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36 Miles at Greensboro Country Park Thanks to Staff Who Kept the Road Clear After Hurricane Irene

roadskater's picture

This weekend we hoped to do lots of miles roadish and as mentioned yesterday (http://roadskater.net/how-i-wasted-or-enjoyed-morning-danny-macaskill-tr...), we bailed on the training ride and ended up feeling OK about doing alternative activities. But we still needed to skate. So we went for Indian food, then went for a walk in the Dollar Tree, ha, then decided to check the weather.

It was windy with some threats of rain, but the radar was clear so far, so we headed up for Country Park. When we got there, we caught a ride on the tram, which was driven by Geoff, who played dixieland jazz on the CD player for passengers in the tram. We told Geoff we were thinking about inline skating but wanted to check out the road junk first.

Some kids on the tram were enjoying the music and also wondered about our jerseys and what kind of skating we did. So we had fun, and thanks to the music, eebee wanted to do 2 laps instead of 1 to "check out the debris" on the 1.6 mile loop.

It was OK but bad enough to where if we wanted an excuse, we had one. Obviously, the shaded parts of the loop, including the downhill 180, especially, had limbs and leaves and acorns and more.

We were not ready to roll but not eager to leave, so we configured ourselves on a bench overlooking the lake (Lake 5B, the lower one), and goofed around a bit and yakked.

Not long after, Dan, another one of the staff, got out the big blower utility vehicle and came down the home stretch by the lower lot. We thought that he'd make a lap around and give up and that it was maybe too much debris for that to work.

A good while later, we heard the blower again and it seemed like it was way back across the lake, so we had confidence that Dan had put in some time clearing debris off the road.

So we got our skates on and decided to check it out, and wow, what a difference! Between Geoff and Dan (and maybe others), the weekend of Hurricane Irene was a good time to skate in County Park. [And as a bonus, and this is huge, I noticed later they actually had soap in the rest room down by the playground.]

So we did a warm up or two and a few sprinty laps for about ten miles on Saturday.

On Sunday, we watched coverage of the hurricane aftermath, then the Track and Field World Championships, then the finish of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge (NBC is getting serious about human powered sports it seems, with Versus and Universal Sports as feeders to NBC coverage). As soon as Levi took the overall, we got ourselves in gear to go to Country Park for some lazy skating.

Well it turns out we didn't have the spunk of the day before, but we did get in 16 laps for 26 miles, which isn't bad when you have 15 chances to quit at the car. We too turns feeling bonky or tired or achy but I think toward the end I was feeling a bit less good for a lap or two at least. We felt we could go on to 32 miles or so, but really it was time to pack it in, get some Cook Out, and get eebee ready to roll back home.

So while we'd like to have gotten in a real training ride of 41, this wasn't the weekend to feel confident that it was going to work out great, so we ended up with only 36 miles spread out over 2 days. We're starting to feel stronger and maybe a tiny bit lighter, so the power to weight ration might be a bit improved, but it's still dicey and heat is still a factor.

Lately we've been freezing the grippy bottles (24 oz. Gatorade bottles with the orange twist tops) with either water or powder mixed ade (and one day iced Cafe Bustelo!) and that's working out pretty well. We have a couple of bottle holders that attach to our waist hydropacks, so we have some more options to be self-sufficient for longer distances if we need to.

Well, those are the notes from Hurricane Irene weekend skating. We had a good time and a good mix of not over training. We'll see if we're doing enough!

Come join us on inline skates for the Tour to Tanglewood in September in Clemmons, NC!

Location

The 180 at County Park Greensboro, North Carolina
United States
36° 7' 28.7832" N, 79° 50' 22.0164" W

Comments

eebee's picture

Firehouse Five Plus Two!

The Dixieland Tram! What a great way to spend half an hour. I believe the CD playing must've been Firehouse Five Plus Two: Twenty Years Later.

http://www.naxosmusiclibrary.com/jazz/preview/catalogueinfo.asp?catID=GTJCD-10054-2&path=1

One of those little kids on the ride loved it, too!

30 mph gusts, a sprinkling of rain, debris all over the park...but when the front line does its thing, all is right with the world.

  

roadskater's picture

Add Another 43 Miles to the Country Park History

Today I missed out on breakfast and a morning ride but sure did enjoy the extra sleep and time spent learning (for good or not). Northinsouth called to ask if we were skating somewhere so I said sure let's go do laps at Country Park, since the trials are a bit technical and may be under repair by now. So we met about 2pm and he had done 1 by the time I got there. We did about 26 miles together (16 laps) then I must have done another 10 laps plus some other goofing to make up 43.25 miles. 

Northinsouth was as ever plenty fast without seeming to have to try! He did mention his back early on but later said it felt better. 

As for me, my AHR (average heart rate) was climbing every lap until about 149 bmp and then I found it hard to make it go to 150 without overcooking. At that point there were various excuses for me to take a break, the best one being the red coolade gunk that somehow got on my yellow Roadskater.net jersey. So when Northinsouth said he wanted to get his water bottle I went to wash the jersey with some soap (yay!) and the rojo went gogo. 

After Northinsouth did a final solo lap while I did NOT chase, we said our seeyas and I settled into more self-adjusted skating. My AHR did go up to at least 150 (last year I could reliably do 154 by June and 156 by August, as I recall), but that was a skewed number as I turned off the Forerunner 305 during some or most of the resting periods. That keeps the AHR artificially high, along with the average MPH, of course. I was interested in tracking how long I skated and how many miles this time, more than MPH including stops. 

I met some nice folk including some who skate or want to skate, and also saw a skater from the old days of ski club skates and such. She was out running with a fellow and they were accompanied by a young gal with a cool hot pink helmet riding a 20"er or so. 

Not much else to report, except Dan and Geoff were there, and the sounds of the blower and Dixieland Jazz variously stirred the air to the approval of many...or me, at least. 

eebee's picture

This year, or last?

"My AHR did go up to at least 150 (last year I could reliably do 154 by June and 156 by August, as I recall), but that was a skewed number as I turned off the Forerunner 305 during some or most of the resting periods."

Do you mean last year your HRM was set to not record your breaks and stops, but this year it is, so that's why the number was skewed, or did you just mean yesterday? If yesterday, then your average would've been even lower if you'd included the stops, right? 

Either way, good point about having the HRM set to not include data when you're stopped. I have never had mine set that way anyway, because I think it's bogus to announce averaging say, 12 mph if that's only a moving average. The bottom line on most of the events we skate, is whether we're going to get to the finish at a respectable time or not.

Although actually hitting the stop button will possibly yield different results than having the HRM set to only record moving averages, when it comes to monitoring your overall heart-rate.  

roadskater's picture

Just on Saturday

My GPS/HRM (Forerunner 305) is always set to run full time, not to pause when the speed is below some mph. During events I leave it runninng, and if I think to, I set a lap. 

At the park, I usually leave the 305 running during breaks, then I loop back to the start before starting the next lap. I have my 305 set to automatically mark a lap every time I pass the point where I started it (there are other options). This way, I have a record of how long my pit stops take. But on Saturday there were other situations, like when people wanted to talk about skating enough that I stopped during a lap, or the time I washed out my jersey, or time where I was deciding whether to do more laps. 

Yes that was what I was trying to say, that my numbers from Saturday were cheater numbers, and also, not totally useful for proof of a sustainable heart rate (the number I want to know so I can use it to skate by later, to have an idea when I might be overdoing it if I'm on a long skate). I was bringing that number up without hurting too much (good), but was not able to get it to go higher without feeling some difficulty. I think I got it to 150 before taking a long break, and I recall being able to skate at 150 OK, though it was at a slower speed than I had been doing. 

I'm not sure that all makes sense, but the main point is that I think I can sustain 149-150, but not 154-156 this year. I will have to go back and look at data, however, as this is just based on Saturday. 

Looking back on Saturday I am almost certain I didn't have enough calories, especially carbs, in me when I arrived at the park. I think I was in calorie  deficit for some of the first two and a half hours, despite some goo and a fair amount of skaterade along the way. 

But most of all, Northinsouth is just a great skater with talent, strength and a desire to go! 

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