My skate today at the 2015 Sherwood Invitational... unlike in years past, this year the figures were in the early evening. While I was glad they weren't at crack of dawn, the result was that I by the time I skated I had already been at the rink for, no joke, 11.5 hours. Eep. Still, as a result of the time slot we actually had spectators! So that is a positive thing for figures in general.
One of the competitors wound up having to withdraw at the last minute, so there were only 3 figures skated total -- two FO8s (mine and my competition, Rachel) and my BO8 as an exhibition.
Coach Kelli couldn't be there to put me on this year so Kristen kindly stepped up to put me on the ice. Given the nerves that I generally have for figures competition I was grateful to have her there for me.
We started with a 10 minute warmup for me (I was skating my FO8 first); then 5 minutes after my warmup started Rachel started her warmup, then I skated my FO8, then Rachel skated hers. While Rachel was skating her figure I had warmup for my BO8, then once Rachel was done I skated my BO8.
- warmup -- I warmed up with some edges, just FO and BO. I was pretty nervous and it showed, though it did improve somewhat. After that I warmed up the FO8, then a couple of quick BO8s, and then back to FO8. Nerves were actually less on the BO8 (?!) than on FO8. First FO8 was not too great, tracing was kinda bad and circles were very inconsistent in size. BO8 was a bit shaky. The subsequent FO8 was much better and I felt better about it, though quite nervous. After each layout I went and talked to Kristen who mostly gave me feedback on my body position and encouraged me/calmed me down.
- FO8 -- finally time to skate! I skated over to the judges, chose a starting point and marked it and pushed off... a little bit shaky but mostly under control. I have to say compared to the last couple of years, while I still felt nervous, at least I wasn't in any doubt that I would make it around. My first RFO was shallow on the return to center though so I knew I'd have to fix it. In general the LFOs were not too bad and reasonably well traced; and while I did make the subsequent RFOs better they were not consistent with each other so I wasn't happy.
- warmup -- I went back to warm up my BO8; I think I got two layouts. The second one was actually really good and I was really happy with it.
- BO8 -- back for my second figure. Ugh. The first RBO was pretty uncontrolled. The second one was good and then the third was not so great either. The LBOs were not bad, actually. While the tracings weren't really close they were at least mostly parallel. On the positive side my body position was a lot better and I had pretty good flow. I actually had to remind myself not to push too hard because I was going a bit too fast after the first set of circles.
After I skated I congratulated my opponent and we took some pictures. Final result for the FO8 was that I got 2nd; but I did get one first place ordinal so that is something. I got some informal feedback from two of the judges that I looked much improved from last year.
I had a couple of friends (Lisa and her fiance' David) who came. David (not a skater) said that the figures competition was "intense". I guess I see what he means. The quiet does make it kind of intense.
I should some video to post in a few weeks.