Sept 22nd time trials

Here are a few notes & images from this past weekend’s time trials (results are here at DESG).

Stephanie Combs, the subject of an earlier post, just missed qualifying for US nationals in the women’s 500m by .17 of a second. You can see here the light very slightly coming through under the front of her blade.

If you look very carefully in certain side-lit pictures, you can see this as proof of where an ice speedskater’s weight needs to fall on the blade during the glide. It’s sooo different from wheels.

Keith Carney, ripping along about half-way through his 1500m. This is the split second before Keith’s right foot touches the ice. You can clearly see the pressure, push direction, & length of his left foot stroke.

The moment of COMPLETE left leg extension is the best for pictures, because it’s pretty, but studies show the maximal pressure that makes you fast happens much earlier in the stroke, like right here-

(to be more exact, I’ve heard of studies showing that good skaters & elite skaters might have the same maximal recorded pressure, but for an intermediate it’s a brief moment, for the elite, their technique creates high pressure from very early in the stroke till almost the end of the push).

A very wonderfully odd race was run. Two of the best 500m skaters on the planet, World Cup champ Tucker Fredericks and former 500m world record holder Joji Kato, were paired together for a 3k.

This was just for technique & training, as you can see by Tucker’s hair flying in the wind.

& this is me, roughly 2 seconds into my new season.

This is one of the only video frames of the 500 & 1500m I raced that looks even remotely like speedskating. I raced like an inefficient pile of inflexible, spastic garbage & I am quite pissed off.

It’s too early in the season to care much about times (and I don’t.. too much….) but my execution in both races was terrible.

What’s really weird is that last season, all summer I lifted weights like a freak, did sprint-centric short duration plyometrics & dryland, & raced a 2:02.52 1500m during my first race weekend.

After this year of mega-endurance inline & cycling. I step to the start line 10lbs lighter & feeling like a completely different athlete, & race an almost identical time (2:02.08), with almost identical lap splits.

Maybe….. this…. is….. just… what… I…. am……

6 Responses to “Sept 22nd time trials”

  1. “an inefficient pile of inflexible, spastic garbage…”

    Yeah, I’ve had days like that!

    However, at the risk of sounding like someone’s mother (”shut up and eat your lima beans–do you know how many starving kids would love to have those lima beans?”)–at least you have ice! Enjoy every inflexible, spastic moment!
    (And if you keep posting these pictures of people actually skating on blades instead of wheels, I may just have to jump in the car and head for Milwaukee next weekend!)

  2. Andrew, unless my memory has completely failed me, you start every year in the dumps about how crappy you are — and every year you rack up new PBs. Maybe the initial disappointment fuels determination; almost certainly, this is the way seasons ARE. IT probably beats starting out terrific and declining, or always staying the same.

    I wonder what the pattern is for sports that have no season, no off-season? (which is almost any sport here, except for the effects of bureaucratic scheduling.) I’d guess there’s still plenty of point to cross-training, and that schedules are tailored to individual events.

    Anyway — perspective! In a month you’ll be writing about how all that off-season work really did pay off, in huge mprovements since that crappy start in September.

  3. I like that, Kate! We should all print it and post it on our walls.

  4. andrew,
    thanks for your clear close reading-of-blades pics& tips. I really like that! Magic is in the gliding and pushing — iguess that’s where ice, blade and skater blend together.
    My impression is that you did quite a good job on heavy duty summertraining. Foundation being laid and determination stil building up - i think you just have to refeel your focus & force into the subtleties of ice and blade. And give that some time.
    Don’t let you be fooled by your expectations - please keep getting angry at yourself and enjoy these moments (don’t throw skates, camera and other valuable stuff around after a race that felt like shit) but don’t stay p.o. too long. Well, you know all this of course.
    Skating is about speed and there is no way to be (or to stay) what you thought you were today.

    Good gliding - good early push. I’m sure you’ll have your act together pretty soon…

    (our rinks are not even open yet… yesterday we had to face windforce 7 on our wheels…)

    good luck Jules

  5. You’re skating. You’re 10 lbs lighter. Life is good, yes?
    It’s like cleaning out the garage. Things get extra messy before they all come together. What was the score of the USA vs. USSR game the week before the Lake Placid Olympics? An embarrassing 10-2 debacle. Don’t sweat it.You’ll do great. I guarantee you will set new PBs in the first 3 distances. Guarantee. If none of this succeeds in firing you up, then just remember this mantra given to me by a very wise old sea faring vegetarian philosopher:

    - Po Pi-

  6. “I raced like an inefficient pile of inflexible, spastic garbage..” Well ive never heard it put like that before :P But I know what you mean. Look at it this way….YOUR ICE ROCKS. Ive never skated on it before, but in EVERY picture it looks like glass. Perfect.

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