Skiing is hard, yo. Frank convinced me to do a no-pole skate time trial, because I'd missed the one in the fall and he wanted the data from my times (to correlate to my double pole test, and add a data point in an obsessive study relating ankle compression to ski speed... or something along those lines), to add to his massive database of skiers. I was sort of like, how hard can this be? And then I really regretted it. This test is evil. Four times up a steep hill, no-pole skating, is considerably harder than four times double poling up that hill. I suppose this was the point that Frank was trying to prove to us - our skating needs a lot of work, and that weakness is exposed when you remove the poles. I'm glad there wasn't anyone taking video of me, that couldn't have been pretty.
By the time this was done, my butt was totally wrecked. My legs weren't feeling too good, but the gluteus medius was TRASHED. The good news is that my calf didn't blow up, so I was able to push through all of these. But today I can barely walk, my butt is so sore.
Anyway, the times were 3:20, 3:25, 3:29, 3:23, for a total of 13:36. Given that my first double pole test of the year was 13:18, I'm pretty pleased with the no-pole variant. Given my decent ankle compression, it fits pretty well with Frank's theory that good ankle compression --> good no-pole times relative to double pole times. Or something...
Above is the homework assignment that Frank sent to all the juniors. They had to pull out frames from a video of them skiing, and measure the ankle and knee ankles at three different stages - glide, compression, and kick. I didn't have a protractor, so I just copied my angles onto Frank's, since we were using him as a template. We have about 10 skiers who have actually gone through and done this, by now - they're the overachievers, and I approve!
Anyway, while doing time trials that are painful and exhausting, I remembered that skiing is hard. I forget this sometimes, especially as a coach. My athletes are lucky I do the workouts with them - it forces me to remember how much work they're doing, too. So I was in this tough-girl "skiing is hard!" mindset all day, and then that just faded, enough for me to remember why I love to ski. So I drew a picture. And wrote a blog post, that almost got too sappy, but ended up motivating. I think.
Skiing is hard, and I love it.