Sometimes I forget…

….that not everyone who reads this blog has Facebook!  Which means that when my friends and teammates post sweet pictures of me sliding and other fun events, that many people don’t get to see them.  So, this is a photo-post for my non-social media addicts!
























Empire State Games

This weekend’s race, rather than being part of the Lake Placid Cup Series,  was for the Empire State Games. Hooray!

Our race took part on Friday, and Mother Nature wanted to make sure she  wasn’t forgotten about, so she sent cold, blustery and super snowy  conditions our way the day of the race.  From the top of the mountain, and  even on the roads, it was practically white out conditions.

Anyway, our race was pretty awesome because we had some spectators and  volunteers at the start armed with cowbells and loud voices. It definitely  helped to get me pumped and ready to go at the start!  On my first run, I  pushed a 5.70 with a downtime of 58.62. Not one of my fastest times, but the track was slower and had a lot of snow in it, but was good enough to put me into 3rd place after the first heat.  Here’s my push from Run 1:

My second run I pushed a 5.69 but had a downtime of 59.14.  My top half of the track was much better than the first run, but I hit a patch of snow in 8 and skidded, which cost me some time. I also skidded in the Chicane and hit the left wall before 18, which has proved to be my nemesis this past week.  Those few mistakes cost me some time, but I ended up placing 4th! Just shy of the medals and slightly disappointing, but a good result either way.

Later that night, we attended the opening ceremonies at the 1980 Herb Brooks Area downtown.  For those of you that don’t know, that is the ice rink that the 1980 Olympics took place in when the US beat Russia despite being the underdogs. I’m not gonna lie, it’s pretty cool.  All the athletes were given track suits and beanies for competing in the games, which were our uniforms for the opening ceremonies.  We all met in the 1932 Ice Rink to line up before the ceremony began.  I think the skeleton crew was the most obnoxious of the bunch, and the long line of figure skaters watched us in awe for the most part.  I mean, we had K-Money, Sam and Leisl breakin’ it down, and Tyler (who is holding the skeleton banner in the picture on the left) who tucked his track suit into cowboy boots, wore all the hardware around his neck that he could get his hand on (which was like, 8 medals) as well Mike Delleman’s ID card from his work.  He also sported the beanie that he cut down into an ear warmer instead.  I think we stuck out a little.

Anyway, here’s the video as we walked into the arena, as well as the video I shot of them lighting the torch!

This upcoming week is US Nationals here in Lake Placid, which both my brother and I will be competing in.  Our family will be coming up over the weekend to watch us compete, and I can’t wait!

When life hands you lemons…

….well, you should make lemonade, but I’m not quite sure that’s what any of us here at the OTC would do. Here’s why:

Our Lake Placid Cup Series race this past Friday had to be held from Start 3 vs. the usual Start 1.  As previously mentioned, this was because Curves 1-3 were no longer being refrigerated after the cooling system broke.  Not only is Start 3 a much slower ride than the top, the 50 degree weather didn’t really help the ice situation either.  We didn’t let that get us down.

The entrance ramp at Start 3 is quite steep, so we concocted a new way to start. After nabbing two stretching bands from the weight room, Tom, our resident sling-shotter, tied them together to form the new start.  And yes, I know how safe this looks. We still thought it was a good idea. Kind of like how we think it’s a good idea to slide head-first down an ice chute.  Clearly our thought processes are skewed.

Anyway, below is the video of our test dumm–er, forerunner– Adam taking the very first run with our slingshot.

Not only did we take the time to think of a new starting method, but we also took this opportunity to ditch the spandex and speedsuits and create our own costumes.  Here’s a look at Chris’ fabulous get-up.

Both Mike and Same wanted to get in on  the action too.  Mike went with a totally  rad Superman costume (that I’m  assuming he brought with him…because  I have know idea where he would have  gotten that around here!) but Sam went a  more natural route. Sam–aka Samitron–  has tear drops that are reminiscent of the members of her competition that she has killed because her skills are so fierce.  I don’t know about you, but I sure as heck do NOT want to mess with her.  Thank God she’s my roommate!

Anyway, clearly the race was more fun than it was racing. All you could really do was lay there  and try not to steer to avoid cutting ice and slowing down.  Overall, it was a great time and was  awesome to find out that although our training and sliding is to be taken seriously, it’s also  allowed to be fun!

It’s a heat wave!

Skeleton is a winter sport, right?

Because it was in the 50s today, and feeling warm and sliding on ice (which is cold, duh) just ain’t right.  But it was kinda fun 🙂

It’s really strange to be able to walk outside, feel completely warm, and grab your sled to take your run. I barely even had to warm up!  The bad news is that on these nice warm days (again, warm being relative because 50 still isn’t ‘warm’) the ice is slower. Especially when the ammonia pump breaks at the start and first 3 turns, meaning the ice isn’t being chilled.  So because of this warm weather, and the rain Lake Placid saw today, the ice was rapidly melting on the first 3 turns.  Tomorrow we’ll more than likely race from Start 3, which enters the track at Curve 4.

My sliding today went well considering the ice temps. My first run was smooth, but my second was a little off.  That could be due to the fact that right as I was about to start, I received a snowball to the helmet by an undisclosed individual (Lauri!).  After I proceeded to remove the snow from my visor and sled, I had limited time to get started so my last run was a little all over the place.  After our session, a massive snowball fight broke out at the Start house, and we were immediately under fire from the second the truck started to back up to drop us off at the dock.  I thought I was in ‘Nam!  The snow was primed for massive, wet snowballs that really packed a punch. Luckily, I made it out without being hit (again) and was able to get a few good shots of my own in.

Anyway, it’s time for bed– we slide at 10:45am tomorrow— so I’m out. I’ll try and post after the results tomorrow!

Bruise Update & other exciting news

Well, we’ll start off with a video this time….and Gram, I’m sorry in advance. They’re really not that bad. Promise.

Needless to say, I’m learning that hitting walls not only slows you down, it also hurts. It’s a good motivation to get better and learn the correct lines through the track, because purple just isn’t my color. (get it?)

Yesterday (Friday) was another race day for the Devo team and several sliders who are currently on the team. I placed 4th out of all the girls and set some AWESOME personal bests!  On my first run, I pushed a 5.65 start time (previous best a 5.74) and slid a 57.42 (previous best a 58.00). I was psyched.

On my second run I pushed a 5.71 and slid a downtime of 57.72. So still beating my original records. Overall it was an awesome day and I felt really good about my progress. My coach was really impressed too. Yay!


So my weekend was AWESOME! I spent Saturday and Sunday with my cousin Alyssa and her mom Andria, watching Alyssa compete in her synchronized skating competition! It was super cool watching her compete, as it was my first ever synchro skating competition. Alyssa’s team, Precisely Right, did GREAT and they totally should have qualified for Nationals, and NO that’s not being biased. It’s being right. 🙂 I also got to show them Mt. Van Hoevenberg and the OTC, which was a lot of fun showing them where I live and what I do every day.

Today my times today were really consistent.  I ran 58.6/ 58.7/ 58.6  for the three runs I took. I felt really unfocused and mentally unprepared for my runs today.  I think it stemmed from the fact that Leisl and I ran from Curve 10 all the way to the top because we did a track walk and realized that we had about 15 minutes to get to the top, put rock in our sleds, warm-up and get dressed. Let’s just say I was a little stressed and rushed. And really warm.

Diminished mental preparation aside, I DID  PR on two of my starts today! My first run, I started with a 5.81 which beat my original best. My second run I pushed a start of 5.74!!!  I was pretty stoked when I found that out. It was my first time pushing sub 5.8. Yay!

We’re supposed to get some more snow tonight/tomorrow (it hasn’t ever really stopped snowing here) but at least the temperatures aren’t in the single digits or negatives anymore.  Today was almost 30 degrees…it actually felt warm!

I’ll try and post more this week!

Snow Day!

With the monster storm throttling up from the midwest to the northeast, our sliding session has been cancelled today. I mean, we’re only supposed to get like, 10-18 inches. No biggie, right?

So, I thought I’d update you with this lovely post that– get this– includes videos. Hooray!

And, they’re videos of our entire run! The monitor up in the start house has finally been working, so I was able to record Don’s run and have my teammate Megan record mine.  These were our final runs of the night, Donald first (he’s in white) and me second (all black).

On my end, today will be spent getting copious amounts of work done so that I don’t fall behind and stress out. I’ll catch up on a TV show I missed on Monday and then workout and take an ice bath. I’ve really been rocked around these past few days, and have matching purple bruises on each bicep from the saddle of my sled, along with other various bruises. I’ll have to post a picture sometime of my guns…