Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Unlucky 13?

          It's time for training season twenty fourteen. The past couple of weeks have been a little interesting. A mix of bitterness and old time nostalgia with the occasional ray of hope in there. There is no A-team for me this year. That isn't to say all contact with USBA is lost, but there are a few gems I won't have at my disposal this year. In there absence we now have the old methods I used to work my way up the ladder. Regardless of training camp invites or living quarters the goal remains the same. I'm still somewhat young. With at least one more Olympic cycle in me. Most days revolve around piecing together this biathlon puzzle.This is a rundown of what my training season is going to look like and how I feel about it.

         I'll be listed in the national B-team until I prove otherwise. In all fairness I deserve the downgrade. I didn't do much for the result list last season. I didn't even score a WC point for the second year in a row. There is no one to blame but myself. The USBA staff has mentioned on more than one occasion that they are still invested in me. After all, you can't say "national B-team" without saying "national team" Still there is no denying the sense of abandonment. Finances will take a hit, no OTC living, grocery bill will take an increase, Bend, OR and Sweden camps are out, and you'll never know how nice a covered shooting range is til you're shivering in the cold rain during slowfire. For a while I thought I would never say this, but I'm actually going to miss training with the other guys in Lake Placid. In retro spec some of the best summer memories I've had have come from LP shenanigans
         
           Enough of the negative side of life. There must be a few things going for me right? Well for starters while I'll still be receiving a training plan from the national team coaches, I get to rearrange and mold that schedule to my liking. I'm on my own now, so to speak, so why shouldn't I?  This is essential when you're bouncing around Aroostook county all the time. The goal is to train primarily out of Fort Kent. I've almost set up shop here and hopefully by the end of the current training block I'll be fully situated. Lately Sundays and Mondays have been back home in Stockholm. This is nice because it's just enough time to appreciate home life, but not enough to go stir crazy. Mondays have been great for exploring the old woods roads and local fields. Those distance sessions never get old. The lack of group training could also be considered a boon. This allocates a lot of alone time to work out the flaws in my shooting mechanic. This was a little harder to come by in LP. Training on my own has never been a disadvantage. If anything that's one of the best parts of being here.
           To summarize what I gaining and loosing from this year verses last year it would have to the lack of streamline conveniences of OTC life verses the not stop driving and shenanigans of trying to make life smooth in the County. On the other hand, I can now work by self a lot more and get back to the old days I remember fondly. It should also be mentioned that I've been missing some of the old local festivities. This year, when everyone else was training in Bend, OR I was leisurely floating down the Madawaska River. A debatably prestigious event for Stockholm residents. I guess it's the little things that add up.
             From a more tangible result oriented perspective we have a few new training ideas and as always a heavy focus on shooting. Skis speed really came together last year when it needed to. Stale for December, faster in January and fastest in February. March held it's own to. We're not going to push the volume this year like we did the last post Olympic year. If anything this year plan has the least amount of hours in long time. Similar to last year I would like to expand on the upper end gears. In my semi old age there is less and less benefit to high volume training. If I can be more accustomed to the effort of racing and sprinting I can better use the base I've built over the years. In other words there should be a few more max efforts and speed work in the training plan.
              Oh yeah and then there is shooting. When you do the math is scary what a difference shooting can make. An 85% average for the season would have changed everything. I can't remember the exact numbers but I was down the low 70s range. If you want an easy way to shave off some time then I suggest missing one or two less targets. And how does one do this? Good question. I'm certainly putting in the effort to find it. Seth and I have been working closely to nail down some better fitting for my rifle stock. The stock is much better polished and one step closer to looking professional for a change. I'm trying to invest in a more relaxed shooting position. In a way, the rifle it's self should hold me instead of me holding the rifle. This has been difficult in prone so far, but there is reason to keep giving it the time of day. Standing is feeling better. There is some precision shooting on the plan later on this week. It will be interesting to see how these new shooting concepts pan out on paper. All in all the shooting side of the sport will be much more structured than past years. We all have a "shooting year plan" to go with the "training year plan" document on our hard drive this year.
            There was a few days of OTC life lasts week. We did a 6X4min double pole uphill session. A Franklin Falls interval session is always good for an effective hard effort. I broke two poles at once rollerskiing for the first time this year. After which I procured my spare set of poles for the year. Conveniently one of the new USBA coaches was in the area. I had a good shooting session with our new Jonnas. Jonnas, Seth and I exchanged some thoughts on shooting and what to work on in the coming months. And yes there was bonfire in the mix. That was another nice perk to living in Lake Placid. There was always bonfire party waiting for us at the end of a training week. As I packed up my stuff I said good by to room 239 and was back in the county before ten that Sunday night.
             Lately the lack of free time has been shock factor compared to last month. Basically I punch in at eight most mornings and clock out around nine in the evening. Meals take longer because I have to cook or buy them now. If I'm lucky I can cram in a 40 minute nap in there. The rest of the day is spent training, shooting, preparing for training, working on the rifle, driving, mini projects, plus what ever the shenanigan of the day is. Today it was seeing my keys lay innocently on the center console of my locked car. Also did I mention I'm taking a class. Turns out a college education is a real investment. By "investment" I mean time sponge, or stress factory. We're talking one online course and it's still all I can handle right now. In case you were wondering why this update was so long over due there you have it.
             
              I could go on and on with the ups and down of this year's outlook but what does it matter? I'm in it for results. Results don't care about where you train or how you feel about it. The race pace intervals in the cold rain yesterday were pretty low on the fun scale. Still it got the job done. You can make any situation play to your hand if you stay on top of things. I've seen the top ten before and I would so very much like to be back up there more often. In the mean time I'm going to keep getting lost in the Irving roads and doing slowfire in the never ending rain.
       
     

PS
I don't see very many people everyday, much less have the chance to work business with them so I thought this would be my best shot. If your interested in a potential Old Town Canoe this would be great chance. Just let me know. 

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