Nope, not having a good time. None whatsoever.
On Saturday I skated the duathlon as a part of the Minnesota Half Marathon event. I skated 13.1 miles, followed by a 2.8 mile run. (I thought it was a full 5k, but the way the course laid out it was only 2.8 miles.)
This was my first race on my new skates -- it's the day after the race and I still have a swollen bump on my left foot where the skate wasn't quite right. But still, I managed to pull off a PR on the half marathon portion, finishing in 55 minutes 18 seconds, or about 14 mph. The woman in the photo above is someone I met at the starting line and we skated most of the race together, drafting back and forth until I lost her the last couple of miles. We exchanged contact info and hopefully will get together to train for the NorthShore Inline marathon, which we're both doing this fall.
At one point in the race the course does a 180-degree turn, and the hills you just went up become the hills you go down. We had just climbed a long hill when we got to the turn, and promptly got to go back down that same hill. As we were chugging our way up, a long train of people drafting were coming down it on the other side. Over the sounds of people clapping and volunteers warning of the turn, I heard a person who was already on the downhill side let out a "YEEEEE HAWWWW!"
And that pretty much sums it up.
Going that fast on skates is thrilling. I was grinning the whole way down, and the momentum from the downhills would push me through the uphills.
Seriously, why isn't this sport more popular?!
The challenge was in transitioning to the run. My dear friend Gianna was there to cheer me on, and I took the transition as an opportunity to take a short break, catch my breath and grab a quick bite since I could feel my body craving fuel. Others came in and out of the transition area while I was still there and when I finally headed out on the run my legs were Jell-o. "What have I gotten myself into?" I thought to myself. And the funny part is, running felt so SLOW after skating, that I found myself speeding past all the half-marathoners who were out on the course. After a while I realized I was running at an unsustainable pace (for me), so I slowed it down. But still, I finished at a 10-min pace, faster than I've ever run any other 5k.
This after skating a half marathon. Which only goes to show you -- it's all mental.
I finished with another duathlon completer, and we exchanged congratulations. Then he said to me, "Man, it's hot out there when you're running! I don't know how those runners do a half marathon like that." And this was on a relatively cool day, compared to the prior year.
Which tells me that the grass is always greener on the other skate. Or something like that.
|A few minutes after finishing. I am sweaty but happy!|
|After a shirt change and meeting Wayne after his finish.|
To sum it up, I had a ball, I made a new friend, and I beat my husband by 2 minutes in skating a half and then running 2.8 miles, including an unusually long transition time. (I'll know better next year!) And he ran a damn good half-marathon, finished in 1:32. I got to see him finish his race as well, which was also awesome.
We ended the adventure with a lunch out with other members of the Minnesota Running Wild team, which was, like the rest of the day, not enjoyable in the least.
All before 10 o'clock in the morning.
Like I said, fitness is not fun.