• Maddie Phaneuf

September Slump

I don't know what it is with me and September, but I find myself in such a slump during this month. I have low motivation to get out the door and train, and have been constantly questioning my decision for staying with biathlon. The hardest part is, I can't tell if this is just a mini phase since being in a new place and living in a house full of non-biathletes...or if I am actually burnt out.

Joanne and I at the start of our mini camp

I traveled over to Utah for a training camp with Joanne, and it started out okay. I tried to do some intensity but my stomach was cramping up due to the heat (I think) and I was just not in it mentally. So I decided to take a few days off from biathlon and headed up to Grand Teton National Park to meet up with Dustin and our roommate Mac. We did some epic mountain adventures, and it was super fun to just be out in nature.

The hikes we did were (almost) the Middle Teton - we didn't quite make it to the top, but we made it to the saddle just below it at around 11,000 feet. This hike was around 12 miles, and took us 5.5 hours! We got lost a little bit in the boulder field, and I got grumpy and tired the higher we got, but the grumpiness went away when I saw the great views!

The mountain we were trying to hike is the one on the right, we made it to the little dip (saddle) to the left of it above that snow patch.

Somehow smiling at the top, even though I felt like death.

Summit selfie with the boys!

The other hike we did was more of a trail run, we ran a loop through Cascade Canyon to PIne Canyon. This was an 18 mile run and took us just under 5 hours to complete! I liked this hike/run more, because there were incredible views the whole way and the trail was more clearly marked so we didn't get lost as much.

View of the Grand Teton from the trail up (we ran through the valley on the right side)

Quick stop at Lake Solitude in the middle of the hike/run

I headed back to Utah in hopes to feel mentally refreshed and ready for real training. We started the week off with a hike up Mt. Timpanogos which was about 13 miles and took us 5.5 hours to finish. The views were so nice, and the summit push was pretty exposed.

Vasek with the summit in the background, this was before the final push!

Group shot at the top! Vlad, Joanne, Vasek, and I

On Tuesday we did some continuous (2 hours!!!) of Level 3 up Guardsman Pass - which is basically this long steep road that goes up a mountain. It was probably my least favorite workout of this entire year, but I made it through without crying. That afternoon I was too tired to want to do anything, so Joanne and I just stuck with some shooting drills.

Joanne and I rolling up!


The following day, yesterday, I just did some easy classic combos at the range. Overall the workout was good, but I just felt like I was going through the motions and not really paying attention to anything I was doing...if that makes sense? I decided I clearly need a mental break away from biathlon, and figure out why I'm doing what I'm doing. So, now I'm back in Boulder trying to figure out my life.

I wrote this blog post so that my followers can see the other side of this sport. That even if people are posting about how much fun their having on their adventures, they may still be struggling with something underneath it all. Right now I'm just trying to decide if I made the right choice for me, and figure out if I need to take time away from biathlon or push through for this season. Chances are, I'll stick it out for the October Trials and see what happens through the team naming, and then take it step-by-step for the rest of the season. I just wanted to keep you all in the loop, and give you some insight on what's going on inside my head. I look up to people who are transparent, and I want to try and be as transparent as possible!

Currently listening to: A Trick of the Light by Villagers

- MP