Monday, April 29, 2013

I do what I feel like

Took this one at night. Guess my camera thought it was daytime ? 
       I didn't give my spring break ideas much thought this season and when I did I couldn't think of anything cheap and clever. I took this as a sign that I would be just as happy bumming around in the cocoon of Stockholm as I would be somewhere tropical. It's not perfect, but it's an element that I know all to well and that's a vacation with it's self if you ask me. Did I mention that the crust skiing was amazing this year? Also, if you know that title reference then you're probably pretty awesome.
Yes, that's right I like to bake in my spare time.
       When I got home from Russia last year there was no crust skiing to be found. The only skiing at all was elusive if you didn't know where to look. This year, my flight into Bangor was canceled because of a snow storm. I actually had to wait a week or so for the snow to harden up before I could get out on the fields. It was even down right cold from time to time. There were times when I had to where a buff. The bike and even running was out of the question.
New field this year.
       But why would you want to run or bike when the best skiing planet Earth has to offer is outside your front door? When the temp goes well above freezing during the day and under at night  the surface hardens up enough to support a person. Basically you're looking for good maple syrup weather. Since it isn't really icy it's isn't unstable and hard to work with. It's fast and you can go anywhere. It may have been Easter on the 31st but in terms of  skiing in Stockholm it may as well have been Christmas. There were a few days in a row where I would average 40kms a day. This wasn't on any kind of training plan, or for the sake of fitness, this was just for the fun of it. Normally you set out early in the morning and ski just till the snow warms up and can't support you. This year, on the account of colder weather there were days when I could have just kept going all day. Thankfully I told the sister I would bake some bread with her in the afternoon. Otherwise I would have just made my way up to Van Buran and back.
On scale of 1 too 10 this one came out pathetic. But for the record I successfully baked wholewheat yeast bread. I even make chocolate doughnuts, and flat bread! 
       As good as the skiing was the lack of structure in my day might have been the best part. Sleep schedule was what inconsistent and training was based around the weather. If I wanted to visit old friends in Caribou or Presque Isle I could do so at my leisure. Instead of unpacking and folding everything into to it's designated place I could simply unload my gear when ever my arms got tired of carrying it. Planes for the day were stream of conscious decided. The lack of parameters and structure is what made the day so relaxing. You can't find this at training camps and it's pretty much the opposite during racing season.
"Oh you want to ski on a floating bog? Well right this way sir" 
      So there was no plan tickets purchased. But the thought of biathlon and the stress of racing hasn't crossed my mind since Russia. That's over a month of resetting  A month of living in my own element. That's what I needed and now I'm ready to get back into the rhythm of fighting the result list. I put the rifle back together yesterday. Currently in Lake Placid, a little earlier than planned. Looking forward to some new ideas this year. Just opened the year plan this morning. It's different.
Yeah I don't know.

Off day? I think so.

"The best planet Earth has to offer"!!

Till next spring. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

JPEG and some RAW

    A few from the past 12/13 season that I thought were worth putting up. These are closely in chronological order.

Skiing in late May in Bend, OR

My corps handing on for dear life training in LP.

Euro training camp 2012

And skiing in a giant freezer in Oberhof, Germany 

Rollersking in Fort Kent
What would a fall be with out three weeks in Utah?
At least we're not getting rained on. 

Something is missing here.
What a gem.

And them came Ostersund. 
To Hochfilzen

To Bled, Slovenia  
Relax, it's under control. 

And even home for Christmas. 

Naturally I'm the one with his eyes closed.
To Ruhpolding
Followed my a week or three in Antholz

Nove Mesto Shenanigans 

Mass Start WCH
Our low week back in Inzel

Sunshine in Oslo

Rubles spent in Sochi

All the way to the closing in Khanty. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013 Done and Over

       I was going to whip up a long sad 2013 season review. I haven't really been in the mode for that lately. Who would be? I just recently finished my USBA season evaluation as well at the MWSC application. For some the MWSC application is a ticket into the program... For me, at this point, I like to think of it as the annual "Year I'm still around." essay. Since it more or less covers what could be a season review I thought I would share with you what I wrote. No pictures on this one, there were too many. That's of a later on the week kind of update. With out further adieu.

        Unfortunately I can't use last years application completely over again. The 2012 season was beyond expectations where as 2013 was far below. I can think of several potential reasons for the lack of success. There are also a lot of potential solutions to the reasons. Most of those are in the way of training and this application didn't ask about our training philosophy. There isn't much from this season that I can take away positively, but it did have it's moments. I haven't had the annual sit down meeting with Per or Armin but from what I can gather there isn't much in the way of changes from last year.  
        The only real significant change we're going to see next year is the pandemonium leading up to and during the Olympics. This sport functions in four year cycles and we're nearing the end of a cycle. If I were a betting man I would count on more changes coming after the 2014 season. These years usually see the least amounts of drastic turns. Camp schedule isn't official but looks almost spot on from last year. No A1 team for me this year, but the A2 team is invited to all of the camps. Training will take a few hits, but that's another story. I mentioned that I do care about my time spent in the county on my USBA season evaluation. The low weeks and at least one or two full training block will most likely be based out of the county. Similar to last year my preferences in training are the more the same than ever. I'm absolutely game for group intensities and time trials, provided the Per gives it the okay. Distance session are a different story. Those are the days I want to myself. With out any pro sport influence the culture of biathlon revolves around the Olympic cycle with less than a year out I don't plan on straying too from the set path I've been doing for 12 years
         If there is one thing I did well last season it was the coping with bad days. Looking back, I think it actually got better as the season went on, even when the results didn't get any better. If you see every day as another opportunity to come back from the off days then the head case issues that normally follow bad results are no longer an issue. It helps to vent and try to improve on what you did wrong, but beyond that the best move is to forget about it and work towards the next race. With poor ski speed this season I didn't have much to bargain with in terms of confidence building, so this new (or better polished version) way of thinking really helped me carry through the last trimester.  
        So the focus is still on getting to the top of that result list. “Thus far” I'm the only kid to come directly from the county and take the sport this seriously. Even when I'm not home that legacy is present. Sending that Stockholm kid to the Olympics sure would be pretty nice, wouldn't it? Sooner or later Per is going to get so restless he'll shoot me an email with some basics for next year. We'll probably go over the finer details in Bend. The camp dates and training/non training weeks will be laid out enough so that we can get a rough idea of when I'm going to be around. We've got less than a year to work with here. If I can get back on the form I was in for the second trimester of 2012 then life could take turn for the awesome!