Monday Morning Slider: You’ve Come a Long Way

Yeah, Monday Morning Slider is coming to you on Wednesday. But it is sponsored by Subaru. Love, it’s what makes a Subaru, a Subaru. There I said it. Actually my semester of crazy continued this week. Monday I was in Burlington, and when I got home, well, I needed to pick up my new “Love” so no time for writing.

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My recurring theme this year in my sliding is that somehow things are clicking for me in my sliding. This is a little strange for me, but also means that sliding has been a lot of fun this winter.

Saturday night I slid 3 runs. The track was a little bit slow and so my times were down a little bit. But let me tell you, my first two runs were super clean, and under the proper track conditions would have challenged my personal best times and maybe even the magic 45 second barrier I am look at right now. Who knows, they were what they were. Clean runs I was really happy with.

While they were fun, my best run on the night was my last. It was also my slowest and “least clean” of the evening.

It started with some advice from the club guru. “Crank the steer hard at the bottom of the start ramp so you are pointing down the track when you get onto that first curve.” It’s good advice because you don’t have enough speed to actually get on the curve and lining the sled down the curve means you don’t skid, and so you don’t loose time. So I did that.

BUT, you can over crank (which I did) and drive yourself into the exit wall of the start ramp (which I did). Gold medal run gone. I laid back and decided to leave that behind and see what there was to see in the run. Historically my run would have gone to crap in my brain at this point, so progress.

The top portion of my run was just a little off, I was just a little behind or ahead of myself. But all in all it wasn’t bad. Till I got into the big corner that sets up the chicane. Well actually until I approached the big corner that approached the chicane. I realized I was going into it early, and I started to laugh in my head. It was funny because I realized that I realized what was going to happen.

“You are just a little off on this run dude. Get ready, the exit of this corner is going to be interesting.” And it was. I had to put a steer on to arrest my motion into the wall after that corner. Then I steered through the chicanes, just enough, to keep from the walls. Set up late into the lower section and had to continue correcting, just a little bit. I approached the second to last corner really early and my brain worked through the outcome of where I was and realized I would be early into the final corner and I adjusted accordingly. The transition to the final corner was off but I understood what was going to happen and kept it under control. Across the finish line. Slowest run of the night. Best run of the night.

We have coaches who watch us on the track and we talk with them after each run.

Laughing. “Hi its Doug. Let’s just call that run a throw away.”

“What happened?”

“I took some advice from the guru, and well it didn’t work.”

“THAT was your first mistake.” And we talked through the run.

Why was it my best run? Well in the past I would have been along for the ride rather than working with the ride. I likely would have tagged some walls in the chicane. In the final corner I probably would have skidded the back end of my sled and had to execute a fail, rather than just working with what I had. In other words, the run would have gone to crap, and I would have been bruised.

Instead, I was laughing at the end. I remained calm and in control of what I was doing. While I was off, I managed my “offness” and ended up with a slow, but not horrible run. Not what you would want in a race, but then again, it wasn’t a race. It was training. And if it had been a race, well it wouldn’t have been a disaster. And I wouldn’t have needed this.

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Picture of the Day

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“The track, from the top of Whiteface Mountain.”

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