We arrived on Sunday to our nice little farmhouse apartment just outside of Ruhpolding in a town called Brand. There were about five houses in the area, but it was great. When we arrived, there was snow and fog. The fog had followed us from Oberhof and we were not pleased. The next day for training, we woke up to rain. Bahhh- We were again not so pleased. Richard arrived on Tuesday and it was fabulous to see him again- he brought a little bit of sunshine to miserable Ruhpolding when he arrived ;)
Next year the World Championships are in Ruhpolding, and in preparation for this, they changed the course completely. We now ski backwards to what it used to be, and have some new deathly downhills to battle, as well as some gnarly uphills. Training on Wednesday was 'sketch'tacular- with the rain and then freezing in the night, the downhills were tricky. I think I did the downhill 10 or more times to practise, and still shuddered in the night thinking of the next day.
Thursday = Race day = Womens 15km Individual. Four times shooting- 5 times down the three sketchballs hills. I think I sharted myself 47 times in the race, with many near falls myself, and 4 people eating it infront of me, no wonder I missed 6/20. My heartrate was up and down like the springy-yodelling toys they sell here. Oh, and another thing, it was absolutely pouring down with rain. I have never raced, nor witnessed a race, in that type of torrential downpour. My boots were still wet 3 days late even after being under a heater, and after wringing everything out once, was able to wring it all out one more time. It was exciting though. I enjoyed it- my skiing felt good, but with 6 misses, it was a bit of a doozy.
The next day the sun came and out and Bruce and Richard and I went for a fabulous ski, or should I say adventure, up by 3 lakes. With all the rain, the rivers and creeks had flooded and half the ski trails were washed out. We took our skis off six or so times to cross flooded creeks and rivers. It was exciting and a nice ski in the end!
Saturday was the womens 7.5km sprint. I was feeling good, and although woke up to rain, it was not raining during the competition. Yahoo! I think everyone was excited for this race as we only had to do the "wholly crap, Im going to die" hills three times. I went out as starter 73 and hit 5 prone. Yes- no penalty loops! I went out feeling good, and coming in for standing was excited and confident. Well, I missed 2- Shade! (German for 'Too bad!') Two times around the 150m penalty loop and then we were off to finish. I felt good and hit 8/10 so was pleased with this race- but it did not show in the results. I was 83rd in the end, 5 minutes behind. I need to step it up a bit, I think.
Yesterday the sunshine came out and we didn't know what to do with ourselves we were so excited. We ended up going to the indoor sauna. I think we were confused and forgot that sunshines are warm.
Today we are off to Antholz, Italy. Next race Thursday.
xxx Much love, Sarah