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Inline Skating 44 Miles on the Silver Comet Trail (Slowly). How About Your Recent Workouts?

roadskater's picture
No matter how far or not, how fast or not, I love to hear people's stories of skating. Ten words or a hundred paragraphs, tell us what you've been skating, cycling, lifting, or anything. Or just tell me what's up lately. So here's my freewriting exercise. I'll try to type it out once and not do editing other than spelling and such... Well, eebee and I went out for a long skate today, thinking we would do about 30 or 32 miles. She's been training to skate and I've been training to type, read, watch p2p tv of sporting events, so you can imagine who had the lower heart rate, ha! You guys know that we believe in having a device that shows average heart rate, and that our experience has shown that if we end up with an average over the average we usually have ended events with, there's pain to pay. Well eebee was cruising along with great form and low heart rate (I think skating on a flat track is something she enjoys as far as practicing form and it showed out there today; maybe I need to check out the only track I know of that might allow me to skate). Well there was no way I was keeping below my usual average, especially not my typical early season one, without really embarrassingly slowing us. I was actually feeling good and tempted to think I could beat the numbers. Sucker! But I was feeling good (and stupid) enough to banter along with her and agree we'd do two hours out and turn around. That ended up being 22 miles, and included some long mildly downhill stretches. We made it almost to Rambo, turning around with that intersection in sight where eebee had sandskated and took a fall that hurt more and lasted longer that we thought it would. I had a similar fall at slow speed that hurt tons and did plenty of damage, so it is definitely easy to get hurt going slowly. Maybe it's easier, even. Once we turned around I knew I was going to be in survival mode quite a lot on the way back. I hate when that happens! On the way out, between 16 and 17, we saw a guy in cycling jersey, cycling shorts and cleats, who wandered in front of our path and made figure eights walking around a rock staring at the grass. We asked if he needed help and he said, "No. It's too late to do anything about it." We rolled on but decided we'd inquire again later if we saw him, and send him some help if we saw someone on the trail who could help. After we passed he Paulding County Chamber of Commerce (20 or so?) we saw a trail ranger with a small vehicle and we told him about the guy who was "talking to a rock" (eebee's description). We told him we thought the guy might have hit his head but we didn't know. Eebee remembered that he wasn't wearing a helmet and we both remembered we did not see a bike. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar Momma. This was more strange since it was so near where the woman had been attacked and killed a few years ago. The ranger said he'd check it out. So on the way back while my quads were cramping and I was really in survival mode, I did entertain myself somewhat on the possibilities of the staring at grass walking in cleats man. When we passed the rock around which he had been circling it was a bit strange. Some squirrel made a noise in the woods and we were both a bit spooked, ha! Not long later we saw the headlights of the ranger's little four-wheeler and we stopped to ask him what was up. He said the guy's bike had broken down or maybe even broke period, but he had gone back there to look for his sunglasses. We figured Oakleys or Rudy Projects or something like that to be worth it. We never saw his bike. But the ranger said he had given the staring at grass guy a ride back to his car, so that was the desired outcome from our perspective and we hoped it helped the guy who had obviously had a bummer day. He was so bummed he just walked straight across the path in front of us unflenchingly. I tried to survive by breaking down the route back into chunks of 4 miles or so, and pretended that at 4 miles we were finished, because most but not all of the last 4 miles are downhill. The other challenge of the day was that I was down to metal on my skate brake, so at the intersections my right foot was rolling on the grass and left was on the pavement, which mostly worked great, but not as well as a skate brake. We got through mile 4 and glided down in pain, trying to decide whether being on two legs in a tuck was more or less painful that skating on one leg at a time. The answer changed along the way. We got along to mile 2 or so then we saw the one person we had expected to see out there at some point, Clarence, who had done the much of Carolina Century and Athens to Atlanta with us. Well I did my best to have a personality but it was hard even though I really like Clarence and love to talk with him about skating. He turned around and slow skated with us, and by now I think eebee's muscles were tired too, so we were a motley crew, or a mott the hoople, maybe. We got back to the car and I was feeling my legs would explode. Arrgh! I knew there'd be a wave of cramps that would hit after I stopped moving, because I'd been cramping for 20 miles or so. So I think my conversation was lacking at this point quite a lot. But I felt good to have made it no matter how slowly (our 11 mph turned into 10.3 or so). Clarence took off to skate back home and we were done. On the way home at first my legs felt great and I said something to the effect of my legs felt all better. That wasn't true of course, as ten minutes later I could feel it again. But all in all, it was a good day and a successful skate. I hated to hold up eebee, as we are usually more closely matched over the long haul, but she seemed to have fun anyway.


eebee's picture

Supermodelquin Legs

It probably wasn't the smartest mileage to jump into with both feet this early in the season. But the Silver Comet Trail is such a sight for sore eyes, it was great to be out there for four whole hours. Overtraining-wise, we probably should have just basked in the sun for one of those hours. However, the point was to be out in the sun to breathe fresh spring air and soak up the sights: families strolling, cyclists racing, helmetless skaters playing roulette with their brains...

A funny-painful moment came about mile 42 when Clarence had joined us. Up a barely discernible incline Roadskater and I told Clarence we had to back off since we were going 'uphill'. Clarence and his fresh legs laughed and said 'This isn't uphill!!', to which Roadskater replied he could use some of those Old Navy legs...like the extra ones in the bin on that hilarious Supermodelquin Old Navy commercial (hint to advertisers: if you make me laugh I'll be more likely to buy your stuff).

roadskater's picture

Anyone else skating or cycling?

I'm wanting to read some stories from your days out on the road, if you have any.

Update from the North


Last week, when the weather looked promising and warmed up, I put my ski gear away for the season, thinking to hit the road soon. I have not been on skates since last October. Needless to say that I am a little antsy showing some skating withdrawal symptoms. But Mother Nature makes me suffer a little longer, the snow is flying again and temperatures dropped from plus 21 to minus 10 overnight. I often think I should move south…ha

I try to keep in shape by visiting the gym, go to spin and boxing classes and sweat through boot camps.



roadskater's picture

You'd Miss the Snow But Love the Warmth Perhaps

I lived in the mountains of NC and loved it, especially the summers, but the snow too. However, when I got used to the heat in summer, while I missed the mountains and still do, I don't miss the challenges of frozen pipes and icy roads and dirty snow hanging around the edges of the streets. Since I started loving skating so much, it helps that the piedmont is not flat but not switchback mountainous as well. Come on down and skate with us! Hope you've been enjoying the Canadian Spring. I am sure it is beautiful.
JonathanS's picture

small distances only please!

About the most I have been doing as just a skate (not commuting) is 13 miles at a time. I will usually skate down to Winthrop Lake in Rock Hill. It's a 2 mile loop if you go around the coloseum too. The pavement is pretty good, and right now its beautiful with the roads lined in blooming cherry trees. And in another week or two when all the petals drop, it will look like it snowed the ground will be so white with cherry tree blossoms. Ever so often there will be some bikers out there, and if they are really slow I can keep up. :-) The nice part is I have been skating 2-4 times a week all winter long, just 20-30 min each time, but it appears to have paid off. Last summer before A2A, the fastest I could ever maintain for 1 hour was 12mph. I am currently able to maintain 13mph for a full hour! I am pretty stoked.
roadskater's picture

Skating Faster

Thanks for sharing you skating exploits of late. I think you are right that some of the important sessions are those where you only skate 20-30 minutes. How great that you maintained your skating over the winter. I did not! I'm ok with that mostly, but I combine that with poor eating over the darkest, shortest holidays, when it would be so much better if I kept caloric intake down! Those 20-30 minute days may be when you are learning to skate faster, since you know you don't have to go very long. Mainly it's good to mix up different kinds of skating (and exercise) to reduce boredom and work on different aspects of skating so you'll be ready when it comes up later. Sounds like a great 13 miler you have there...a nice half-marathon. Thanks for sharing.
roadskater's picture

Your Training Seems Great

From what we saw at Tour de Lions, you were having an extremely easy time of that 44 miles with my slowness for whatever reasons, only partially that cracked hub. I'd say your training has been excellent. Nothing beats obsession, and starting from a good Winter maintenance surely makes a huge difference. I'm still "trying" to get my weight down and fitness up. Are you going to Hartwell by any chance?
timv's picture

Haven't skated in a dog's

Haven't skated in a dog's age, and I've only done one short bike ride in March, so not much to report there.

However I did have this show up at my door yesterday:


For some reason I've been obsessed with having a banjo (more or less having to do with Sufjan Stevens, I seem to recall.) And it seemed that the best way to put that to rest was to just go ahead and get one.

Then it can sit and collect dust like everything else and I'll go back to my ordinary life. :-)

roadskater's picture

I wondered when the 5-string fever would win

Hey timv. Thanks for sharing your new music maker with us. I knew you were working on a bridge (or was it a nut? or both?) for the mandolin, and had some other woodworking stuff in mind, so I had wondered if you might buy a kit for the 5-stringer. I'm glad you got something to play. A new stringed instrument is good to encourage some playing, and spring is a great time for going out to the park to make some musical noise. Congrats on the newest pet!
timv's picture

Not yet on the banjo kit

I looked at banjo kits but decided to go for one that was ready to play already. Enough projects going already right now, but maybe next time I will. I did go ahead and order a used copy of the Foxfire 3 book, which has about 80 pages in it on building mountain-style banjos.

(Remember those books? I have couple of them sitting on a dusty shelf, but not #3. Nowadays it's really hard to remember that it's "Foxfire" and not "Firefox." And I used this site's amazon.com search box, not that it'll add up to much.)

Re mando projects: Yes, both actually. I made a new bridge for my mandolin last summer because the original broke. And I made a new bone nut for it over the winter because it was murder trying to tune it with the original sticky plastic nut, and with 8 strings mandolins need tuning a lot. I've also been working on a mandolin kit for a new and hopefully much better-sounding instrument since last summer. That's an "hour here, couple of hours there" kind of thing though. So far I'm probably not even halfway there on it.

Here's some googlebait on the banjo for the page:

CC-OT by Gold Tone
Neck Maple
Fingerboard Rosewood
Bridge Maple/Ebony cap compensated
Wood Finish Antique brown satin finish
Fingerboard Inlay Star/Dots
Headstock Inlay Star
Neck Binding Celluloid
Tuners Sealed (planets optional)
Tailpiece No Knot
Tone Ring Rolled brass
Strings Medium
Plating Chrome
Arm Rest Vega-style
Scale 26 3/16"
Weight 5 Lbs
Nut Width 1 3/16"
Frets Medium
Total Length 37"
Head Size Fiberskyn 11"
roadskater's picture

Poop, Stages of Death-Grief, Skating 26 miles at Country Park

On Saturday after sleeping off the work week I called a few local skaters and bikers at the last minute and Jack came out and so did Tim. We met at Greensboro Country Park for laps and it was a fine day, if a bit overpopulated.

I started before either arrived and I'm not sure how many laps each did but it was a generous amount, as they didn't have to worry over going fast when I was around.

We talked mostly about Formula 1 auto racing, as we had been following that this week due to the Grand Prix in China. We had seen the qualifying and were pondering whether to stay up for the race at 3 a.m. edt (which we did, and thank you, Ukranian tv for showing it without commercials until the end of the race; at various points I was watching Chinese, French, British, USAmerican and Ukranian streams).

It was a good skate for me in reasonable time, and I was glad I had set a goal because the last two laps were tough enough that I would have quit without the 26.2 goal in mind.

Note to dog owners everywere: I love that there's a bark park and how that has gotten people out to walk, but please, if your pup poops, could you at least get it off of the asphalt (the pile that is)? Of course, so many of you do dog owners are great about it (and thanks for being a great dog owner), this probably annoys you greatly as well.

I know one thing, if a skater pooped in the road like that and didn't clean up afterward, they'd have us banned in no time, ha!

Note 2 to dog owners everywhere: Those long leashes are handy but not actually allowed at Country Park. They're admittedly really neat as long as you are paying total attention to your pupster(s), as so many of you do (and thanks for being a great dog owner). But when you're talking, flirting, phoning, denial-anger-bargaining-depressing-accepting, plotting or most ings other than focusing, the leash can pretty quickly become a danger for your pupster, or less importantly I know, for another person.

Having mentioned the inging above, especially denying and the other stages of grief, my mind runs to the dog I never had I would perhaps have named DABDA. My observations are that the sequence should be denial, bargaining (as bargaining seems just part of denial in this case...bargaining without any money or value to offer), then anger, &c.

Notable also is that with the 48 Hours murder mystery and Dateline spouses gone wrong mode of relationship management, the original theory on accepting death (which is often also applied to any grief or shock like oh you don't love me after all?), some people don't bother with anything after anger, or at least they hope to avoid the rest. Whether they face depression over it or acceptance over it (it being the change of state, not the deed they did to try to fix that state or respond to it), we'll never really know methinks. Now I'm thinking of the Saturday Night Live send-up of the white haired "Oh" dude on Dateline methinks 'tis.

Here's a bit on the five stages and it says the order doesn't matter. Still I like the flipped order and as I think on it DBAAD stages of death is kind of funny ("the bad" sounding like a rapper of death, and a mighty good name for a dogster too).

Her extensive work with the dying led to the book On Death and Dying in 1969. In this work she proposed the now famous Five Stages of Grief as a pattern of phases, most or all of which people tend to go through, not always in sequence, after being faced with the reality of their own impending death.

The second link is for an article that takes on the stages and the author. One comment points out that Elisabeth K-R eventually ended up with her own sort of denial of death...


The stages of death and grief may not hold any more philosophical water than Maslow's hierarchy, but they're good enough for a lot of thinkstarting and overfoodtalking, so thanks Abraham and Elisabeth for your five easy pieces of this or that. 

The park was very nice on this day of 26.2 miles, or 16 laps, as you wish. I met a couple of 9-year-old fellows, one with a skateboard and a sad face, with whom I agreed I wished there were a place for him to skate his board there (with a helmet on). I said it didn't seem fair to me but I bet it was because of some accident there where a kid lost his board on a hill and it hurt someone's ankle down the hill...or the fear of that. His pal wanted to wear my skates but I thought they'd not fit so well. He instead stood on my feet with his feet and tried to get me rolling. We didn't fall but didn't roll either. So we sat and talked awhile as his pal illegally skated his board a bit further down the road. It was a nice end to a warm and sunny afternoon.

eebee's picture

Bill Hader's Dateline NBC skit

I love Keith Morrison's unique reporting style, but the mere memory of Bill Hader's Dateline NBC skit has me snickering to myself in traffic after a tediously mediocre workday.
timv's picture

six stages

denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, cleaning up doggie poop


eebee's picture

Silly Title: bDAbBDbAdp

Roadskater: "Having mentioned the inging above, especially denying and the other stages of grief, my mind runs to the dog I never had I would perhaps have named DABDA. My observations are that the sequence should be denial, bargaining (as bargaining seems just part of denial in this case...bargaining without any money or value to offer), then anger, &c."

In the demise of a relationship, I agree that bargaining is definitely understated in this sequence. In my humble opinion, it should be bargaining-denial-anger-bargaining-bargaining-depression-bargaining-acceptance - and then of course - doggie poop.

skart's picture

USARS/USOC Banked Track Clinic

I have just got back from the Spring Banked Track Clinic put on by USARS/USOC in Colorado Springs, CO. This was by far the best learning experience I have ever had on skates. The clinic provides instructions on skating technique, training (dry land), racing strategy, etc. The clinic also serves as a tool to prepare for outdoor nationals and gives participants an opportunity to qualify by skating a 300m sprint and a 5000m race under a certain time. It's neat to know that I am considered somewhat competitive by USARS standards, since I was able to do both distances with time to spare. :-) The clinic had about 6-8 coaches with mostly current and former World Team Members doing demonstrations and sharing there knowledge. The overall clinic structure, however, has been set and driven by world team coaches. As I said, this was a great clinic and I would highly recommend anybody who is thinking about improving there technique to attend one in the future. P.S. Duoderm works even better than Tegaderm :-)
MikeB's picture

Track it to the Bank

The CO. clinic sounds really great.  The race strategy must have been very interesting.  Congrats on a fine showing and look forward to hearing how this clinic helps your '09 exploits.

roadskater's picture

Gimme More on the Banked Track Clinic!

Hey Artem, that banked track clinic info was great, and congrats on your showing, but if you ever have time, please tell us more. If you feel up to it, write a new article and name names, and prices, and tell stories, and give us some free technique and strategy pointers. It's OK if you can't of course, but we'd love it if you do. I'm glad to hear you are really pursuing your skating with the passion to match your natural ability.
eebee's picture

Banked Track Clinic

Thanks for the write-up, Skart. This sounds like a lot of fun. I think I'd probably be a bit intimidated but I'm sure someone of your skating ability and level of fitness would get a lot out of it. I've seen photos here and there online of this clinic and it looked impressive!
JonathanS's picture

Duoderm replacement

That is some handy information about the duoderm. Thank you. I was talking to a wound nurse who does all the sterile dressings at our local hospital, and she said you could find hydracolloid dressings at CVS. This is the same thing, but much cheaper than Duoderm she says.
roadskater's picture

Band-Aid Natural Healing or Johnson & Johnson or Other?

I remember you saying that Duoderm was expensive. Any idea how expensive? Also is a hydracolloidal dressing like the old Compeed that became Band-Aid Natural Healing? If you find some less expensive examples of the hydrocolloidals please let us know what and where and how much. Thanks for the info.
eebee's picture

Jonathan's Blister Pads

Those blister pads Jonathan gave me after Tour de Lions worked miracles. I kept them on for 3 days and by that time they were all healed. I can't remember the name of the band-aid though. And you're right, they did provide instant relief! I'm gonna have to get some. Now I need 2 more for post-graduation-ceremony-attendance impractical shoe blisters :-). My daughter just graduated High School. I feel old.
roadskater's picture

Glacier Gel

Archeological evidence often consists of the trash of the dwellers, one assumes, and such was the case for the mystery of the cool gel bandage of which eebee spoke. Some digging at the skate hovel reskating (recycling) and trash facilities (the living room trash can) yielded Glacier Gel Blister and Burn Dressings wrappers. They seemed to be part of a packaged safety kit as the wrapper bore the logo of Adventure Medical Kits. Some text from the package refers to the item as a "hydrogel." The usual caution for diabetics to check with their doctor before using is present as well. Packaging was in English and French only. Hope this helps, and maybe eebee can give us a full review in a new topic someday (or not, no worries).
JonathanS's picture

Glacier Gels at REI

Those came from REI, and yes they are in a packet, I think about 6 or 8 in a package along with some alcohol wipes, for about 6-8 bucks. I'm glad they worked so well for you eebee. Did you try skating in them? That is something I have not tried, so I don't know if they would stay on in a boot, but for normal shoes they do last a long time. So if someone asked you how you figured all that out roadskater, I assume your response is, "It's elementary, my dear eebee, elementary".
eebee's picture


Well between my 11 year old car needing life-saving surgery and my 18 year old daughter graduating high school, I managed to stay off my skates for a whole week following Tour de Lions, so no, I didn't get to test them in skates. And unless I try some heat-molding pronto, I will probably have the opportunity to roadtest them soon! Thanks for the ISI work, Roadskater (injury scene investigation), and thanks again Jonathan for the gels.
BladesoFire's picture

I've been getting in about

I've been getting in about 40 miles per week for the past few weeks. 10-11 miles of interval hill climb and downhill on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and then about 20 miles of flat greenway skating on Saturday mornings. Going to kick it up to 24 this Saturday. Tuesday and Thursday speeds are about 11mph and Saturdays avg about 14mph.
eebee's picture

In Particular?

Cool! Are you training for a particular event?
roadskater's picture

Location, location, location

Hey that's some good skatin'. Which greenway are you using and what's it like, how long, where, all that? If you'd like to share, we'd like to know. Have any good skate places to tell us about? I'm glad to hear you're getting out there. Come skate Country Park with us sometime in Greensboro. We're trying to get out on Tuesday evenings now, followed by some pizza nearby to make sure we don't lose too much weight and make skating too easy.

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