Friday, 7 June 2013

Home Ice

This week was our first week back at the Olympic Oval and back on our home ice.  Every year they take the ice out at the end of the season and then leave it out for a few months and this year they put the short track ice back in at the beginning of June!
The sun even came out for the first week back!
That first day back was almost like Christmas morning,
-"How excited are you to go on the ice?"
-"It's so smooth!"
-"It's like skating on air!"
-"There's so much glide!"
There were all things we actually said on that first day.  The ice was smoother, faster and the building much warmer than where we had been skating for the last month.  I had gone from not being able to feel my feet to not being able to get out of a sweaty, sticky skin suit after practice.
The long track ice isn't in yet so it still looks a little weird
Being back on home ice didn't mean the training got any easier though.  By Wednesday I felt exhausted  but I was still able to 'kill it' in a hard program that morning.  By Thursday I felt worse like maybe I was getting sick and had one of my worst on ice practices ever.  I took the afternoon off but showed up again for practice Friday morning.  I have this tendency to oversimplify my problems; if something hurts I convince myself it's nothing until it starts to affect my skating/training and then maybe I'll go to physio and sitting on the bike warming up I knew I didn't feel any better than the day before.  Luckily I have coaches around to remind me that sometimes recovery is just as important as training and send me home so that I can rest up because training doesn't end with the end of the week and there's another hard week coming up.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

The Off Season

It's June now; something that a lot of people would say marks the beginning of summer (although you wouldn't be able to tell from the rain outside) and that means a break from school and a break from racing.  We are officially in what is called the "off season."  Although "off" season suggest that there's time off involved but our break from training started in March and ended in April.  The only difference between now and the racing season is that we're doing less on ice training and we're not racing.
Beautiful "summer" weather in Calgary
One constant companion of this off season has been exhaustion.  We've been spending countless hours on tiny technical elements, on the bike, in the gym, and on skating specific exercises off the ice.  There's been so much training in skating position that my knees have become my worst enemies and ice packs my best friends.
My new nightly ritual
There's something almost satisfying though about barely being able to get out of bed in the mornings and being so sore that stairs are a struggle.  Every ache and pain is a sign of something getting stronger, of getting better and until I actually can't walk I'll take them as good signs.