When you’re this hardcore they call you Sister

At our last practice, Darla and I realized how scared we were that we might not make our 25 in 5 at our upcoming skills assessment. Although we tried to lay down a proper track, our Tuesday night practice space falls short about 20 feet or so of putting down a regulation sized track so it was pretty inadequate. So what do you when you eat sleep and breathe derby and can’t bear the thought of failing *yourself* in the 25/5 but have nowhere adequate to practice before  the big day? Well, you shell out some big bucks and rent a space large enough for you to practice in. Thankfully, since Darla and I work a grad school schedule, we were able to take a daytime timeslot that no one else wanted. Also, even more than thankfully, more sort of awesomely, our  coach and head ref who doubles really well as a coach agreed to meet anyone there who could make it and help us give our skills one final tweak before testing.

It ended up being only Darla and I who could make it (grad school…), and the small “class” size really helped me get past any performance anxiety I’d had in the past. So, we (or rather Ender  and Rowdy) started out by measuring and taping down a regulation sized track.

Meanwhile, Darla and I got all skated up.  We wanted to know what it felt like to try 25 in 5 before a hard practice so we started with that. Darla skated a beautiful 28 laps and I managed my 25 in 5 on the first try!!! 🙂 Ridiculous amounts of hugging rightfully ensued.

Why on the first shot? Well a few factors doubtless came into play. The first is that we did it one at a time so there was no need to slow down to weave around other skaters. Second, the floor was beautiful hardwood. And third, at least for me, I was feeling just enough desperation to force myself to push as hard as I could.

After we had let the emotional dust die down, we got back to what we had gone there for and practiced everything from falling to hitting. With just a few minutes of reserved space left we decided to take the 25 in 5 one more time. At this point the previously mentioned factors become insufficient to describe what happened next.

First, Darla skated another 28 in 5!!!  No fluke there, just pure drive and talent.

Twenty eight laps!! TWICE!!!!

But guess freaking what else?! I skated TWENTY NINE laps in five minutes. Its funny you know because I was exhausted and getting wobblier after having already endured the test once and then going on to do a full practice. But the entire time I had either Ender or Rowdy right  behind me urging me on and keeping me focused. They were each in turn my own personal Jimminy Crickets. While the devil on my shoulder kept telling me it hurt too much, I was too tired, my lungs were on fire (I’m actually pretty sick at the moment), these two amazing coaches reassured me that I was doing great, my pace was on track and I was being consistent. They also challenged me to speed up when I needed to, and reminded me to take advantage of those odd moments where my muscles miraculously felt a bit of relief. Near the end, Ender reminded me to skate strong rather than fast. I managed to get into a really good rhythm…

Your vets will tell you to make the track into a circle.: move in tight around the bends and let yourself drift out wide on the straightaways. If you’re like me, maybe you’re a bit skeptical. First, you’re forcing yourself to skate *further* and second, sometimes it does feel like you’re *sliding* and that’s scary. BUT  you save yourself so much energy when you don’t try to hold the inside line! Enough to go from 25 in 5 to 29 in five in my case! My rhythm ended up consisting of swimming through the straight aways and marching around the bends. That meant two long “frog kicks” on the straight aways and about 4 or so strong crossovers around the bends. After a while my legs were  doing it themselves and my mind just kept focusing on keeping my breathing steady; always picturing sending oxygen to my legs.

I couldn’t  be prouder of the FOUR of us on the track today. And I think our coaches deserve special nods; helmets off to Ender and Rowdy; love you guys.

Ender and her Girls

Darla Rowdy and Blackarachnia

 

I was on top of the world when I got home…

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Week 2 workout plan

I MADE IT THROUGH WEEK 1!!!!! I’ve done really well with the meal plans; my husband has taken it upon himself to cook breakfast, make luch, and do suppers using the menus provided by the Roller Derby Workout Challenge. What a derby hero; let’s all pat him on the back. Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able (or willing) to stick it through without his help. I’m a kitchen nightmare…  he manages to make sweet potato look appealing.

Okay enough of that. Here’ the workout plan for this week; I had no problems last week so I’m looking forward to conquering week two.

Sunday: 10 pushups, 30 second plank (no resting in between), REPEAT 10 TIMES!

Monday: Day off

Tuesday: Roller Derby Practice

Wednesday: Roller Derby Workout Video

Thursday:
10 burpees
30 second squat static hold
10 star jumps
30 second plank
Repeat 5 times
Rest for 5 minutes and grab some water
Repeat 5 more times

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Roller Derby Practice

I think I’m set.

Also had a great derby practice today. I did 23 laps in 5 minutes. I’m just TWO laps short of meeting the minimum skills requirement. My 23 felt pretty controlled and solid, which is a huge improvement over my last (hungover) 25 in 5.  Two weeks really doesn’t seem like enough time to gain another 2 laps so despite being really happy with my performance today, I’m really nervous for the BIG DAY. I’ve promised myself something huge when I do pass; so either new skates or a new tattoo…. I was really thinking skates for a while but now I’m teetering towards tattoo…. my skates are still pretty new so IF I can actually manage to pass in them, maybe I’ll hang on to them for a while longer. Hmm.. but then does that mean I should by myself new skates if I don’t pass? So tattoo if I pass, and new skates if I don’t? I think I’ve just had a moment.

Christmas Spirits

Today marks the last derby practice until January 8th. I.Am.Sad. But, since we happen to practice in schools that shut down over the holidays (thank you schools for letting us wear our skates in your gym…. you are awesome!),  unfortunately necessary.

Today was a good day for the first ever CCDD Fresh Meat pack. We all skated hard, showed off our stuff, and passed levels 2 and 3 of our skills test! Yay us. Now for the blah blah blahs….

One of the minimum skills requirements is that we be able to skate 25 laps in 5 minutes. I’m not there yet, but I can feel myself getting closer every week. This week, on paper only, I finished a bit closer to my end goal then I did last week with a whopping 22 laps. BUT, it wasn’t pretty.. it was so ugly, that I kinda felt better about my previous week’s 21 solid laps than this week’s flailing, painful, and just ugly 22 laps. Whywas it painful and ugly? There are lots of reasons…

Reason #1) Irresponsible me got a little too into the Christmas Spirits last night, and stayed up til 3am. This is not the first time I have done this and gone to derby for morning practice… I have shown up to class much worse for ware in the past. However, that’s it. I felt wobbly today, my arms were flailing in ways that they don’t usually flail and I was dehydrated before I even hit the track. I realize now that if I want to improve I’m going to have to make a commitment to get a proper sleep and stay hydrated the night before practice. Because I derby love this sport, I can do that.

Reason #2) Probably irritated by the lack of hydration, and triggered by a difficult Tuesday practice, my left quad pulled during warm up and made doing speed laps a pretty brutal experience. This lead to reason 3..

Reason #3) At about the 3.5 minute marks my left leg muscles gave out and I collapsed (safely) onto my stomach. I got up and kept skating… but by then I was in such agony… I probably should have stopped. It’s just this THING that grows inside of you when you’re in a competitive sport like this… I couldn’t stop… I had to finish. And even though I’m paying for it now.. I’m still kind of glad that I pushed through it. Now there are other injuries where this would have been just plain stupid, but I’m sure no permanent damange was done here… Ice on ice off.

Reason #4: The heel of my skates is starting to annoy the $hit out of me. It’s loose, I’m slippy, and tightening my skates to the point of loosing circulation doesn’t make for a comfy ride. That said, I refuse to blame hardware for my skating skills. I’ve seen one of my own Fresh Meat teamates ROCK and I mean ROCK the track on old-fashioned, disco dancing roller skates…. and her wheels were ridiculously tight to prevent them from FALLING OFF! Btw, this person had an amazing skate today and though I’m not sure whether or not she would be embarrassed if called out publicly… she knows who she is and she is amazing.

All in all I was disappointed with my 25 in 5 today, but mainly because Iwas physically unprepared for it and I have no one to blame for that one but myself. I felt like I learned a lot by doing my last 25/5 and was determined to have a controlled skate today.. I had techniques that I wanted to try and I was in too much pain to try them at all. It was a skate for survival today and blah blah blah.

Now good stuff.

We have a fantastic coach. Thanks Ender 🙂 I wrote a whole thing about how seriously Ender cares about her Freshies, how she keeps a positive attitude, motivates, and nurses injuries… it all came out lame. So just thanks 🙂

Also…We’re getting t-shirts!!!!!! This is exciting.

We’re registering our derby names!!!!! This is exciting.

As soon as my leg feels better I’m going to spend a lot of time skating in my living room. This is exciting… or at least entertaining 🙂

And it’s almost Christmas 🙂