Monday, December 2, 2013

Canmore or less

      It looks like I'll have enough time to whip out a muchly needed update on my season thus far. In case you're not on Facebook the biathlon portion of MWSC has been based out of Canmore, Alberta the past couple of weeks.  While the temps are supposed to drop for our last week here they have been surprisingly warm for my expectations. And speaking of expectations I'm four races into the season and the out look? Good? Not so good? 
Some strange new oneways? 
      That answer depends on the perspective. I guess there's always the brutal truth. I'm not skiing very fast right now, and shooting is still in the hole. Long story short, this is frustrating for two reasons. One being that I didn't put biathlon as priority number one in my life for a dozen or so years for these kind of results. The other reason being that it's an Olympic year and some things you just want so badly that any lack of control leads to stress. That's the negative end of life in a paragraph.
      In terms of racing the base line goal was to rack up some experience before racing trials in MN. That much was achieved. The race day nerves are always at there peak for the first few races. NorAms or worlds cups I was plenty nervous on race day. The conditions were perfect and I had no excuse for bad technique. For the most part technique was good. This year I've really been trying to stand taller and ski more narrow in V2 and V1. USBA has high standards for technique. I don't know why other teams don't invest in this.
        Shooting always felt like it was close to something good. Aside from a couple good stages it never did ramp up. Range times have been a little slower but I suspect the altitude isn't helping. Grouping has been great during zero. Keeping that in mind helped with the confidence during the race. Yesterday's prone stage and the prone stage in the sprint the week before were reflective of this. Standing has always felt like the safe fall back for me, but so far it hasn't proven it's self useful yet. The individual on Saturday was embarrassing. With out an overwhelming ski speed dominance my shooting is going to have to be less embarrassing and more professional.
        It's not all gloom and doom as previously described. There is still plenty of reason for hope. These races were for experience. The races in Mt Itasca are for qualifying. I came into the NorAms with some volume and didn't feel too fresh. The official taper starts this week. If I play my cards right I should get a per km time boost just in time for MN. Skis haven't been great but there are a couple of new skis on the way from Europe for me to race on.
       You can't argue with results. That's a policy I'm fond of. By that logic recent shooting percentages are reason for concern. On the other hand it's not as bad as it may look. The wind was tricky for all four races. Prone is starting to come together and standing just needs some more confidence. This is all much easier said then done, but I have some time on my hands to figure it out.
       I wasn't doing so well after the race yesterday. A solid race would have been ideal and instead my confidence plummeted while my frustration sky rocketed. I hung out with some old friends and may consumed one too many ghost peppers. Those nights are always good for a mental reset. A mental reset is important right now because the season is only starting and there's not enough reason to give up. I've been around for a while now and I know how this sport works. On the occasion results will do a 180. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened to me. Tim Burke was 60th in the Ostersund individual and third in the sprint. I think that qualifies as a good example.

As you can see the local deer population would not thrive very well in Northern Maine.

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