Welcome! My name is Michael Gilday and I am a Short Track Speedskater from Yellowknife, NWT, Canada. I currently train at the National Training Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I've created this blog primarily to let family and friends know about competitions and travel. I also hope to educate a bit about short track and maybe even entertain. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

We're Back!! (In more ways than one...)

Welcome to the 2010 Olympic season! While most winter sports are just wrapping up their seasons and thinking about some well deserved downtime, Short Track is back at it in preparation for the all important Olympic trials in August. After three weeks off, we started up our season on ice last week. But before I go more into how we are back to training, I’ll start with the “off-season” (can a season be three weeks long???).

After trials it was time to relax. Of course, after a few days of doing nothing, the body starts to get restless. Luckily for us, we had Oval finale (a season-ending long track meet) to practice for. Never having done long track myself, I decided to sign up for the 1500m. Most wondered why I would sign up for this as it is considered one of the hardest races (similar to the 800 in track, its not a sprint but its not an endurance race either). But I had some rationale. Being a rookie on claps, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go full out or start that well (hence no 500) but didn’t want to go extra hard and be in extreme pain (hence no 5000m or 10000m). So the 1500 it was. I managed to finish in a respectable (so I was told) 1.49.01. It was really fun to do something a little different but man did I gain a respect for the type of pain long trackers experience. It’s a lot different than a short track burn but you are totally wasted after going full out for that long.

After finale, it was off to Arizona for a little vacation. My Dad and I took our bikes down to the Flagstaff/Sedona area to do some hiking and biking. Bikes turned out to be a great way to check out the local scenery at our own pace. What a cool part of the world that is. There are endless hiking and mountain biking possibilities in a really temperate climate. The road biking is pretty good as well, although some of the highways don’t have much of a shoulder and are quite busy in the tourist seasons. It wasn’t exactly the typical athlete vacation of sitting on a beach and doing nothing, but I don’t get the oppoutunity to just hike and bike as much as I want very often because I should be resting instead so it was nice to take advantage of some time off to get in an activity I really enjoy.

Big Wall!!
At the top of a 13km climb to Sunset Crater
How do these not fall down????
The Grand Canyon in all its splendor
In the words of Bubbles "Deeeeeeeeecent"

Arizona wrapped up my off-season and we were back on the ice the day after I got back. It hasn’t been that hard to get back into the groove of things because we weren’t off for very long and because I did some long track which is nice. In a normal year we would spend at least a week or more just getting used to being back on skates, but this year we can really just get back into it comfortably and we are still in relatively (not really-but better than a normal year) good shape. So that’s pretty much it for the last few weeks. Like the title says, we are back in more ways than one. The first is that we are back on the ice, the second way is that I should be updating the blog a lot more often now that the season is getting into full swing. I’ll try to have some quality content for you each week. Remember to buy your Whole Grain Cheerios and Golden Grahams and put the code in online! There is a new link on the right had side where you can get all the information about this!


Anonymous said...

Hey Mike - Although you are on the Golden Grahams and Multigrain Cheerios box, any specially marked "Aspiring Olympians" box of General Mills cereal has the code that allows supporters to select YOU for another dollar of General Mills support!


Anonymous said...

Nice pictures. Do not take such a long break from the blog again.


dirt girls said...

Hey Michael - Ryan mentioned you were off south to ride your bike. I'M SO JEALOUS!!! I have a new road bike (2009 TCR Giant) which just arrived in town and I am dying to try it out. Alais, to much snow and ice for now. best of luck for the new season. Auntie sue