Monday, 26 December 2011

The final 4 days in Canada

On December19th I did not finish my second run of the GS race. The snow conditions were very soft following the previous days snowfall, and on approximately the fifth gate I was in the back seat and lost control over my skis, there was not much I could do to recover and so that was the end of that day. I had my final GS race on the 20th and skied averagely; my FIS points will lower as a result but not significantly.

The following two days we competed in slalom, the part of the trip I had been most looking forward to. There was a very strong field with the best-pointed girl sub 20 (my current points are 101). I started bib 31 both days and on the 21st I had a relaxed first run failing to make the top 30 flip which was a disappointment. I was extremely determined to ski better and more aggressively on my second run which would have paid off, however I made a huge error and stayed in by the skin of my teeth – I'd say I lost about 3-4 seconds. It was very frustrating and in hindsight a second run similar to my first would have lead to a point score for me.  On the 22nd I straddled a vertically towards the end of the pitch on my first run and headed to the airport upset, exhausted and more than ready to come home. Overall I have to say the trip was an extremely fun experience despite little time to really explore Canada! It also taught me that in the lead up to events, I need to take longer breaks as I was truly tired out both physically and mentally. I also established that the pressure of races tends to lead to a poor first run and better second run and this is something I need to address.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Days 2-5

On December 14th & 15th we trained slalom. I was fairly happy with my skiing making me more eager for the upcoming races towards the end of this week. Below is a photo from thursdays training; it is evident that I can get tighter on the gates, taking a more direct line which is currently my main objective. After training we drove about one hour to Banff for some christmas shopping!
 On the 16th we trained an extremely turny GS course which I have to say was difficult but I was pleased that I managed to train consistently and maintain my form despite the course deteriorating and rutting up. The following day I drew bib 14 for the first of these 6 races in Nakiska. Unfortunately I skied passively on the first run and over turned the top section - leading to a poor time approximately 5 seconds off the leader. I started my second run 5th and skied much better. I was more dynamic and aggressive and it showed as I was 2 seconds behind the winning time. However due to my bad first run I finished 20th overall which I'm not thrilled about. I took the experience of the second run through to Sunday 18th but the race was cancelled due to too much snow. We slipped the course about 6 times and the snow was simply too thick creating a danger hazard so they decided not to run the race. Instead I enjoyed a morning of powder skiing and an afternoon of hockey in the icy carpark! Tomorrow is yet another GS race and I am determined to score. 
Above Evie Jojo and I at the top of the race course

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Canada Day 1

On sunday December 11th, I travelled with Fred from his house near Albertville, to Geneva. I stayed the night with Celine and ate at an incredible Italian Restaurant 'Luigia'. The next morning we flew to London Heathrow where we connected onto our flight to Calgary. The journey was fairly long but we eventually arrived at the Delta Lodge in Kananaskis by 11pm local time. Today we slept until nine o'clock before heading to the slopes to train Slalom. The snow conditions are great and the scenery is incredible!! We didn't train gates but instead worked on technical drills and just generally became familiar with the mountain and race runs. This afternoon we hit the gym to work on leg strength and core along with some cardio. I've had an awesome day and look forward to training a slalom course tomorrow! 


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Being the third day of December it makes me realise just how quickly time has passed. Firstly Christmas is only 22 days away, and this morning I ate the third chocolate from the advent calendar my mum posted out to me.

On Thursday and Friday I competed in two FIS GS races in Tignes. Being the first of the season I was mentally unprepared and unnecessarily nervous. This poor mental attitude coupled with icy conditions lead to a significant underperformance on my part. On the first day beginning 57th I completed my first run with much disappointment; I went on to ski my second run and I simply gave up four gates onto the pitch and DNF’d. I’m sure with a more fighting spirit I could have completed but I was just not in the right mindset. However I came back determined on Friday with bib no 46, yet still I skied far to statically with lacking outside edge pressure. The foggy and windy conditions didn’t help much and overall I have to say that this result does not reflect my current training standard and is therefore very frustrating for me! Obviously I know I can ski much better and I will not let this result deter any further progress, which I know I am more than capable of.

This week I am resting and living with my coach Fred down near Albertville. It’s nice to take my mind off skiing and give my body some recuperation time, along with necessary fitness training. On Sunday 11th I am travelling to Geneva for the night before departing the following day to Canada. Myself, Jojo Carew, Evie Kock, Celine Przedborski and our coaches Christoph and Fred will be flying into Calgary and skiing at Nakiska. Here we will compete in four GS’s and two slaloms following four days training.  It is a great opportunity in terms of both skiing and also from a cultural viewpoint!