Saturday, September 17, 2016

Substance Part 2


      There was almost a frost on the ground yesterday morning. It was about quarter past seven when we were packing into the van at the OTC parking lot. For whatever reason it is always a few degrees warmer in Wilmington. It was nice to ski up White Face when the ski is clear. This seldom happens in my experience. The colder temps and clear sky are just a couple of examples of new changes that have happened in recent months.  Summer is close to over for us in the north east. After the trial races in Jericho I set out to fix some limiting problems.

       Equipment failure is a chronic problem you can't escape. Three sets of pole tips have been swapped out and replaced since Jericho. The rear rim on my road bike lost a spoke earlier this summer. That is nothing new, as it happens about once ever year. The front rim decided to take up the slack from the recently retunned rear tire and lose a spoke. Yesterday I picked it up from the bike shop in Lake Placid, just in time for about one more good ride before the temps get too cold. The most obnoxious hangup came in the form of rollerskis. In this sport you need rollerskis to train effectively. Excluding ski tunnel use, I suppose. My attempt to save some money by repairing what I had didn't work. Luckily, thanks to some support from Finsisu, Swenor, and some local help I was able to solve the problem the best way you can. Now I have two fully functional pairs of rollerskis allowing me to train professionally.

       The physical side of training has been going well. After Jericho I was able to get into a normal training rhythm. Everything started out with an intensity block consisting of five hard sessions crammed into four days. Nothing says ski faster than hill bounding in the AM and back to back mini time trials in the PM on a Friday. After that it was a brief volume block. Which is pretty much the opposite. Consisting of easier, but longer distance sessions. By the end of the week, the three hour roller ski followed immediately by a two hour run was feeling even longer than it actually was. With trials coming up again in a few weeks it's not always easy to have that dedicated training rhythm. That said, it felt very productive to have a solid block of intensity and volume.
        Shooting underwent a handful of changes. Lo and behold, I may or may not be on to something. The new process is still in the break in phase, but all signs have been hopeful so far. I moved some of the components around on the stock changing my natural point of aim. Before, it was all about nailing a small window of timing and rhythm. This worked super well when I could find it, but the lack of consistency was holding me back. With the new set up I can depend more on aiming and confirming a good shot before taking it. This is a subtle change, that makes a big difference. The rifle it's self has also undergone some changes. Thanks to some local machining the front and rear sights are higher. Now I can properly bolt the chamber with out having to punch myself in the face; how convenient. The changes haven't fully set it, but overall all signs are looking up.

A small partial view of the course.
        So that's where I am up to this point. This Sunday is the Climb to the Castle race. This will be the third time racing up this suffer fest. Efficient technique and engine capacity are your best friends for this style of racing. The rest of the following week is packed with testing and time trials. If you're going to train in a group there is no better training than this kind. Energy is feeling fresh and good to go. Wish me luck.

The final stretch.