Saturday, December 10, 2011

Missing in (In)Action

I looked at my last post, and read it as if I had just written it yesterday. How, then, could the date on the post be 2009? It's really been 2 years? Where the heck have I been? What have I been doing? the answer to both is....working, and NOT working OUT. MIIA.
I now work full time at a job that is roughly an hour from my house, on a good day. So that's 10 hours a week that I don't have anymore, about twice the lost time I had two years ago. I've been driving myself to work, but I'm going to try and recapture some of that time lost to commuting by taking the bus. Commuter buses traveling from the northern end of the county have free WiFi ( ON the bus. I know, freaky, right?), so I figure I can get about 45 min of work done on each leg of my commute, which will help free my time up once I get home. I've done it once already, and based on that ride, I think not having to deal with other drivers outweighs the lack of flexibility in departure times.
It probably comes as no surprise that I didn't skate the Marathon two years ago. Until the past few weeks, I hadn't been on skates since late 2009. October 2009, to be precise. Things got complicated in October, but the broken bones mended, and oddly enough, we still have the TV. This year, we planned to spend our Thanksgiving holiday in Rochester, with family we have there. Rochester is home to the Rochester Speedskating Team. This is the team that taught me to skate, train in increasing increments of volume and intensity, rest, then race hard, leaving everything on the ice. I miss my Rochester teammates terribly. When they invited me to skate with them after the holiday, I couldn't pass up the chance.
Panic set in seconds after I agreed to join them. Where were my skates? Helmet? neckguard, skinsuit, pads, gloves,etc? What condition were my blades in, and if they were in bad shape, where on earth was my jig and stones? Oh G_d, what had I agreed to do? What was I thinking, skating with my old team in my current roundish shape? I really should have skated at some open ice times at my rink, but somehow, I couldn't quite get my act together before the holiday to accomplish that. In the end, I grabbed my old skate bag, tossed it into the car, and hoped for the best.
I arrived at the rink early in the morning. RSST practices at two rinks, and that day, they were at the warm, sunlight rink. I had neglected to bring sneakers so I had to choose to warm up wearing clogs, or in my socks. I chose socks. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened my skate bag. Obviously when I repacked it, I had intended to skate again before too long. My blades were even in decent shape, no rust, no dings, and moderately sharp. Yay me.
The good news: skating felt familiar, and I welcomed the routine of set work, and the friendly banter in between sets as we skated around. The bad news: I am horribly out of shape and my legs were toast by the end of each set. I skated safely though, no sense in ending up on the mats, I had to work on Monday, after all. Even so, it felt great to be out doing something. Enough so that I knew I needed to skate again sometime soon.
Soon turned out to be the next weekend, at a public skate with my daughter. I mostly skated very slow laps while she twirled around in the center with her friend, but I noticed the last 20 minutes or so the of long public session were nearly devoid of people. The track marker dots are quite visible, so I had both time and space to skate a decent track, slowly....It still felt great.
So now I think I will be skating every Sunday we are in town. It won't get me trained for competition, but maybe I'm done with that, maybe I just want to skate.