Tag archive for skeleton

First Week Back Training Recap

NOV 4 2015: First day back at the sliding centre. I was feeling very nervous. I knew the ice was pretty fast (from helping out at the selection OT and races earlier in the day) so I decided to do my first run of the season from corner 3. It was a pretty smooth run, no big hits, really fast. So I decided to do my second run from the top. I meant to push VERY slowly, but accidentally went a bit quicker than I planned. I think all those summer push sessions paid off because everything felt a lot less awkward than last year. Anyway so I pushed off faster than I planned, came out of the grooves nice and straight, then got really overwhelmed and forgot to do all of my steers. I smashed EVERYTHING after corner 10. It was extremely painful. I ended up going 128.52 km/hr though, which was like my second fastest speed ever from the top. Yeehaw. What a way to start the season!

NOV 6 2015: I decided to play it more safe and push nice and slow. I concentrated on a few key steers in particular. My two runs were much smoother and much less painful. I still hit out of corner 16 but not like the other night. Confidence was somewhat restored.

NOV 7 2015: I was still incredibly nervous but now knew that I can handle the track. I pushed a tiny bit quicker and everything was fine. For once I didn’t flop out of corner 6. My neck felt very tired on my second run, hopefully that improves as this season goes on. I got a new PR speed: 128.82 km/hr.

I plan on sliding again on Thursday and Saturday this week. Then the week after that the North America Cup OT starts. At this point I have been told I might be able to actually race in the NAC race, but not sure yet. They are going to send me all the paperwork and I will be on standby, basically. If I don’t race, then I will probably at least forerun the races, which will be on November 26th and 27th.

It will be really cool if I get to be in the race, as that has been one of my skeleton goals, but unfortunately it’s out of my hands. Because I didn’t do the testing camps in the summer I am basically the last choice to be in the race, so it depends on who else enters the competition.

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September and October

It’s been an incredibly busy fall. I’ve been working almost full time, weightlifting at Terminal City Training twice a week, training on my own, push training at the Richmond Oval about once a week, walking home from work when I can, working on a really complicated project, meeting up with tons of visitors, and more! OMG.

Everything is going really well though. I am not complaining about being busy at all.

It’s actually the one year mark of me joining Al’s weightlifting gym. I’ve added about 30 lbs to my press and benchpress, and 60 lbs to my deadlift and squat!! Sweet sweet noob gains. Group training is the highlight of my week, tbh.

Push training is also pretty fun. It’s a flat track with a metal skeleton sled on wheels and an emergency crash pad at the end. It’s fairly realistic, although the sled is quite heavy, and there is no chance of popping the groove. We can run as far as we want basically and then you drag your toes to slow down. Running bent over, while trying to accelerate a sled without actually putting much weight on it is very difficult!! I don’t think I will ever be a very fast starter but hopefully it’s still helping me get BETTER.

The Whistler skeleton season starts November 4th, by the way.

Scott walks home from work almost every day now. It takes him about an hour. It’s saving us a lot of money, and he gets his daily exercise. Win win! I walk sometimes, but definitely not as often as Scott. I did walk home from UBC once though, haha. It suddenly started taking 5ever to get home on the bus when the university students went back to school so out of frustration I decided to just walk home. It took 3 hours and it was quite boring and my knees hurt. But I will probably do it again if I’m at UBC again on a Friday.

We’ve been super lucky to have lots of visitors lately!

  • I met up for bubble tea with Anna, one of the German girls I camped with in Bowen, Australia while we packed corn and beans. She had been living in rural Saskatchewan trying to get her Canadian PR but the restaurant laid her off and she had to go home. What a bummer. She came through Vancouver on her farewell Canada tour and it was really nice to catch up after 6 years.

  • My friend Chris, from Halifax stopped through Vancouver too, on his way to his next WWOOFing place. I hadn’t seen him since 2007!! We went to the Richmond Night Market and ate takoyaki and fish sticks and deep fried cheesecake that made our teeth hurt. I was too scared to sit on the Throne of Rotato.
  • Leslie visited from Victoria (so nice that we at least live in the same province again!) for Thanksgiving. She helped document the whole spatchcocking the turkey project (more about that later), and get ready for our potluck Friendsgiving Thanksgiving dinner. We made tons of food and delicious cocktails (hello Automnal Cinnamon Apple Whiskey Sour!!) and had a really nice dinner. I love hanging out with old Ace Gang members.
  • And last night I met up with Catty and Samir who were in town for a conference. Again, I hadn’t seen her in years too! We went out and watched the Blue Jays game with Scott and then went out for ramen with Rosemarie and Lauren. All was good except for the Jays losing, and a super long hair in Samir’s ramen… blech.

Rosemarie is doing her last semester of uni now so she’s very busy these days, but we still try to squeeze in as much hanging out time as possible. We spent one afternoon making 9000 dumplings: some pork and some shrimp. We’re not very good at being able to seal them when the dough is thin so they ended up pretty pudgy… but very very very tasty.

We also went bouldering for free at The Hive, because we voted. They were supposed to offer more free days too but apparently it’s again election law, ha oops. I struggled because my hands are in such bad shape (dry and cracking… gross and painful), but Scott climbed A LOT!

How about that election eh? I watched the election results like Scott would watch the rugby world cup final, hahaha. So relieved we have a non-conservative government again. Scott was pretty happy about being able to vote in Canada for the first time too!

What else what else…

GE randomly threw a free nuclear medicine conference, which a bunch of us from VGH went to. They had a wine and hors d’oeuvres and we… had fun. Closed down the bar. The talks to the next day were pretty entertaining, and I learned a few new things too. It was fun to see a lot of techs from other hospitals that I hadn’t seen since being a student as well.

Scott won tickets to a Canucks pre-season game from work. We actually got to sit pretty close to the ice for once! They Canucks lost and the security people confiscated my bag of cherry blasters I tried to bring in. :/

We had another games day with Marjorie, Latif and Phil. We played King of Tokyo, For Sale (a super simple real estate card game), Galaxy Truckers, and an epic long game of Lords of Waterdeep with both expansions, which I won by 1 point. :D That’s my favourite game lately.

I got a haircut. It’s nice to not have so much hair. It took the girl 2 hours and 20 minutes hahahaha. Fun times at the Aveda Institute. At least is only cost $21.

Oh and like other years, we watched the AFL Grand Final at Moose’s Down Under. We had 20 people this year! Mmm those parmas were delicious. The game was not super exciting, but it was still fun, as usual.

Alright! I think I’m caught up. Until next time my friends!

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April & May

Better late than never?

Lesley had a super fun bachelorette party. We started the day with a delicious brunch with the olds, had a quick nap break, then headed to Kirsten’s apartment to get ready again.

We ate dinner at The Keg, and then danced the night away at a place on Davie Street. Lesley crushed another bachelorette at a drink chugging contest and suffered from a 2 day hangover afterwards, so I think it was a successful day. :D

Then a few weeks later was her wedding, at her parents house on the Sunshine Coast. It was lovely and really fun. Lesley has really nice friends. I loved the bilingual speeches and that I got the DJ to play Patio Lanterns, hehehehee.

We had such a terrible ski season here that it was a serious struggle to use up the three days of Edge Card we bought at the beginning of the ski season. We used the first two days when dad was here and it was pouring rain, and then used the last day on May 3rd with Rosemarie. There wasn’t much open but the sun was shining and it was super warm and pleasant. Spring skiing is awesome if you have the right expectations.

Our skeleton coach from last season was really great, so we were all super bummed when we heard at the end of the season that he was quitting. Matt, Grant and I met up with him in Kits a couple months after to catch up and finally find out what went down at the end of the season. Apparently BC skeleton has a lot of politics!! We are v sad that he had to go, but can totally understand his decision. Luckily he taught us so much during last season that I think we will be OK even if our new coach (still to be determined) isn’t as helpful.

I got a pair of free runners and Grant showed us his home-engineered wooden practice skeleton sled, which is clearly pretty amazing.

Scott’s friend Chris (Jono) and his wife Kirsten came from Scotland to visit us in Vancouver for a week. Scott took some time off and brought them all around the area. They did the Sea to Sky Gondola, looked at bears, Capilano Bridge, Granville Island, a local brewery tour, watched hockey and lots more!! Of course they tried double doubles, poutine, and other Canadian delicacies too. It was a really fun visit. Now I want to go visit them in Scotland too.

What else did I miss? No pictures:

  • We took the bus for a thousand hours to go to the Cloverdale Rodeo. Not worth it tbh. Not sure why I underestimated the amount of country music there would be…
  • Our new niece Ava was born. She is super cute!!
  • Lauren Clow came to visit again. We had her over for Burger Friday. Always good to catch up with her. It’s funny, I actually see Lauren more often than I do some of my friends who actually live here in the same city, hahaah. It was a short visit this time though.
  • Multiple trivia nights. We usually came in the top 3 in the first rounds, and then bombed the second rounds. Lucky for us they score them separately, so we usually got some free drinks! Go team Patty O’Lanterns.
  • Lots of yoga, lots of weightlifting (I started going to Terminal City Training 2 times a week instead of 1), and I worked almost every single day. Woot.

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About To Leave

I originally planned to do separate posts on all of these topics but now I’m sitting here in YVR airport about to leave for 2.5 weeks thinking I’d better just write a big post to catch up instead.

Scott and I are on our way to Melbourne for #jornapalooza via Guangzhou, China. Apparently we are allowed to leave the airport in China (thanks 72 hour transit visa) so we may explore a bit there too which I am pretty excited about. The subway goes right to the airport so it should be pretty easy. Unfortunately they speak mainly Cantonese there so I won’t be able to dazzle everyone with my sweet Mandarin skills though. But it would be fun to get some street food and look around a bit.

Australia is going to be fun too. The whole family has rented a big house on Phillip Island for the first few days, then Jessie comes to Melbourne for Easter and a baby shower, and then I go to Adelaide for a few days to visit Cassia! I am iksidid.

Anyway that’s pretty much all the updates about what’s coming up. And now to catch up on the last month…

Calgary was super good this year. We spent a week at COP training in the icehouse and on the skeleton track and then competed in an Alberta Cup race on the last day. I had a lot more success sliding there compared to last year. I have learned SO MUCH this season and understood the track and sliding so much more. My starts were very very slow compared to everyone else and I would start each run in last place, but I must be ok at driving because I ended up gaining spots every run. I ended up coming 4th in the race (out of 7 competitors). My goal was not to come in last place and I definitely succeeded in that so I was happy.

This year I stayed at Ally’s house the whole time and that was awesome. It’s always great to catch up with old friends and her and Scott are very fun. I was busy a lot of the time I was there but we still squeezed in going to a nice oyster restaurant, going out to the barn for a ride on her horse, and going to watch some of the Brier curling. BTW curling is really fun to watch live!

Sliding in Whistler was going pretty well too. Sliding from the top was getting less and less scary every day. Every session I would try and push just a tiny bit faster. We ended up having quite a big turnout for our last race of the season, BC Champs, including OTHER GIRL SKELETON SLIDERS!! I came in 4th, aka last place, but I was competing against World Cup/ICC level sliders so that was to be expected. I was still pretty happy because I got a huge PB time on the first day of the race, and then another PB on the second day.

BCBSA ended up giving out medals to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, and then a separate medal for the #1 BC slider. Originally they gave the BC medal to Jane, because she is from North Van (although she hadn’t even been in Whistler all season). But after the awards she came over and put the medal around my neck. She said I should have it because of my two PBs. :’) It meant a lot to me, that was really nice of her. So I now have my first skeleton medal.

I took a pretty big hit on my last run of the race so I decided that was a pretty good time to end the season. It has been nice to have spare time again, tbh. It was such a good season, with our new coach and new friends and new teammates. I learned SO MUCH. And now I have 6ish months to try and get stronger and faster on land before next season and tryouts. My goal for next year: an international race… which should be possible because I should be able to at least do the Whistler NAC race. Fingers crossed.

What else?..

We’ve been going to trivia every couple of weeks. Our team is called Patty O’Lanterns and we rule. We plan on doing a lot of trivia over the summer so let me know if you want to come sometime. We also plan on doing a lot of patio time at our house too.

Once I get back from Australia I am starting weightlifting lessons two times a week (instead of once a week) so next time you see me I’m going to be ripped.

All joking aside, this was actually a really tough week. Wednesday morning at work we all found out that our boss had unexpectedly passed away the day before. It was a huge shock and a huge loss for us all. He and some of my coworkers had worked together for more than 20 years, and his partner also works in our department. So so so sad. He was such a great guy and definitely a lot more than just a boss to us. Our work family lost a good friend. I will miss him.

Well we are getting pretty close to boarding time so I’m going to post this and get ready to go. Until next time (hopefully not for so long).

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Pre-Calgary Skeleton Update

The past month of skeleton has been really fun and exciting for me. While many people are really hurting from the unseasonably warm temperatures in Whistler, it has been great for me because I finally moved up to the top of the track a few weeks ago! (My goal for the year!) The warmer weather means the track has been a little soft, and soft and frosty equals slow. Bad for PBs, but excellent for scaredy cats like me. (BTW we are still going 115-120 km/hr on slow days.)

We had our BC Cup races #3 and #4 a couple weeks ago (when I had only done 6 runs from the top before race day). The ice in our OT session was soooooooooooooooooo slow, then the next day the track crew worked their butts off and made the ice 15 km/hr FASTER than the night before. I was TERRIFIED. I dragged my toes (to slow down) so hard. I ended up coming something like +16 seconds behind the leader in a two heat race, which is quite ridiculous in a sport that usually comes down to hundredths of a second, but I figured it was better to challenge myself and get more experience from the top than go back down to corner 3 and have an easy race.

BUT, I’m getting more and more comfortable every day. I’ve even started doing little jogging starts this week, and this weekend it actually was quite fast, and I was nervous, but I forced myself to not drag my toes… and I was fine! 128.6 km/hr!  So I think from here on I can pretty much run as fast as I can.

Tomorrow I am driving to Calgary with a few teammates for a week of training. Similar to last year, but this time for an Alberta Cup race and not for Can-Am week (there was no Can-Am week this year). We will do 3 days of Official Training, 2+ Icehouse sessions, and 2 days of racing. Exciting!! I’m hoping to improve my pushing skills x92398723937823. It will be very interesting to see how I do compared to last year because I understand SO MUCH MORE now. Plus my new sled works way better than my old one. I am very much looking forward to it.

All for now, I have to finish packing.

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