I am back in Southern Maine after a weekend away at the last round of World Cup rollerski Trials in Jericho, Vermont. The races did not produce any good results, but I still feel that I made progress since the first rollerski competitions of the season in August. Even though the shooting results remained poor, I felt much more in control on the sometimes (very) windy range. On the tracks I finally began to feel that I was carrying better speed and my economy was improving. Racing is the best way to improve as a biathlete, and I am looking forward to racing on snow, instead of pavement.
My fall training went well, but it was not enough to meaningfully close the gap between myself and the rest of the field. After analyzing the results of both weekends of summer racing I have determined that my performances are on a similar level to those I produced in 2014. This is frustrating considering the 2,000 or so hours of physical training I have completed since then. I have had to deal with some illness and injures in that time as well, but I had hoped my general fitness would be at a higher level. The positive spin on this analysis is that I still have lots of room to improve in ski speed and economy.
Outside of the race results, I had a great time in Vermont. The weather was pleasant, the venue was in excellent shape, and I got to spend some time with new and old friends. My pals Jake Brown and Paul Schommer where very kind to invite me to a dinner hosted by local ski coaches Adam Terko and Liam John. Adam and Liam both coach for the Mansfield Nordic Ski Club. Mansfield is a dynamic and successful club, which is forging a stellar reputation in the New England ski community. I am not the only person to draw this conclusion, as Adam was named the New England Nordic Ski Association’s Coach of the Year in 2017. Check out all that Mansfield Nordic does HERE.
The next important competitions are the IBU Trials in Coleraine, Minnesota in early December. In the eight weeks between now and then I am pushing all my chips into the center of the table. Going “All In” sounds cliché; however, I feel that the act of pushing my training, time, and finances to the limit adds elements of excitement and finality which will further motivate me to bring my best.