Friday, January 31, 2014

Ciao Anterselva !

The running trails are groomed, but it's a little
more naturally occurring. 

       This is the US team packing up for our eventual departure to Sochi. Even with the charter and relatively short drive to Munich it's still going to be a long weekend. That's why we made extra sure to nail down some quality peak training this week. Even with sub par weather Antolze doesn't leave much room for excuses to not train adequately. Unfortunately some food poisoning and a persistent cold had it's way with most of the team. Even with those barriers it was a successful pre Olympic camp and everyone is in good spirits.

      I was one of the few that was able to make it through the world cup with out having to duck out over a cold. A lot were not able to say the same. I really thought I was safe after the first wave. What ever it was it was stealthy enough to catch me towards the end of our low weak. It was never all that bad. The normal sore throat to accompany it wasn't a part of it. Come Monday of the official training camp I was ready to get back into it. We had a couple of upper end sessions, one new double pole workout, and the rest was low volume recovery training.
Yes, I will have the roast duck.
      The first hard session started out with a few low end race zone intervals. Antholze has one of the hardest range approaches on the circuit. These intervals were great for building confidence in shooting. The second part of the session was a ladder of max intervals. Each one was longer than the last. The first one only being a 15 second sprint and the last one at two minutes of hanging on for dear life. My lungs, heart, capillaries, nerves, and mitochondria were not liking this treatment one bit. That is, of course the whole point. You have to send the message to adapt with authority sometimes.
Life's rough. 
      Yesterday was a time trial. Next to a full blown race, time trials are always the best source for learning experiences. The coaches and I were pleased with the effort. 1,2,0,1 was the shooting. Range time wasn't pretty, but after some rational thinking it actually isn't anything to worry about. Ski speed was just fine. With out all the additions of a race day situation it's hard to draw any conclusions on ski speed. On the plus side there wasn't much to suggest that it was slow. Leif and I were under orders not to go full gas on the last loop. This was harder to do than I thought it would be. We were glad we didn't though. The gauntlet of max end ladder intervals after the the TT more than compensated for that easy fifth loop.
Can't help but wonder where my dinner originated. 
This counts as work. 
        There was a brief bout of food poisoning. That is, depending on who you ask. If you ask almost anyone on our team, or the Czech women's team they will tell you it was some article of food we were served the night before. If you ask the cook, you'll get an enraged answer revolving
around having nothing to do with him, but rather an Antolze flu (that only hit the See House hotel). It was short lived and didn't impede training at all. Still, a couple of days later we had to return our fish dinner that smelled like aged cheese. This all helped to further compliment the chaos of room shuffling. The US and Swedes had to take turns on more than one occasion staying at the Hotel down the road. The room real estate wasn't enough to fit everyone. "Everyone" being the athletes that had rooms booked months in advance. If yellow page reviews were a limiting factor over here it would not be a good day for the old See Haus.

         To be fair, there is still plenty to love about this place. The juicer at breakfast everyday is a selling point within it's self. In fact this place has one of the best Euro breakfast options I've seen. That happens to be a very competitive field by the way. The groomed ski tracks out the door and general view out of the window are pretty decent to. When you spend three weeks in one place you get to know the staff a little . The guys here are working extra hard to keep things a float for us. Plus the Hungarian waiter happens to be full of insightful information.
        Today was just another relaxed classic ski with some quality shooting at the beginning. Tomorrow we head for Munich. Team processing will supposedly soak up most of the afternoon. The charter flight leaves early Sunday morning. Historically speaking it wouldn't seem likely if everything went smoothly trying to get into our accommodations in Russia. This time the situation is slightly more high caliber. Hard to say if that's good thing or not. I know the USOC has been on the ball keeping the logistics machine well oiled. Either way the next few days will be very entertaining. In the mean time it's been a nice afternoon in Antolze. I'll even go as far to say the past three weeks went better than anticipated.
US mens team: "We're really supportive of each other" 

There is very good chance that my next update will have something to do with the Olympics.

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