We arrived at Zwiesel, Germany and learned that due to extreme weather conditions, they were going to switch the order of the GS and SL. Therefore, I would be racing a day earlier than I expected to be. We went up to train the next day and get used to the set up of the hill. I had only heard that the weather is very challenging in Zwiesel, so to my surprise I found a nice little mountain where the sun was shining.
That night in our meeting they said that we would race Friday, if the race got canceled we would race Saturday, if that didn't work out our final option was Sunday. However, we woke up in the morning and the weather didn't look too bad. It was pretty foggy throughout the day, but the wind stayed at bay. I inspected the course and saw that it was a pretty tight and turny course, my favourite! The snow felt hard and fairly grippy; perfect for starting 42nd!
During my first run I slid a little bit right near the top and had trouble getting into the rhythm for the pitch. There was a fairly turny delay about halfway down the pitch and I felt one of the gates hit me in the face around this point. I remember thinking, "Common, not again, wow this hurts more than usual." I tried to pick up the rhythm from this point on and just kept saying over and over again, "Common, get on it, common."
Well, maybe the gate in the face was what I needed because the bottom section of the course, the flats, which are usually a struggle for me placed me in 30th for the run. When I got to the finish line I put my hand up to my face and looked down at my mitt and... there was a decent amount of blood on it, but I wasn't entirely sure from where. They took me over to the doctors hut, told me that the cut was 2cm long on my chin and that I would need stitches. They put me in the ambulance (it seemed like I was along for the ride with no one speaking English) and were about to head off to the hospital, but I knew that:
1) I needed to talk to our coaches before going
2) Ambulance rides are really expensive!3) I might still have a second run, although I thought I was probably going to get bumped out of 30th position.
My physio and trainer came down to see me and told me I was still in the top 30 , so we decided to go up and get a second opinion from the Swiss Team doctor. I was worried that if I waited to get sewn up until after the second run that the cut would start to heal before we got to the hospital and it wouldn't heal properly in the end. I was also pretty worried about getting another gate in the face and opening the wound even more...
Here it is when I had to make the decision about what to do... (and we all know I am a horrible decision maker...)
Looking better already...? Right
The coaches came up after the other girls inspected and told me about the course. There was a significant delay that pretty much went back up the hill that was the most important thing! I got up to the start and my tech, Marco, switched my broken face bar for a new bar. I got another course report after the first forerunner, but had to leave a little bit early when Marco called me telling me that I was going to be later. I was starting first and there was only one more forerunner to go.
My second run felt So much better than first run. I felt more in control of what I was doing and surprisingly calm. I looked pretty good in the finish line with the pink tape on my face ...
and the cute new splotches all over my equipment.
After the second run, I stood in front of the leaders board for the first time ever. As soon as someone bumped me out of that spot, I ran down to meet Jenny and go to the hospital. When we got there Tim texted us and told us that I ended up 13th overall (5th for the run) and Mitch ended up 7th overall (3rd for the run)!
I have never had a hospital experience like the one that I did yesterday. I lay down on the table and the guy said in broken English that he was going to do stitches and that I was probably going to scar. He ripped off all the tape I had on, hard enough that I hit his hand away. Then took out a needle filled with freezing and literally plunged it into my chin on both sides. He then started stitching me up almost immediately. The stitches hurt way more than usual stitches hurt. My physio and I were talking about this after and though that maybe it was because he pushed the freezing in so hard and it came back out the cut... (sorry gross I know). BUT I am sewn up now with only a few stitches and it doesn't hurt much at all. The doctor was actually very nice, but probably thought I could handle a lot more pain that I can.
All in all it was a good day. No blood no glory right? My grandpa said that if it scars it will just be like a tattoo that will make me remember the day.
The girls were supposed to race GS today, but it was canceled due to high winds... Watch for them tomorrow though or girls are in domination mode! (Mitch- 23, MP- 32, Britt Phelan- 54)