I’m back at it again for the second half of my season, this time competing within North America! First stop: Whistler, British Columbia!
Whistler, B.C. is a BEAUTIFUL place. Between the mountains, the constant snow cover and the crispness of the air, this is one of my favorite stops on tour when it comes to location. The track on the other hand is no joke; it’s a fast, ‘better-be-on-your-game’ sort of beast. I’ve hit my fastest speeds on a skeleton sled ever here and the bottom of the track comes at you so quickly (provided you haven’t flipped or caught air out of Curves 4, 6, 7 or 11.
Not to freak you out or anything.
I’ll be in Canada over the New Year and I race on January 5th & 6th! After our race on the 6th, we’ll drive back down to Seattle and spend the night. We’ll fly out to Park City, Utah on January 7th for our final races of the season on January 11th & 12th!
That’s all for now! I’ll keep you posted on how training goes and how I fair in our races!
Cheers, and thanks for following! Think fast (and safe!…but mainly fast) thoughts!
One of the perks about competing in skeleton is the traveling- we will almost always have races overseas (particularly Germany) and because of such, it makes taking a little vacay pretty darn easy.
Last year I spent a few extra days in Germany traveling with my AUFH teammate, Annie and had an amazing time. This year, several teammates expressed an interest in traveling and after some research settled on Barcelona!
And IT’S. BEEN. AWESOME.
La Bocqueria, a market off of La Ramblas. Our usual breakfast spot for some freshly sliced jamon, prosciutto & fresh juices!
My teammates- Allen & Tyler- and I rented an apartment in El Barrio Gotic, an area filled with alleyways and winding streets that are strictly pedestrian only. We wandered these streets by night, exploring all the different corridors and I’m fairly certain we’ve never made our way back to our abode the same way twice!
The Parc de la Ciutadella is Barcelona’s most central park. An INCREDIBLE fountain can be found there!
We walked everywhere (which was a good thing considering we didn’t have access to a gym during our time here!) and crammed in as much as we could! We visited la Sagrada Familia and the Barcelona Catedral, we walked along Las Ramblas and along the coast in La Barceloneta, and we ate gelato and some of the best paella I’ve ever had (courtesy of the Montejano family!). We also took the funicular and cable car up to the summit of Monjuic Castle, which boasted some of the most incredible views I’ve ever seen!
Barcelona is such an old, beautiful city full of history and beautiful culture. My time spent here was well worth it, and I can’t wait to return in the future to continue my site-seeing (my eye’s on you, Museu Picasso and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya!) and to enjoy this awesome city!
For now, I’ll spend tonight in Berlin, and then finally fly home for the holidays tomorrow morning! I can’t wait to see my friends & family, and curl up by the fireplace with the Christmas tree shining brightly! Cheers, and thanks for following!
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!
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. 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!
A beautiful panoramic view of Austria from our hotel in Igls.
Igls started off absolutely amazing– the town is great, the weather was beautiful and the track was super smooth and fast. It’s the Igls I know and love. Training was also going fantastic for me. I set a personal record on my first run down (and was within a hundreth of my push PR without even trying) and throughout the week kept smashing my PR’s. My lines down the track were great, my training times were within the top 10 and I really felt confident leading into the race knowing that I had even more in me.
ICC Team USA
Unfortunately, things did not go so well for me on race day. While I PR’d in my push, it should have been even faster than it was. My first run on the first race day wasn’t pretty, but I had a good opportunity to move up second run…until I came out of Curve 12 on my side (something I have NEVER done here) and basically ruined what until that point had been a money run. I finished 19th for Race #1.
Race Day #2 saw a completely new set of frustration for me. Not only was my push not there, but neither were my down times. My first run was a PR but not by the amount that it should have been. Several errors in key speed areas of the track hurt my times (again, mistakes I hadn’t been making all week) and another terrible second run led me to finish 18th in this race.
Overall, I’m pretty frustrated. It’s mentally tough to have such a great week of training and clean runs only to do poorly when it matters. I’m still in the process of breaking these runs down and figuring out what went wrong considering my state of mind was clear on both race days (i.e. I wasn’t freaking out that it was race day). I’m giving myself another day to be angry about this result and then I’ll let it go.
HHH and I with some Gluhwein at the Christmas Market in Innsbruck! How SWEET are those spandex?
On another note, on my last evening in Igls I was finally able to hit up a Christmas market in downtown Innsbruck….among the people I went with was none other than fellow AUFH alum Hannah (HHH) Henninghausen! Triple is over in Austria with a teaching program and wore an AMAZING outfit in support of Team USA (I mean check out that bright red spandex suit, seriously). It was awesome getting to hang out with HHH and rehashing some of our fave AUFH memories. I feel so lucky that I’m able to travel and meet up with friends, even overseas. It’s kind of surreal.
Now it’s off to Altenberg, Germany for the final 2 races of the first half of the ICC tour. This is a much more challenging track than Igls, so it’s time to prepare and get ready for the infamous Altenberg track (just look up skeleton crashes Altenberg and you’ll see why it’s so feared!)