Rough Day

After a few lack-luster days of recuperating and trying getting back into the groove of working and being back in Denver, Pa, I finally made my way back to the gym today to get a much needed workout in. And let me tell you, it was a little rough.

I hadn’t lifted in about 5 days (my last few days at the OTC were too jam-packed with work and sliding) so I was just trying to get back into lifting with some “lighter” weights today.  Despite using “lighter” weights, it definitely didn’t feel that way.  Usually, I’ll use around 105-115 lbs. to power clean and a minimum of 165lbs when I back squat.  Today I used 95lbs to power clean and 155lbs to back squat, and it felt heavy.

A LOT heavier than usual. I don’t know if the slow music was dragging me down, or the longer warm-up I did made me feel so sluggish, but it was really hard to make it through my workout today. I need to find to extra motivation! I mean, thinking about sliding and going back up in January totally motivates me, but it’s hard to think about sliding when you’re lifting in the Rec Center (no offense to the Rec…the people there are lovely!).

Anyway, I’ll have to ponder this and find a way to (legally) keep myself amped up during workouts!


Back to reality…for now

Yesterday was our final day of sliding until the New Year, so we really had to make our last two slides count. My second run of the day was pretty solid, I slid under a minute and ran a great line through Curve 12, one of the harder curves on the track. I can’t really say as much for my first run.

My first run started off great, I was super relaxed through Curves 1-4 (curves I notoriously skidded through) and felt pretty good on my sled. Then, Curves 11 and 12 came along. I got into 11 too late and tried to adjust accordingly, but it spat me out and sent me flying late into 12, which is BAD. And by bad I mean, “you are probably going to eat it this go-round,” bad. Internally I freaked out and my brain froze, leading me to try to make an adjustment quickly. On one runner and slamming into the right wall on 13, I miraculously found a way to stay on my sled, despite its attempts to catapult me off of it.

Anyway, I’m back home in PA now after a stressful 6.5 hour drive. For those who don’t know me as well, I get really agitated with people who do not know how to drive. I’m the first to admit that I have a lead foot, and that I will yell at the slow driver who cuts me off and proceeds to drive 5 miles under the speed limit.  Well, I encountered a lot of these people on the way home, as well as a 10-freaking-hour-long train that was really the breaking point in me going insane. Gosh.

I’ll get back into training starting Sunday or Monday. I need a day or so to catch up on sleep and heal, as I’ve picked up a few new bruises this session.  Stay tuned!

Good Day

Today is one of the best sliding days I’ve had, well…since I’ve started!  Today both of my push start times were a 5.8 and change (much more consistent) and I ran a 58.7 second run my first time down. 58 seconds! I came back up to the start house and my coach Don sat beside me and said, “Well, how was it?”  I think he may have been surprised I had that in me.  To be honest, I was too!

My second run was about a 59.2, so still under a minute and a fairly clean run.  On both runs, I ran some really good lines in the opening couple of curves which was really exciting. I’m finally understanding how to get through them quickly and without skidding. Victory! (now let’s hope I didn’t jinx myself)

Sadly, I was not chosen to be one of the pilot sleds in next week’s World Cup races.  However, Leisl, Morgan and Corinne were chosen for the honor, so congrats!  So I’ll be making my way back to the 717 for the holidays this Friday.  While I’m super sad I have to leave, I’m also excited to come home and see my family, as well as our 12ft Christmas tree!

Tomorrow is my last day of training for a while, so I’ll see what I can do about getting some videos!  For those of you who aren’t on Facebook, check out my photos page for some pics of my starts from Monday.

Still Snowing…

…and still really, freaking cold!

But, alas, the race must go on.  It was a crowded start house today with around 30 sliders competing this go-round.  It was definitely fun though to finally have everyone together.  The race today was based on consistency, not time, so our goal was not only to push like hell from the start each run, but to also keep our times close at each timing eye.  I had a good start time on my first run, but the run itself was terrible and awfully identical to my second ever run from the top.  This time, I made it through Curves 1 & 2 beautifully and got overexcited at 3. I slid sideways into 3, slammed into the wall at the exit and slid sideways into 4, so much so that I had no idea where I was until I regained consciousness in Curve 8.  I hit hard out of 10, 14, the Chicane and 19.  Overall, not a great run filled with copious amounts of hits that I’ve never felt before but I still ran a 1:00 (clearly, the ice was fast).

Once up to the Start House, I went out to my sled and re-adjusted the rock in one of my runners.  I thought it had a little too much from the start, so I turned it back a little before the next run.  My second run produced a slower start time but a MUCH cleaner run.  I made it through Curves 1-4 without any skidding or slams into the wall (victory!) and only touched in the Chicane and out of 19 and for the first time, ran under a minute! I was very excited.

Tonight our coach will select the pilot sleds for the upcoming World Cup race next week.  Pilot sleds run before the World Cup racers and test out the track to make sure it’s clear to race on.  No worries, it’s not like we’re guinea pigs or that the track is dangerous.  They just want to make sure everything is perfect.  The cool part is that we’ll slide in front of all the spectators who have no clue that our sleds don’t actually count for time, and cheer for us anyway.  I’m pretty stoked.  Apparently it’s a really, really cool opportunity.  I’ll let you know the verdict tomorrow.  If I pilot sled, I come home the 17th. If I don’t, I come back on the 10th!



Today is our first competition as a slider…even if it is just between the Devo team! Today and tomorrow we’ll hold a two-heat race for consistency.  At this point in our careers, time doesn’t matter quite yet.  However, consistency does. The more consistent your runs, the more equipped you are to learning new lines on the track and understanding driving.

So today is the first time that we’re allowed to go 100% from the top. Full speed! I’m nervous but excited at the same time. I’m excited to try full-speed, but nervous that my full speed will be slow. I guess I just need to relax and go for it.  I don’t necessarily have to be the fastest, just the most consistent.

However, based on these races today, our coach will be picking the World Cup pilot sleds, something that I really want to do. I’m on my way out the door right now, but later tonight I’ll explain what a “pilot sled” is.



I think this video explains it all

Seriously, I haven’t seen this much snow in…crap, last February. I forgot I was in DC for the snowpacalypse.  Well, you know what I mean anyway. It has literally been snowing non-stop since 7pm last night. And it’s been like, 2 degrees outside all day. It isn’t too bad once you have your coat on, but a lot of us struggled with cold toes, as track spikes aren’t the most insulated shoes we own.

Anyway, sliding went well today– I was again consistent through each of my runs, which is good. Tomorrow we’re starting a two-heat race sequence against the other sliders in the camp. Tonight we’re having a meeting to go over race protocol and such.

Below are 2 videos of me today. The first is of me in Curves 11/12 and the second is in the Chicane. I was going about 69 mph!

Brrrrr! (And Videopalooza!)

It’s been snowing ALL DAY. It hasn’t even taken a breath and ya know, just relaxed for a minute. Here’s a quick video of how it’s been:

We had to report to the sled shed an extra hour early today to sand our runners.  If your runners are too sharp, or have lots of nicks in them, you’ll go slower. Yesterday, the track still wasn’t in the greatest condition and it really killed a lot of our runners. Apparently there were patches of exposed concrete in some areas that they couldn’t quite fix in time before we slid.

Sliding today went better than yesterday, I was consistent on all of my runs and never felt truly out of control. Well, except for my first run– I skidded completely sideways into Curve 2– but I was able to correct myself and get on the right-ish path. By our last run, it was -1 degrees Fahrenheit. -1!  It was definitely cold (duh, I know) but luckily it didn’t feel as cold as I thought it would. Maybe that’s because I was always huddled inside one of the warm start/finish houses, as well as the sled shed, for as long as possible. Then I would dash outside to my next destination. Look at me putting my college education to good use!

Here’s a video from the start (bear with the beginning, it’s a little shaky!):

I’m back in my room now, getting some work done and continuing the Harry Potter marathon. I’ll try and grab some new photos tomorrow of all of the snow and post them.  Below are two videos from a workout I did the other day with fellow AUFH’er Megan Henry. The first is dynamic back squat:

The second is power cleans:


Lazy Day

Today we unfortunately had another day off (although this one was planned) so it was a long, lazy day around the OTC.  It snowed all day as many of us watched the Harry Potter marathon on ABC Family while getting work done.  Around 2, I went to the local movie theater with Leisl, Kristina and Sam to see Burlesque.  The movie wasn’t too bad– the acting wasn’t the greatest– but the singing and performances were really cool.

After dinner, a group of us got our volleyball on in the gym.  It’s safe to say I haven’t laughed that hard in a loooong time.  We’re all athletes, but not everyone possessed the “volleyball gene” so it definitely made for a funny night.

Tomorrow we’ll slide again in the early afternoon. I’ll try and get some vids!

Slightly frustrated

We finally got to slide today! Hooray! As exciting as this was, it was definitely a SUPER frustrating day.  My first slide back in action wasn’t too bad: I ran a 1:01 and only felt slightly out of control, but never on the verge of crashing.  Sounds pretty good, considering I was using a sled I wasn’t used to, right?

Not so much.

My second run was absolutely out of control, I skidded in the opening curves, almost bit the dust in Curves 12/13 (Curves I’ve never really had issues with ever) and ran a 1:03.  Slight rage doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

My final run felt really good. I navigated Curves 1-4 well (well as in no skidding) and felt really in control down the track. I only truly hit in the Chicane and it was a nudge into the left wall right before 17, a hit a lot of sliders make.  However, I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:06. 1:06!

The track did get progressively slower for everyone today (by a good 2-4 seconds) but I’m still really frustrated. It felt like a really good run and turned out slow. At this point, time doesn’t necessarily matter but as an individual who is incredibly hard on herself, it definitely bothered me. I know it’s only the first day back sliding after an almost 2 week hiatus, but I was really hoping to put out some good runs today.

Tomorrow we have off (again) because Lake Placid holds bobsled rides on the weekends to tourists who wish to fly down the mountain (but at a steep price) so there won’t be any time for us to slide. We’ll get back at it on Sunday for a training session, so until then I’ll lift, sprint and work!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Sorry to disappoint, but there will be no sliding again today.  The track is still closed from yesterday’s harrowing wind and rain display.  Apparently 50mph winds really do a lot of damage?  There are a lot of trees that uprooted at Mt. Van Hovenberg and the wind ripped a lot of the coverings off the track, exposing our nice little ice shoot to the rain.  Obviously, this did a lot of damage to the track.

Anyway, the rain quickly turned to snow last night and there’s a couple of inches of snow on the ground now and it’s currently lightly snowing. It looks really peaceful and pretty. In about an hour some of the Devo team is going outside for our 1st annual snowman building competition.  This is one of our many attempts to avoid cabin fever! I’ll be sure to post some pics later.

Last night a lot of us went to the old 1932 arena to watch the Saranac Lake Skating Academy put on their winter recital.  They featured skaters from around 4-5 years old through 16 or 17. We even got to watch a 5-year-old make her debut performance! It was SO cute.

Following the performance, they held a free open skate for friends and family, so we all grabbed a pair of skates and headed out to the ice. Its been years since many of us have skated so there were definitely some wipe-outs, but it was also a lot of fun. The pictures posted are actually from my teammate Leisl (she was the paparazzi for the night) so I wanted to make sure to give her a shout-out. Thanks Leisl!  The first is of the group that went and the second (above) is of Kristina and I trying to show off some of our sweet moves.