal pace because of some tiredness. There were still some controls in the terrain. Even in a slower pace I ended doing some mistakes.

After it we went to Évora to do this 6,4k (210m) course. It's the "electric course" once its fences are electrized because of the cows. If you touch them you'll feel them hard! =) There were some controls in the terrain too. We did a mass start once there were different combinations (this is Jorge's map so there are some controls that don't match). We went together in some controls. The greens have lots of paths that aren't marked.

I really need to develop my O'technique fast. I still do some unforgivable mistakes and some unecessary distractions. I've already fixed my errorsat start. No running without map! (once again I did an huge mistake because of it). This week I'll start the 2nd semester at University. Next weekend, training camp again. We'll see..

Some days off...

This week was University-free! Just training and skiing all day in Spain. I was really needing this days off. I've made there some nice running sessions with huge accumulated elevations. In the end of the days I was totally broken.

Last week I also had a meeting with Lurdes Silva, the portuguese sales manager of the brand Silva. I'm now sponsored by Silva and will be using its headlamps in the next seasons.

Last week I also bought a Garmin 405. What a training tool! With this km pacer, the problem is being able to run slow... The other sensational characteristic is that it writes my training diary automatically - I only need to be in a 5m range of my PC. I've tried twice to do a proper training diary without success (I'm too lazy)... I hope that this time I'll be able to do a proper one... and I can't wait to start analyzing my O'courses with it!

This weekend, the Ori-Alentejo Trophy, 1 intervaled training and some O'trainings.

Second Puberty

I am experiencing second puberty. (I haven’t actually Googled this term I’m using. Maybe there really is. But let me have the moment of pseudo-brilliance for actually coming up with this term.) Right now, I am enjoying my new-found semi-independence, most especially in the financial part. Since I am earning a little now on my own, I get to choose where and when to spend my hard-earned cash. And I think I’ve been eating out in restaurants, drinking and partying, watching gigs and movies, shopping, all too much. Or maybe I just feel a little unusual since I’ve been really controlled in my earlier years.

But regardless of my seemingly less controlled lifestyle, I believe my life has become less uneventful. Weeks pass by like minutes to me. It’s Friday today and the next thing I know, it’s Friday again. I rarely write on my journal, or even doodle on it. Like what I’ve said, I’ve been going out and spending a lot, but nothing seems that eventful. Or maybe I’m just physically tired to write about it. (But I look at my friend Kamyl’s blog, I start to wonder.) So here’s an update:

I’ve been learning how to play the guitar. Finally. But I’m not yet good at it. I only know simple chords and my strumming sucks. The first song I learned to play was Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches, and it’s a two-chord song.

Thank God for Torrents. Changing our internet server at home was a good move. Now, I download an average of 5 stuff a night (may it be a movie, a TV series episode or a music album). My 160 GB hard drive has now, err, 14 GB left. – considering I’ve burnt like 5 DVDs filled of movies already.

Movie-buffing. Since I’m download-happy now. I’ve been watching 3-4 movies every Sunday. From the cheesy ones to the “art-sy” ones. I actually want to post reviews about my recent favorites like Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Memento, Wong Kar Wai movies and this 90’s-inspired indie film The Wackness.

My Favorite Music, Live. It’s just now that I’ve actually watched concerts. When I was younger, I rarely go to gigs, or even school hosted events. And now I cannot get enough of it. I’ve been going to Saguijo (since it’s just literally steps away from the office) and Magnet (at The Fort) to watch indie and mainstream bands. I watched Fall Out Boy with Kamyl and we both realized we were getting older. I also watched both concerts of the Eraserheads. And I realize, watching bands play is one of the few things I really love doing. Though it is something you might consider passive and unproductive, I think watching musicians make music (as artists make their art) is very inspiring and moving. And of course, my bestfriend and I have been regularly watching The Bloomfields every Wednesday – though I’d consider more like a tradition we’ve been used to.

Me, during the encore.

Lau (my office best friend lately), during the encore.

with Marcus, during the Eraserheads' Final Set Concert after party at Saguijo
(photo by John Ed De Vera)

with Buddy, during the Eraserheads' Final Set Concert after party at Saguijo
(photo by John Ed De Vera)

with John Ed and Lau during the after party

Being passionately in love – with work, that is. My situation isn’t exactly the ideal one. I haven’t actually came up with something brilliant. But I’ve done pretty decent real-work – print ads, billboards, websites, TV commercials. And somehow, I feel a little sense of accomplishment. They aren’t award-winning YET, but for a fresh-grad who’s just about to turn a year old in the industry, I feel good. And for some reason, I really like the pressure, the stress, the deadly deadlines, the struggle. I have my low days, but if you ask me if I am happy with work, I am happy, but not yet satisfied. (Not satisfied in a healthy, positive way, I’d like to believe.)

And since I’ve mentioned love, I guess I’d write a little about the more popular kind. Well, I can consider myself off the radar. I haven’t dated in a while. I have a few crushes, been liking someone but it seems hopeless. But nothing really serious. Nothing felt too strong lately. Maybe I’ve been waiting for that feeling of certainty, or maybe just feeling the urge to be certain. I haven’t felt that way in while and I’m not missing it yet. I feel comfortable with my emotionally mediocre life.

This update is way too long already. Next time.
"The way of the mystic and the way of the artist are very much alike
Except that the mystic does not have a craft.
The craft holds the artist to the world.
The mystic goes off into the psyche into the transcendent
The artist goes to many of the same places, but he is held to the world."
-Joseph Campbell

Combine Cube and Octahedron- bronze, stainless steel, found wood- 16" x 30"

Combine five Tetrahedra- Aluminum - 36" x 36"

Regional cross-country vice-champion

Today I went to the Regional cross-country championships. 4km, 11'46. I was not really enthusiasted with this race. I was a bit disappointed with the last friday's 2x3000 intervaled training and my intention in this race was to develop rythm in a faster training.

Today, without exams in my mind I started with the pack. The 1st 1k lap was really, really fast with a team attack breaking the group. The 2nd 1,5k lap was slower and in the end of it, there were only 3 athletes (including me) in the pack. In the last 1,5k lap there were some minor attacks but we ended the race with an enthusiastic final sprint. In the beginning of the last 100m I was 3rd but was able to pass the 2nd one in the last 2 meters (photo below, there's only my shadow). I ended being 2nd overall and the best sub-23. I loved the race, didn't suffer much and was happy in the ending. Now I have a motivation boost to work in order to get better in the next months. Next week it'll be holiday with a lot of trainings and orienteering programmed.