When a flat tracker attempts the banked track

Even athletes get sore to the point of not being able to move. Even athletes training within their sport are able to change it up enough to make even the strongest parts of their body hurt in ways that they haven’t experienced for years.

Enter the banked track.

It will be your friend and your enemy
It will be your friend and your enemy

Love City Roller Derby has a banked track on Spring Garden Street in Philadelphia, and their league has decided to take on a huge venture by organizing the Derby Ink Invitational in Harrisburg, PA on April 19-21. Most of the teams that have entered into the Invitational tournament are not banked track leagues that play by M.A.D.E. rules – they are teams made up of flat track skaters that do tournaments as super teams for fun or they’re giving it a go for the first time.

Enter me.

Skating backwards on this thing is tough
Skating backwards on this thing is tough

I had tried pulling some friends together to put a team in, but I couldn’t get enough girls to commit and I didn’t know that there was a second team pulling at the same skaters. So, I let go of trying to put together my own team and (luckily) the team now calling themselves “Team Rogue” absorbed me into it as well. Well.. I mean we’ll see if I make the roster.

I felt like a complete newbie again this weekend. We had a two hour practice yesterday and then a two hour practice/one hour scrimmage today. With the sheer talent on this team, I would not be surprised if I got the boot on the final day. I am not as strong or as fast or as naturally talented as ANYONE else on this team. I am not being negative: I am being wholly honest with myself.

I am the weakest link. Goodbye?

Warming up with agility ladders. Somehow I could do it...
Warming up with agility ladders. Somehow I could do it…

If I want to survive, I have a lot of work to do and I plan on doing it. I will not be seen as the weak link 30 days from now. Now I just need to figure out the best way to train between now and then.

On a banked track, I am feeling more pressure on my right leg through the process of skating as opposed to my left leg (which takes all the force in flat track). Why? You’re fighting the slope of the track, and it’s that right leg that has to do most of the work. Also, the game play is at about 3x the speed of a flat track game. I’ve played some fast flat track; I would put this up there with Gotham & Philly speed of play.

With the different rules that I’m not used to, it means that I am not responding quick enough physically OR mentally. Luckily, I am not the only one that let a pivot by them or wasn’t able to follow through on a hip check to the inside.

Today was exceptionally hard because my legs were all wobbly from two hours learning drills and fighting the uphill slope for the first time. When we began our cardio/paceline drills I was waiting for my muscles to tear in half, to be honest. I couldn’t dig, I’d slide when I would crossover in the corners and (in general) I feel like I made a complete ass out of myself. I was the slowest person on the team, far and away. It would have been fine if I felt strong enough in drills to take people to the rail.

I couldn’t.

You want us to do what?
You want us to do what?

Ok, so enter the awesome part about being on a team like Team Rogue. We’re all there to have fun. We don’t have an official coach. There is no real pressure. Sure there are prizes in the tournament, but other than wanting to be able to compete against skaters on Team USA, Team Canada and Team France… we just want to have fun!

The encouragement I got from my team mates as I slugged my ass around the track was amazing. These are all skaters that I admire and feel like I am not even in the same league as and they cheered and pushed me. (Thank goodness my legs warmed up and I got the hang of things a little better later.)

Sunday Practice!
Sunday Practice!

Wow, this is how you know my brain is mush! I don’t ramble in a free write style often! I TRY to keep my writing reigned in!!

So, yesterday we had a bunch of people (and not all of them are necessarily on the team for April – I honestly don’t know what the roster situation is so don’t assume that any of these people are or aren’t skating then… this is just who I skated WITH). I got to skate with Nash Villain, Renegade Raven, Russian Bayou, Jocelyn Bassler, Treasure Chest, Miss USA-Hole, Pixie Bust, Damage Dahl, Antidote, Spry Icicle and Grim D Mise. Today, Raven, Nash, Bayou, Spry and Grim came again and we added Eileen U Scream and Buster Skull! It was awesome. I had so much fun. I felt so challenged.

It’s rare that you can have a practice that makes you feel so useless and yet at the same time, makes you feel so amazing. I feel stronger and faster than ever before. I feel focused and determined to build a routine that will change me by April. Today though, the hot shower was amazing and my hip flexors, hamstrings and abductors are sore to the touch. Even little movements cause a ripple of pain through my legs. Flat track practice should be interesting tomorrow night.

Practice! Agility ladders and friends and laughing!


And as a side note, in scrimmage against a couple of the Love City All Stars … I did take a jammer to the rail. 😉
Today, my food has looked like this:

8am Formula 1 chocolate shake with personalized protein powder.

16 oz of water before leaving, had half of my peach tea/aloe on my way there.

9:30a Soy Nuts and a bite of Cookies n Cream meal replacement bar

10a Practice started, 24 Hydrate happening! 32 oz of water during practice plus some nibbles of meal bar.

Noon: Beverage Mix w/ H3O before the hour long scrimmage. Then another 16 ounces of water

Rebuild Strength for recovery, end of the Cookies N Cream bar; another half of the peach tea and aloe on the way home

Got home, had some grapes, 2 boiled eggs and spring mix with fresh salsa. Another 64 oz of water.

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