Laura Spector Blog Banner

Archive for January, 2010

Calm before the storm

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

I arrived back in the U.S. on Monday evening after flying in from Munich. After a day of back-to-back interviews at home in Lenox and one of my year’s few family dinners, I’m back in Lake Placid. The weather has been interesting, to say the least. The Northeast was apparently hit by a huge rainstorm on the day I flew in. The water froze overnight, turning the range into a sheet of ice, and wind blew plenty of debris from the trees, making for a very treacherous Wednesday afternoon classic ski. I picked up enough wood shavings from the sawed up fallen trees to slow my skis unpredictably on the downhills and got my grip on the pine boughs littering the uphills. It started snowing that evening and has been snowing ever since, with a brief break for sunshine during our Thursday morning training session.


January World Cups

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

After the trials races in Altenberg I returned to Ruhpolding to race in the world cup. It was nice to have trained there for a week early in the month and to know the course from racing there in the past. The crowds were the largest I’ve ever seen there before. During the sprint race I did a good job of ignoring the noise from the spectators completely but it was hard to do so during the relay on a shorter, more densely packed course when I couldn’t even hear myself breathe.


Vancouver bound!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

I was informed of my nomination to the Olympic team last night. The trials process was not nearly as stressful as last year because I came into the races a more well-rounded biathlete. Having not been able to compete in the final race, which I had been anticipating with excitement, didn’t make the selection as fulfilling, but it has really been great to read the outpouring of support from family and friends who have been following me all along.

In the time trial sprint race last Thursday I cleaned for the first time. Ever. This was a huge step forward for me and I left the final stage grinning. In the IBU Cup sprint race on Saturday we encountered some strong and gusty winds in the stadium. It was a tough day for shooting all around and I managed to hold it together with three total penalties. I’m thankful I didn’t have any more than that because the penalty loop was lopsided with snowdrifts. My ski time was in the top quarter of the field and, for not feeling at the peak of my physical shape, is a promising starting point.

Today I’m headed back to Ruhpolding for World Cup #5 which begins with a sprint race on Wednesday. Thanks, everyone, for following! And congratulations to all my teammates with USBA for their hard work.

Too foggy to shoot in Altenberg!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

A pursuit biathlon race turns into a cross-country pursuit between biathletes.

We arrived at the venue for ski testing this morning, the morning of the pursuit race, wary of the cloud of fog that had enveloped the entire venue since last night. We were soon told that zero would be pushed back half an hour in hopes that the fog would clear from the range, but there were no promises that the race would still go on. They would decide that after zero.



Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Here’s a short update of our stay so far in Altenberg. To backtrack a little bit, we had a successful week of training in Ruhpolding. We finished up the week with a double time trial, first a 3k sprint, followed by a 3k-5k sprint, depending on how people were feeling. The idea was to simulate a race situation but allow us to do more shooting over the normal race distance. Snow started to fall heavily the night before and we encountered both fast, icy, old snow and slow, sticky, new snow out on course, making for a treacherous and tedious ski. I cleaned the first sprint, my first ever clean race! In the second sprint, I shot 1-1, for 90% shooting on the day. The snow continued for two days, adding two to three extra hours to our drive to Altenberg.