|Posted by speedskating-online on January 18, 2008 at 2:04 PM|
Written by Philippe Riopel,
Canadian speed skater
Read Phil?s own account of his races at the Canadian Single Distances Championships!
Day 1 ? 28 December 2007
Today was the 500m. For the first race I was paired with Fran?ois-Olivier Roberge, who can skate a pretty solid 500m. The draw decided that I would have the inner lane and Franco the outer. Lately, I?ve been struggling with my starts, I was toeing in a lot and couldn?t get off of the line as well as usual, so I didn?t know really what to expect from this race. On Thursday, I did a couple of starts and it felt pretty good, so my confidence was back just in time for the race. Once on the ice I realized the starter was holding the skaters on the line for quite a long time, so I was prepared for either me or my pair to fault start? just as planned? Franco did fault start. On the second start, everything went well and I got one of my best openers ever with a 10.11, built good speed in the first corner and a good end of race with a total time of 35.89, 0.08 seconds off my personal best. But after the race I realized my right hipflexer was getting pretty tight, so I went to see the massage therapist and after talking with him we decided it was best for me not to race the second 500m to save my hipflexer for the next day with the 1000m and 5000m. Also I will be racing Canada Cup 1 next weekend, so it would be stupid to do it and maybe make it worse, especially when you need at least a 34 high to make the 500m team now? That was about it for the first day of racing here in Calgary! I?ll let you know how it goes tomorrow?
See you all!
Day 2 ? 29 December 2007
I MADE THE WORLD CUP TEAM!!! Haha, I didn?t really expect that today. A year ago, I did the exact same thing but I had to give up my spot to go to Heerenveen because the schedule didn?t work with my training for Junior Worlds. This year, I will get to go to Hamar in Norway to skate a 1000m and then I will have to come back to train, go to Milwaukee for the North American Championships and then, two weeks later, race in Asia for the Junior Worlds, my last ones.
The race itself was pretty good! I was paired with Jeremy, so I knew he was most likely going to be faster than me unless something happened during the race. Before the race, I was worried about the first crossover since I was in the inner lane. I knew he would open faster than me and I thought it would be close in the first backstretch, but he easily went over the top. I didn?t even get a draft? Haha. After that first crossover I realized I had to focus on my own race and that?s what I did. Coming into the last stretch, Jeremy had pretty much already crossed the line and I thought that I was having a bad race since he was so far ahead but then I remembered? he?s the best in the world! It?s almost normal to be that far back, so I crossed the line in a time of 1:09.90, good enough for 5th, only 0.01 second behind 4th place finisher Matt McLean. At first I thought I missed the team by 0.01, but then I realized Jeremy and Denny were prequalified, so that would give me the last spot to go to the World Cups for the 1000m!
After all that, I had to get ready for a 5000m. I was paired with Dustin Johnston, it started out all right but I got tired really quick. After 5 laps I think, I was coming out of the outer and I had to stand up to crossover, so Dustin got DQ?ed but got to have a reskate at least. I ended with a 6:45, 8 seconds off my personal best. The 5000m wasn?t the best, but at least I could be happy about my 1000m.
Tomorrow is the 1500m, hopefully I can have a good one after the 1000m I had today. I?ll keep you posted!
Day 3 ? 30 December 2007
It?s crazy how fast things can change. I had a really good race yesterday, and a very normal race today. In the 1500m, I was just slow. Very slow. One of my slowest times in two years. 1:49 something, I don?t really know the hundreds and I don?t think it really matters.
Tomorrow, the 10k, already my fourth of the year, and also the last race of the weekend.
Day 4 ? 31 December 2007
10k. First pair. On my own. Is there anything else to say? Haha. No I wasn?t THAT bad, but it wasn?t the greatest either. I could hear everything the announcer was saying. ?Philippe Riopel, coming with 18 to go.? Come on... I don?t need to know that, I?m already hurting and I?m not even halfway there, haha. But oh well, I made it through. It was good training too. It makes the 3k and 5k looks so much shorter and that?s what I?ll need to race at Junior Worlds.
Overall, I?m pretty happy about the weekend. First day was good although it could have been better. Second day was awesome! Third day, not the greatest. And fourth day, it was decent, some good training.
Hopefully you guys like the little blog about the Canadian Single Distances Championships! I?m not too sure when the next one will be, most likely during Hamar, unless other races come up in between.
See you all later!