Coming to the pointy end of the year

So earlier this week I found out that my mum has been reading my blog. Hi mum!

In the ongoing saga of my foot pain, I have wasted a bunch of money trying various kinds of inserts that didn’t really work. I found one that was useful for outdoor skating, but once I got to derby (skating around and around in a circle really is more fun than it sounds, promise!) I had to take them out after about 10 minutes because it was starting to hurt too much. I have however found some success with sports tape. I tape up my arch, put one loop over the top of my foot, and extend to my heel/ ankle if I need to. It doesn’t work 100% of the time, but it does help enough that I’m going to continue using it, despite the PITA that is tape residue and the pain of removing bits of skin and hair every time I have to take it off afterwards. I now need to buy more tape. And possibly more socks, as now any socks worn for derby are also getting filled with sticky tape residue.

I did a definite 5-in-1 last weekend. We did a 10-in-2 and this time I made sure to count properly. When they called 1 minute I was at 5.3, and in 2 minutes I hit 10.5 laps. I was so ridiculously happy with this result. I spent the 2 minutes just concentrating on my stride, one foot in front of the other, push around the corners and it paid off. I’m faster than I think I am! I have to admit I was getting very frustrated with the fact that I was consistently missing out by 1m every time when the whistle blew 1 minute, but now my crossovers are much smoother, my skills have improved so I no longer slide around corners, and my endurance has improved as well. I’m not a sprinter, but I can apparently hold my top speed for the full 5 minutes of the 27-in-5 which to me is far more valuable. I was overheated and puffed when I finished my laps, but I recovered fairly quickly and was ready for the next drill.

That being said, I am having some troubles with the weather. It’s now officially summer, and our practice area is essentially a big tin shed. It has a couple of louvers and a side door for some crossbreeze (if available), and a fan in the roof (but if it’s on you can’t hear people talking unless they yell), but for the most part it is hot and still and gets pretty stuffy pretty quickly, especially on all-league nights when there are 40+ skaters trying to make the most of their track time. I am a winter person and don’t deal with the heat well; exercising in a hot still room is my idea of torture, so I actually like having big groups where we have to wait for turns between drills (particularly when I can sit down and take my helmet off for a couple of minutes). I’m rather dreading January/ start of Feb when it will be properly hot (high 30’s to 40ish *C). But at least Canberra isn’t particularly humid, that would probably kill me.

There is just over a week left of our 11 month season. One more Sunday and Tuesday session, then testing and a break-up BBQ the following Sunday. I will be going for Yellow Star and I have my fingers, toes, legs and everything else crossed. I have applied to the Training Committee for permission to do push-ups/ planks on my knees again, it should be OK since I have a precedent from I don’t want to count my chickens before they hatch blah blah blah. I’m relatively confident, there are just a couple of ones that I really need to hope for some good luck. My transitions are still a bit one sided (I can do them in both directions, but when I need to do right turn/ left foot I have to slow down and think about it, if I’m on autopilot I always go left turn), and I’m having some trouble with the balancing component. I can do a one-foot glide for 30 seconds, but apparently I can’t stand still on one foot for that long. Or at least, not on skates on a hard floor. But I’m building up. I can do it in shoes or in skates on carpet, and I’ve been practicing in breaks between drills etc and I’m getting better and better. I just hope that I’m ready in time for next weekend. The rest of them, well, it’s pretty easy to balls up taking/ receiving a hit, or go down after a wheel clip, but I know I can recover from all these things, I just have to hope I can do it when it counts.

I am looking forward to the Xmas break, but I am also sad that I will have a whole month of no training. I intend to combat my derby withdrawals with a liberal application of outdoor skating, but it’s not the same. It does also amuse/ terrify me that potentially a whole bunch of us will grade up the Yellow Star next weekend, which means that we are ‘scrim-ready’, and then have a month off between then and our first scrim. Of course, being approved to scrim doesn’t mean you HAVE to scrim, but I know some personality-types who are unable to say no to such an opportunity.

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