Oteppa isn't a very large city, but it does offer a decent grocery store, some entertainment and functional internet. Those are three things most of the central Euro towns that we visit can not claim. It's no surprise Estonia is the birth place of Skype. This was before Microsoft bought it out of course. I had heard that places like Estonia and Finland are known for there awkward introvert population. I suspect this is true. Most people would stare at the ground when every we crossed paths in the road. Anything to avoid eye contact. The week before was in Antolze. Where the opposite occurs. Antolze is the land of the "euro stare".
The course is nice. Nothing too technical and amply wide tracks. It was the first place that actually felt like winter. The days were pretty short. It wasn't cold, but with the wind and humidity it was clearly January. Before the races we had an actual warm up track. Lately the warm loop has been non existent. With the lack of snow we've been reduced to a short, crowded, and dirty stretch to use leading up to our start time. This place had a whole stadium of white snow and an uphill section to work with. Nothing was too spread out or hard to find, including the heated bathrooms. In other words, the important key points from an athletes perspective were great.
Here is a link to a site that may explain a little more on Estonia. http://estonianmoments.ee/
My personal results are far from as nice. With poor skies during the individual it was down to the sprint. And while our skies were better for the sprint they were still sub par. But to be completely fair some of it was operator error. The energy and power wasn't there. The harder I try to hit the targets the more often I miss them. The other teams that normally fall back on the downhills were pulling away from me no matter how hard I pushed over the crest of the hill. The below expactions trend that started in December has been holding strong all season. Maybe that's why I was so anxiouse to just be home. I'm not a big fan of travel. Packing and check in counters are two of least favorite things. Having to go through that every ten days just to have more bad results in differnt place was taking it's tole on me. I knew I was spent before I even started the sprint race at the OECH.
I have my suspicions to why it's been a rough year. I was certain I hit it well with training this summer, but the more I wrap my mind around it the more I'm second guessing myself. There is a long list of things I could have done better. When is there not? But that's not the most pending question at hand. The plan from February and March is still up for debate. Racing XC eastern cups was suggested. That's something I could drive to and wouldn't have to do any zeroing for a change. On the other hand I'm not convinced I could even hold my hold own on the New England racing circuit at this point. Techniacally I'm qualified for the last two IBU cups in Canmore, Alberta. If I use the time I ahve now I could revamp the shape and potential do pretty well out west. But with very little funding for the trip it would be an expance on my part. I dread the thought of all that travel and money for more setbacks on the result list.
The other option is to... do nothing. I could call it done for the season. If the support for Canmore stays as gloomy as it is now I won't make the trip. I should have a meeting with all of my coaches sooner or later. Everyone else is busy with actual racing right now. At the moment all I want to do is curl up the quite little cocoon that is Stockholm. Some time to stay stationary would really mean a lot to me. This may be the worst season yet for me but there is too much potential left in the tank to completely call it quits. I'm actually pretty anxious to get started on next season.
|Maybe it's just me but it would seem that building a house around here without a sauna installed would be frowned upon.|