There wasn't much for success last week in Ostersund, Sweden. The only thing that kept me positive after the individual was the thought of proving otherwise in the sprint race two days after. The best way to cope with a bad race is to look forward to the next one. When the next race is only two days away it's easy to keep the spirits up. When the next race is in a flight and five days away it's not as easy. That was the case for me after a dismal sprint race last Saturday. A good result to have under the belt before the races in Austria would have made a convenient difference. Instead I'm left to keep the confidence up on my own without any undeniable results to back it up.
The misses were low. There are endless amounts of reasons why those four misses in prone were low. Zeroing was a little strange that day. Perhaps my position was off. Was it the last tenth of a second aiming? That's been a crucial focus point this year. My standing stage was solid, but I did miss that last shot. Ski speed wasn't much to write home about either. The conditions were all over the place. Not unlike the individual they broke down as the race progressed. The deep and sugary snow covering a base of ice is far from my specialty. By the time the race was over I was unsure about myself and it was only the second race of the season.
After some thought I came back to the conclusion that I always do. If there was ever a chance for success then there is no reason not to give 100% of your effort. So the coaches and I thought it through and next thing I know I'm outside a hotel in Hochfilzen, Austria doing double pole intervals on the C2 machine. For the past month shooting has been great when it doesn't matter. It's only been the race days that cause the percentage to drop. There were four clean prone stages in row during easy combos today. The ability to relax just isn't my strong point. There are a few things you can do about this. It's much easier said than done though. Since that's the case I'm going to wait for Friday to be over before I divulge any more details. For a sport that is monumentally physically demanding it also has a significant sport psychology side to it.
Training was good yesterday and for a change the energy level carried through today. Shooting is back under control. The next race is this Friday. We're skiing on a mix of man made snow, snow from the closest glacier, and even trace amounts from the sky. Still, there isn't much that separates Hochfilzen's December from it's late April right now. The work is done and the pieces are there. All I have to do is put them in place for ten shots and ten kilometers.