Yesterday I ran the Buttermilk downhill course in a factored time of 1:16.06. Today my time was 1:18.02 — a full two seconds slower. Many other skiers skied faster today, or about the same. I didn't make any major mistakes in my run. The coaches had nothing but good things to say about my skiing.
And yet I was slow. Not just a little bit slow, but 11th-place slow. 5.7-seconds-out-of-first-place slow. Who knows how these things happen? Did we miss the wax? Is the structure of my downhill ski's base no good for this type of snow? Did I make some big mistakes that weren't immediately obvious?
The answer to all three of these questions is probably yes. (In fact, video analysis confirms the third answer.) Now it's a question of addressing each issue and trying to reclaim some of the speed I so rightfully (self-righteously?) deserve, in time for tomorrow's super-combined and Friday's super-G.
Speed is a weird, elusive thing. That's about as profound a statement as it's possible to make about ski racing sometimes.
p.s. Congratulations to teammate Alana Nichols on winning her first of many World Cup downhill overall globes today.