Hallo from snowy Altenberg, a suitably wintery start to 2017!
We’ve been here in Germany all week preparing for the third World Cup race of this season, and whilst it was brilliant to see my friends and family back home at Christmas, there is something great about kick starting the New Year with a race. Sure fire way to blow away the cobwebs!
My first race of the season in Whistler was my first competitive race for over a year and if I’m honest, I was petrified of messing it up! Once it was over, I relaxed and we moved on to Lake Placid for Race 2 where we had a whole week of training before the race week, which is unusual, but was so helpful as I was able to test out some different lines and really get to grips with the track. My Coach Eric is a veteran having done thousands of runs there, holding a track record and winning a World Cup race back in 2007. It was fantastic to learn from him that week and soak up all of his advice.
The extreme cold set in ahead of the race and training was really difficult, having to run outside, grab my sled, taking off my jacket and trousers as late as possible so I didn’t freeze was distracting. Hitting the walls at Lake Placid hurts a lot more in the cold too, it feels like a hot burn with your skin being scraped off!
Despite all this, on the morning of the race I felt totally calm and enjoyed the process of warming up and preparing, a good sign as my training times had placed me in the middle of the field, but I felt confident come race day I could bring it. I pushed well and had my best downtime of the trip, finishing with a silver medal and the added bonus of being World Cup Leader. A surprise for the Christmas break and a welcome return to the action!
So let’s hope I can continue to stay calm as we hit the European tracks. It was announced recently too that this season’s World Championships were being moved from Sochi to Konigsee, here in Germany. Konigsee is where I took part in my first World Cup race back in 2012 and I love the track. The track was originally designed for luge that can steer a lot more than skeleton sleds, so it makes it a really challenging track as you have to try and manage the chicanes without steering! The race will be an interesting one, it’s all about getting it right on the day much more than at any other track so the competition will be wide open.
Much like most of the races this season I’m sure, the field is really competitive and I’m excited about whether I can keep on improving as I get more races under my belt.
To watch Lizzy race tune in at 10am GMT to the IBSF You Tube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/bobskeletv