March 19, 2010

One Last Push

The Holmenkollen Ski jump from the biathlon stadium.

I have been terribly delinquent in updating my blog the past weeks, but in my defense, things have been a bit crazy.

Right after the Olympics I traveled home to Boise for one day (yes, I know it sounds crazy, but even being home for just one day was so refreshing). I then returned to the OTC in Lake Placid for 5 days of training (which were rudely interrupted by sickness) before flying off to Europe for the last couple World Cup Races. I left Lake Placid last Monday morning and arrived in Kontiolahti, Finland Tuesday late afternoon. We trained Wednesday and Thursday and then raced Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Monday we traveled to Oslo, where I currently am, and raced yesterday and will race again (for the last time this year) tomorrow. Whew, makes me tired just thinking about all the travel I've done lately!

Skinny tires on snow? No problem in Finland.

However much travel it's been, though, it's been more than worth it. While sickness and jetlag made optimal performance tough in Finland, I was still able to gain some valuable experience. We had a mixed relay which gave me another opportunity to mass start against some of the best, and I made the pursuit which gave me another start there to add to my experience level. Yesterday's sprint here in Oslo/Holmenkollen went a bit better. I felt much better skiing, and finished 46th-qualifying me for the pursuit and putting me only 10 seconds from top 40 (World Cup points). The pursuit race on Saturday will be exciting, and hopefully I'll be able to finish the season on a high note!

Oslo biathlon range, with a view of the controversial behind-the-range finish loop.

Whatever the outcome tomorrow, this has been an amazing season for me. Between making the Olympic Team, having some great results, and learning so much just being on the World Cup circuit, I know I have progressed a ton in these past few months. And while I'm looking forward to some rest and time away from biathlon after these races are done, I'm also really looking forward to next season and improving from this start point.

View of Oslo from our hotel window (it's currently too foggy to even see the trees, but when it's clear, the view's amazing!)