Friday, June 13, 2014

Shut up legs! Do as you're told!

      All is well on the north eastern front. The summer training season has long since been underway. Lately the weather has caught up. That fresh summer feeling is still a nice feeling. The mosquitos are not helping preserve it, but the hot and sunny days have yet to deter me. After that cold and rainy day of slowfire back in May I'll take an overly hot day easily. For the most part this summer has not been much different from past years. This time around there is a lot more driving to be had and I spend a lot of spare time cleaning the kitchen. When you have dozens of obnoxious pet peeves the little things can really add up. I could go on but this update isn't about my first world problems. Instead, let's take a look at some of the good news. It's only June and nothing really matters until snow flies and sunlight diminishes, but in terms of current results it's looking somewhat good.
         Training has been plentiful. Especially this week. I was optimistic going into this one. The goal is 25 hours of mostly volume. With only a couple of harder sessions this should be no problem, right? The long over distance days are nothing to fear. All you have to do is keep it moving at a respectable pace and run out the clock. At this point in my career I strive to do these sessions by myself. I'm not exactly a fan of the hand holding, walk around the woods safety courses that seem to be the so called group distance workouts. So to kick the week off I decided to do a five hour roller ski. One of these years I'm going to procure a faster pair of roller skis to see if I can get in a whole century of kms crammed into five hours. This time I only made it to 84. The leaking water belt did not help the effort. Dehydration is seldom ever a problem. Because after all how hard is it to drink water? Am I the only not on crazy pills here? You would be surprised how often I see world class athletes succumb to this problem. On that day I guess I actually was on crazy pills, because despite refilling my water belt during the session I still did not have enough and should have sought out a belt that doesn't constantly drip during training. It's also fair to say that you should always anticipate a head wind while roller skiing. Even if you're doing an an out and back rout don't expect the head wind to disappear when you turn around. It will overcome the laws of nature and physics to ensure that it's always blasting you front side. These two flaws made the last two hours a death march. So that was hopefully the once a year dehydration training session being crossed off the list. The dual pole snap has already been used up so what else is there to go wrong?
             That was one day of this week. The week prior was a different story. Some weeks are about the hours and distance while others are geared towards the number of high intensity efforts. Last week I fit in four hard efforts into five days. It was a good old fashion 6x4 on Monday, an 8x1km track workout on Tuesday, and hour of threshold too race pace combos on Thursday, and DP intervals followed by a short running time trial on Friday. If you didn't understand some of that just ask any ski racer or biathlete and they can translate it. The week was a success. I was fried and glad to be on all fours after the last running TT. If one of the goals this year was to flesh out the upper end speed zones then last week was a direct effort towards it.
             And then there is the shooting half of the sport. Thus far all is looking well. Yes, you heard that right. If you can't argue with results then there is nothing to fear. In the last three "head to head shooting test" (or "HSS" as my training plan labels them) I've shot 90%, 80%, and 90%. Almost no misses in standing! The changes in position have taken some time to get used to but. Sometimes the group is pretty spread out and other times it's good but not centered. I wish I could say it's up to the world class standard that it needs to be at, but I can't confirm that one yet. We're making progress. I've seen a trend similar to this in past years. Usually right around this time of year. The difference this time there is the few mechanical changes. The slightest change in focus, or just moving the hand stop can do a lot. Let's hope the upward trend in shooting doesn't fade into the night like it has in years past.
             Most days are still busy as ever. Sunday is always an off day. I will go out of my way to make it an off day. It's not really a choice when you see it the way I do. If Russell doesn't have his precious rest day then Russell will go crazy. Or something along those lines. When the training is over it's over. I believe in keeping work productive the non productive time not productive. In short, the always on, but never really professional approach not my style.
            Working with Seth has been great. If I want the slightest change in my rifle I can count on it being ready to got the next day. In fact the rifle in general is starting to look more professional. Hopefully by the end of July everything will be finalized. The last week of this training cycle is a medium week in Lake Placid. I'm looking forward to seeing the other guys for a change. We'll all be glad to see the last week come to an end. The legs were pretty wiped out after those 85kms. After next week it's a few more days of classes, plus a dentist appointment somewhere in there, and I turn twenty something. The trick is to just assume that you're going to live forever. In which case birthdays are irrelevant.