January 29, 2009: Coming Together

Sils Mountain, Switzerland

Sils, Switzerland – We arrived in Switzerland two days ago after a very long day of travel which included over 14 hours in airplanes and airports, and another 8 hours in a car. But we made it to our very comfortable hotel.

Yesterday we freerode at a local mountain. It was a little shocking to the body since I was pretty dormant for so long. The snow was really good, firm and fast, and the run was quite steep and very long. A definite leg burner. We only took a few runs as to not get burnt out for the 6 consecutive days on snow which included 4 races in a row (2 Europa Cups, 1 FIS race, and the Italian National Championships).

It is absolutely beautiful here! The mountains are enormous with spectacular views of the valleys. It was a perfect weather day too. We trained on the racehill with timing and I really focused on taking a rounder line and being patient before I start my next turn (or as my coach says, to run it deep). I was finding that from my transition from toe to heelside I was changing edges too fast and too early so I wasn’t able to really put pressure on the board or else it would go inside the gate. So I had to be more patient and when I was the board was able to track a carve nicely.

My runs were pretty good. I was moving well and tried to focus not only on the shape of my turn (be rounder) but also to ‘pop’ at each stubby to generate speed. Fortunately the snow was really good, and I was able to maintain speed through the first ¾ of the course and let it run in the finish. I watched a lot of video of other racers last night and that helped a lot. There is one girl on the Canadian National team that has an amazing toe side turn so I kept that in mind and tried to emulate it. The speed feels better and better. I’m a little fearful at speeds because of the potential of crashing and injury but the more I can ride at those speeds the more comfortable I’ll get.

All in all it was a really good day of training. My fastest time was only a second behind the girl that is currently winning some of the Nor-Am Cups. There still are areas where I can improve or minimize mistakes so I know I can get faster.

Tomorrow is the first of four races in a row. It will be challenging to stay energetic and motivated, but a good result tomorrow will help. I also need a good result to get enough points so I can compete at the Cypress (Canada) World Cup in mid February. This is where the 2010 Winter Olympic event will take place so it would be great to test out the hill!

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