Friday, January 10, 2014

Abenteuer in Sudtirol

Scenery along the ski trail in Ridnauntal

It seems as though I'm never good enough at keeping my blog updated.  Its tricky when I feel like I have to have a painting to put up every time I make a post!  Since I've last written, I had two races in France--one really good race (a relay) in which I hit all of my targets (wahoo! thats fun!), and one not-so-good race, in which I missed 4 out of 10 and didn't qualify for the pursuit the next day.  And the biathlon rollercoaster kept on rolling...

Then I spent 2 weeks at home in Vermont, where I was shocked to discover that everyone spoke English!  Its funny how weird that sounds when you get used to foreign languages all the time.  In Vermont I spent time with my family, got overwhelmed by the number people to see and talk to, and enjoyed lots of delicious home-cooked holiday food.  Since its Vermont, I also experienced every type of weather imaginable--snow, rain, sun, below 0F temps, 40F temps, and a whopper of an ice storm that put us out of power for 5 days, and coated everything in sight with almost an inch of ice.  It was beautiful and made a huge mess of the trees, trails, roads, powerlines...pretty much everything.  But there was still some awesome skiing to be had!  All of our team's rifles got lost on our flight home from Geneva, and after over a week of phone calls and frustration with US customs, we managed to get them back and I even got to do some good biathlon training on our little rustic biathlon range.

And then before I knew it my time at home was over and I was back in Europe, this time in Ridnaun, Sudtirol, Italy.  Here in Ridnaun we have two weekends of IBU cup races, which are also the final round of Olympic trials for the US team.   Its funny how hard it can be to push something like that out of your mind and relax and enjoy being in a beautiful place.  I tried, but I was still incredibly nervous before the first race.  I had two solid races in the first weekend of racing, placing 15th and 13th--1st and 2nd American respectively.  With each race, I can feel myself relax a bit more, and once those first races were over, the sun came out and I enjoyed some beautiful skis around the Ridnaun valley.  I think northern Italy might be the most beautiful place I get to go in Europe.  Incidentally it also has the worst internet.  If I manage to get this blog post published, it'll be a miracle!

Sunny weather + beautiful place + perfect ski trails = Happy Hannah!

In two more days, the races will be over, and no matter what happens, it will be a big relief!

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