Friday, November 30, 2012

The Full Spectrum

       Strangely enough, as I type this one up there is a full spectrum lamp blasting into the corner of my eye. The days are a little short right now, but that hasn't stopped me from artificially recreating July. The real reason why "The Full Spectrum" is an appropriate title is because Wednesday's individual had a little bit of everything.
       That first race of the season always takes a lot out of you. This is increased when the first starter doesn't go out until 5:30 in the evening. I'm not much for sleeping in, so I had all day to mull those 20 kilometers over. That's the other part of the stress. Tomorrow's sprint is half the distance of the individual. 20 is just the right amount of distance to really push it before you can't sustain that hard race effort. The best part of the day wasn't finishing the race. The best relief came when I left the starting gate. Just having the opportunity to finally do the things you've been thinking about all day is a good feeling.
        Putting your intentions to action is the hard part. I didn't really plan on taking five for five penalties in the first stage. The temperature decided to drop significantly on race day. Cold enough to remove all sensation from my hands. I know for a fact that my trigger squeeze is world class and I've been working to make it even better this past fall. All that work goes out the door when your hands feel indifferent from the wood the stock is made from. Try going from a trigger that almost responds to the subconscious thought of shooting, to using an old rusted black powder rifle. I over held the sight picture while waiting for the shot to go off. The point is, I missed five before my first standing and that's a surreal way to start the second loop.
       While prone was a let down and a half standing was better than ever. Seriously this might have been my first full clean standing in a four stage race! After prone, there wasn't much to loose. "Just don't squeeze the trigger until you're on the target" I thought. Sure enough, if you keep it simple and follow the equation the targets will go down.
        The hands were functional shortly after the first stage. This is common trend by the way. There were other minor reasons for the first stage catastrophe. I knew where the trigger was on the second prone stage and that didn't stop me from taking on another three minutes. I don't have the energy to go into these minor reasons, but can promise that I'm tweaking them out of the way.
       And then there is the other half of the sport. Ski speed was decent. Maybe towards the better end rather than the slow side. I went with a pair of skis from last year. Per and I went over the course the day before and found a few corners that were worth timing better than I typically do. The coaches managed to compile a lot of video. Not just of our guys, but other countries as well. After watching myself ski I could that my arms and shoulders could use some improvement. Ski rank was 42nd. Almost within two minutes of XC world champion Lars Berger, whom I suspect is at a minor peak.
           So as you can see, I successfully crammed a dirty, two cleans, decent skiing, some flaring shoulders, and a threefer all in one race! Based off of race one it's evident that the mens field isn't any less competitive than last year. It was tight! When breaking down the results I was glad I took the corners better. I've already started experimenting with warmer gloves. This weekend is on pace for the Ostersund or "Coldersund" that we all remember. It's also snowing. In retro spec I take back what I said about the snow and temperature problems in the last post.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow is another opportunity.

1 comment:

Kevin said...

really appreciate your blogs Russell! and nice to see, that even after a race like wednesday you keep on posting. you can't take that for granted nowadays. good luck for tomorrow ;)