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Speed

January 16, 2011

I left the last practice feeling like I’m in this really deep.  I’m all for pushing my body past its limits, but I don’t like feeling like a weak link in the group.   At this point, skating hard and fast is my biggest challenge.  I’m not holding back, I’m pushing myself to the point of exhaustion, burning lungs, and coughing up crap after practice.   But I’m still a slow-poke.

I wallowed for the night.   I wondered if, after all my hard work to pass assessments, I wasn’t worthy of graduating from “nugget” status to “prospect.”   Yeah, self-confidence is an ongoing issue for me.  Roller derby is supposed to kick my self-esteem into high gear, right?

The next day, I decided to take action.  First step: Clean my bearings.   I don’t need dirty bearings giving me any extra handicap on top of my already slow slowness.  When I popped them off my skates, I realized how overdue I was.  I wouldn’t have thought that two months of skating would result in so much built up crud, but it was bad.   Apparently, bearings should spin freely.  Mine did not.

Matt (my doting assistant and husband) and I looked up some internet how-to’s and found a really helpful blog. We got everything taken apart and put together without too much grief.   Today I skated on my sparkling clean bearings and would like to think that they were smoother, but I was at the rink dodging small children so I didn’t really have any way to measure my improvement.  I also loosened my trucks and WOW did I notice how much easier it is to weave!  I should I have done that a while ago.

The other thing I did to tackle my speed issue is to go for a run yesterday.  I haven’t run in a while and it felt good to start back with it.  I was worried that after months of skating, running would feel too slow, but I got the same rush from a run that I did before skating.  I’m a slow runner too, but feel like anything to get my heart and lungs in better shape will help me in the long run.  It’s frustrating because I’ve been working out so hard and for so long before roller derby, that I would expect that my heart and lungs would be in better shape by now.  My cardiologist told me there’s nothing holding me back at this point, but my heart rate still goes higher than I’d like it for my slow and steady speed.

My third plan of action was to take my skates and outdoor wheels out to the bike paths to work on endurance.  I skated 6.8 miles in 43 minutes without stopping.  I threw in a couple sprints here and there, but mostly focused on keeping up the best pace I could sustain.  I’ll mention here that I LOVE my Garmin GPS which I got for running right before I had to take a break from running because of some over-training injuries.  It tells me my speed, mileage and heart rate.   I’m also going to give a little shout-out to my Radar Energy (78A) outdoor wheels. A couple of months ago, I didn’t skate well enough to appreciate them. Today, I skated across a wood-planked bridge and they still felt like butter. I love ’em.

It felt really good to skate hard, work up a sweat, and not worry about people piling up behind me because I’m going too slow.  Best of all, I got to skate off some of my stress.  I’ve been dealing with a lot of off-skate stress this week that has nothing to do with roller derby.  When I hit the bike paths, I skated in anger.   It fueled me.   When I was done, I felt much better.

I guess to summarize, I’m not giving up.  I may have to fight against my body a little more than some, but I’m up for it.

P.S.  I have some awesome bruises from practice that I’m super proud of but can’t share publicly because I’m not ready for those body parts to be posted on the internet.  But I can still brag about them 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Trish, aka CodeMauler permalink
    January 16, 2011 2:59 pm

    Bad@$$ + Speed Demon = Whoa, Nelly!

    I wouldn’t have thought that two months was enough to gunk up bearings, but I’m always surprised how much crud my bike collects, too!

  2. Eleanor Elliott permalink
    January 16, 2011 5:37 pm

    Hey PTSDee
    I love your determination.
    I’m right behind you as soon as I pass assessments…I was proud of what I did on Thursday afternoon.
    I’m not running/sprinting at this time, but speed walking.
    And doing those side jumping lunges, 200 for now, that Viva assigned to us to build thigh strength and it makes my lunges burn, to Rocky music.
    I can’t help myself with Rocky movie quotes, “This will be the hardest thing you have done. You know that you are gonna have to go through hell. Just do it.”
    Screw Nike, I prefer Rocky movies. LOL!!!
    Sincerely, Storm

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