I alot has happened since the last time I wrote here. I would like to blame the infinite black whole that is the Ethan Allen Military base in Jericho Vermont…but its partially my fault as well. Since the last time I wrote, I have survived another rest week. This one wasn’t as painful as the others because I threw myself into some serious volunteer hours to take my mind off the days and hours not occupied with training….
The Fat tire festival occupied most of my weekend before I headed to our stint on the road. It was an awesome event put on at the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle Maine. The athletes on our cross country team live right down the road from the venue and let me crash in their living room for the weekend, eat their food, and take in the Northern Maine Fair. I got more than my fair share of sun and a tshirt out of the deal! We put on a mountain bike biathlon race in the morning for a group of youngsters and some older athletes as well with air rifles and .22’s. Its always fun to get to introduce new people to the sport of biathlon, not only is it a great opportunity to meet new people in my new community but I think its so cool to watch people try something new.
On Monday we headed off to Jericho Vermont for our annual biathlon camp. The Jericho camp is a standard. Its right at the beginning of august every year, one of the women on our team realized on our drive down that this was here 12th summer at the jericho camp! Its only my second but I can see the tradition building. The camp is well attended by biathlon groups from all over the country including members of the national team and a group from Quebec. There was a pretty strong US women’s field represented and although the men’s national team wasn’t there (they are still in Europe training for the rest of the month) there was a pretty large men’s field all the way down through the youth boys.
I like Jericho because its a good chance to remember why we train every day. It open’s our eyes to our weaknesses and is a good little check it part way through our summer/fall training block. It gives me a long list of things I need to work on, and reminds me that I can’t get to comfortable. I just got a new stock this past week and I love it! It made the week a little frustrating because I basically have to rebuild my shooting, alter my range procedure and make some pretty big adjustments to what I’ve been doing for the last two months. Alot of people say that it takes about a month to get used to a new stock and I can see why! Although I did not shoot well this week and was disappointed with that part of my races I’m ready to move forward and do the work I need to in order to kick ass later on.
It was a long week, intensity weeks always seem much longer to me because they take so much out of me. Although the hours aren’t super high during intensity weeks we do four or more intensity sessions, and in the humid heat of Jericho I found myself getting pretty warn down and actually giving into my naps… But I took the much needed rest whenever I could lure myself into sleep in the middle of the day. After a long classic interval session and a day of hot hot time trials we finished the races off with a sprint and pursuit biathlon race. These are my second rollerski biathlon races, and lets just say nothing can make up for experience in this sport. The first race went okay, my shooting was sub par but I still managed to ski a strong race finishing not to far behind my team mate Grace. The second day however my skiing could not hide my horrendous shooting…I skied almost two extra km’s of penalty loops. not fun. never again. I finished the race feeling dejected, tired, and frustrated. Although I got to know the guys working the penalty loop well over those two races I would prefer to spend less time skiing around that little loop and more time going back right onto the race course. I had some good talks with the coaches after the race that made me feel better, and now I’m fired up to approach my training a little differently. Using my opportunities to shoot and dry fire more readily so that next time I will not feel so horribly incompetent on the range.
Lessons learned, motivation rekindled, plenty of time to improve. We are currently in SugarLoaf Maine for a camp run along side our MWSC cross country team. It should be a fun week, its always good to get a change of scenery and mix things up. I brought my camera along this time and should have some pictures for you towards the end of the week. Here are some pictures from my coach Gary from the races this weekend.