photo by Steve Penland

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Now What?

Or, more accurately, "what next?"

As in, "what's up for next season?"

I'm exactly 12 days into what will be a 4-week break between the (extremely forgettable) 2012-13 season and the (I really, really hope) marvelous 2013-14 season.  I've been thinking a lot about last season, next season, the off season, and even the current "season," which is allegedly spring, although the 7 degrees I woke up to this morning makes that a bit hard to believe.  But I digress (don't I always?).  The point is, I do have some plans and goals for the next season...and even for the off season.

First things first: the off season.  This is supposed to be a time of recovery, rest, and repair--so that's what I'm doing.  My main goal for the "rest weeks" is to emerge on April 8--my official "Day One" of the 2013-14 season--with a completely recovered hamstring.  My left hammie has been sore since early December.  Not "I can't skate at all" sore, just "quit bugging me" sore.  I'd really like it to shut up before next season.  So "recover" is tops on my off season list.

I was hoping that the "off month" could also be a bit about "reduce."  My "fat pants" are still getting a workout, and I'd really like to be a bit smaller and fitter for next season.  So last week I decided to try a bit of dietary restriction--low carb, which is what I've used successfully in the past, but which is tricky to do while working out hard.  Four weeks off seemed like the perfect time to try for a little size reduction.

Except that I failed to calculate the effect of dietary restrictions on an already-cranky mood-swing-riddled teacher who is 1.5 weeks from spring break. By yesterday noon I decided that it was really in my best interest--as well as in the best interest of anyone in my immediate vicinity--if I would take one for the team and go eat a cookie.  Or three.

So I did.

So I may not be any lighter when the season starts--but at least I'll still be sane, happy, married, and employed.  (Although I'm not giving up on dieting quite yet; maybe I can deal with some crankiness over the generally-relaxing week of spring break, when only hubby and dog are in danger and I can do fun stuff to take my mind off my PopTart-free status.)

But back to the actual skating season.  I have goals for 2013-14 season.  Since I have a couple health issues (you may have heard me mention them once or, oh, a hundred times) that can unpredictably affect my training and racing, I decided to have both Product and Process goals.  That way, if my hypothyroidism and heart arrhythmia decide to misbehave again and mess up my ability to achieve my time goals, I can still feel a sense of accomplishment by at least executing my workouts correctly and improving my technique.

Here are my Product (time) goals:

  • Skate a sub 4:40 3K.  My 3K PB, from the 2011 Masters Allround World Championships in Calgary in February of 2011, is 4:42.25.  I didn't skate a 3K on fast ice in the 2011-12 season, and the one I did last year in Salt Lake, at the Masters Camp, was dismal at 5:15...but I'd still like to think that I have a four-thirty-something in me--especially since my 4:42 was pre-technique improvement.  I'd likely need to go to Calgary to try for this goal, since my Salt Lake City Curse, while it certainly doesn't preclude good races there, definitely makes me reluctant to base my PB hopes on racing there.
  • Improve my Fast Ice 5K PB.  I skated an 8:16.0 at the US Championships in Salt Lake City in 2007 (my last good meet there before The Curse set in), in my second 5K ever.  I've tried many times to best this, but the only time I came close was in...2009?...when I skated roughly the same time in Calgary.  I say "roughly the same time" because I was disqualified for forgetting to change lanes, so although I skated the entire race I never got an official time. Again, this PB is way pre-technique improvement, so I think there's hope.
  • Skate a sub-18:00 10K.  I had a blast in my first ever 10K, and skated an 18:14.13.  I think if I have someone giving me lap times, and I train a bit more for my second 10K than I did for my first, I should  have a shot at this.
Next post (because this is getting long and I want to go sit on the couch and digest my PopTart):  Process Goals.  Stay tuned!


  1. take it from an oft-injured skater: exercise bike works wonders! ;) admirable goals, I hope to see you to them! :)

  2. Thanks, Mel. I know the goals look mighty lofty after my horrid season this year...but I do think they're in range if everything goes well. If everything doesn't go well...well, check out the next post for my "contingency plan!"