Today's race was the most disappointing of my season. When I crossed the finish line I was so...angry. So angry at myself, and this feeling of disappointment was something I have not experienced so deeply before. I had bad races at the Olympics, but it was so amazing just to be at the Olympics that it did not bother me as much. But this race, today, is the type of race that athletes must learn to deal with.
I was starter 64. I was very scared of this course before starting because there are 2 big hills in it that, in training, were really killing me. I started off and was feeling great. I got to the first hill and my strategy was to just put my head down and do it. Usually I look up the hill to the top, but these were so long that my plan was to just put my head down and go for it- and it worked. I think. It felt fine at least, and I was doing more passing on the up hills, instead of being passed. I came in for prone and clicked 1 left as the wind was down from zero, and hit all 5. Great start!
I was feeling better and better, so my second loop was just splendid. I came in for standing, and Olga Zaitseva from Russia came in at the same time. My first shot miss-fired twice, (which is when the shot doesn't go off), and this really messed up my rhythm. Then Olga started shooting and the Russians were going crazy in the crowd. Crowds usually don't bother me at all, but for some reason this day, all I could do was listen to them. So Olga hit 5 (she placed 2nd today), and I hit 2. I had become so unfocused, and made such a...I dunno what to call it...maybe 'rooky mistake'. This is what we train for- To block out noises and focus on what we are doing, and I didn't do it. So, 3 times around that damn penalty loop, (who I thought I was over but I guess it just keeps coming back. It is an awful relationship between myself and Mr. PL (Penalty Loop)) and then out on the trail. My last loop I felt was amazing, and I got a split that I was in 59th.
Well, I finished in 60th, but ended up 73rd- 3 minutes 50 seconds behind 1st place, who had no misses. Of course you cannot say this in biathlon, but if I had had no misses, I would have been in approximately 40th position.
I think the reason why I am so angry is because I could have done it. I can do it. I am ready to do the pursuit, but it is just not all coming together when it needs to. Oberhof, 45th position, no pursuit. Antholz, 47th position, 1 hour before start get deathly ill and end up in hospital. Kontiolahti, mess up mentally and throw it all away. I am sure I am not the only one who is highly disappointed in today's results because this is what happens in biathlon, but I really hope it all comes together because I am feeling so good.
POSITIVE OF THE DAY: Congratulations to the Canadians. All 4 women qualified for the pursuit! Good luck to all of them, especially Rosanna in her first World Cup pursuit! Woohoo!