Unlucky

Relay at the OECH

Relay at the OECH

Hey readers,

So there has been some news since my last post, so I’ll share with you everything that is worth sharing.

20150117_150324So after New Years break and an awefull illness, my body wasn’t in the best shape for competing. In competition, I would push to my absolute limits but basically go nowhere. I was definitely lacking power and speed. When I looked at the results list after each event I was quite disappointed and obviously very dissatisfied. By the end of January I managed to find some reasonable shape and regained qualification for World Cup. That trimester was mentally really difficult for me but I knew that it takes time for an athlete’s body to recover, so I tried to keep my head high and be patient.

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Next up was Open European Championships (OECH) in Otepaa (EST) which everyone was excited for. We had the largest number of athletes there in history, 3 junior girls and 4 men. The men were eligible to start a Relay for the very first time in history!! It felt great to finally have a team to travel with.

Otepaa is a small place in the middle of nowhere, it’s quite isolated from everywhere but let me tell you they love and support their snow sport. It felt great to get out of central Europe and experience and live a different culture for a while. Central Europe does get a little monotonous at times and when you spend so much time away from home, it gets quite tough. Travelling somewhere new definitely freshens you up mentally.

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So OECH started off with the 20km individual event, finally I was feeling somewhat decent but having slow skis and shooting 9 penalties didn’t help me in my first comp. It was gusting a storm like in the Australian KAC, skiing was pretty tough but the shooting range was the real mission. Unfortunately I failed the mission by shooting a 9-minute penalty and crossing the finish line in 83rd.

20150116_103705I was certainly hoping for a better result in the 10km sprint event the next day, luckily the weather conditions were much better and fair for everybody. This time I had fast skis and I managed to shoot straight, so the result was much more pleasing to look at, 41st in a strong field of 106 starters. The following day we had the 12.5km Pursuit, I shot 2 penalties out of 20 which moved me up to 36th position, two really satisfying days for me.

IMG_3312After a rest dayt it was time to make history, for the first time ever we had a relay in an international event. Damon, Dyllan, Daniel and myself were all excited for this event and I think we did a great job considering the unfortunate circumstances! I started the first leg, it was going great right up to the last downhill on the first loop, where I crashed and broke most of my equipment! A Finnish guy caught an edge and crashed in front of me and since we were all in a pack I had nowhere to go other than into him!!  while I was trying to realise where the sky was another 2 skiers skied into me. In conclusion I broke my best skis, chipped my rifle stock, and bruised several body parts. Fortunately I was able to recover and get up quickly. I managed to ski and shoot quite well using only 1 extra round. I handed over to Damon managing to still be in a pack of other nations, 1:38 behind the leading team. As the race went on we slowly kept dropping back from the leaders, but I believe we did a damn great job! P.S we even lapped a nation!

20150115_165600_2After European Championships finished I found out that I no longer had the financial capacity to compete on the WC or IBU Cup, I was really shocked and lost, to be honest I didn’t know what to do. I knew that this season was really tough financially but never did I think I would have to stop competing. When you work so hard during summer, sacrifice and give everything you have for the winter season it’s a bit upsetting to find out that you are done. So with no other choice, my dad and I decided to go back to our Tyumen base and train free of charge until the World Championships, which are luckily fully paid for by the OC. When we arrived in Tyumen it was hard to find motivation, my dad left for Junior Worlds after a couple days so basically I had to be like Rocky Balboa, work and train on my own! I also didn’t have a rifle with me because of the paperwork. Although at first it was bizarre and unusual to be watching the WC on TV, I soon found that maybe a break is good for me. I got my act together and tried to make the most of the dull moment, trained hard for 3 weeks and stayed healthy, focusing on doing my best at the coming World Championships.

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When this season is over I really have to think about what ill do next with my career, but Ill leave those thoughts for later.

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We are here in Finland now. Opened my ski bag after travelling and found more broken skis that I was most likely going to compete on here. Luck is just not on my side this year!! Our first race is tomorrow, wish us all luck as I am sure we’ll need it!

Thank you for reading,

Alex

Summer World Champs

Hi everyone,

 

I have now successfully finished my 3rd training camp and the Summer World Championships are done and dusted. It was a long month of training and I’m happy it’s now over.

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This months training was probably one of my hardest so far in my career. Never have I pushed myself so hard and far before. Everyday I would average around 5 hours of training and some days I would train up to 7 hours, I was really motivated and training felt good. The only thing I was concerned about was overtraining, I didn’t want to be fatigued and not recovered for the World Championships. I knew it was a risk to be training so much, but it was a risk I was willing to take. You see, I didn’t want to take it easy, taper and prepare especially for a summer world championships. After all, I am in a winter sport, and I want to do well throughout the winter. Saying all that, I still wanted to go well, so a week before I did intervals that somewhat prepared me for the races.

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Am I satisfied with my result from the Summer World Championships? Well, I will probably have to say no. I week before the world championships we had a time trail, there were some Russian team members and the whole Bulgarian team competing, I won that race with 1 penalty. So after that my hopes for the races in a week’s time were quite high.

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On race day I felt good. First lap felt great until I shot 3 penalties on my first prone, on my 2nd lap I completely blew up. What happened? Well, I don’t really know. I pushed so hard that I reached a maximum heart rate of 190, I haven’t seen that for 7 years! It was hot and humid and during the race all I really wanted was to make it to the finish. My whole body went numb and it took me hours after the race to recover. At the end of the day I was 28th/50 3:15 behind with 3 penalties.

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Next day was the Pursuit. After being dehydrated and having a horrible sleep, I actually went ok. Skiing felt a lot easier, effortless I would say, and the result was reasonable, I was only 2 minutes back in ski time. During wintertime I’m around 2:30 back. I shot 4 penalties and moved from 28th down to 22nd.

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I wasn’t disappointed with these races because I know that I wasn’t prepared. I still think I did ok and progress is definitely there. It will be good to see what I can do when snow comes and when I will be ready! Also I have to add that the rollerskis they gave out for the competition were so hard to ski on. A lot of the teams use different brands of rollerskis for their preparation during summer. When you use one pair of rollerskis the whole summer you adjust your technique for them. I use Marwe, so when you I got completely different rollerskis on race day its was very hard to adapt in time, this is why I think my second race was better, if only I had them a week before the start. Girls were lucky enough to race on Marwe, men raced on SRCP.

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Now off topic I have heard about Callum’s crash while he was competing in a sprint event in AUS! He was very unfortunate and was badly hurt. I am Happy that he is already recovering and feeling better. I have to say that Callum has always been a fighter, he has been in some heavy situations before and has come back from them even stronger. He is a great friend and I have no doubt that he will be back in training in no time. I really hope he has a speedy recovery and I wish him all the best! Keep your head up mate!

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I now have only 2 month left till the season starts and to be honest I’m finding it hard to motivate myself. The reason for that is I don’t know what’s next, Lucy and Dan have left home, dad is leaving Monday to Austria for the IBU Congress for a while, and we have run out of money to join a Team. Also at this moment I don’t have funds to travel/book overseas, so I’m thinking of doing some coaching here but I don’t think its going to be all that simple. But hopefully I can work out what I’m going to do soon and get back into a routine. Other then that I’ve been healthy all summer and no injuries so can’t complain.

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Thanks for reading,

 

Alex

Cleaning out blog cobwebs

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You haven’t heard from me in a while, so I thought an update would be necessary!

One week after my twist

One week after my twist

My home visit was defiantly a difficult one, and it didn’t achieve much. Yes, the first week was good with having the art show, which I would like to thank everyone so much for organizing especially Evelyn!! Being home and seeing the ocean was also great, but then it all went downhill. Got sick, severely twisted my ankle that I still can’t run on today, races weren’t flash, and training was poor. Yep, I was a little disappointed. There was lots of positive moments, like seeing my comrades, skiing, eating auzzie food, and being finally home!

I am now back in Russia! Training is going well, although I still can’t run on my foot I can do a lot of roller skiing and cycling. I feel as I am starting to get my shape back and everything seems to be going smoothly.

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Home Breakfast!!!

Home Breakfast!!!

Made a movie not long ago check it out!

Open European Championships

What a race! Let me tell you, there was defiantly a lot of pain and frustration along the track… My skis were defiantly not running to a good standard and my overall form was lagging in power, put those 2 together and you have yourself a bad race! The only thing that was going good for me was the shooting, 0,0,0 until the last standing where it crumbled into 3 penalties, with those came frustration and a lack of motivation for the last loop!  Finished in 84th , far from ideal.

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We have now arrived to Bansko (BUL) for the Open European Championships. It’s a bit weird here with all the little side shops and strip joints, but It’s different and I like that. Europe is basically all the same and you really get over it, its good to have a variety of culture and architecture in your trip, helps you clear up a little from the long 6 months away from home!

The Team

The Team

I have already raced the 20km individual and it wasn’t what was looking for.  Although I did have really good shooting maing only making one mistake, but unfortunately my skis weren’t running good and my shape is still down. I placed 26th/69 which is not too bad, but having only one miss I would of liked to be in the top 10. I am feeling better and better in each race so hopefully tomorrow I have a good one.

Talk soon
Alex

Ostersund- Sprint, Winter Wonderland

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Winter Wonderland

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A chilly -27

Ostersund 10km WC Event was finished with a pleasant feeling. It was chilly day with -13 and strong wind which made the chill factor ridiculous! I wore my warmest thermals and I was ready to give it my best. The race started a little earlier then the 20km at 13:30, which I was grateful for. I hate racing in the afternoon, it is dark, cold, and the whole day you walk around nervous not knowing how to prepare for the competition. I placed 67th out of 104 starters with a total of 3 penalties, missing out only 10 seconds of 60th which would have put me in the pursuit event! Now you can see how tight our fields are over the 10km, in 10 seconds there were 7 people.

Now I defiantly know I have made a good improvement from last year! It is a great feeling to know that the training you are doing is working.

CIMG6330We have now arrived to snowy Hochfilzen (AUT) where it loves to snow! Last night we probably got 40cm.. I personally don’t like racing in snowy conditions since I have no good skis for the weather, it’s just not my snow to perform, but I know I have to overcome these fears and start racing respectable in all conditions! The race is in 2 days so lets hope the snow stops, the altitude doesn’t affect me, and I feel like I am on fire on the day!  I really want to start qualifying for pursuit, and I’m not too far off, so let’s hope everything works out on the day and I can finally get there.

UntitledMy team mate Dyllan has a habit of putting a little too much on his dinner plate and not finishing his food, so tonight when we saw him put a colossal  amount of dinner on his plate, we made him eat it. Although it took almost an hour he got through It, certainly gave me a good laugh watching him eat all of it.

All for now, talk soon.