Wednesday, 16 December 2009

RAIN-SNOW-WINTERBERG!


In Winterberg you learn to accept what is thrown at you in terms of the weather..it can be sunny one minute, then 10 minutes later it starts to rain, and then the snow arrives shortly after.

So when the snow started on the morning of the race it was no surprise. It stayed snowing for the first few of us that went off in the race, then, when realising the slow times we were all producing, the whole track got swept and the snow cleared, and all other athletes got down a second quicker... Unlucky us who went first off!! It was too much to make up on the second run as I had been struggling to find speed in the middle section of the track all week, and so I had to settle for 10th place in this race. Still in top ten and still ranked 5th in the World, so onto the next race!
I thought I would include a photo of my last preparations the evening before a race...sewing my bib up! Did you know us girls have to all sew up our number bibs..? "One size fits all"...means getting out the needle and cotton and making it alot smaller!!

Monday, 7 December 2009

CHARLIE BOOKER PHOTOS


This is to say a BIG thank you to Charlie Booker who is the great photographer who takes and gives me so many photos of me doing skeleton. Go to his website if you want to see more of his work. www.bobsleigh.de

CESANA PUSH PB




Since Lake Placid Arthur, my sled and I have both been home for a few days, an attempt to get some much needed rest, Arthur got the rest and I didn't. Jet lag hit me hard and I felt like a zombie for the whole five days I was back, still being awake at 3am most nights.
Arthur stayed with his maker, Rachel Blackburn and had a MOT and bit of sled physiotherapy, while I stayed in Bath and did a bit of training and tried to catch up with my parents at home.

The next trip was to Cesana, in Italy. Our team stay in a big biathlon lodge which is right near the track which is very handy, and means not quite so early starts in the morning as those teams that stay further up in the next town of Sestriere. Cesana is about 1800m high so altitude can effect you a little, but i wasn't sure if for me it was still a bit of cheeky jet lag that was making me feel quite drained!
Cesana race wasn't the best result for me 10th place, I didn't seem to be able to pick up any speed or time down the track, but I was super pleased with my pb (personal best) push on both race runs.. 5.03 and a 5.02sec. Physically I'm in good shape which is one good reason to smile!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

TWO RACES DOWN....6 MORE TILL THE BIG ONE..?


Lake Placid race was great. It made me realise why I love this sport. Training went so well in the week and each day I found myself feeling more and more comfortable on my sled which I hadn't felt since the start of the season.

The race was the closest I have ever been in. After run one there was something like 0.5 sec between first place and fifteenth! I had great first run that put me into 2nd place, but then I made a small mistake in a critical part of the track of my second run which dropped down to 4th, a respectable finish I feel!

Now I'm back home for a few days to recharge the batteries and get over jet lag before the next part of the season. All three races are in Europe, Italy, and two in Germany before the Christmas break.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

LAKE PLACID OFFICIAL TRAINING WC 2

Today was the second day of official training back on Lake Placid track where I was a few weeks ago. The track feels quite a bit different from when I was last here. You may be thinking...how or why!? Well..... The track workers can add or take away ice at the entrances and exits of corners which then changes how I need to steer in the corner, how hard or how long I have to put pressure through my sled to change the angle of it whilst It is in the corner.
Training went well today, but still a few corners to work out before the race and the decision of which runners to use....one more day to sort it out then I race on Friday 20th Nov at 9.30am USA time, I believe it is in British Eurosport at 2pm. Wish me luck!!
video

Friday, 13 November 2009

FIRST WORLD CUP 6TH PLACE PARK CITY


As I write this I'm on the plane flying from Salt Lake City to Detroit to Montreal, to then drive from Montreal over boarder to Lake Placid! I have just competed in the first World Cup of the season. I came 6th, it was a one run race as a snow storm came in so the second run was cancelled. I was really please with this result as its been a tough month of testing and changing alot so I hadn't been sliding as fast as id have liked to! Its great to have the first race out of the way and I'm really looking forward to the second one in Lake Placid in a weeks time.
We get a few days off to recovery from travelling, so the local cinema is waiting for me, I hear it calling me.......

I DID SEE A BEAR!

Just to say that we had a bear on the driveway of our house we were staying in! We were all about to leave in the morning to pack up the cars to go to the track and there was one with its paws up on the boot of the car! Its looked rather like a large baby one, it looked at us then slowly walked away. I was only about 6metres away from it!

Saturday, 31 October 2009

WHISTLER TRAINING AMONGST BEARS

There are bears at the track!! Although so far I have not spotted one yet! I'm keeping one eye on track and one on the woods around the track that contains them!! Some have even been spotted around the Whistler village, mmmm, must stop eating honey so much so they don't smell me.

The track is slightly different from last years World Cup race, but I really like it, its tricky, fast and challenging. I have good and bad days so soon hoping they will dwindle out to only good days!

Our team took a trip around the Olympic Athlete village to see where all athletes will be accommodated during the Olympic period. It looks lovely the Canadians have done a great job creating an environment that will be used on after the Games.



Thursday, 22 October 2009

EQUIPMENT TESTING

Here is a picture of part of the Lake Placid track looking at the view with the amazing colours of trees. It looks amazing this time of the year, it also means that its the time of year for equipment testing. Everyday In my sliding I have been trying to work out the best set up on my new sled, the best runners and settings that will make me as quick as possible, so long as I slide great lines too! Its a trial and error job but it all needs to be done so that I know more about the sled and what works well for me when I head to Whistler on the 24th Oct for two weeks of sliding that all teams get before the Olympic race runs.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

OFF TO LAKE PLACID


I was in Winterberg for five days, enough to get used to being on ice again and start my testing process on my new sled, but not enough to settle down and un pack my bag as now I'm in Lake Placid! A long days travel....just to give you a taster of what it was like.... Pack van Sunday 2pm, leave 3pm, travel from Winterberg to Gevena airport Holiday Inn, arrived at 3.30am Monday. Up at 7pm to get to airport for the lengthly checking in process with our hundreds of bags and sleds! Sat on plane at 12.15pm but it got delayed for over a hour, arrived in Montreal Monday afternoon as re-living hours on the plane with time change. Had long border control as we drove across into USA and onto Lake Placed, arrived about 8pm ready for dinner that all of us were way to tiered to eat! Finally went to sleep about 10pm as we all forced ourselves to stay awake so jet lag wouldn't be quite so bad...although we all awoke at 4-5am eyes PING awake!!

Monday, 19 October 2009

CHANGE OF VENUE

The start of the season didn't quite happen how we all thought. Our sleds were driven out to Cesana, Italy but all the athletes never made it as there was a emergency phone call to say "HOLD don't go to the airport there is no ice on the track its melting off"!! Ahhhh. So what now... the refrigeration was broken and it was too hot to keep ice on the track. So all athletes were told to be on the end of the phone and any minuet of the day we could get the phone call to drive to any airport in Britain to fly out to any other track.
Luckily the track in Winterberg, Germany said yes so the team all rushed there a day later then the original leaving date.
Winterberg was raining as usual for this town, and the track was very very bumpy, but at least we were on the ice...first runs of the season.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

PACKING TIME AGAIN....!


Its that time of the year again that I start to pack my big bag and head for the ice. I have trained very hard this summer to get myself into my best ever physical shape for this Olympic season. I am at my strongest and quickest physical peak that I have ever been...now all I have to do is to put it onto ice and push as fast as I can and then slide my sled down the ice track.....easier said then done!
There has been a buzz in the air all week as I have been on a pre-season training camp in Bath. Meetings about the season and plans about the months ahead.
The British team first of all head out to Cesana, Italy where we will have our first ice runs of this 2009-2010 winter season.....the most nervous runs of the season!! Its always scary after a summer of no ice to stand at the start of the track and sprint off the top...and iv been doing it for 8 years now! I need to toughen up a little!
I will let you know how it goes very shortly.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

PRE-SELECTED

Forgot to say that it was great news when I got told that from my good results last season I am pre-selected onto the World Cup Team for the first half of the 2009-2010 season. So no stressfull selection races for me! Phew. I will still join the team in Cesana, Itlay and Lake Placid , USA where the British Selection races will be taking place so I can use the time to train and get used to being back on the ice. I head out to Cesana on the 5th of October...not long to go.

END OF SUMMER HAS COME....

Well the end of summer is here as I start to think about the ice again. Last week the team was in Cesana, Italy on the ice push track for a few days pushig on ice. Was great to be near a track and it only means the next few weeks will fly by until we are all here again for the British Selection Races!

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

VANCOUVER WORLD CUP RACE 8


Everyone had a tough training week here as we all got used to this new Olympic track. I got on well, even though I had my very dodgy moments and near crashes! When race day came I enjoyed myself knowing that if i work hard this following summer and winter I may find myself here again come February 2010!

PUSHING


This is what a typical load looks like. I have to sprint and push my sled and then dive on and get into my position as quickly as possible. The sled can weigh anywhere from about 27-32kg for women so they are very heavy to then push with one arm. I do most of my training for the push in the summer where I train at Bath University. There we have a specially designed track which allow bobsleigh and skeleton to practice.