December is out. I did not qualify for the December team. The one that started in Sweden. The one that I was very much looking forward to.Yeah that one. December is now considered an extension of my training season. There are limitless reasons to stay positive with this set back. And yet somehow after all these years a genuine fail still cuts to the core. It's that subconscious feeling that really puts a buzz kill on your day. So what dose one do about this. I do what I do best: take a step back and find the best course of action to solve this problem. And that is where we get Operation January.
The last race did not go so well in retro spec. Two misses in prone followed by two misses in standing is not world class. Skiing felt significantly harder than the first race. In all my knowledge of exercise phys I can't tell you why it was so much more difficult than the first race. After the race I went to go see Armin and concluded that performances like that were not acceptable on a consistent basis. If I want to compete at a high end caliber I'm going to need to be a better overall biathlete.
Later on that day both Per, Armin, and I sat down and discussed what could be done to break out of this threshold. We looked at some numbers. Turns out the standing percentages were fine and ski speed is not my weak point. It all game down to prone. Solve prone and life will become significantly easier. This is not anything new. In fact I was able point out the fact that we have been running me through a cycle of ideas over and over for the past 10 years. One idea seems to work for about a month until the shine wears off and I go back to another idea that I've already tried once before. So this time we took a much closer look at it and decided to change my sight ring and breathing pattern. This isn't exactly new. The new component to this is how much closer we (the coaches and I) are going to monitor my shooting. It's a matter of pinpointing the problem. There's a litter more to it than just missing the target by the way. I'm feeling good about it and that never hurts.
This is where the master plan comes into play. I have more time to work on these changes than originally counted on. I'm home for a couple of more weeks minimal. It really depends on the snow conditions. If Placid gets enough snow I'll head over, other wise I'll stay in the county. Or maybe West Yellowstone. Who knows. Where ever the snow takes me I'll have plenty of time to work on upping the prone percentage; while still maintaining the stronger points of course. So once I do that (and I will) I'll go to Minnesota sometime mid December. I'll go there, do a few races and qualify for the January IBU cup team. After Christmas I'll go to Europe and race the IBU cups and work my way back up the ladder. And that's pretty much how Operation January is going to work.
There's nothing I can do about the results of last week and August. I've been training to perform at best during the winter rather than the summer. Results and performances changed from one time of the year to the other. I can depend on the better end of that fact. Unfortunately I can not prove that until January comes around. And that is where I came up with the title for this post. This isn't the best way to start the season and it's not going to be easy missing out on some awesome opportunities. What it is, is the way this sport works sometimes. Only one person can win. We don't know who that's going to be and that's why we have the races in the first place. I just want to win a little more often. Is that too much to ask for?