March 17, 2009: Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

Calgary, Canada – Today was another beautiful day of training in Canada. Warm even, something I’d never thought I’d experience in Canada! (I hope I just didn’t jinx it for tomorrow.)

I was a little tired coming into this morning’s training since I didn’t sleep well (possibly due to overstuffing myself with sushi last night). On my warm-up run I wasn’t paying attention to the snow and hit a few bumps and went down. Again on my toeside. But once again I tucked my arm and fell and slid on my elbow, which now has a big and painful bruise. But definitely better than the alternative.

For my first few runs I just couldn’t get into a groove. My expectations were high today after yesterday’s fast runs, but for some reason I had a lot more fear of falling. I was hanging on too long in the steep section and couldn’t just let the board run like I did yesterday. We had set a duel course today, and on my first run against my teammate I fell on my toeside and banged my elbow hard and that hurt really badly. That just made the fear of falling greater.

The next few runs got gradually better, but I was still slow in the steeps and hanging on and fighting the course. I was riding a lot with my upper body and not driving with my legs (same story as yesterday). I also wasn’t using my back foot enough to get the snap out of each turn. It was almost like yesterday never happened and I was just riding my old bad habits.

But strangely around run 5 I decided to just let the board run. I’m not exactly sure why I came to that conclusion but other focus points (slowly building pressure, rounder line) just weren’t sticking with me past the first gate. Admittedly I was a bit of a headcase which is common when racing against someone, and my normal game plan flew out the window. But for some reason I unconsciously decided to let the board run and it worked. My steep section was faster (I was able to keep up with the girl I was racing) and that gave me confidence to trust my board and snap the turns in the flats.

So, letting the board run = fast.

It also wasn’t as tiring as before when I was fighting the course. After that revelation my runs got better and faster and easier. I did fall once more after that but I was really giving all I had and built up pressure too quickly at the bottom of my turn and couldn’t hold that impact. (But I did slide on my elbow. Ouch.)

So once again despite a rocky start I had a good day of training and figured things out. But it was a repeat of yesterday and I don’t feel like I got better today. I know it’s probably impossible to get better each and every training day, and I will have bad days of training, but I just wish I could start each training day right where I left off from the previous day so I don’t have to repeat the same lessons over and over and prolong progress. But I guess that’s all part of training and why we have to do it over and over again. Otherwise we wouldn’t need to train so much!

Tomorrow is also a duel training day but with slalom, ick. I used to really enjoy slalom back in the day but since my comeback I haven’t loved it as much (as you can see in previous entries). But I’m testing a different board out tomorrow (same manufacturer as the giant slalom board that I have now and love) so hopefully that’ll make a difference.

Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

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