There are many reasons why I didn’t reach my goal. In the end I was just not good enough. In general, I had a good base with a lot of physical training during the winter and endless hours of specific mental and technical preparation for the terrain in Strömstad. On the other hand, problems with my hip/hamstring influenced my program and training a lot during the last months before the show down. This lead to a lack in self-confidence.
I knew I had to do a perfect performance to have a chance for a spot and, due to my lack of self-confidence, I was super nervous before the middle distance. It was the race I spent most of my focus on and I think I have never before prepared for a competition in so much detail. Out in the terrain I was simply too nervous. My legs felt weak and heavy, I didn’t invest enough time reading the map and I missed the feeling of being at home, pushing offensively and enjoying the terrain. These things I have built up during the last two years but when the pressure gets too high, you feel like a different person.
It was no surprise when the two sprint races worked out very well. I didn’t focus on sprint at all during my project and therefore did not have big expectations – which means I did run without much pressure.
In the final race, the long distance, I was a bit unlucky. I fell pretty bad after less than 10 minutes of racing time and hit my elbow in such a way so that it still hurts today. I continued somehow and was fighting until the finish line, against both the pain in my arm and the thoughts in my head. I of course realised that my dream, my goal, my hope was running away and it was one of the most bitter hours of my sporting career out there in the beautiful forest.
What gives me motivation at the moment is the support from all kinds of people I met during this whole project. I got a lot of financial help, motivating comments and text messages, and touching reactions. To feel this support and to know that I have a great team behind me, who will help me to fight for new goals, was part of the reason why I decided to do at least one more season as a sportsman. Thanks everyone, who was, is and will be supporting my career!
© 2016 Raffael Huber