Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Week 15: Carnage

"Carnage" was the word most people used to describe practice this week and if I told you we were taught 20 in 5, running starts, stepping, balancing on one foot, and jumps, then you may already guess why...

Last week, I was getting down on myself about crossovers. Fortunately, I went to our local roller rink later on in the week and practised crossovers so much until there was only me and one person left on the track and by the time I'd finished I had a headache and my legs were shaking. BUT I did actually do some crossovers! It felt awesome!
All this awesomeness went out the window at derby practice. We have a lot of newbies on the track now, so it is rather crowded which still makes me uncomfortable (I know, I will need to get used to this!) I guess I'd say I was at a middle speed; I could over take some of the less confident skaters but most people overtook me, and super speedy skaters who cut it close makes me wobble, so I really didn't want to try crossovers in that condition.

We started with 20 in 5, which means 20 laps in 5 minutes. Crossovers are perfect for this as you can just do crossovers the whole time and go speedy with less effort. There was 6 on the track at a time which was fine but I knew I'd slow down to try crossovers so I just tried to skate as fast as I could without going so fast that I'd lose my confidence in it and fall over! (There's a point when I gather speed and then suddenly think "Oh dear, this is rather fast!" and then I feel like I'm going to lose control) So I skated as quick as I could and managed 15 laps. I was rather pleased with this! That's a lap every 20 seconds, which I think is great considering I didn't even attempt a crossover.

We then discussed 1 in 15 (one lap in 15 seconds) but we didn't have time to get through everyone so we moved onto starting techniques: toe stop runs, duck runs, Rocky Mountain runs, which would help us when we did do 1 in 15.
Toe Stop Runs: I tried this to begin with and hated it. I'd decided that my toe stops were too high and, after talking to my coach, she said I could lower them but I shouldn't go any higher, so I decided to go off and lower them then. During the lowering process (I was having issues with my toe guards getting in the way), the rest of the group were slowly walking round on toe stops and then practiced running starts on them. The lady who was helping me and a Merby guy with our toe stops was suddenly called over to the group "Get over here NOW, please!" A poor lady was lying on the floor, sobbing so hard. From what we could figure out from the other side of the track, she had tried toe stop walks, fallen over backwards and winded herself in the process. It was heartbreaking to watch as she had really injured herself, but after a while of crying, she skated (kudos for that!) off the rink, took an icepack and then was back on after about 10 minutes! As much as I admire her for carrying on skating (I would've called it a day if I had been in that much pain), it was terrifying to witness, so I took little longer to tighten my toe stops and headed back to the track for duck runs.

Duck runs: I actually liked these! I don't think I did them properly, but you put your feet at an angle so your heels are closer than your toes, and then run like this with more weight on your inside edges. It was more like duck steps for me, but it was my preferred method of running starts.
Rocky Mountain Runs: This are named after the ladies from Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. You start on your heel, then roll onto 4 wheels and then roll onto your toe stops. It is, essentially, like running on skates. Me and a few ladies practised this by holding on to the rail and walking round. We then had to do these free-standing as an actual running start. I attempted one foot, thought "Sod this!" and skated on. On the way back, I put too much weight on my heel and fell over backwards. Thankfully, it wasn't painful, and I did get up straight away and skate back. Needless to say, I hated Rocky Mountain runs too.
I was unaware (how, I have no idea, he must've stayed so super quiet) but one of the Merby guys dislocated his shoulder during the runs! I didn't witness it, but I heard that he may have fallen backwards, put his hand down and just....popped his arm out. Just thinking about it makes me squirm! He was rushed off to A&E and I'm guessing he won't be back for a while, but I really hope it hasn't put him off!

We managed to get through one-foot balances and stepping, without any casualties, and moved on to jumping. I was actually terrified at the idea of jumping and had planned to own crash pants/padded shorts before I attempted them. But I didn't have any crash pants this week, so I just had to try. They weren't actually as scary as I thought. I probably only got about 1 inch off the ground, if that, but it was baby steps. You really really have to get low and lean forward though, otherwise I could see it going terribly wrong and there were a few bum landings from several skaters.

We ended the session by skating clockwise, which I thoroughly dislike and then as I was slowing and turning so I could stop for stretches, I did the most spectacular fall where I landed on my shoulder, tried to move onto my knees but ended up doing a side rolly-polly and landed on my back. I got a round of applause though and, apart from a crick in my neck (which was soon sorted by a loving neck massage from the mister and a hot bath) I didn't really hurt myself.

I don't think I'm going to risk it though and am going to buy crash pants and a mouth guard as soon as I can this week!

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