Wednesday, December 10, 2014

GRP at World Cup and NorAm Cup

Green Racing Project biathletes kicked off the racing season last week with Susan Dunklee and Hannah Dreissigacker representing Craftbsury and Team USA at the World Cup in Ă–stersund, Sweden, and Michael Gibson and Ethan Dreissigacker joining me in Canmore, AB, Canada at the NorAm Cup. Here's a link to the Craftsbury Outdoor Center's summary article about our accomplishments.

Ethan leads the men's NorAm Cup mass start into the range.

Monday, December 8, 2014

2nd Race, 1st Place!

In Sunday's mass start, I shot clean in prone (10/10 hits) and then missed 2 in both of the standing stages for a total of 16/20 hits, or 80% shooting. I've hit 80% a couple of times in a 2-stage race but never in a 4-stage race, so this was a success for me. I still have a lot of work to do on my shooting, especially standing, but it feels good to have two races under my belt as I head to IBU Cup trials in Minnesota next weekend. There were 298 competitors at this NorAm Cup, making it the largest biathlon race in North America ever. It was fun to be a part of the action!

It was a beautiful, sunny day in Canmore and Jakob Ellingson, a biathlete from Minnesota, took great pictures of the whole scene. Check out the rest of his album, here.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

1st Race, 2nd Place

Here I am with Julia Ransom (Biathlon Alberta) 1st,
and Emma Lunder (B.A.) 3rd 
I shot clean in prone today and then went on to miss 3 in standing. Tomorrow we have a 12.5k mass start race. Both the 1st and 3rd place finishers from today are headed to Europe tomorrow for IBU Cup racing, so the competition opens up a bit. I hope to at least match but ideally improve upon my 70% shooting from today, and there is room for faster skiing too. Here are the results from today.

And here are some lovely pictures, courtesy of my US Biathlon teammate, Maddie Phaneuf.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Season is Upon Us

The racing season, of course! I am in Canmore, Alberta for my first biathlon races of the season. Since trials in October, I survived enough cold, rainy training days to fulfill my lifetime quota and have resolved to move out of the northeast! 

(I am taking suggestions on places to live that satisfy the following criteria:
  • urban access
  • snow access
  • water access, ideally swimmable
  • predominant sunshine
So far the only place I can come up with is Truckee, CA, but there is possibly also a contender in the southern France/Pyrenees region.)

This is my second trip to Canmore, and first for racing. I came with the GRP two years ago for an October training trip on the "Frozen Thunder" man-made snow loop. Canmore is a sunny place, but very cold. It has been in the single-digits since I arrived three days ago, which I am viewing as acclimatization for my next racing destination: northern Minnesota.

Today we took a trip into Banff National Park, where we skied on Moraine Lake Road. The road is closed in winter except to skier traffic, and it is lined with tall, snow-covered pines. There is a moraine lake at the end, but I've never made it all the way there. There are continuous gorgeous views of the Canadian Rockies, including this one featuring the Lake Louise alpine World Cup venue:

And here is a picture of Lake Louise, covered in snow:

Find info and results for the NorAm races this Saturday and Sunday, December 6 & 7, here

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pictures from Fall

Cool classic skiing technique in Utah in early October. 
Shaping young minds at the Fast & Female event in Park City, UT.
I titled my portion of the clinic "girls with guns."
Hiking Mt. Timpanogos was a training camp highlight.
US Biathlon women's team does Halloween!
November 7th: Snow in Lake Placid!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fall Rollerski Trials

On October 25th and 26th, I competed in the second set of biathlon rollerski races that serve as qualifiers for the early season World Cup races. My coaches and I agreed beforehand that regardless of my result, my plan for November and December would be to stay and gain racing experience in North America, so rather than feeling pressure to qualify, I felt I had a stress-free opportunity to practice what I've been working on for the past few months. 

On the range at trials in August. (Photo Fasterskier)

I skied pretty fast in the first race, but missed a frustrating five out of ten targets! I thought I did good work on the range, but did not get the result I was looking for. From what I can tell, this is a common paradox in biathlon. As a runner or cross-country skier, you either try your hardest and can be proud of your result, or you don't and can't. In biathlon, that direct correlation between effort and result is not always there. The good news is that despite my bad result, I managed to stay positive because I felt like the work I did was good. My plan for the second race was to execute on the range exactly the same way I did on the first race with just a touch more control and precision. (Those are two skills that I am catching up on, coming from my endurance sport background. I am used to trying to shut off my brain as soon as possible in a race- the earlier the better- in order to push my body beyond my mind's artificial limit. But in biathlon, you have to use your brain.)

The second race went better. I only missed two shots. I found myself disappointed because I lost focus on the very last last target and missed. So there you have it: I thought I did good work on Saturday but shot poorly, and shot better on Sunday but was disappointed with the work...

Overall the trials process was very positive. I learned something in each of the four races and had podium finishes in three of them. 

Here is an article from the October trials. Watch the video and you can see me shooting next to my teammate Susan at 1:26. She cleaned and I missed one.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Six Biathletes Receive National Team Promotions

...and I'm one of them! Fasterskier explains the new US Biathlon development system and where I fit in, here.

Rollerski biathlon trials in August. (Photo Fasterskier)