My mom & a few other good friends have emailed me, asking “are you ok? Your blog is silent!”
Before I get to that, here are some images:
The ice at the Utah Oval has been laid this past week, here is what it looked like on Friday-
And finally, today, it was skatable! Yay!
Here it is on the last few moments before any skate touched it.
It’s pure, clear, and feels like a virginal baseball diamond before spring training begins to tear upon it with frantic cleated intensity.
I shuffled out on the ice in my socks to get this image. I am standing at the 500m start line. Click on the image for a larger one
I’m an extreme night owl who married a morning person, and I do a sport requiring lots of early mornings. If it weren’t for occasional moments like this, I’d consider mornings a huge ripoff.
My training mix right now is technically focused short track, maximum strength focused lifting, and bike racing for a nice dash of brutality.
On this 3 hour mountain bike ride, I could not get that song “fields of gold” out of my head. Of course the terrain had something to do with it, downtown Salt Lake is in the distance.
Cycling is a solid fitness base for skating. In another one of my two dozen semi-finished posts that will probably never see the light of day, I wrote about the “speedskaters hillclimb” that about 30 athletes took on.
Here is April Medley hammering up a relentless grade. Does she have a grimace of effort? a smile that the finish is just around the corner? Or is it a mystery?
Her best friend Ashley, fighting the switchbacks. The incomparable Teri Willingham shot many photos at the event and the huge party afterwards (thanks Don for letting your house be overwhelmed by skaters!)
I take back every nasty & doubting thing I have ever said before about short track. I finally have some control, but not nearly as much as studs like Matt & Anthony.
It’s surprising how much short track seems to improve everything else. It’s like this activity seems to supercharge the bodies’ capacity to “do”.
The national team long trackers are also doing some short track. Brent Aussprung has just moved out to Utah, to join the national sprint team (he has a very nice website, by the way) and his folks were briefly out here.
This photo would have been perfect, Brent skating along, his parents just over his shoulder, the Utah sun reaching in the windows. However I made one mistake- The skater is the identically dressed Tucker Fredericks. Oops.
Originally the knife was the skaters body, the fork & spoon were where the blades are & Eric Krann was explaining some points of weight transfer technique over dinner.
and then I had to add snow (salt) and then some comment about skating on gravel in lake placid (the pepper), and then heaps of splenda to represent the artificial ice in salt lake…
Then a glass of water was knocked over and chunks of ice scattered everywhere, and that became the oval at Butte. The whole table was in stitches.
It was one of those weird, skater moments that 99.9% of Humanity would just not get.
So, how I started this post was to answer the question where have I been?
I’m exhausted, utterly and completely crushed beyond caring. Why? Here is the list:
1. Work has been extremely intense, professionally very promising, but emotionally intense.
2. Morning short track plus a full work day plus a second workout takes a lot out of me
3. Bike races are HARD, lovely, fun, but taking away my last grams of strength
4. I am still writing posts, and photographing, but I am so tired much of the time, I just can’t “finish” them. It’s not training tired, it’s just that there is too much “going on” kind of tired.
5. Some stuff I seem to be writing these days is a tad too personal for this space.
6. Oddly enough, watching my wife ripen like a watermelon (Jess is six months pregnant now) has not added to my exhaustion, it’s absolutely fascinating to see your partner go through this & it must be profoundly weird to experience.
I think, 3 months from now, I will have even more reasons to be tired.
All this said, I skated long track for the first time this season, and felt absolutely astonishingly good, go figure.
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