The new skates are heaven. Literally. They feel like they were made for my foot. I am in LOVE. So far, only very mild break-in discomfort, and that was after the 5 minute timed laps deal because of the pressure put on my ankles from crossing over for 5 minutes straight. EZ Fits helped immensely, I suggest getting them for those breaking-in new skates. Asphalt Beach has them in stock all the time.
Which brings me to the OMG story for the blog…. Five Minute Timed Laps.
I was fully expecting myself to be full-of-SUCK for this time trial being that I haven’t skated or done much of anything except work since September of last year. Since this is only my 2nd time on skates since then, I still feel like I’m baby-Bambi on my skates all over again.
Last season, I figured out the key to success for these is a nice steady pace of nothing but cross-overs in the diamond formation for the ENTIRE 5 minutes. Yes, nothing but crossovers. Its hell on your ankles and lower back, since you MUST be in for-real derby stance the entire time, but you aren’t expending the energy gliding the curves and having to work back up on the straight-aways.
Having figured this little gem of information out, the most common annoyance for me is getting stuck behind someone and having this rhythm disrupted. Don’t believe me? See what a difference it makes, and you’ll understand why I avoid breaking rhythm at all costs. With it becoming such a methodological rhythm, the only thing left to focus on is breathing deeply in and out, and trying to push that rhythm a bit faster each time. I almost want to bring my iPod and ear-buds for total relaxation to see how well I can do to an up-tempo techno tune, so I can tune out the distractions even more.
So for this time trial, I just went back to that happy place in my mind, and focused on the breathing and crossing. Last season, I averaged about 31.5 laps, with a season high of 32.5 laps. I was fully expecting to come in around 29-30 laps being out of shape and out of practice.
Imagine my OH MY GOD surprise when they tell me I posted a career high of 33.5 laps!
Seriously. I am in shock. Not only is that the highest amount of laps I’ve ever posted, but I did some digging through our old stats and that’s the highest ANY skater has ever posted in our records.
The awesome part about this is that I didn’t feel like that was 110% of my possible effort. I had reserved a bit too much in the tank at the end.
The only explanation I can offer for this is:
- My new skates are BAD ASS. They are lighter, and they must be helping keep me lower and more efficient by keeping my heel in place. As DDG’s experimental skate mechanic, I am hoping I can convince the girls this season how important the proper gear and maintenance is to their performance. (Hello, ASIAN INVASION, with ceased up bearings and falling apart skates last season. I’m talking directly to you…)
- Quitting smoking is for winners. FOR REAL. I quit at the end of November. I feel SO much better. For all of those timed laps last season, I was hacking up a lung and about to puke after each time trial. This season? Not at all! I’m now a believer on how much smoking and drinking impairs skate performance. I have been working so much I haven’t had a chance to drink much either. Mission #2 for the season: getting our league to improve smoking/drinking/nutrition habits. Just look at Nashville. They quit as a team and they went to Nationals. Enough said.
- I’m praying this isn’t a fluke. I’ve been known to post ridiculous beginning numbers and then take forever to reach or exceed them again, so I’m hoping this is not one of those flukey-type performances. I’m hoping this is a precursor to an awesome season of lots of super-jammer performances. I’m taking it as an inspiration towards greatness….
Man, I cannot tell you how great it feels to be back!
Here’s a pic I snapped at day 1 of bootcamp. I think these freshies are going to be great! They’ve done better than any of the recruits I’ve ever seen us have, so I can’t wait to be playing with them this season!