today was hard. The toughness of this course is a deception. It was tough. The gradual climbs were still climbs and the steep buggers kind of sent you backwards on your heels. It decided to start snowing during our race. Of course it did. But the wax techs were on their game and made sure our skis were ready for the changing conditions. With the fresh snow you had to be constantly searching for the “fast stuff”. It made passing people work as you had to move out of the glazed bit of trail. Ridnaun isn’t super high but its considered a high course compared to the rest of the biathlon circuit. I believe its a little below 5000 feet. So compared to what I’ve been racing the past two years this should be considered pretty darn tame. Out in Bozeman we regularly trained from 5000-8000+ feet and raced as high as a hair over 9000 feet (that is no fun). But you could feel it today. You could tell your heart rate didn’t come down as easily and you had to be a little more cautious with how you came into shoot. As always, I took my time.
The shooting wasn’t horrible today…but its so close to being really quite okay. I came in got settled and cleaned my first prone stage!!! HOORAH! I came into shoot my first standing stage and missed 4…bummer. I uttered some choice words as I put my rifle on and left the range. My misses in standing are always just a little high. So when we fix my alignment I will be on. With some dry firing and range time this spring and summer I will be moving in the right direction. I started taking little feeds on my second, third, and fourth ski loops. At altitude you need the added sugar. My skiing felt steady and strong and I was being told that I was skiing well (but no splits until the last loop, in individuals its hard to give “ski splits”). I came into shoot my second prone and missed my first shot. I later found out it was a split DANG! I resettled and hit the next four, 90% prone again! I left the range feeling good, even after knocking my sunglasses off leaving them behind on my mat. I came into shoot my final stage and missed the first shot, resettled and hit the next three BAM BAM BAM. I lost focus and mentally sort of left the range before I took my final shot…it was a really bad shot, way out. Oh the What if’s!!!
Any way. turns out I had the 2nd best course time of the day, only loosing to the eventual true winner of the race, a russian girl who missed only 1 target all day! I felt good skiing, but I had no idea I was skiing so well! Bernd told me I was in 18th on my final loop 13 seconds down to 16th. I tried to push as hard as I could. I finished 14th and on the final results ended up 21st with 7 misses. Not bad. Alot better than my last individual! All the girls that finished in front of me had better days on the range so I have a lot to look forward to!
When I pulled up the competition analysis here in the lobby and saw I was second on skis I let out a little yelp “YES” of excitement and all the russian boys playing pool looked at me like the fool I am. But 2nd…dang. strong and steady I suppose.
On a side note our wax tech informed me that I ski like a girl… a girl!?!?! hehe. Don’t worry that too can be fixed somehow?