February 20th, 2010
Thursday was the Individual race here in Vancouver. I’d had some shaky performances on the range in shooting the previous two days, so I needed to sort that out first and foremost, as an Individual is heavily weighted toward the superior shooter. I spent a little bit of time doing SCATT laser training with my coaches on Wednesday night and used the remaining time during zero on Thursday morning to shoot a few extra clips, just to make the mechanics smooth. The day was sunny and a warm one inside our one-piece powerweb racing suits, so I was grateful it was also the one race in which we’re allowed feeds. With temperatures dropping a little lower at night during the past week, the tracks held up surprisingly well even when the sun came out. They probably became just a little slower as the snow was churned up and the top layer turned to water. At least we started in the morning instead of the after the men.
I held my shooting together for three clean stages in a row but came into the fourth stage pretty tired and wasn’t able to settle five good shots, hitting three instead. It’s only the second time I’ve ever shot 18 for 20 in a four-stage race, and the first time was in a time trial back in ’07. I can’t say as much for the skiing. After two decent laps I hit a wall, and it was a struggle from there. My objective became finding a speed that I could just maintain for the rest of the race without completely tanking before it was over. In the end, I was really happy with my shooting. I’m happy with any personal best and because biathlon combines two sports, sometimes that personal best only comes in one of them. The race I look forward to is the one when I can combine perfect shooting on the range with a perfect day on the tracks. It just seems to be the race that’s twice as elusive, but that’s why years of racing experience count so much in this sport.
Yesterday I was the featured Team GreenLaces Olympian. Being part of Team GreenLaces not only means I get to wear a pair of bright green shoelaces around when I go running, but it’s also a way to remind myself of the promise I made to help the environment, and to inspire others to do the same. There are lots of other athletes in Vancouver who have made their own promises, and it’s fun to see all the shoes with green laces lined up outside our doors in the USA house.