New purchases

I have recently begun to purchase new items which are needed for next season! The best purchase so far has been a pair of weightlifting shoes. I bought the Nike Romaleos online recently and they have made a huge difference in my weightlifting. I had lifted in college for track, but I would say the split from running to lifting was about 75/25. Now that I have switched to skeleton, it is about 50/50. This means that the lifting portion of my program has become much more important. I used running shoes all last season which was fine, because you know… they’re shoes. But there certainly is a big difference with

Buying these shoes has made an immediate impact for me, especially in squats. It increases stability, and because the base is solid and not squishy like my running shoes, the power I am exerting is not being wasted in the shoes.

I also bought a new pair of running shoes. Saucony Kinvaras, which I have only taken for a few test runs but am a big fan of. Not only are they AWESOME looking, but they are incredibly light and exactly what I am looking for. I’ve got a pair of Mizuno Wave Riders which are nearing the end of their life. I decided to switch it up and get these guys.

This is a big thing for me! I bet you since high school I have purchased at least 10 pairs of Wave Riders. I periodically try another brand but I always regret it. So far, so good with these Sauconys.

2 more big purchases I have made recently: A Uvex helmet, which is used and I got from a former skeleton slider for a great deal. The visor is a bit cracked in the corner, but I think it will be fine for the time being. I am planning on purchasing a new visor, but there is no guarantee the new visor will fit this model since this helmet is a few years old. But we will see. It is worth a shot. I think the helmet will be good for this season. I also purchased a set of runners from a friend of mine who made the switch to bobsled. It will be nice having more than 1 set of runners to choose from when the ice changes. I will not be testing them out until October, but they are in great condition and am looking forward to it.

In other news, the Southern Conference released a promo for a new series they are making and I have a little snippit in it! No idea what it is about, but the series looks interesting and it brought me back to the good old track days. Man, they seem like forever ago.

The Starting Line

All of the Olympics hype has got me so pumped up watching track and field!! I seriously cannot explain how much I LOVE track being on TV. I mean, swimming is cool and all but track is where it is at. Other random sports I have enjoyed watching: handball, fencing and (oddly enough) archery. I mean I spent 3 hours watching archery one day. How?!? I’m telling you, it’s intense.

I was at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid to watch the opening ceremony, and it was pretty awesome. The next morning everyone was in the weight room working their butts off and of course… cheering on Team USA. It has been a great motivation for me to get in some quality workouts these past 2 weeks. These people were once where I was- a relative newcomer and hopeful. And look at them now, doing big things!

I am currently at home, getting everything together for the move up to Placid on Sunday. Damn, I hate this drive (from Virginia to Lake Placid). It is a killer. I don’t really know when I am going to be back in VA so even though it is August, I have got to pack winter clothing. The thought of bundling up again makes me cringe a little… but at least I have another month of warm weather.

Only a month?! This makes me so sad 😦 I have so many cute summer clothes I have yet to wear.

I’ve got some testing in Placid on Monday morning. So I will be sure to update on how it goes.

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First Official Race and NYC

Sorry for the delayed post, everyone! This is going to be a long one. So much has happened in 2 weeks! First and foremost… I get to be a pilot sled for the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS! They picked 2 girls from the new sliders to do it and Caitlin and I got the job. A pilot sled is like skeleton’s equivalent to a rabbit in track & field. I will be the first slider to go and will show the other sliders the way which the grooves run. The grooves (that the sled sits in for the first 40 meters) can be cut different ways. So I am not allowed to steer at all going into the first turn in order to show the other sliders where my sled would go naturally. This means I get housing at the Olympic Training Center for the World Championships and get to slide through to Nationals.

I usually post on the weekends, but last weekend I went to New York City! It’s a solid 5 hours from Lake Placid, but it as well worth it. I went down with Nick and met up with Allyson, a former track teammate, at Madison Square Garden for the Track & Field US Open. The meet itself was very small but the quality of the athletes was top notch. I don’t know if you guys follow track but some really big names were there including: Veronica Campbell-Brown, Asafa Powell, Justin Gatlin, LoLo Jones, David Oliver, Nesta Carter, Jenn Suhr, Kellie Wells, Bershawn Jackson a trio of shotputters (Christian Cantwell, Adam Nelson, Ryan Whiting) and my favorite track athlete…. Bernard Lagat! Although Lagat got nipped at the line in the mile, it was a great race and an overall quality weekend. After the meet I met up with some of my former USA Track & Field Co-workers and the following day I went (what else?) shopping! The trip back was moderately uneventful, minus the fact that it took Nick and I 40 minutes to find a gas station in Albany. I know Albany is a city and all… but WHERE ARE YOUR GAS STATIONS?! One of the Lugers told me a story about how they ran out of gas at 2am on I-87 and had to call for help. That seemed pretty terrible to me and I am definitely not trying for that… ever.

After returning late that snowy Sunday, I got geared up for another week of sliding. It was definitely a week of ups and downs as the ice was pretty wily all week (mostly because of the weather). Monday started off pretty well as I strung together some decent runs. Tuesday was not the same case, as a poor second run led to a stiff and unresponsive 3rd run. All I wanted was some good runs but by the time Wednesday rolled around it was close to 40 degrees and the track was 10 seconds slow. BOO. After getting up to 71mph, dropping back down to 58mph felt like a snail’s speed.

But on Friday I competed in my first official race! It was for the Empire State Winter Games which is like an mini Olympics for the state of New York. In general, the sports are geared for younger kids, but participants of Skeleton are generally older, so it was the same crew racing that usually races- with the addition of a few more experienced women.

I ended up coming in 2nd! Since the World championships are coming up, they have been working on the track and it was pretty quick. I had down times of 57.75 and 57.96 which is pretty good for me, so I am pleased. The girl that won, Lauren, had 2 solid runs too-her times were 57.47 and 57.71. Sam came in 3rd with times of 58.26 and 58.46.

I have got some pictures and clips or you guys! Firstly, here is my roommate Gracie and myself with our sleds after the race today.

I mentioned in my last post that Gracie and I were teaming up to do our team building exercise- bobsled. Well we took the kid’s sleds from start 4, which is halfway down the track. It was a blast. We each got 2 runs of driving and 2 runs of pushing. Going from skeleton to bob was very different. I felt like I could see everything in bobsled because as a driver, I was sitting up. With skeleton I can really only see as far as my head is up off the ice. If skeleton is like driving my Honda Civic, then Bobsled is like driving my mother’s mini-van. Gracie and I bonded together to make team Keyboard Cat. If you don’t know was Keyboard Cat is, you fail at the internet. I will enlighten you.

Here is our interpretation of it. I just need Keyboard cat to play us off as we start to actually slide. I’m pushing in the first one, and Gracie is pushing in the second one. Yes, we are weird. Embrace it.

The highlight of the night was Corinne doing bikini bobsled. Yes, it is exactly what you think. Corinne. Bikini. Pushing bobsled. Mind you is was really cold this evening but she managed to strip down and tough it out for 50 seconds. Visit Corinne’s blog here.

I will leave you guys with a video Nick took a video of me going through turn 9 on Thursday. Remember last time I was talking about how turns 9-12 are all connected? Well here is the start of that chain of turns. Check out more of his videos at nathancrumpton.com.

I know the video is only 5 seconds, but it is at such a close angle! You really start to pick up speed once you exit 10 (the big turn that is one turn after the one filmed). They open up the shades for the World Championships so perhaps I’ll get a video of of that turn. From what I understand, I don’t get a whole lot of height in 10. Definitely something I need to study and work on. I’ll leave you guys for Superbowl Sunday!