Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Getting closer ... maybe ...

Last night's practice was interesting. It was a really good practice, but my performance in it was mixed.

We skated a lot of laps. At the end, we did "however many laps you can get" in 10 minutes. I got 52, which is *awesome*. The standard for minimum skills is 25 in 5 minutes; in the first 5 minutes, I got 27. And then I maintained my pace for 10 minutes. It's really great to know I can do that.

The floor was pretty slick for some reason. It wasn't wet. I don't know what the heck was up with it. I think part of it may be that my beloved yellow Fugitive Mids are getting worn out (I have skated on them a LOT) and are not grippy anymore. I felt like I was fighting slippage as I skated, and I'm sure that didn't help my speed.

We also did some really great booty-blocking exercises. My results on that were mixed ... when I was paired with someone at my level, I could generally block them. When I was with someone from the bout pool, unless they dumbed it down a bit for me, I was just not fast enough. :-( It isn't a matter of skating fast; it's a matter of thinking fast and making fast lateral movements.

Then we did the same thing in two-blocker teams. Again, I had trouble with most of the jammers ... by the time I figured out what to do, they were already past me. Sigh. I think at all-intermediate practice (this was a mixed practice, so it was practice for the bout pool girls too), we will be able to take it down a few notches, get an understanding of the movement, and then ramp up the difficulty. I think that will really help me.

The bottom line is, I will never pass minimum skills if I can't booty block. And if I never pass minimum skills ... well, really, I don't even want to finish that sentence. It's just too icky to even think about.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Awesome practice!

Last night's practice kind of rocked. :-)

After warmup and stretching, we did minute time trials. That may sound easy, but I assure you, its' totally not. Here's how it works:

We divide into two groups. Each person counts laps for someone in the other group. I was paired with an awesome new girl named Michelle.

Group 1 goes out and skates for one minute, and the group 1 skaters' partners count laps. Then Group 2 skates for one minute while group 1 counts laps. Repeat for 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes.

When we started, I was thinking, "OK, I may not be able to do 25 laps in 5 minutes, because that will be at the end of a whole lot of laps." I was trying to be OK with that possibility.

It turned out I didn't need to, because I managed to do 5 laps a minute through the entire thing (actually there was one time where I got an extra lap ... I think it was on the three-minute interval? And on the 5-minute interval I finished just *barely* short of 26 laps). So that is 15 minutes of 12-second laps ... broken up into intervals. I'm sure Bones and Kant and Pus could skate 12-second laps for 15 minutes in a row, but it's not something I feel ready to try right now. :-)

My partner, Michelle, got four laps a minute all through. I was so proud of her! She should easily be able to get five (which is what we need for minimum skills) once she learns to do a crossover. Go Michelle!

We also did Satan's Mattress, which is sort of like suicides. And a *huge* pace line where we were holding hands with the girls in front of and behind us, and the girl in front is pulling everyone. Meanwhile, the girl at the back weaves through to the front, staying low enough to go under everyone's hands. The weaving part is really fun. The pulling part is *hard*. I wasn't really skating at all, more trying to run on my skates. And we all felt like Stretch Armstrong at the end (you know, that doll with the really stretchy arms? Shut up, I'm old. :-)

So here's something crazy. On Weight Watchers (which I started yesterday), you can earn food points by exercising. According to the Weight Watchers site, two hours of roller skating (and that's just skating, not derby practice, which is way more intense than just skating) is worth TWENTY NINE points. That's my entire one-day points allowance.

Last night I gave myself credit for 90 minutes of skating, because realistically, I wasn't skating the whole entire time I was at practice. That's still 22 points. And I'll earn another 22 each on Thursday and Saturday. And that's not even counting my gym class.

Other times when I've done Weight Watchers, it was really hard to earn activity points. Now, it's pretty damn easy. :-) Thanks, roller derby!