Thursday, July 2, 2009

Women's National Team Camp

I am in the last few days of this summer's National Team Camp. After a few more shooting workouts, a long bike ride, intervals and strength these next few days, I will surely be looking forward to a few days of R&R. It has been another successful training block, however, but this time with different goals and accomplishments than that of my first camp earlier in May. The first two weeks of camp I was together with whole women's team whose members ranged from Development to A-team. In my history with USBA, this is the first women's team specific camp. In part due to our asking, but also because we now have a solid group of lady biathletes who can together push each other and women's biathlon to new historic levels of participation and international results.

Laura S. and I at the end of classic ski on Slide Brook Rd. in Soldier Pond, ME. A bunch of us jumped off this bridge into the river moments later for a refreshing swim after a long ski.

Training sessions were designed to maximize our time together; intervals like the one pictured below and lining up on the shooting range for timed shooting drills and tests created a necessary atmosphere that is hard to replicate with a small group or by one's self. Skiing in a close group on matched rollerskis on a long ascent really brought out morsels of strategy, fight and perservence that come from having our competition just behind or just in front of you. Shooting together simaltaneously tested our abilities to maintain the internal focus of our own shooting process as well as being aware of the speed and precision of competitors around us. Kind words of advice earlier in the week reminded us that the roots of 'compete' involve coming together - so thats what we've done. We know that in order for our women's group to progress we need to improve our ability to handle race-like situations with close competiveness, fast accurate shooting, and strategic technical transitions (in skiing). And as we look towards improving our women's relay team, we also come together to think like a team, even in situations like when we make dinner together, make travel plans, or pack the van.

The womens team (and some neighborhood dogs) during one of eight 4 minute Level 4 intervals up Hurricane Hill in Keene, NY.

The second week of camp brought us to Fort Kent, ME and the Maine Winter Sports Center/10th Mtn. Division biathlon venue. Workouts alternated between skiing at the venue, and running, biking and skiing around the County.

I spent 4 years living and training with the MWSC and in Fort Kent. It was a perfect place for me to develop as a biathlete and as an active community member, and it is where I met some of my greatest mentors and life-long friends. Also, it is where I started making my cards. Below are some of my favorites inspired by the landscape of northern Maine:

A view of the birches beyond the stadium from the 10th Mtn. Lodge.

A common view of rolling fields of gold, deep blue skies and puffy cumulus clouds. This reminds me of the Perley Brook roads.
I spent a lot of time driving in the County from all the various towns and training spots. Often, I'd be headed home just after dusk.

Or, I would be out early while the fog was still lingering in the St. John River Valley. When the 9 am rising sun burned it off, mornings were glorious.

This final week of camp I will finish up back in Lake Placid where I am working with my coaches Per and Armin. We've been diligently working on my shooting position and process and will take some time tomorrow to check out ski technique and reasses for the next round of technique ideas. Per, Armin and I converse through e-mail and skype in between camps, so it is a treat to work with both of them here on home turf this week. They are a great combo and after talking to them about the goals that I want to accomplish this year the Swede answers to believe in the progress I have made and the Italian appropriately answered to remember to have passion. Ha - great answers.

No comments: