Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Biathlon Haiku

A Five-Leaf Clover
found at the biathlon range
one leaf for each shot

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Black Fly Biathlon

New strategy for tolerating the intense insect activity at the range:

My American Birkibeiner shirt lends itself well to the image.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New Year, New Socks

The "new year" is upon us.  I did my first roller-ski intervals yesterday, and a running time trial today.  Ah, that moment when you realize that the 2-mile loop you did at 5:45/mile pace was actually only 1.7 miles and you were running 6:45's.  'Tis the training season.

There are three reasons for celebration at this time. That's saying a lot for someone who hates training season almost as much as running up mountains in the heat of July while others are barbecuing (oh, wait...). The first cause for celebration is that I replaced all of my socks.

Now when I say all, I mean the 5.5 pairs of socks that have been with me every day for the last three summers of roller-skiing, running, hiking, and biking, rain or shine, blood, sweat and tears. How eleven out of twelve of my original crew sock crew-- purchased while en route to Craftsbury with the hope of making my introduction to roller-skiing less painful-- survived marathons upon marathons of physical wear and abuse is a mystery.

The second cause for celebration is that I am at my first training camp with the US biathlon team. This spring I was nominated to their new "development group", which gives me the opportunity to work with the national team coaches and participate in some of the team's camps this summer. I am still based in Craftsbury and I train with the GRP as often as I can when I'm there, but my training plan is now biathlon-focussed and is written by the US biathlon team coaches. It is a very exciting development for me because it is what I need in order to become a better biathlete.

I also bought a new rifle. It has tiger stripes.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Backlog Blog

"Skijoring with Satchel"
February 2014 in Brimley, MI
at my uncle Pat Egan's house on Lake Superior

The end of March marked the end of the racing season and the beginning of vacation! After a week in the San Francisco Bay area visiting friends and family, I am now home in Maine relaxing and catching up on things like uploading the above video from February. 

After Biathlon Nationals wrapped up in mid-March, I flew to Anchorage, Alaska with a group of eight GRP skiers for Super Tour Finals. I was very excited to compete at STF for two reasons: 1) Biathlon nationals did not go quite as well as I had hoped, so I was happy to have another chance at ending my season on a better note, and 2) Having sat out of the Super Tour this year in order to focus on biathlon racing, I was thrilled to have a chance to compete with all the best domestic skiers again.

I got 2nd place in all 3 races at Biathlon Nationals.
There was not a cloud in the ski the entire time we were in Anchorage. It looked like this:

All my races at STF were solid, with my best performance coming in the 4x5km relay. It was the first time I've competed in a relay since college, and it was a welcome break from individual competition. I loved being able to compete with my teammates instead of against them! The format was mixed gender and technique; on my team Alex Schulz classic skied to start us off, then Liz Guiney classic skied, and then Andrew Dougherty and I skated. I had the 6th fastest split for the fourth relay leg. Another achievement for the week was surviving the 30k classic mass start (a perennial struggle-fest for me), despite the fact that it was my only classic race over 1km this entie winter. Not surprisingly I suffered a major muscular crisis about 4k into the first lap, but managed to recover just in time to pick up the pace on my last lap and avoid repeating my "reverse podium"finish from last year. Then I and my leg muscles enjoyed the men's 50k race from the comfort of the trailside hot tub (purely therapeutic).

The STF trip was a perfect way to bring the season to a close. My visit to California on the way back  East was also pretty nice...

...But nothing beats being home! Check back soon for an update on my plans for the coming year. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

US Biathlon Championships

Right now I am hanging out with my mom at the Williston Village B&B, which is owned by my biathlon coach, Algis. My mom came up from her house in Florida to watch US Biathlon Championships which are being held this weekend at Ethan Allen in Jericho, VT.

Yesterday we had a 15k individual race. In this race format, instead of penalty loops, you get a one-minute penalty for each missed shot. I had good skiing but mediocre shooting and came away with 9 misses (2, 3, 0, 4). I was happy with the one clean stage but that's about it! I had the fastest skiing of the day by one minute, but that wasn't enough to make for all my penalty time. Katrina Howe of Maine Winter Sports Center won the race with six misses.

Tonight we have the sprint competition (under the lights!) and on Sunday we have a mass start. Check back for more updates soon!

Happy to have the weekend's longest race behind me.

Standing shooting

Tired at the finish line!

Podium ceremony with Katrina Howe in 1st, me in 2nd, and Hilary Saucy in 3rd.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Happy Martenitsa!

Martenitsa celebrates the coming of spring. Bulgarians wear red and white bracelets (like this one that my coach, Pepa, gave me this morning at practice,) starting March first to welcome the oncoming spring. Then the next time you see a stork you hang it on the stork and make a wish... If you don't see a stork you can substitute a fruit tree. Or just hang it on any tree on March 21st, which is the vernal equinox and the first day of spring.
Here's to a long snowy winter!!! (And a happy spring.)