August 17, 2009: Distracted

Mt. Hutt, New Zealand – Today sucked. Well except for the weather. When we got to the hill visibility was very low due to fog but eventually it burned off and opened up to a clear sky, sunny beautiful day with no wind. So at least there was something good about today.

I didn’t sleep well and was tired and emotionally distracted due to personal issues. I still need to work out clearing my mind and attitude when I get to training so no external influences distract me but I just couldn’t shake it. I don’t know if it affected my riding but I definitely didn’t feel confident or happy because of it.

There was an afternoon local GS race so we entered that and just freerode in the morning. I’m still working on getting forward and my freeriding felt good. I felt I was getting the board up on edge and using the tip to the tail. Because of the higher edge angle I’m starting to lean in and put my hand down in the snow on my toeside, which I later learned the hard way that that is a bad thing when I punched a stubby with the heel of my hand and thought I broke it (it’s just bruised, phew).

The course was slick, not icy, but fast – I had a bit of trouble slipping the course at the beginning. It was almost perfect racing conditions but you really needed to have sharp edges and be moving forward at all times. Otherwise the tail of the board will wash out.

On my first run I couldn’t get into the rhythm of things until after about 5 gates, in which time I lost the race. That’s something else I really need to work on – attacking the very first gate and getting into rhythm right away. As demonstrated at French Nationals last April, I lost the race in the first three gates of the course. The second half of the course I got it together and it felt good but my time was really slow. Six seconds off the fastest time. Six seconds! That’s a lifetime in racing. I felt like quitting.

Second run was better. Coach Mark told me that the second half of my first run was good, I just needed to bring that up to the start of the run. I was a bit more aggressive the second run and tried to attack from the first gate. The run was definitely better, 2.5 seconds faster, and even when I got into trouble I was able to get out of it. So instead of being too cautious and then riding, I figured I might as well just go out of my comfort zone and see what happens. I can always correct later. We rode the course after for training and it was like night and day. Coach Mark told me I had to sink at the top of the turn to put pressure on the board and get more out of it. So I worked on that and felt a lot faster.

Overall I was 9 seconds out for the combined runs. 9 seconds. Pathetic. Embarrassing. Depressing. I could go on and on. I think my emotional state had a lot to do with it, as well as being in a race environment again. Gotta do some work on my mental state. I’m just glad today’s over.


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