Feel free to reply to my thoughts, experiences, and whatever comes out of this head of mine. blah blah blah

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Val G & Bormio

Since I last wrote I have had a couple races, Val Gardena (one of my favorites) and Bormio (the most tiring course on tour) which are both in Italy.
Val Gardena has been nice to the US Ski Team over the past few years and this year was okay. It was good in the sense that almost everyone scored World Cup points (top 30). But this year we were almost all from 15-30 where as last year we were all in the top 10. I believe if anyone of us ski to our potential we can win. This year there was a lot of anticipation in the air and we all wanted to perform. We really hadn't done to well as a team so far this season and we all wanted to punch in there. But it was a weird day because some weather set in, especially the wind. So it was kind of a luck of the draw sort of deal. I was happy with my 18th place. More so because I skied well and executed like I wanted to and I had to hope for the best. I felt good because I was back in the points for the first time this year and that definitely helped with my confidence.
In between Val G and Bormio was Christmas. Traditionally we spend Christmas in Bormio and that is just what we did again. We usually celebrate over dinner with the Canadians. We have a gag gift exchange and lots of laughs. Their team is a good bunch of guys and they have a lot of fun wherever they are. Bormio traditionally has no snow and this year was different there was tons! It was a great Christmas gift! About a meter of snow fell right before we arrived and then it proceeded to dump rain for two days straight but we didn't let that ruin our Christmas. Up high on the mountain it was snowing that whole time so it made for a good powder day. Christmas day Marco Sullivan and I made our way up the Bormio 2000 and took several powder runs, which were also my first of the year and my first in a long while. Bormio has so much vert to the resort that you could fit two World Cup downhills from top to bottom. The top quarter of the resort had perfect, soft, bottomless powder but then it slowly turned into dust on crust and then into straight up rattly rain infused snow but skiing the top quarter was worth the beating you received on the bottom of the slope.
After that it was game time! Race day in Bormio is usually two days after Christmas so you have time to put your head back on and get ready for the most strenuous downhill on tour. Bormio isn't the longest on tour but it is rattly and turns the whole 2 minutes it takes to get to the bottom so your legs are cashed at the bottom. I really didn't know how I was going to handle this because of my lack of training and skiing this summer but I made it down. I wont say I felt good because I didn't have much left in me but I definitely exceeded my expectations! In the first training runs I was charging and skiing but wasn't being efficient with my energy. My technician told me to invest in my power. By that he meant to back off a little bit and conserve your power so I would have more energy at the bottom. I did just that and was pretty fast especially on the bottom portion of the course. I ended up 16th, a personal best at Bormio and was happy to have skied like I did. I made a few mistakes but I more importantly I skied really well through some tough sections and I gained the confidence in my endurance. I needed to test my endurance because the next race on the circuit is Wengen! 2 minutes and 30 seconds, the longest on tour! I was happy to gain that confidence and hopefully it carries over to Wengen!
After Bormio I decided to stay over in Europe because flying hurts my knees. So I have been roaming around Europe enjoying the sites and seeing friends. I had to opportunity to ski the Seloranda on January 2nd with several friends. The Seloranda is part of the Italian Dolomiti Superski. The biggest set of interconnected ski runs in the World. Skiing in the Dolomites is all about the views and on our day it was snowy, windy and cloudy so it didn't work out like we wanted it to but we had some good food along the way and laughs at the whole scenario. Our day trip turned into an 8 AM to 1230 AM excursion.
Time for Wengen in a couple days. Keep Cheering peeps!