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!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pre Road Trip 15 (sort of) Random Thoughts

Tomorrow I'm heading on the road again for another set of World Cups. But I'm going to be adding some other stuff onto this trip. Like World Championships among other things.

1. Packing is tiring. And I'm not even finished. Luckily every trip needs the same thing, so packing is also repetitive, which may add to the fatigue (cause its boring)

2. The longest I have been on the road at one time is three weeks.

3. This trip is going to be six weeks long and will cover 5 countries.

4. They are Russia, Germany, Canada, Great Britain, Poland. I have never been to Russia, Britain and Poland.

5. Basically my itinerary looks like this. Russia one week, Germany one week, Montreal two weeks, Britain one week, Poland one week. Oh, and I may add on a week of sightseeing at the end. We'll see.

6. I'm not sure how many Aeroplan points I'll end up with, but hopefully it will give me a really good head start towards Elite status for next year.

7. Tomorrow will be a long travel day. Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Frankfurt, Moscow.

8. I'm excited though. Racing is why we train, so its nice to be able to have a lot of racing to do after all the work we have put in this season.

9. One thing I regret not doing while I was in Asia in the fall was taking pictures. I don't know why I didn't. I am going to make an effort to take some this time. Which will hopefully mean some for the blog.

10. Modern Family is an excellent television show. Just brilliant.

11. Canada's freestyle and ski cross skiers are awesome. Just this week they have won four different World Championships. Jenn Heil in moguls, Warren Shouldice in aerials and Chris Del Bosco and Kelsey Serwa in ski cross. Major Boom.

12. In other amateur sport news, mad props must be given to Christine Nesbitt, long track speed skater, who just won her first World Sprint Championship. Not bad for a non pure sprinter. Also boom.

13. I'd love to be on the podium at World Championships this year. That will now be my goal for the rest of the season.

14. I have a plant that is dying. It has barely grown in the three years I have had it and now it has a few brown leaves.

15. In the words of Ronnie Coleman, Ain't Nothing to it but to do it!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Since Christmas...

So whats been going on since Christmas? Honestly, not a whole lot out of the ordinary. Upon returning from Yellowknife for a short Christmas break, it was time to get back to business and put in our last bit of work before we headed off to the Canadian Championships in Montreal Jan 21-23. The Canadian Championships, as they do every year, determine who will compete for Canada at the last two world cup stops and the World Championships and World Team Championships.

Early in the season I had set my sights on this weekend as my main goal for the year. With Worlds being my main focus this season, I would have to skate well at the Canadian Champs in order to qualify.

The weekend started well enough, I finished 3rd in the 1500, but things quickly took a turn for the worse as I was disqualified in my heat. At this point, I knew that I wouldn't be able to accumulate many points in the 500, and in a competition like this where cumulative points from four distances qualify a skater to the team, consistency is key. Coming back on Saturday, I wanted to just skate well and get as many points as I could (30, compared to 1000 for a win). I did this and looked forward to Sunday and the 1000 and 3000m distances.

Leading the 1500m Final. Olivier Jean and Francois Hamelin behind. Photo: Paul Shoebridge

Overall on Sunday I felt I really brought my A-game physically and mentally. But it was a terrible tactical mistake that I had been making all week that cost me a spot in the 1000m A final. Following this, I figured for sure my chance of making the team was over.

But, as they say, its never over til its over and there is perhaps no other place where this is true than in Short Track. Following nearly 20 (out of 27) laps on my own trying to lap the pack, I managed to finish third in the 3000m and claim 5th overall (5 go to worlds) by only 28 points. I don't know if I have ever hurt as badly as I did in that 3k.

Needless to say, it was a roller coaster of a weekend for me, but I showed myself that I am improving as I did not need to have my best performance to make the team. A few years ago a weekend like this would have left me way back in the results. I know what needs to be fixed and changed.

So with that weekend behind me, its time to look forward to the rest of the international season. On Sunday, Jess Gregg who was the other Calgary based athlete to make worlds, and I will head to Montreal to meet up with the rest of the team and head off to Moscow, Russia and Dresden, Germany for two weeks of world cups. Following that I will either return to Calgary for a few days, or head straight to Montreal to train with the rest of the guys prior to the World Championships which take place  in Sheffield England, and the World Team Championships in Warsaw, Poland.