*More pictures to come later on this week.*
This was supposed to be the part where I emphasis how little time I have back home before heading across the pond to Sweden. Much to my dismay that is not the case this time around. It's amazing how your season can take a kick to the teeth before it's even started. In the grand scheme of things life isn't so bad. December might not end up being the easiest month to deal with, but this year the world isn't really fixed on what happens in December. We're going into 2014 and all eyes are on the looming winter carnival of February.
The national team is still in Utah. Almost everyone is gone. By the time the qualifier races were over everyone's bags were already packed and checked through. Our house on the other hand is still here. Today we did 2.5 hours of skate technique work with some shooting drills and combos. This afternoon will be about two hours of easy double pole distance. We'll all be at our respective homes by Sunday evening this week. If anyone wants to celebrate a post Halloween Halloween I would be game.
After this came is a little up in the air at the moment. There are a lot of options at my disposal and plenty of pros and cons to consider. I could make the flight out to Canmore. It will be cold and take a lot of travel. Conversely I wouldn't be the only one there and the first NorAm cup would make for some good racing expedience. I could head over to LP. This would get me a room to myself and remove a lot of stressful shenanigans. Not to mention a 47 inch LED TV. It's the new best friend. We get along great. This might make for good training provided there is some snow around. Then there is the stay home option. This would also require an abundance of snow. With out much for coaching it would have some obvious down sides. Either way around mid December I need to be at Mt Itasca in Minnesota for more trial races. Since the races out here last week didn't go as intended I have to put my Euro racing on hold till January.
Assuming the races in MN go as they should I'll be on the IBU cup team for January. There are two series of races both being held back to back in Ridnaun, Italy. This is a nice place if you've every heard me or anyone whose been there talk about it. The rest of January once again depends on how I do in those IBU cup races. If all of my training pays off like it should I'll be back on the world cup. That would take me to Ruhpolding or Antholze. Or Rainpolding and Suntholz as they could also be called.
So that's January. With out a prequalification under the belt pretty much every race from here on out is a trial race. All of them leading up the to Olympics. I really don't like reading the details of the qualification criteria. I'm not going to train any harder than I am now because like a professional athlete I already am training as hard as I can. All I can do now is keep the confidence up and try to bring out what I know I'm capable of. Provided I do this through December and January there's no reason for me not to be on the 2014 Olympic team.
Once the stress of team naming is over the focus can shift towards peak performance. Unlike four years ago the pre Olympic camp won't be on Vancouver Island. I've never been to the OWGs but I'm guessing it will feel like any other world cup, only ten fold. Most days will be somewhere between cabin fever and non stop shenanigans. As for results, who knows? It's biathlon, any possible, but always extremely difficult to do; if that makes any sense to you.
Post Olympics will hopefully consist of the last WC trimester. This one will be different from past years. We're looking at a Slovenia to Finland to Norway trip. I have good reason to want to be at all of those places. Pokljuka, Slovenia is an awesome place to be in general. I've had great results with Kontiolahti, and the course is to my liking. Olso may in fact be the most expensive city in the world but for the most part you get what you pay for.
As you can see. It's hard to go into very much detail this far out. The training season is a lot easier to nail down. Racing seasons tend to be a lot more chaotic. As I mentioned earlier it's all about the confidence. Any mention of December world cups makes me shutter in disbelief that I have to duck out again this year. Right now the course of action revolves around performance that will get me on the Olympic team. That course of action doesn't have much room for complaining about some poor shooting last week. So that being said, for now I'm going to finish this up and go clean my rifle. It actually rained in Utah yesterday so it could use a little solvent.