LEVI- Santa's Lair

First of all...
HAPPY MOVEMBER!

We have just had our first slalom race of the season in Levi, Finland. It is only light for about 3 hours a day.  In the past, I have really struggled in Levi. A few years ago, I wasn't skiing very well, I had never been to Levi and I really struggled with staying happy. However, this year was different...
This year we arrived and it was sunny; only for 3 hours, but it was sunny nonetheless.

We got in at about 2pm and at 4pm we were on the hill training.

It was beautiful, and I came into the race calm and ready.
This is the race hill, through the window of a bus.

The day before the race, we trained a few runs on the warm up hill...

and then headed over to the race hill to free ski. This is the view from the start.

And the girls and I enjoyed the sun! (Notice my identical expression in all pictures).

Eve trying to take a picture of herself... little does she know!

Before this picture was taking... we were rapping...

Whenever we miss a shot in volleyball or soccer we do a handstand, called a rejection handstand. Here Britt and I are practicing. 

Finally race day came!
My day seemed like a mess of emotions, a variety of types of skiing and many lessons learned. During the bib draw, I drew the number 11. It is my best start number to date. The weather turned a bit foggy, snowy and windy, however I was excited. (photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

However, I pushed out of the gate on my first run, and I didn't get into it. I didn't go for it, I didn't get into the rhythm and I wasn't fast. We have been working so hard on being technically sound, and I missed the race gear of the run.
I ended up 29th on my first run, and I was very upset. (photo creed: Stef Rizzo)

The waiting game as you watch people come down wondering if you are going to stay in the top 30 and get a second run, in so hard mentally. However, I was lucky that I stayed in the top 30. I vowed to myself that I wouldn't let this happen again. I wanted to prove to myself that our hard work and training this summer paid off.
On my second run, I really went for it. I made one big mistake on the pitch, but it didn't matter because I was finally racing. I was 16th at the first split, 2nd on the pitch, and 5th for the second run.

I was able to stand in the leader box! Or as Marco, my tech, says, "The little box."

I moved up from 29th to 14th.

I am also very happy for my teammates! Mitch was not happy with her first run, but ended up moving into 10th because of her second run.
BRITT PHELAN SCORED HER FIRST WORLD CUP POINTS!!

 I said that this year would be a series of steps to get to where I want to be. As disappointed as I was with my first run, I accomplished the first step; a top 15 in the first race. I remain in the top 15 going into Aspen.

MY OTHER GOAL!
My other goal of the day was to kiss a reindeer.... like this (2 years ago)

Mitch came with me to take the picture. I went up to the reindeer and got this close... But...

This reindeer was angry and hit me with his antlers in the ribs. Reindeer- 1, Erin- 0
(photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

Maybe the dogs were more friendly? (photo cred: Stef Rizzo)

Now I am at home. I did my laundry and repacked my bags. Tomorrow I will head to Toronto to meet up with my sponsors at Polar Securities for a workout and cocktail party! 

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