Today I participated in my first-ever inline skating competitive event. I signed up for this months ago, and have been diligently waking up at 5 am every
I love inline skating because there's a little bit of speed involved which means a little bit of risk, but not a huge amount of risk. It's not like I'm flying on a bike at 40 mph, I'm just going 8 mph, maybe 10, and having a good time. I've been skating since the summer of 1995, when I bought my first pair of Rollerblades when I was between jobs and had no health insurance, which I remember my mother being very concerned about.
Some months ago Wayne found a half marathon that had a skating element to it and encouraged me to sign up. I was already skating 7 miles on my normal skating routine, I was sure I could train up to a half-marathon distance.
Like I said, I've been getting up and doing my routes, going on some longer trails and completed a couple of 10-milers. I was able to finish those 10-milers in about an hour, so both Wayne and I figured that I would complete the half-marathon in about 1 hr 20 minutes.
I had registered as an advanced skater but ended up being lined up with the open skaters. This was mostly by accident, as they didn't put the wave signs up until literally a couple of minutes before the start, and prior to that people were milling about wondering if they were in the right place. I was near the front of the pack of the open skate and didn't make a move to get up to the advanced skaters. Those women looked like they knew what they were doing -- they were all suited up in professional suits and had the nice, NICE skates, the ones that look like little sneakers with 100mm wheels on them. Yep, I was pretty sure they were going to leave me in the dust so I didn't try to move up to that group. I was completely intimidated and wondered what the hell I was thinking registering as an advanced skater.
The course was pretty hilly; I heard from some skaters after that it was "brutal." I had been concerned beforehand about the hills because I'd heard it wasn't very flat and had a couple of hairpin turns, but it turns out that the hill that I take both up and down between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun was actually steeper than any hills we skated today, and I've done hairpins before, it wasn't that big a deal.
At mile three I saw a huge pack of people pass me up while we were climbing a hill. It was a little disheartening and I was tempted to push myself to pass them, but I already felt like my legs were burning so I decided to hold out and save my energy for later in the race.
Later on I passed that entire pack.
I also had skaters with those sweet $1,000 skates pass me by on the down hills -- their wheels were so fast that they ate up the pavement and flew by me.
I passed them on the inclines.
I finished the half-marathon in 56 mins 51 seconds. I had no intention of breaking the 1-hour mark, didn't even know I could.