2010 Vancouver Olympics

2010 Vancouver Olympics
Welcome! It is here I hope to keep all of my sponsors and supporters up to date about my everyday life as a full time Biathlete. I will post regular updates about how my training and race season is progressing, which will hopefully provide a little insight as to exactly what my life is all about. With the Sochi 2014 Olympics fast approaching, I invite you to join me on my journey as I pursue my dreams...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

World Cup #6 - Antholz, Italy

My last race during Trials was on Sunday.
On Monday I spent the day scrambling to get packed and organized because by Tuesday morning I was on my way to the airport to catch a flight from Calgary to Munich via Frankfurt. It was a stressful couple of days as it took a while to sort out logistics of where I was going and exactly what I was doing. All I knew was that I would be leaving to Italy and would be racing a World Cup Sprint on Friday. I didn’t find out my flight time until late Monday night, wasn’t able to pick up my ticket until Tuesday morning just before I left, and I wasn’t exactly sure how was I going to get from Munich to Italy.

Everything sorted itself out in the end. Our massage therapist picked me up at the airport in Munich and we drove through Germany and Austria to Italy where I met up with the rest of the team. The next day during official training I did some easy training to familiarize myself with the venue and to try and jump start my body which was tired after two long days of travel. 48 hours after arriving to Europe, I was on the start line to race the 10km Sprint. Ideally it would have been nice to have a bit more time to recover before jumping into race, but I skied surprisingly well and shot respectable (8/10) to finish in 56th out of 114 competitors. This was my best race so far out of my short stint on the World Cup circuit and finishing in the top 60 and being able to qualify to start in the Pursuit is a big step forward in the right direction.

18,000 fans cheering from the grande stands in the stadium.

On Saturday I woke up feeling fairly tired, but I managed to put together another solid race and moved up 9 spots to finish in 48th. Antholz is at altitude which I find for me makes the shooting a lot more difficult due to taking in less oxygen with each breath compared to at a lower elevation. I had to take my time in the range which I think turned out to be smart decision as decent shooting (I hit 16/20) definitely helped to move me up in the ranks. I felt more tired on my skis during the Pursuit. In a Pursuit race the athletes start at the same time interval that they finished behind the leader in the previous days Sprint race. So, the leader from the Sprint race would start first and if second place finished 5 seconds behind first place the previous day, then that athlete would start 5 seconds behind the leader in the Pursuit. This continues until the top 60 athletes are out on course and results in sort of a ‘cat and mouse’ type race where everyone is trying to chase down the leader in front of them. Because everyone starts so close together the skiing gets quite competitive and the pace on the first lap is absolute hell! I was just able to hang on to the pace on the first lap, and skied a lot stronger with each lap as the race went on. Racing in Atholz was a lot of fun. The venue is amazing and racing in front of 18,000 roaring fans is an experience I won’t soon forget!

Early on in the Pursuit in Antholz, ITA

It was a really fun experience and although I was feeling quite tired there were a lot of positive’s from those two days of racing. The biggest highlight was qualifying for my first Pursuit race on my first available chance to do so while on the World Cup! Secondly, I was able to have decent results in the shooting range given the altitude, and thirdly, even though I wasn’t feeling in 100% physical shape, I was able to actually ski quite competitively and was skiing within the top 50 for both races which was good.

After the races were over I took a day off to recover and then it was back to training to do some high volume days at higher altitudes (2000 m) before going Ruhpolding, Germany for a mini-camp before heading off to Korea. Training in Ruhpolding started out great. We were able to put in a lot of shooting volume and did a few hard intensity sessions. On Sunday however, I woke up with a bad sore throat and pounding headache, only to spend the next few days in bed and in quarantine while I did everything I could to try and speed recovery. This was done by trying to get as much rest as possible, hydrating with tea and water to the point where I felt like a fish, and by taking regular dosages of Cold FX, oregano oil, and other vitamins.

Feeling slightly better by Wednesday, we drove to the airport in Munich where we boarded a plane and were on our way to Korea. Adios Europe!

A photo from one of our high altitude workouts in the Italian Dolomites.

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