What It Feels Like to Have a Breakout Year

Start of the 3000

Start of the 3000

You hear about athletes having that one incredible year, that breakout year when they get it all right, improve by leaps and bounds, and break personal records. I think I’m experiencing that, and let me tell you, it feels awesome!

I’ve gotten personal bests in all four metric distances (500 meter, 1000 meter, 1500 meter, and 3000 meter) and am less than two-hundredths of a second away from my ultimate goal of skating the 500 in less than 50 seconds.

To give you some perspective, this season is two months old. So far I’ve skated ten races and gotten personal bests in seven of them, each time beating or hovering right around my previous best. I am in awe of what serious summer training can do for a fall sport.

So what did I do differently this year? More weight training and explosive drills than ever before. My bigger thighs do not lie. And I worked out a lot with my speedskating dynamo of a daughter and super-supportive husband and son.

I give huge props to my coaches, who work me just as hard as they do the teenagers. Strength Training Coach Olu Sijuwade is a force in the universe. PHAST Lead Coach Jeff Brand literally taught me everything I know. And PHAST Coach Tom Riley not only puts me through the paces but makes me work harder and smarter than I ever believed possible.

Thanks, coaches. Thanks to all my speedskating friends who cheer me on during my races and make the sport so much fun. And thanks to everyone everywhere who support those reaching for a goal. It feels great to hit the mark. 🙂