Sunday, September 9, 2012

Euro Camp 2012: DONE! Dies ist Woche Drei!

      And it's done! First three week training block of the year and my first summer Euro training camp since 2010. It wasn't perfect. There is still and always will be room for improvement, but a success nevertheless. Stopping the watch for the last time is always a victory in it's self. Most of the team has already left. It's down to the last six of us. As always, I have a lot of work to do. First off is some much needed rest. The rest of the to do list is a conclusion drawn from some video analysis, paper results, and just general feeling.
:Please stare at for two hours... That's
our day at the office. 
       The ski tunnel or "ski hall" as it's demanded to be called is boring as ever, but it's effective and I'm in no position to complain. The USBA wax techs gathered for the last camp and I was able to try out my Rossi's for next season. Apparently next years boots are 100 grams lighter! Ski technique is down to "minor details" as Per described it. There are still some somewhat glaring issues that stuck out when we did hard intensity, but's it's more or less doing just fine.
         And speaking of 100 grams lighter. My barrel is going get a few hundred grams heavier! I tried out a sprint barrel this year. It's lighter which adds a nice perk, but at -15 Celsius the grouping can't compete with my older, fatter barrel. Even the other Russian athletes that were in the cold chamber at the time were jealous of this old barrel. It may be a little heavier, but it might also lead to an extra hit or two over the course of a racing season. It could make the difference or it could not. There's is honestly no way to tell. Though heavy, this rare barrel is a gem and the coaches didn't want to part with it.
        Shooting from the operator perspective is still heading in the right direction. Our team psychologist was available to work with. He had recently been at the London games and as a lot of experience with the US precision shooters. Our sport is a little different, but the conversions were conveniently similar enough. His suggestions combined with the mechanical changes the coaches implemented should give me plenty to work on over the next few weeks.
No ammunition lot number can make this barrel
group well. But it does make a nice wall ornament. 
         I should also mention that I (of all people!) got lost! I successively turned a measly 90 minute recovery run into a 3.5+ hour trek. I have no sense of direction and blame the mother for this. This is far from the first time this has happened. In my defense however, I have a 100% rate of always finding my way home. I try to keep that statistic in mind when it starts to get dark in the back roads of east Germany while I scrape by on directions from local Deutchers. Arrival was around 8pm, almost post dinner, and my massage was moved to the end of the group. With limited time separating the directional glitch from tomorrow's ski session, I instinctively showered, slammed a bunch of food, then stretching, massage,  vitamins, a generous amount of melatonin and it was bed time for this corps.


Someone (from Stockholm) once told me that if you can see the cloud from a plane well after the plane has past it means there will be precipitation with in 36 hours. Weather.com said 0% chance of rain. It rained that afternoon...
        This was a good week to a good three week camp. As I've mentioned before some components are off the mark, but I'm leaving on a positive note. The physical shape is looking good, and I'm plenty tired at the moment so don't even bother playing the early peak card! Speaking of tired. I would not recommend a six hour day of distance prior to a 6x5min race pace on snow session with a poor nights sleep at the end of a 65+ hour training cycle. If you should run into such problem I suggested being indestructible. I actually had to lift my left leg with my hands into my ski boot to compensate for my useless hip flexor. I'll be eating waffles by Tuesday morning in the 896 region and that was enough to keep me going.

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