Things have finally cooled off a bit here in Germany, and though I’m not going to complain about sunny days after the winter we had here, the cool down was MUCH appreciated! Last week was a pretty big one for us, with two time trials. The first was a normal biathlon time trial with the Italian team, Slovenians, Estonians and us (as well as Andrea Henkel). It was a hot day, but things went well for me. Given that the Italians were all on fast rollerskis and I was still 4th, I was happy. Shooting felt solid and the skiing was much better than Jericho a couple weeks ago. It was nice to do a time trial with the pressure of an international field, too: we were able to see where things might stack up this winter. Our coaches were pleased and I think we’re all looking forward to fine tuning things in the next couple months before the snow flies!
On Saturday, we did the epic Rossfeld uphill skate time trial. It was just our team, but that did not diminish the feat. Rossfeld is a fairly steep but skiable uphill (it averages an 8.5% grade) that takes about an hour to complete. The women’s start point makes the course 10km, while the men start a bit lower for a 12km total. It’s definitely an exercise in mental toughness – having to stay focused for that long, plus pacing correctly so you don’t bonk before the end. Despite being a foggy, rainy day, it was a solid time trial. No one was complaining about the weather, because if it had stayed hot we would have all been more than miserable. I was very happy with my effort, and extremely glad to have the workout behind me!
Our women’s group is now complete, with yesterday’s arrival of Laura Spector (thanks, Irene, for letting her out!). Today we head off to Oberhof where we’ll be able to ski in the ski tunnel the next few days. On the way, we’ll stop in Salzburg for some shooting tests. Only one more week left in the camp, and only a couple more day left in August. The summer is ending and things are feeling on-track for a good winter. Here’s to a great fall of training!