So today was the first race of the World Junior Championships. And oh billy did I look terrified on Eurosport! (and to be honest, I was, terrified and excited and all sorts of crazy) I got to start as bib number two, can you say TV time? And europeans everywhere are shaking there heads as I was a nobody surrounded by girls who have incredible pedigrees in this sport! Surrounded by talent.
I felt alright skiing, I’ve been fighting a tickle in my throat for two days now. Not sick but not 100% just kind of blah, but I wasn’t really worried about it going into the race. I still had a job to do. I skied alright, I actually gained about 15 seconds on the Italian in front of me going into prone!
The highlight of my day was my shooting, hands down. I missed 1 shot in both my prone and standing stage, the middle shot I think on both… inevitably given the finger each time. But I just kept pushing. I didn’t feel great out on course, I felt pretty solid on two of the bigger climbs but just couldn’t attack the transitional sections as I would like to. If the course was a dog, it was walking me? And for the first time ever my shooting saved my butt.
Looking over the course times and range times is interesting…out of the 67 girls I was something like 63rd on the range. what does this mean? I shoot…really really slow. I know this, but hey I’ve got to look at it as free time I will learn to gain back as I continue with biathlon. Next summer will be a time to work on my range speed, not now.
As for my skiing. I felt bad, and weird, it was as if I couldn’t feel all of my limbs? Needless to say, my course time was actually not that slow. The Italian girl that started infront of me cleaned and with fast shooting ended up in the top ten. We had the exact same course time! If that doesn’t motivate me to shoot better and faster moving forward I don’t know what will.
I ended the day 33rd. Just shy of the top 30 I had set as the number in my mind. I think I was 6 seconds out? Its attainable. Its reachable. Tomorrow is a new day. a new race. I have a long way to go, but today, even as strange as it was (for good and bad) was motivating. I’m excited. I’m smiling and I’m looking forward. Always forward.