Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 So Far

       There was no hope for sleep this morning when I woke up at 5AM here in the Hotel Jehla. I carefully planed out how to get all of the right clothing on with out waking Leif up. After a 20 minute slush run I heading down to breakfast. Only the wax techs were at awake for breakfast. With so much time on my hands for a change I decided now would be a good time to summaries the past few days. 
Good morning.
      Let's start with the individual last Saturday. I have to admit that I was a little nervous with the shooting component. There was some lack of confidence from the training day before and I had some difficulty zeroing. Never the less all was taken care of and ready to go with a whole 90 seconds before start. I was getting positive feed back on ski speed already on the first loop. I settled into a good rhythm for the sake of a 20km race. Cleaning your first prone stage feels great and that's exactly how I felt after my first stage. I wish I could say the same about my first stage of standing, but I simply can't. Position was off and I couldn't settle at all. I practically camped out on the range and still took on two misses. I told myself to relax and to just stick with the process, but I was so anxious to get back into the range and prove I could clean another prone. Meanwhile ski speed was become more difficult by the meter. There was one additional miss in my second prone, but I pulled together with good focus and cleaned the last standing rather quickly. I feed well off of instant and positive feed back and that was all I was getting from the staff on the course. That coupled with decent shooting was enough to move my corpse through the last four km. 
       Post race consisted of smiles and hopes of a top 20 result. At the end of the day 7th was the number! It was hands down my best international result ever. I was especially stoked to learn that I had posted the fastest ski time of the day. That was a first. Even as a junior I was never ranked first on course time. I told Armin that I died on the last loop when in fact my last two loops were the first fastest. Could this day have been any better? The answer is yes. Had I races an extra 0.3 seconds better I would have been top six. A top six affords you two things. One is being called up for the flower ceremony. The other is 200 euro (200+$$). It's not a lot, but it makes a difference with my income standards. So close...

       The week end wasn't over. There was still ten more km of racing to be had. The warm up to the sprint race on Sunday was a slow and careful process. My legs were back to that leaded feeling from last summer but everything else was on time and looking well. This trend was abruptly ended when I noticed that I was missing part of my binding... twice! The second time forcing me run away from the start with one ski and scramble to find my NIS key to make some last second (literally "last second") changes before just barely making it to the starting wand in time. First loop pace was a little too modest for an amazing race and after two penalties in prone I was going to need something better for even a solid result. The last two loops were much smoother and standing might have been my best ever. Clean with little wasted time was just what I needed. 
      I was "randomly" selected for a drug test immediately following the race. That shenanigan ate up my whole afternoon. I drank so much water I felt sick for hours after. Drowning was was starting to feel easier than producing a 90ml sample. 
     The result was 27th. Not as good as the previous day, but still an absolute good sign. The heavy feeling in my legs took it's toll the result list. It's takes a lot of experience to be consistent. After a nap and some dinner we played a game of charades. My team won. 
Good afternoon.
     In the morning we packed everything up. It was the classic overly crammed euro trek. Some went to France and some went towards the Czech Republic. I should get at least one start in this week world Cup here in Nove Mesto. 

p.s. I should have more pictures up as soon as I can find my camera. 

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