Lessons learned (there’s always another one)

So there have been 5 training sessions since my last update, but thanks to some computer issues I have lost all of my carefully-typed notes from each of them. Oh well, it’s about time I started speaking both more generally and more specifically anyway.

I’ve been having a lot of issues with foot pain, most notably arch pain when I skate. Things like crossovers, plow stops, toestop work and juking/ jumping bring it on much more quickly than anything else. My feet are always sore after training, but it’s usually bearable for the most part. A couple of Sundays ago, for some reason within 15 minutes of having my skates on my feet were cramping and screaming like I had done a 4h marathon and I ended up having to sit out most of the session (I kept trying to participate in the drills that didn’t involve jumping, juking or toestops because I’m a stubborn bitch, but it would invariably end with me sitting down for the next 5 minutes trying not to cry too much so I eventually geared down and watched for the last bit). I skipped the following Tuesday all-league training because my feet still hurt and I just felt generally exhausted and sore. I already use double laces, which is the most common solution for foot pain (ie. one loose lace across the ball of my foot and the arch, and a second lace for the top 2 holes so I can tension it and ensure my heel doesn’t slip). So now I am on a mission to solve this issue before it gets any worse or potentially turns into something serious. If I can’t spend long periods of skates then that will affect my endurance training, if I can’t do juking or toestops then that will affect my skill progression, and I don’t like the idea of either of those things! First step is i have bought a variety of orthotic and arch support inserts and I am trying them one by one for different lengths of time doing different things. I am trying to go outdoor skating once a week so I can get extra time on wheels, and so I am trying them there so it doesn’t impact on my regular training (since the first insert I tried actually made it worse and had to be taken out almost immediately, I don’t want to be cutting in and out of drill to adjust my skates constantly when I can just go down to the lake and entertain myself on a different day).

What probably didn’t help is that I had forgotten to change over my wheels on that particular Sunday. I had met Demo for a quick spin at the lake on the Saturday and left my outdoor wheels on, and went ‘bugger it, I normally slide on corners anyway so I’ll just see how I go on outdoors today’. I haven’t skated indoor on outdoors since my first week at boot camp! It’s true I didn’t slip on corners, but the extra effort required to get any speed or stop correctly would have been one of the triggers for my foot pain. I also tried the 5-in-1 and lost half a lap (got 4.5, normally 4.95)). True, I was tired and in pain, but that’s true for 80% of the time I’ve done 5-in-1’s anyway.

The new Yellow Star test has been approved by the VDL training committee, and they have made a special testing date for us right before the League shuts down over Christmas so we don’t have to wait until the end of the next training cycle in Feb/ March to test again if we feel ready now. The new test has a very similar fitness component to the White Star test we did last month, but is a step up on skills. There are a couple of points I really need to work on (balancing on one foot on skates without rolling and the 5-in-1 being the main two I have not yet accomplished), but I feel fairly confident otherwise. I’m going to ask Training Committee for the push-up exemption again though, as I am still completely unable to even hold a push-up position on my toes. Fingers crossed! Testing is on Dec 15, followed by the Xmas break-up party, which means we have 4 weeks to go. It sounds more scary when you realise that that actually means we only have 2 White Star training sessions to focus on the test skills, because this weekend is a bout weekend so this Sunday training is a free skate and Sunday 15th is testing only.

But I can end this entry on a high note. Despite the fact that I have not officially completed a 5-in-1 yet (I’m always just that meter short when the whistle blows), last night at League we did the 27-in-5. It hurt like a bitch, but I was able to maintain a constant speed for the entire 5 minutes and managed to scrape in 28 laps! I was stuffed afterwards, but I was so happy! I put this down to two things: 1) it was pissing down rain, and the humidity makes the floor sticky so I was able to crossover through corners (and in fact around the whole track!) without slipping, and 2) the 5-in-1 is a sprint so the speed of your take-off is critical, whereas the 27-in-5 it’s about being able to build and maintain speed for the whole period of time. I’m also pretty sure I did actually make 5 laps when she called 1 minute, but since I was concentrating more on not running into people and staying in bounds instead of counting, I can’t swear to be 100% on that.

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