Lately practices have been kind of rough for me. I don't know if my endurance has gone down, or if the other intermediate girls' has gone up, or, most likely, the team is intensifying its endurance practices and the other intermediate girls are more able to keep up with that than I.
I feel fairly good about tonight, even though I did not manage to keep up with everything. We started with 25 laps in 5 minutes, as a pace line, and I had to drop out almost immediately. Here's the good part, though. Instead of sitting at the sidelines, I skated around the outside of the track at a pretty good pace (probably not the absolute fastest I can do, but a fast-for-me pace that I was able to sustain for the whole five minuets). If I had to guess, I would say that I probably did about 3/4 as many laps as the rest of the group (maybe) ... allowing for the fact that I was covering more ground, since I was skating outside the track.
We did some hitting pace lines too, and that was rough too. I had to drop out of some of that, but again, I skated at a good pace around the outside. That's good for several reasons. First, when one girl sits out a drill, it makes it easier for others to sit out too. Second, by skating fast around the outside, I kept my heart rate up and improved my endurance. Third, I worked on my crossovers and my derby form.
That's the best part of tonight's practice: except at the very beginning of practice, I don't remember coasting around the curves hardly at all. I can't swear I didn't do it *at all*, but it was rare. Now, I wasn't doing a full crossover, but I was working on it. So that is a good thing.
Oh, and another positive -- maybe a couple -- from tonight. We did a drill where you sprint for half the track, coast in a squat for 1/4, and fall and then crawl for 1/4, then repeat. And repeat. And repeat. I stuck with it for the entire drill. Yay me! (It was about 10 minutes, too -- nothing wimpy.)
The other positive from tonight is that we did a really tough pack drill where we were all skating in a pack (there were only about 11 of us skating), and we all had numbers (either 1 or 2). We skated 2-minute jams, and though Brick says we were not at full pack speed, we were certainly not going slowly either (in my opinion anyway; I'll bet it did seem slow to the OGs). Nick called out different things, like "Ones! Take a knee!" or "Twos! Hit someone!" and so on. I sat out one jam to stretch my legs, which were starting to seize up a bit. But other than that I skated all of the jams, and there were 9 or 10 of them.
Cool stuff from last week:
- I made it to four practices.
- At Saturday's practice we worked on a lot of things that are on the minimum skills assessment, and I was able to do more of them than I thought (though I'm probably not going to pass in April unless I get my endurance and speed way up by then).
- One of the things we worked on was jumping. On Saturday I jumped over a baseball bat!! I had never tried jumping an actual object before; I was jumping next to the object. Well, I decided that the worst that would happen is that I would fall, and as long as I was in proper derby form, that would be OK. As long as you fall forward and correctly, you won't get hurt. But I didn't fall. I jumped that mofo! And then I jumped it again!! And now I'm not scared of jumping.
Oh, one more cool thing from tonight. During one of the hitting pace lines, someone hit me really well and I fell. I took a clean one-knee fall. I mean, it was textbook. That was cool. So, whoever hit me (I don't remember who it was), thanks -- seriously!