Just finished my first ever long track speed skating race!
Though they did not require a fire extinguisher for the ice at the end of my race, I could have used one for my thighs!
I came in at a time of 44.24 good enough for first place among the Masters campers. Though I am still aways off the Oval Standard time (41.18) I am satisfied with the result.
I was happy with my start, felt I came off the line well and was able to stay under control. It was a "mass start" (vs. Olympic start) with 4 of us going off at the line at the same time. The name of the game in those types of starts is getting out in front to secure solid position for the corner. Though I had a good start it was not quite good enough as I was in second heading into the first corner.
Not confident enough in my stride to attempt a pass on the first corner, I tried to remain low and focus on my strides through the first corner and the first straightaway. Heading into the final corner I tucked in behind Reg who was in the lead (and had just beaten me in the 1,000m some half hour earlier...you may notice he is a few years my senior!) and decided to attempt a sprint on the final straightaway...a risky proposition as my legs at this point in time felt like I was wearing dual ankle to thigh casts.
I came out of the final corner with some speed and was able to crank out a good sprint to get in front before the finish line!
Here is a little video of some warmup and the final straightaway. A couple things to point out, you can see in the first clip my hesitation heading into the first corner, still not exactly too sure when to start the crossover. That happened in the race as well and will just come with practice. Also, in the race clip at the end notice how high I am. My strides are short and hips are up - a sign of fatigue.
This camp helped open my eyes to the level of fitness I need to be in to be competitive. I am nowhere near where I need to be but am headed in the right direction!
Huge thanks to Mike Ireland and all the Masters Speed coaches for an amazing week and sharing their knowledge with a true rookie!
I am going to stay in Calgary for a couple more days and get some more ice in at the Oval with Brock who came out for the weekend. Then it is back to the grind to get in shape for my next race at the Oval in a couple weeks time.
All in all a great week and have a ton of experiences to learn from and carry with me on this little journey of mine!