|This is sort of Insel's equivalent to 161 back home.|
Bavaria isn't such a bad place to train after all! The USBA mens team patented term "Rainpholding" prove justified towards the end of the week, but even then it worked out just fine. Training is going well enough. Some things are on good pace, others not so much, if nothing else the fresh pine smell of our cabins never fails to lightnen the mood.
The roller loop is stellar to say the least. Europe does not mess around with their roller loops. I have to mention that Antholz is an exception to that rule of thumb. Ruhpholding however, has some close to perfect pavement, nice variety of terrain, and a fairly laid back atmosphere to it. It's difficult to say if I like Ostersund's, Oberhof's, Obertilliach's, or Toblachs roller loops more or not, but it doesn't really matter because the're all ten fold better than the half backed loop in Lake Placid! So yes, the roller ski sessions have been about as good as roller ski sessions can be.
On Wednesday we did a three and a half hour ride. The bike that I borrowed wasn't the best fit, but it got the job done. No deaths, no flat tires, and no mental break downs alone can make for a good ride sometimes. The traffic is tight and yet I never feel like I'm in any danger. Euros just know how to maneuver das Auto I guess.
On Thursday afternoon I found myself half awake in Salzburg. At what what could be considered an Austrian OTC. They have an indoor shooting range and equipment to measure some otherwise unknown components to the shooting process. I've done this test before a couple of years ago. Long story short the results were indifferent this time. Scientifically speaking I'm a good shooter. We all had a strength session planned that afternoon and with different shooting times set up no one was really sure how the afternoon was going to pan out. I got on the wrong end of this and didn't bring enough food with me to make it through a short 90 minute work out. I haven't truly hit the wall since I was 15 and that was a four hour bike ride. To make a long story short again, I don't think that afternoon in Salzburg was really necessary.
Saturday brought a time trial. The rain mostly held off. It helped keep the heat down, so it was a fair trade. After a week of training I wasn't feeling as fresh as I had on Monday, but I was pleased with what energy I did have left. I warmed up and zeroed as professionally as I could. The skiing was solid. Tim took the fastest time with myself 20 some odd seconds behind. Comparing times is somewhat irrelevant due to the difference from one rollerski to the next, but it's better than nothing. Shooting was not so inspiring. Range time was awful, and I didn't really hit much. This is why I don't care what the numbers from Thursday dictate. You can't argue with results and a 60% shooting combined with a primitive 2:55 four stage range time is not a good result. I'm not going to make excuses, but I do have a few ideas to combat days like these. I always do. The way I see it, I can shoot as badly as I want today, tomorrow and the day after. All I have to do is put it together when is matters. WC1 in Ostersund come December would be a good time to start hitting targets. Until then it doesn't "technically" matter.
That about sums up the first week of training for this year's Euro camp. We are staying in a small valley about 20 minutes from Ruhpolding called Insel. It's about as Bavarian as you can get. We're stationed here for another week before heading over to Oberhof for some pseudo winter skiing. Today is a rest day. If I keep movement to a minimum I should be solid for another week through the gauntlet.