photo by Steve Penland

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Don't tell me how you feel..."

"...Go skate and I'll tell you how you felt."

This was one of Coach TieGuy's favorite sayings, developed in defense of my continual whining tendency to predict, before I'd actually skated, that a workout/race would go poorly because my back hurt/legs were sore/legs were tired/attitude was bad/etc.--and then to go out and have a very good workout/race in spite of all that.  Today I proved the truth of that saying yet again.

Today we had the usual weekend Time Trials at Roseville.  Since I'm doing the American Cup event in Milwaukee next weekend, which will include a 3k, I didn't want to do a long race today.  So on Tuesday I signed up for a 1000 and 1500, and as the week's workouts went by I became more and more sure that I'd made the right decision...or that, in fact, perhaps a 500 and 1000 would have been an even "righter" decision.  Not that the workouts were bad, they were just...meh.   Well, I did get some great coaching from fellow masters skaters 60's Boy and Aussie Boy, reminding me to enter and exit my corners wider than I have been.  So some technique aspects that I had been letting slide a bit came back into focus.  But by Thursday night (I practice Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday evenings) I was feeling pretty sore and tired.  I cut the Thursday workout--a Hellaciously long interval workout--in half, and felt OK about that until I looked at last year's version of that workout in my 2-Inch Data Notebook and saw that I had completed it just fine a year ago.  So clearly,  I suck this year.

(Yes, I need to work on that "positive mental attitude" thing.)

And I didn't feel much better about things when I got to the Oval at 8 this morning--back sore, legs stiff and sore, and just generally slow and creaky.  My on-ice warmup didn't really improve the outlook any, so I decided to focus on technique and not pay too much attention to my times...which, I figured, were bound to be abysmal anyway, based on how I felt.  So I picked one thing to focus on for each part of the race: on the start, power rather than trying for footspeed; big recovery on the straights; wide corner entry; go to the blocks in the corner after the wide entry; drift out on the corner exit.  If I managed to remember and execute these things, I figured, I'd consider the races a success regardless of my times.

To my surprise, though, the 1000 went very well.  I executed all my technical points that I was focusing on, and  ended up with a 1:39.57, which is a decent outdoor time for me.  The 1500 also went well, although I blew a couple corner entries and couldn't really relax and get my straightaway strokes right until about 1400 meters into the race...but I still ended up with a 2:31. 47; again, a decent outdoor time.

So I'm much happier now.

On a somewhat related note, though, I can't wait for my new skating glasses to come in.  They're prescription, like my current ones, but they're sports glasses with a removable foam insert that makes them almost goggle-like.  When I did a test night of skating with a trial pair (my eye doctor is very good about letting me do things like that), I noticed that not only did the glasses eliminate the "eyes watering like faucets" issue that I typically suffer from, they also reduced the "nose running like Niagra Falls" problem that leads to my patented "wipe the nose mid-race to preclude the possibility of choking to death on a lungful of aspirated snot mid-lap" move.  The 1500 today was a nose-wipe race, so I hope to put that problem behind me as soon as I get the new glasses...

Oh, yeah, and on the PVC front...only got them in one of the three workouts this week, and neither of the races.  Hoping this trend continues!


  1. Great news about the PVC's! Also? I think it takes me longer than 1:39 to pee. Good luck this weekend!

  2. Thanks! No PVC's again tonight, so I'm hoping...