Sun, Fog, Rain, Fertilizer and more
After the Nor Am Finals, we made a hasty decision to stay in the East for the US Nationals. After a warm, sunny day in Burlington (shopping included), Kevin and I headed to Lake Placid to get settled in at Brad's house (Kevin's friend from high school). And I might as well say that I was in a land of luxury. The house is beautiful, the food was amazing and we were able to use the gym at Northwood, Kevin's old school. It was cool to see the place where Baye, Kevin and Taylor spent some of the most important days of their youth.
The slalom was our first race. The boys ran first because the snow was pretty soft. I borrowed Kevin's car/massive Denali, so that I could go to the hill later. I will have to say, it is not the same as my Mom's little Toyota. I had to stand of the brake and be careful around corners, I will not get into parking. But all in all everything went a lot better than expected. I ran 3rd in the first run of the slalom. Running early was definitely advantageous that day. There were already frozen bumps on the hill when I went, but at the end there were the biggest "girl" ruts I have ever seen! After the first run, I was sitting in 2nd behind Sarah Schleper by about 6tenths (I think). Second run was much different! The flats held up very well, but the pitch was a bit of a roller coaster. I felt my tips hitting the gates and my skis going every which way. I was able to hold my place overall and lessen the gap between Sarah and myself, after a lengthly time of over 1minute 4seconds -aka EXTREMELY long for a slalom. Waiting for me in the finish was Kevin and the drug testers. Test #1 of the 2009-10 season.
The next day the boys ran gs and we had a day off. However, calling that a day off is far from the truth. I was going to borrow Kevin's car to drive to the hill again, watch and pick him up. I got into the front set, turned the key and hurt k,k,k.... then nothing. Aka battery dead- story of my life. Brad and his girlfriend were luckily running late and still around (mostly because the dog had run off). Jump starting the car didn't work, so before Brad left they connected it to a battery. But, of course, it still wouldn't charge. Kevin told me I had turn the key once and fiddle with the clamps. Picture this scene: it is raining, the car hood is up, I am playing around with the clamps while sparks are flying.... eventually it started charging though!
The next day was the gs. I will admit that I don't particularly enjoy waking up in the morning, getting ready to race knowing that it has been POURING all night and is still pouring. However, that is our job. Elli, Eve and I packed Eve's car to the brim and set off to the hill only to find out the run was already delayed. We decided to leave our things in the car "just in case". Yet, they managed to run it. I ran 30th first run. The light was very flat making it difficult to see the bumps that had frozen either overnight or because of being sprayed with a fire hose and then fertilized. However, the course could not have been better prepared for the conditions. I have never seen a hill come together like that after so much rain. Second run they flipped top 15 (which I have never seen happen before). I ran 3rd out of the start. The forerunners were held at the start because of fog. Eventually they ran the forerunners, but it didn't seem promising when we heard, forerunner A says the visibility (ie fog) is very bad, followed by forerunner B says the visibility on the flats is bad, followed by "from the finish we can see 2-4 gates..... then the first racer will go in 2 minutes. That fog was the worst fog I have skied in, in a course, ever I think. It was even hard to see the dye and tell between the outside and inside gates. At the top they were holding the slippers because "the dye is more important". The visibility stayed pretty much the same for all the racers. It was a tough race to get off, but luckily no one was hurt.
After the race, we dried our skis and shoved everything back in Eve's car. Then we drove, feeling like a can of sardines, to Montreal to catch a flight the next day to Canadian Nationals and see our fellow Canadians.