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Inline Skating 50 Miles on the Silver Comet Trail, July 4, 2012: Slow but Time on Skates and Calorie Burning

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Notes from the trail...but first in reply to sam's glowing reviews of the Roadskater.net jersey...
Ha! If you want one of those jerseys, the deadline is past, but put in the order and i'll ask them to add it and refund if they can't.
Available in ROYGBVM and this year's mystery color (latter for $10 less). Supersweet 19" zip. Comfy wicking fabric. 3 pockets on back. All that. Injected with skateylove yes and grateful to be skateful.
We did 50 miles rolling out at 2:36p. Getting ready in the mile 0 parking lot we both thought it felt hotter than any time we had been there. I had driven in from NC the night before and sleep had to be the first part of training for today. We were looking for TOS (time on skates) and to find out who I am (no sorry that's a Dixie Chicks brain diversion). We had solid water in bottles and skaterade or liquid water in our packs, but not many interesting calories (no Good'n'Plenty, for example). 
After we started I felt I was skating one-sided...not equally from both sides somehow...like I had body slammed a pedestrian, but without the personal gratification of having cleared the trail of some large chunk of debris (just kidding, folks, skateylove is the way). It was toasty hot and at 4 miles eebee went in to buy another cold water. 
We had decided that no matter what the pace, time on skates is essential to being ready for the fall (Tour to Tanglewood 2x45 miles, Athens to Atlanta 87 miles, CarolinaCentury.com 102). It's also calorie burning as eebee reminded. And as she did not say, I could use me some o'dat.
As we reached 11 we were hoping for that storm to come our way, as by mile 10 it had been sending a breeze to us in advance (the outflow). At the shelter, we met 2 rec skaters (well their equipment was rec) who were finishing their skateyday...first time in 5 years for them. Sweet. 
At the last long slow uphill on the asphalt we saw Sam and Tomb and yes took variously configured 3 out of 4 skateographs. We heard news and told our vague plan and departed. By 13's concrete we still had no rain but the weather had cooled and clouded enough to make everything nicer, except underfoot. 
We kept missing the cooling rain, but did get to skate some wet pavement, ha. At 20 we got some very good, cold water at the now-working water fountain at the back of that rest room. This was a huge help and makes me want to go spend some money in Dallas, GA now. There's a home cooking place across the road there. I don't really need my home cooked, as it is pretty hot in there right now, but maybe another day. (Actually this sounds like a great thing to build a skate day around. Meat & three veggies!)
We went out to the Pumkinvine Trestle where the mile markers go wrong by 0.6 mi and kept on skating until both of our GPS indicated 25 miles, then turned around, almost entirely due to calculations regarding sundown (you'd better take care). We were sad to be unable to make it to the Brushy Mountain tunnel and still have daylight with a margin for safety. But time on skates and calorie burning are good. 
Coming back we noticed or gave more attention to a couple of things:
  • The flower nursery has expanded and now has an open-air seedling plot on the north side of the trail, and they put in a small shelter with no seats but a water fountain. Well...a fountain...the liquid that came out was white, while the water in the dog dish below was clear, so I figured tiny bubbles (no lyrics this time). But I did decided sometimes you've got to stop and smell the water. It smelled like paint so I only drank none of it. (Other times, at mile 16, you've got to stop breathing and not smell the water). 
  • Coming back over the trestle we stopped for a look and saw a skeleton sitting in a chair at a table under an umbrella near an archery target. Yes we did. I guess he died waiting for something to happen out there. 
  • On the supersmooth brief concrete section with new tree saplings we saw a girl skating with bright orange knee high socks wearing the dark green Rollerblade brand skates with ABT brakes I think. She was out with her mom and maybe a brother who was skating in less dramatic attire, I think. So we saw several people on skates, including near the end of our day, one skater who called out "APRR" when we went by as we mumbled "Uh oh yeah hmm hi!" Urr should we go back was that so and so should we go back did they stop we are pretty close to finishing maybe we'd better get to the car. 
Back at Dallas we gleefully got more cold water and I changed my socks as the ones I was wearing felt like they might be starting to blister my feet (surely it's not my bad technique ha). So those first pair we now know were a failed experiement. The Wal-Mart/Starter non-cotton standards were much better than the bike ride gift socks, sad to say. Back on the asphalt our hope of survival improved and I had been yakkin about last week's family outing and all the parameters of every event weighed down by decades of decisions about who is what and how their motives are either pure or not. You know, light entertainment.
The miles flew by and the pain of skating seemed nothing compared to the love we feel from it...as it can be with family. 
We had missed the rain all day and again were skating on it and with it surrounding us in humidity rising upward. At the shelter at 11 we made a brief water stop and were on our way again.
Now we were in mindless repetition mode.
We remarked how few people we had seen on the trail that day, probably because of how late we started, how hot, then how wet, it was, and because they were enjoying hot dogs and burgers and questionable potato salad as we slogged our way back. It was a good slog, tired but not severely taxed. 
Back at the car we met more people than we expected or intended. There weren't many there but/so they were interested/inquisitive as to how far we went. So we told the 'we usually do 94 on july 4' story 2 or 3 times. We learned about a woman's triathlon training for an Ironman in Mexico and about a guy who will be at East Point on the velodrome this Friday and Saturday for some big races. 
Then we negotiated dinner with Tomb and settled on Los Bravos this time and U.S. Cafe next time. I had a steak burrito and it was good. We had a nice time with Tomb learning some details of his journeys, his visits to various manufacturing sites, and discussing Android Jellybean and the new ASUS Google tablet developed with Google, using jellybean, with a 4 cpu processor. As we left we got to see the restaurant's family fireworks show in the parking lot, and craving chocolate milk too late, we rolled home without. 
Including our sometimes luxurious stops, we had spent 5 hours and 45 minutes on our skates, burning calories, then had replaced some of those calories, and finished by enjoying other stories from the road from a fellow Carolina Century and Athens to Atlanta roller. It was a good way to remember freedom, independence and most importantly, interdependence, the forming of a more perfect union of like-minded individuals. 

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