Monthly Archives: May 2010

Pull my finger (pinch me, we’re going to Nationals)

“A race is a work of art that people can look at and be affected in as many ways they’re capable of understanding.”

Uh, oh – I’m quoting Steve Prefontaine. Quick! I need to shake off this serious air immediately…HA! I’ve got just the thing:

Did’ja ever fart in a pace line? How about off the start? Did it make you go any faster? Did you create a gap to envy? Why just last week I was…

Whew. I don’t think I need to go any further. That did the trick. Now, everyone gather round and let’s talk about the 2010 North Central Regional Speed Skating Championships in Wichita, Kansas!

Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent.

This post was going to be called “The Politics of Speed Skating,” cause there was “oh so much!” to talk about when it comes to gossip, misdeeds, missteps  and unsportsmanlike conduct. But the itty-bitty committee in my head got together and issued an advisement: S.T.F.U. was all it said. I conclude from the terse nature of the advisement that I should instead focus on the positive and “play nice.” After all, some of our skaters are on their way to Nationals, and it’s unfair to let the boorish conduct of adults and malcontents interfere with child-athletes’ day in the sun. So damn the diatribe – let’s talk about how well these kids are skating!

I can't hold back - THAT'S MY BOY!!!

First off – father’s pride! Speedy Weezy is fast on his way to the top of his game. The kid was on fire and he’s really thinking when he’s out there! We are so proud of him and I was really happy that Horseypants came along to see him shine. He’s really in his element when he’s on the line. He won all but one start, and his form was locked in and tight. We’ve got some work to do when it comes to knowing what to do when the whistle blows, but other than that the kid is a skating sight to see. I swell with pride watching the videos:

That was the Primary Boys 400M. You can see going into lap three what I’m talking about with the whistle. We need to practice what to do when you’re lapping someone – what you need to do, what the refs are going to be doing – but that aside, I’ve been watching this video over and over. Love watching that kid skate!

Speedy Weezy, B-Man & Lionheart - boys built for speed!

Some of our team came home with a little less skin, and a few came home a little heavier loaded down with silver & gold. All of our skaters did their best, and that’s what it’s all about. To each his & her own style and effort produced a work of art I’ll remember vividly. Each skater tells us their story when they’re out there – what their passion is, how hard they work at it, how much they want to be there, how great their dedication to improvement, how strong their desire to do their best. It’s palpable, especially with the kids. I can feel their excitement. I’m pinned to the wall by the raw nervous energy fueling the frenzy of speed and performances I’m taking in.

The art gets a lot more interesting when you pay close attention. Take the video above. This race was more revealing of the character of each skater than what might be readily apparent in the footage. Watch closely and maybe you’ll see it – the good, the bad & ugly. It’s all in there. I’ll just say this…I was very impressed by The Fast Kid and the way she held her lines and stood her ground in the face of adversity. She’s a real champ – the kind that will sand up for what’s right, protect her friendships and skate like a bat out of hell!

Lionheart put on another display of courage after taking a really nasty spill. The kid was in bad shape but recovered like the trooper he is. His poor parents had driven a long way and got there early Saturday afternoon. Honestly, they both looked like I felt on the last trip. They were on track to be able to start the 10 hour trek back to northern Colorado early on Sunday but the afternoon began to drag on because of a bunch of shenanigans happening with the relay selections that are best left unmentioned. Going into the lunch break we were about 40 minutes ahead of schedule, but that evaporated quickly. Subject of a future post: “What the hell is it about the relays?!”

Now…here’s where I could go on a long rant about things I know very little about. I won’t. I’ll just say this – it’s a damn shame that we’re not going to get to see one of this country’s top male elite skaters paired up in any relays in Lincoln in July. I don’t know what the hell happened but it just seems damn wrong to deny the guy his rightful place on the floor, where he wants to be. Guess he can tap out a few points in Farmville while others less deserving take home a medal. Nuff’ said. (That was a bit “insider” – sorry…)

B-Man & Katie Bug did great as well and both qualified to go to Nationals along with The Fast Kid & Speedy Weezy. B-Man got banged up pretty badly too, but took it with a smile, almost proud to have a battle scar to prove he was in the action. Everyone skated great, but due to an unfortunate series of events, it’s still unclear if The Shoulder Roller is going to Nationals or not. This was another situation where The Fast Kid proved that she’s got The Right Stuff. I hope it works out well for The Shoulder Roller, she’s a tough competitor and a caring skater, whose dedication over this last year to the team effort needs to be acknowledged.

And on the subject of acknowledgment, I need to fess up. I felt bad about not being more overtly supportive of B-Man & Lionheart when they were out there on the floor with Speedy Weezy. I get so wrapped up in rooting for my boy that I forget that I have other skaters there that I’m pulling for too. It often wasn’t until after Speedy had finished that I would shift my attention quickly to the other guys. Call it the zealotry of being a skating Dad, but I want those guys to know how proud I am of them and their achievements too!

All in all it was a great trip. The takeaways for me this time out:

  1. Always allow Horseypants to arrange the travel itinerary. She revealed Wichita to be a diamond in the rough for us. Not only did she find us a better room than we had last time, but she did most of the downtown driving and made the trip a lot less stressful for me. I love that chick.
  2. Old Downtown Wichita has a lot going for it. We explored it on Saturday after the (great) Team United open practice, hitting The Museum of World Treasures – a great kids’ museum that adults can learn a lot from too – and we explored the Arkansas River Front.
  3. Do not eat at Spangles unless you have nothing to do for the next 48 hours. (Did you know the White Castle & Pizza Hut were born in Wichita?!)
  4. Do eat at Promise Tai and Il Vicino and be sure to stop at Freedy’s Frozen Custad for desert (but while you’re at it, have the cannoli at Il Vicino too!)
  5. Late May is twister season in KS. If you see the Vortex 2 team or any of the NOAA guys driving away from a storm that you’re driving into, stop, turn around, and follow them to wherever they’re going.

"I'm still having a hard time keeping NPR tuned in even with this damn antenna."

As luck would have it, we watched a show on TV on Saturday night called something like “When Nature Attacks!!!” or some such thing and it was all about tornadoes. It was clearly in preparation for the ride home Sunday, where we ended up driving right into a system that was producing the storms with frightening up-close-and-personal-reality. We saw two funnels forming simultaneously over Goodland, KS. From where we were on the road, they looked to be to the south west of us. Well as we rounded the bend into Colby it was apparent that they were actually dead ahead between where we were and Denver. Seeing the NOAA guys and those ‘frady pants’ from the Weather Channel running for cover, we decided to do the safe thing and stay in Colby for the night. Given that the clouds were circling overhead, we thought it best to be off the road and someplace with a cellar.

Pretty much what we were staring down with about 5 more hours to go. That stain in the rental car seat? The dog did it...

I guess the final big takeaway, which isn’t really a revelation for as much as great reinforcement: don’t take this speed skating thing too damn seriously. We’re happy Speedy Weezy made the cut and is going to Nationals, but honestly, with the nature of our region, he could have phoned it in and still gotten a medal and qualification. (Subject of another future blog post: “Regionals – Really, What’s The Point?”) Nationals is going to be pricey, but we’re going for him, for the experience he’ll gain, and for the rest of the skaters in our club. I hope he does well, but that ain’t all there is. Sure, we’ll train hard between now and then, but at the end of the day, if he walks away from this and decides he’d rather play soccer or baseball, we’re going to let him follow that path.

Our Top Gun. I'll be your wing man anytime Speedy!

If however, he decides he wants to be the guy who can out-skate Joey’s records, then move on to take Apolo’s, then we’ll be there for him. But we’re not going to kick his butt on down the track. If he decides skating is his art, he’ll choose the colors, the canvas and the discipline. I just want to be there to clean his brushes.

5/21/10 Training: On the road again, no skating today.

5/22/10 Training: Spent an hour and a half doing the Super-Secret Workout in the pool area at the hotel. Put in a tougher workout than I do back home. It was great, but very humid. Glad there was a pool right there. Hope I didn’t leave a slick in it after cooling off!

5/23/10 Training: Race & travel day, no skating.

5/24/10 Training: Too windy by the time we got home, no skating today.

5/25/10 Training: 10k for a morning skate on the Cado Motus Pro 110’s. Rink Rabbits in the afternoon. Gee it’s good to be back home.

5/26/10 Training: 13 miles on the trail in Loveland for lunch. Found out the hard way that they’re resurfacing a crossover with chip-fill. Thank God I was going fast enough to get through it without falling.

5/27/10 Training: 17 miles in the hood for sunrise. I’m really starting to feel good in these Cado Motus Pro 110’s.

5/28/10 Training: 18 miles in the hood before work. Stronger, Faster, Better. It’s all good. Got another 9 miles in late in the afternoon out at Boyd Lake. Found out the hard way that the trail was washed out. Damn…the boots are gonna stink for sure.

5/29/10 Training: 26.2 miles in the hood at speed. Was less than 30 seconds off my Colorado personal best time thanks to the bozo in the white Camry. Thanks pal! Still, all things considered, this early in the season, I’ll gladly take the time!

5/30/10 Training: 2 hours indoors working on nothing but speed drills. Upgraded my Rollerblade Racemachines with a new set of 84a 110 Hyper Sidewinders and by the end of practice really like I was getting the hang of 110’s indoors. (Needed these wheels on this floor, trust me.) I’m not going back to 100’s indoors at this point. These are my new indoor skates, period.

5/31/10 Training: 29 miles on the Greeley to Windsor trail for Memorial Day. Thanks to all those who’ve given all for our freedom. I thought about you a lot this morning.

iPod Surprise Shuffle of the Week: She Believes In Me, Kenny Rogers. WTF…

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Ok go (here we go again)

Load up the Prius, snort up some Starbucks Via and point me toward the prarie, we’re Wichita bound once again! Speedy Weezy, B-Man, Lionheart, Katie-Bug, The Fast Kid, Shoulder Roller and the assorted cast of beggers and hangers-on are heading out before sunrise bound for the pancake state! We’re on for the 2010 North Central Regional Speed Skating Championships.

Speedy Weezy's new rig. Rollerblade Rocks!

Speedy Weezy will be rolling his new Euro-import Rollerblades (courtesy of Rollerblade USA & Stephen Charrier) outfitted with CadoMotus Neo frames, Atom Whips (Green & Orange) and Bones Reds bearings. I’m not taking any chances this time and we’re packing light. The skates are tweaked and ready to go.

And if the skates look familiar, yes, these are the Rollerblade/Luigino co-branded version of the Luigino Mini-Challenge called the Rollerblade Racemachine Jr. I personally like the blue A LOT. The fact that they sport a Rollerblade badge I like EVEN MORE! Love those folks at Rollerblade.

My bestest bud - Speedy Weezy.

Well, I just finished packing the car and I’m off to catch a few Zzz’s before waking Team Puz for the ride. I think we’re set. Speedy Weezy & all of the kids have been working really hard since our last trip to KS. I know they’re all pumped and ready to roll. I’m looking forward to having a fun little family get away with some really great racing action on Sunday.  Wish us luck!

And FWIW, we’re leaving the allen wrench home this time.

5/18/10 Training: Indoor with the Rink Rabbits. Working on relays and taking our time. Relays can be very scary with little kids.

5/19/10 Training: 10k in the hood in the morning on slick roads. Did 1 lap in the CadoMotus Pro 110’s, 3 in my RollerBlade Racemachines with Cado 110 Frames. Interesting…Did another 3 laps in the evening after heat molding the Cado boots a bit more. Great time recorded.

5/20/10 Training: 10k in the hood in whee hours. It was a golden sunrise and truly beautiful. 13 miles at lunch on a gorgeous afternoon. All miles recorded on the Cado’s.

If I could talk to the animals

I’m not usually one to threaten small, defenseless animals, but there’s a reason we’re at the top of the food chain, and I’m cashing in my Darwinian Lottery Ticket…Yo, Ranger Rick. Watch your back. Beware I say! This is fair warning. In the spirit of full disclosure, you need to know something about me.  I have a dark side. While my life and household have shared space with many of your domesticated friends, all of whom I’ve loved dearly (all except the freaking parrot,) I’m not an animal lover when I have eight wheels strapped to my feet.

What you need to understand, my furry little friend, is that My Big Backyard has a skate path running through it. You and your little critter friends have A LOT of other places you can frolic and lollygag. Here’s the message I need you to carry back to the burrow: All of you – particularly squirrels, geese, snakes and bunnies – If you want to stay off the endangered list, keep off the damn skate path.

My "Goodwill Ambassador to the Animal Planet" credentials have been irrevocably revoked, regardless of the outcome of the investigation.

When you see me coming, you need to disperse in an orderly fashion. Preferably to the right, but definitely out of the way. These little games of zig-zag and bob’n’weave are going to get someone hurt – and it won’t be me. I’m bigger than you. A lot bigger. And I’m faster too. And with these big 110mm wheels, I’m more inclined to just roll right over you rather than try and guess which way you’re going to finally break. No more hippity-hopping for me. I got no time to mess around.

No time to mess around because I just got bibbed for the 2010 Northshore Inline Marathon yesterday. I’m in a new division, and I’ve got a lot of work to do between now and September 11. Being in a division that includes the likes of Tony Muse and Norm Kirby (among many other notable names and Facebook friends) opens up a whole new world of hurt when it comes to the level of training I need to put in if I want to have any hope of starting strong, getting in a good line and hanging on at their top speeds. So I’ve got no time to watch for goose poop, snakes that look like sticks, and assorted four legged fuzzballs. You take the woodland, leave the 8 foot wide concrete slab to me. This way, we’ll be able to avoid any unfortunate events that may leave a certain little bunny family wondering why daddy went down to the skate path and never came back. Capisce?

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5/12/10 Training: Day off. Mandatory. Weather totally blew anyway so who cares.
5/13/10 Training: Did a pretty intense session in the gym. I sweated a lot. It was only a half hour, but I was feeling the impact for three days after.
5/14/10 Training: Sunrise skate was a 10k on the CadoMotus Pro 110’s I’m test driving. Much more on this whole process of test driving to come.
5/15/10 Training: Took Speedy Weezy & Speed Demon for a “Super-Secret” session. These kids are champs!
5/16/10 Training: Indoor with the Rink Rabbits was fun. Finally came up with a way to make training for relay a lot less dangerous and a lot of fun! Then did 2 hours with the “big kids” working on speed. Lot’s of intervals. The coach was skating so hard that he burned a hole clean through the bottom of his boot and caused a blister on the bottom of his foot. (I could smell the carbon burning during the drills.)
5/17/10 Training: 13 miles at lunch. The weather was perfect, the hills were a bit tougher because of yesterday, but they’re getting easier. I’ve promised myself that I’ll hit every hill on my training route, which forces me to do the one I usually think of as optional because it’s slightly off the route right at the end. Too bad they don’t run SPIM the way they used to!

Smells like (team spirit)

Sometimes I’m amazed at how clueless I am. (No comments from the peanut gallery please – this is about self-realization, not your quick-witted ability to snark at will.) I coach the kids speed skating class at our local rink – the mighty Rink Rabbits Inline Speed Club for Kids. During our practices, there’s often so much going on around me – kids being kids, parents being kids, people not paying attention to rink traffic rules, someone falling down, someone asking for water, someone asking to go to the bathroom…sometimes there’s so much going on I fail to see some of the most important stuff happening right under my nose. It’s like trying to focus on a cornstalk getting spun up in a twister cloud of debris. Good luck focusing on anything for more than a second! But last night, on the way home, Speed Demon shared a glimpse of something that made me feel like a million bucks, and it had absolutely nothing to do with my favorite subject – ME!

Speed Demon and π (pi) showing the coach the meaning of teamwork.

Speed Demon and π (that’s the mathematical symbol for pi, which is cooler than a nickname like “approx. 3.14” and might someday be a cool tattoo for the kid…I’m sure her Dad will love reading that. But I digress,) Speed Demon and π are pretty equal in terms of their ability and speed. Both have been skating for a while now, and while π has been speed skating a bit longer than Speed Demon, she’s not quite hitting the times that Speed Demon can these days.

As it turns out, one of the big reasons that Speed Demon is hitting better times is that, unbeknown to me, π has been helping Speed Demon work on her speed. Sometimes it’s in the open warm-ups – that 20-30 minutes where everyone is getting their skates on before class, which to me is nothing more than an exercise in herding cats – in the pace line when we do active warm-ups, or in the cool down times at the end of class.  Apparently, being close in age and since they’re friends, they’ve been looking out for each other.

Last night during the cool-downs, I noticed they were doing their own drill. Something they’d made up on their own. When I asked Speed Demon why she was having a hard time keeping up with π in what I thought were 200m races, she told me that they were doing a drill to help π get back up to speed. It was a simple chasing drill with a very specific goal for speed skating, but it was so much more than that. It was one friend helping another be the best she can be. A little payout of Good Karma, and it warmed my heart to hear it.

Here we are now - entertain us...Going fast, low, to the left now, yeah!

Speed Demon told me, “She’s helped me and I appreciate it. I want to return the favor and help her kick butt too!” In this class that’s pretty well dominated by boys, these two have a team spirit that’s unmatched. When they’re out there racing against each other, they both give it all they’ve got. But at the end of that race they’re always congratulating each other, regardless of how they placed. They’re being there for each other and cheering each other on, even as they’re trying to steal that cone and that line, each from the other. Pushing each other to be the best they can be, and show us all that everyone gains when you’re a good sport. That’s team work in inline speed skating, Rink Rabbits style. Good job girls!

As luck would have it, the pics in this post were taken last night, when this was all happening. Look in their eyes – we actually caught the heart of their friendship in these pictures. The shot at top is the drill they were doing, and the second shot is the net result: SBFF (Skating Best Friends Forever.)

Girls rule, boys drool, indeed.

5/11/10 Training: Spent about 30 minutes doing “super-secret” workout stuff. Spent an hour and a half tooling around the rink with the Rink Rabbits on the CadoMotus Pro 110’s I’m test driving. The MPC Road Wars caused a bit of a stir with the boys. “They’re light red, NOT PINK!” Shut up and skate boys…

They’re here!

Kraytos, the Dog of War, watches over the UPS delivery from CadoMotus. The test drive starts tonight with the Rink Rabbits!

"Yeah...his coach knows I'm the one who does the pulling when he skates in the 'hood."

5/9/10 Training: Day off to celebrate Speed Demon’s birthday!

5/10/10 Training: 11 Miles, all headwind on the uphills. Brutal. Lots of wind, lots of hills.

They’re on their way…

After months of waiting out production delays and volcanic ash clouds, I’m thrilled to report that The Cado Motus 2010 Test Drive will soon be underway! Got word from Geert just yesterday, along with a tracking tag and instructions for the test ride. I am stoked!

"Enough is ENOUGH! I have had it with these motherf#$%in' skates on this motherf#$%in' plane!"

I’ve been skating Cado (Mogema) frames for years. My first pair of 100mm skates were the Rollerblade Lightning 10’s with the Dual Box frames. I still skate these frames, having moved them to my Rollerblade Problades to replace the stock “spider frames” I snapped a few years ago.

Truly some of the best frames ever made.

Lately, the 110’s I’ve been rolling are the Cado 4×110 set up that I’ve borrowed from my buddy The Schneid. With this test drive, they’re sending the whole shooting match – the Pro 110. I can’t wait to see what the boots feel like, not to mention get to roll a fresh set of MPC Road Wars! This is gonna be motherf#$%in’ fun! Happy motherf#$%in’ mother’s day motherf#$%ers!

As of tonight, here’s the tracking:

LOUISVILLE, KY, US 05/08/2010 1:51 A.M. REGISTERED WITH CLEARING AGENCY / SHIPMENT SUBMITTED TO CLEARING AGENCY
KOELN (COLOGNE), DE 05/08/2010 5:44 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
05/08/2010 12:29 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
APELDOORN, NL 05/07/2010 9:30 P.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
05/07/2010 9:16 P.M. ORIGIN SCAN
NL 05/07/2010 7:25 A.M. BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED

And a very Happy Mother’s Day to all of you genuine moms out there – if you’re a skating mom or a skater’s mom – this is your day. Thanks for being you – we love skate moms!

5/7/10 Training: Skated 13 motherf#$%in’ miles on a beautiful Colorado afternoon. Lot’s of hills, which were made exponentially easier BY A TAILWIND! Nothing make you feel more like “King of the World!” than conquering a monster hill at top speed with little to no effort! Yeaaa Haaaa! Also had the pleasure of getting honked at and flipped off by a woman in an SUV who literally came out of nowhere to be behind me coming down a hill. The kicker was, her bumpersticker said “Have Love For All”… Mother#$%ker!

5/8/10 Training: Super-secret workout was really difficult this morning. Kept cramping up and it seemed like it took forever to get through all the sets. Took and hour and a motherf#$%in’ half to get through it!

Thank you sir. May I have another?

It’s Friday. I don’t know how it got here so fast. I started this post Monday. I intended to finish it on Monday. Damn, guess this week has been one long…Monday. It sure felt like it, and since “I Don’t Like Mondays” is in constant rotation on my iPod, I think I know what a “Monday” feels like. F’N’A, TGIF.

Tell me why they thought these outfits were cool enough to be on the album cover.

And there’s nothing like a good butt kicking on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to make a Monday just *that much better.* I was in a clouded world of hurt on Monday. I was sitting at my desk blurry eyed. It was a busy weekend. Lots to do, and lots of skating. It also doesn’t help that HorseyPants and I have been staying up late fulfilling our desperate need to catch up with the housewives of Wisteria Lane, which we’ve been doing every night for the last two weeks thanks to NetFlix streaming content. We’re now done with Season 5.

Season 7 will start with a long shot of Saturday morning passing drills on Wisteria Lane. 1 man, 5 desperate housewives, 48 hot wheels!

Last weekend I took my outdoor training up a notch for the start of the season, and in doing so I was reminded that it don’t come easy. Most weekends during the season I’ll do a session or two of between 26 and 32 miles and keep a moderate pace, just enough to feel like I’m working and keep my heart rate at 70% max. But every couple of weeks I’ll go out for time, and try and break my “Colorado PBR” – my personal best time record on the course I skate here in Loveland. That’s what I did on Saturday, and I’m off to a good start.

But I’ve got to qualify these times as “Colorado times” because we’re nearly 6,000 ft. above sea level here, so the air is a *little* thinner, the hills a *little* steeper, and I’ve yet to get anywhere near the times I can hit in Duluth. I’m about 13 minutes off my best time in Duluth on the course in Loveland, about 8 minutes off on the course in my neighborhood, which runs a little faster. If I didn’t qualify these times I’d be fighting an ongoing mental battle. It’s not worth it!

So I’ve been tracking these COPBR’s for a few years now, and this is the strongest season opener to date. I call this my “TX Road Rash Symp-a-thon” – to coincide with the “running of the rash” which all of my friends attend without me  – and it was also my first hard skate at distance on 110’s, which was an eye-opener. The legs didn’t have a lot left at the end of the 28.2 miles. That may have had something to do with the fact that the day before I had engaged in my “super-secret” workout too. It was the worst uphill experience I’ve ever had. But anyway…

The big take-away from the effort was that I need to start hitting the hills again. At the end of the course, the last quarter mile or so, is one of the steepest hills you can imagine. I originally plotted this as a training course for the Saint Paul Inline Marathon, which used to finish up the hill to Mears Park in downtown St. Paul. I’d forgotten how intense the last uphill sprint can be on this Loveland course. I was practically crying as I was reaching the top of this hill. My legs were like lead, my back was on fire and I could barely breath. Gee, it’s good to be back home!

Over the long haul, I really feel like I got a lot out of the 110’s. My stride really felt comfortable – longer, smoother and with a lot less effort once I got up to speed. I couldn’t help thinking about how it will be in that paceline in Duluth. Out here on my own I’m pulling non-stop, so these big wheels don’t have time to slow down. But when they do, when I coast, it takes just that little bit more to get back to where I was. I just wonder what it’s going to be like with the ebb & flow of the pack in Duluth. How many will be on 110’s? Will it be difficult to be behind someone on 100’s? Will I be forced to take more pulls than I should just because I’m more comfortable out front with no one in front of me? I want to think I’ll be ready to handle whatever happens out there, and this year I’ll be smarter about pulls and fliers. But when it’s all on the line I know that everything I train for, all that I learn and think about while training, will go out the window once I’m out there on the course. I’ll just be skating for my life. But I like it that way – it keeps it exciting for me. All this summer I’ll be thinking about the one race in Duluth in September. No matter how hard the COPBR sessions get, they always leave me begging for more.

4/29/10 Training: Mandatory day off.

4/30/10 Training: Super-secret workout, no skating, lots of pizza.

5/1/10 Training: 33 miles on the trail in Loveland, 28.2 at marathon speed. Didn’t beat my buddy TASII’s time for TX Road Rash this year, but I was close and I’m at altitude. I’ll take what I can get – which after this skate was a good crying towel.

5/2/10 Training: Rink Rabbits practice followed by 2 hours of quickness. Quick plyos, quick drills, quick relays. One of the better practices even though I was dead tired.

5/3/10 Training: The Monday I referred to above. I did manage to get 16 miles in at lunch, attacking the hills I know I need to beat before September. It’s going to be a long summer going up these hills on these 110’s.

5/4/10 Training: Rink Rabbits practice. I’ve been getting into the race action a little more for the benefit of some of the kids at the back of the line. We have a couple of new kids who’ve only been skating a month and are already keeping up in drills and races. Working with kids is a highlight of my skating career.

5/5/10 Training: Super-secret workout. Shhhh…..

5/6/10 Training: Mandatory day of rest. I think I need to write about resting.