Saturday, November 24, 2012

Closing the Bolt

        Finally. The circus is back in town. After today's mixed relay training there is no doubt in my mind that racing season is back in full swing. Seeing all of the other teams cluster into a four km loop was more than enough to remember what it was like last February. Technically we have not had a world cup yet and the question of everyone's shape is still an unknown. As for me, I guess it depends on how you look at it. I'm pushing for the better point of view and hope to confirm that on Wednesday.
Can you tell me what's wrong with this picture?
       When the US team set out on the trail about a week and a half ago there were only a few other teams to share it with. The Canidain XC team, Russians, and Japanese to be more specific. Truth is, the trail probable can't handle any more athletes for that amount of time. It was below freezing once last week and has rained twice. This is not the Ostersund I've come to remember. The bulk of the snow came from the annual pile the organizers stock up in the spring. This ribbon of snow snaking through the woods still has wood chips in it from said pile. With or with out the winter spirit, it's not roller skiing, so who am I to complain.
Proof that I'm in Ostersund!

          It's nice to finally start in on that race season taper. Work outs are becoming shorter, and the legs are starting to feel anxious.  Lowell and I did some intervals yesterday. I didn't feel great and I didn't feel awful. If I did an intensity like this in July I would have give a better review. If this session was in February before world champs I would be a little concerned. There is more than one reason to feel confident in the shape right now. Especially considering that we're still working our way through November in a race season that stretches to March.
Woke up in a dark cloud this morning. 
         The real multi perspective part comes down to the shooting range. I would like to be able to leave this sport saying that my shooting is as strong as my skiing. That is, of course assuming that my skiing is fast and competitive at that distant point. Unfortunately, as of now you could argue that Russell Currier is still not a talented shooter. You could also argue that Russell has plenty of chance at success and has made clear progress on the shooting front. I am choosing to defend the second option. Since our arrival here, I can only recall three combo workouts that I've been pleased with. The rest have ended with frustrations and confusion as to why the percentages are not where they should be.
"Look you can see the mountains!"
"Per, I think those are just more clouds"

       For every problem there is a solution.  It's just a matter of finding that solution  Historically, when the shooting is in the gutter the coaches and I try something new. Afterwords, more often than not the percentages go up and all is well again. Three too four weeks later the touch wears off and I'm back where I started again. After a while with no success we try another change. And so the cycle continues. I suspect that this might just be a confidence issue more than anything mechanical, but what difference dose it make? The trimesters are only three weeks long. If there is any value to my theory than I should be fine for the next three world cup series. On Wednesday I gave this a lot of thought and talked the coaches into letting me use a larger sight ring. That, coupled with some self assuring confidence talk should be enough to do the trick... Right?

        The mixed relay is on Sunday. I will be watching from the TV, streaming internet, and the window behind my couch.  I'll probable do an easy classic distance in the morning on an 800 meter loop until I get dizzy and opt for some dry land running. The individual on Wednesday is just another day at the office. This isn't triathlon where a race season can be done in over in a single seven hour effort. This sport's season has about 30 or so 30 minute efforts. The opportunities will keep coming. Over stressing one day won't do much good. Never-the-less I expect you all to be tuning in on the 28th at 17:30 central euro time. That's 11:30 in the morning if you're in the county.
It's hard not to overdo the water tower pics when it's the most abundant source of color around. 


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