It was a lonely, rainy drive the entire way up to Lake Placid this go round. I left around 8:30am and pulled into the OTC at 2:45pm, which is considered a pretty quick trip. I was offered the opportunity to slide once I got here but after a 6 hour drive, but I wasn’t feeling mentally or physically up to it. Instead, I went to the track and watched some of the other sliders take a few runs.
Tomorrow we have a meeting at 9am to discuss the week ahead and we’ll split into 2 groups to slide throughout the week. We’ll slide once a day and it looks like we’ll have some group workouts as well. It’s about time to settle in, so until tomorrow!
It’s crazy to think that I’ve been up here for two weeks and that I finally go home tomorrow. While I’ll definitely miss sliding for the next week and a half, I’m also really excited to go home and relax and enjoy seeing all my relatives over Thanksgiving.
Okay, so now we’ll get to it. Here are 3 new videos for your viewing pleasure. The first is of me passing through the Chicane (near the end of the track), which is the part of the track that for all intensive purposes is straight. The next video is of me coming through Curve 3. The final video is of me coming through Curves 12/13, which are the start of the Labyrinth.
Thanks for all the support! I’ll try and update sometime between the holidays and the Advanced Camp, which is November 30- December 10!
How exciting! It’s actually coming down harder than the pictures really show, but it’s sooo pretty and is a nice reminder that the holidays are soon upon us!
While I’ve been up here, it’s feels like time has been standing still. I can’t believe that in a few short days, it’s Thanksgiving!
I also have a countdown widget on my dashboard on my Mac, and it’s only 36 days until Christmas! WOW!
Today we’re starting off with an hour long workout with a trainer that’s visiting this week. Around 10:30 we’ll head to the track for our first sliding session from 11:30 to 1:30. We’ll come back for a quick lunch and head back for our second and last session of the week from 4:30-6:30pm.
I’ll see what I can do about getting some more photos of the snow today. There’s not a whole lot of scenery behind the dorms of the OTC so this was the best I could do! I’ll also see what I can do about a helmet cam today. One of my friends up here duck taped his FlipCam to his helmet and got a pretty cool video. I’m not quite so daring since my camera is practically brand new, but maybe I can post his video so you can get a taste of what I’m doing!
I guess it’s not so surprising that most of us are really dragging today. The majority of us are in our second week, doing double sliding sessions and added workouts. I don’t think it helps that we’re pulling a couple G’s as we navigate our way through the course each day.
I’m finding that it’s harder to stay focused when I’m on the course, and that my reaction times are just slightly off, all of which is affecting my form. I’m sure the bruise/charlie horse combo in my leg isn’t helping with all of this either.
This afternoon we have another sliding session, which is optional. We’ll only do 2 runs, and I’m still unsure of whether or not I’m going. On one hand, I love sliding and want to go to make a good impression and show that I’m dedicated. On the other hand, I don’t want to be sloppy down the course and potentially hurt myself.
Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of sliding school up in Lake Placid. I’ll go home for the holidays and then return back to LP on November 30th for the advanced camp.
So I really thought today was going to be a great day. My first run down the track was a solid 1:01… I had even beaten some of the guys who posted faster start times than me! I had finally semi-figured out Curves 2 & 3 and was feeling fairly confident.
Oh confidence, how quickly you can elude me.
My second run was AWFUL. I made it through 2 unscathed and somewhere between 3 & 4 got rocked out of my sled and landed hard back on top of my cradle, slamming into an existing bruise on my left thigh and radiating from my hip flexor to half way down my thigh.
After adjusting back into my sled (while flying down the mountain), the rest of the run was a blur. I cussed my way through Curves 4, 5 and 6. I hit walls at 11 and through the Chicane and out of 19. Honestly, I wanted out. At Curve 4, I thought, “Please just make it stop. I want off of this sled and I want out.” Unfortunately, I would have to navigate the rest of the mountain before the confusion could cease.
After an ice bath and unpleasant foam rolling season, I am SO grateful that we aren’t sliding tonight and are learning about sled prep instead. We’re also taking an intense track walk to learn more about some of the lines we need to take through some of the curves. Clearly, I need to pay extra attention.
Here’s the video of the start from my second run. The start wasn’t awful, just everything else.
During the trials and tribulations I faced throughout the years with AUFH, our coach Steve always taught us to “be comfortable being uncomfortable.” That lesson couldn’t have been anymore applicable today. Let me just describe to you the first few turns of my slide from Start 1:
I throw my sled down on the track and place my runners in the grooves. It slides back and forth without popping out. Check. I look down the runway searching for the red line, at which I’m to stop running and jump on my slide. Sweet Jesus that’s a long way down. Okay, breathe. I hear the announcer say, “The track is now clear to start one for Savannah.” I hear the doo-wop siren and the light turns green. Crap. Now is a REALLY awful time to need to pee. I place both hands on the handles of my sled and with a slight heave-ho give my sled a push and start to run.
I approach the red line and hop on my sled. Oh God, I’m picking up speed. I fly into Curve 1 off-line and am hurtled out into Curve 2. I pinball through Curve 2, leaving chunks of my sled along the walls. I try using my opposite toe to straighten me out. BIG mistake. I make my way out of Curve 2 into Curve 3 ping-ponging off every possible wall. My back end starts to skid out and I begin to slide sideways into Curve 3. My sled is right in line for me to pull a header into the left wall. Ohhhh crap, brace for impact. By some miraculous save, my back end slightly slides to the left and last minute straightens out, slamming the left side of my sled into the wall vs. my head. Thank God.
I literally thought I was going to die. Seriously.
From Curve 4 down, the rest of my run was clean, only skimming the left wall out of 10 into 11. My last run of the day was nice and I made it out of the top of the track without hitting 2 or 3 too badly. Needless to say, I was super uncomfortable in those opening moments on the sled. However, I didn’t really have a choice but to hold on for dear life and find a way to relax through the rest of the track. Once you’re on the sled, there’s no getting off until the end, so you have to be comfortable and relax whether you feel that way or not. So thanks, Steve for that little nugget of information.
On a lighter note, prior to training, we saw a deer at the top of the track chowing down. I sent Megan to try and pet him (kind of like the deer that would come on our turf field and Irene would run after) 🙂
We’re going from the top today. Start 1. My heart is literally RACING… (how on Earth did I even sleep last night?)
Wow. I’m stoked and terrified all at the same time. AH!
We’ll see how this goes. If there’s no post this afternoon…well, it means I didn’t make it. Or didn’t have time because we literally go from the Push track, to the OSC, to lunch, back to the OSC and have an hour long workout at the end of the night. Ugh!
Just got our schedule for the week, and holy crap.
Starting tomorrow, we’re having double sliding sessions each day. We’ll slide in the morning, come back for lunch, and slide again in the afternoon. Wow. Not to mention we have scheduled workouts with a new volunteer coach for an hour each day in addition to our own workouts.
Wow. I am going to be ti-red. Better start chipping away at all that work now!
Today was sort of surreal and really reminded me to take this experience in as it comes. This morning, Megan and I hit the weight room to get a session in and about halfway through, were in a room with Olympians Steve Langdon and Katie Uhlaender. OLYMPIANS. Like, competed in the last Olympics, Olympians. Never in my life did I ever think that I would work out among Olympians (how many times have I used the word Olympian now?). When I actually took a second to think about it, I realized that I may be taking this for granted just a little.
This is my third time staying in the OTC and although it feels familiar, it’s a different journey each time I’m here, and I need to remind myself to stop and take it all in. It’s not just some camp you sign up for to improve your skills. I’m learning a brand new sports in the hopes of some day competing in the Olympics. I think I need to keep reminding myself of that to keep it in perspective.
Later on in the afternoon, I sat in a dorm room with some of the other rookie sliders as Olympian Eric Bernotas taught us about skeleton sleds and how to change the runners, sand them, and basic sled care and set up. He literally took the time to show us the ropes. Like, an hour long session. It’s awe-inspiring, but reminds me that these individuals are people just like the rest of us (just with super athletic abilities) and the ones I’ve met so far are incredibly nice.
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this yet in any of my blogs, but at this stage, I’m basically on the developmental team for skeleton. I’ve been asked to come back for the advanced school after Thanksgiving for extra sliding before the new year. After that, I’ve been invited to stay in the OTC from January thru the beginning of April to train and slide. So basically I’m making the commitment to go for it, although it’ll be a rough ride. I’ll have to pay to buy a sled and helmet to start. Sleds go for around $3000+ and helmets can be anywhere from $200+ Needless to say, I’m going to have to figure out some financials.
Anyway, today has been such an overwhelming day and I still have some major work to do for the company I work for at home, so I’d better get to it. Have a good night!
Today was our final day of sliding for the week and thank goodness for it. I mean, don’t get me wrong, this is super cool, but I need a day break from potentially smashing into walls at what sometimes feels like warp speeds. Seriously.
I did really well today and all of my times improved, as did my speed. I hit 66mph! The crazy thing is, as I get better and my times improve and my speed increases, it doesn’t feel that fast. As you get used to sliding, your reflexes improve and it doesn’t feel like you’re going so fast until you hit the heart of the track where you’re flat against a wall and the pressure is so great, you can’t lift your head up (which makes your head rattle so much I thought I was going to die).
Anyway, tomorrow will be spent working (because the R-Dub doesn’t stop while you’re at sliding school) and watching AUFH kick some UConn butt! Below are a video of Don and I taking a run from Start 3.