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Altenberg was a MUCH different experience this go round!

More often than not, sliding Altenberg means freezing cold weather, some sort of constant precipitation, perpetually gray skies and the immense fear of losing your life sliding through kriesel.

One of my teammates, Anne O'Shea, shows off a rare, sunshiny Altenberg day!

One of my teammates, Anne O’Shea, shows off a rare, sunshiny Altenberg day!

Altenberg treated us to clear skies and warm sunshine (but still a small fear of kriesel….but a healthy respect of Curve 10 is probably a good thing).

Training started off a little rough for me, I wasn’t calm on my sled, and I had a huge break in my form.  As I’ve previously mentioned, I’m on a new sled this year and while I’m feeling comfortable with it, I’ve found that it drives differently in some curves than my old sled did.  I just don’t know what curves drive differently until I’m through them (or flying out of them).  Case in point, the video below, a.k.a. how NOT to drive Curve 4:

In our first race I placed 11th, the second I placed 14th.  Both days I dug myself a hole after the first run (even more so on the second race day) and while I was able to move up several spots and into a better finish after my second run, I was really hoping to be more consistent.

Loading my sled during the second ICC race in Altenberg

Loading my sled during the second ICC race in Altenberg. Photo Cred to Denis Trapp Fotografie.

Overall I’m leaving Altenberg with new personal bests and a better feeling for the track.  This track is one of the most technical on tour, and contains many curves that are ready to flip you on your back or fling you out with hellacious air.  There’s a lot to be learned here and I’m grateful to come back to the track, even though it’s not always the most forgiving.

I also just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who took a moment to send a note, message, email and any other mode of support after my race series in Igls.  I was pretty upset about my finishes and had a hard time writing that last post.  The support you all offered meant a great deal to me, and reminded me that even on my worst days, I have so much love and positivity behind me.  It was your motivation that helped me succeed in Altenberg and reminded me that while I need to race well, it can’t all be outcome based. I walked away from Igls with new PR’s, a fact I overlooked because of my disappointment in the outcome of the race.  Even with the negative, there are positives to be found.

For now, I’ll be spending a few days in Barcelona with 2 of my teammates, touring around and enjoying the culture before heading back stateside on the 20th for the holidays.  Thanks for following!

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