Today I grabbed the 95 out to Fallowfield to skate with my skating buddy Dan Thompson. From Jockvale the Golf Links crescent provides a 1.7Km slightly hilly (a valley actually) loop back to Jockvale. So a loop is 3.4Km. We did 13.75 loops, giving a big workout total of 46Km. Each of us pulling 6 laps and change. I believe we finished in 1h 56min and 22sec. For an average speed of 24kph.
As we get our road legs back this speed will come up. Keep in mind that skating in a bigger pack is far, far easier. I just raced Metrodome last week and finished that 42K in 1h 18min, but there was no wind and 4 (instead of 1) other skaters to share the load. Remember kids, use the pack!
Dan lives on Golf Links is a very generous host. Many times our skate is rewarded with food and drink. Today it was post work out pizza, yum! Thanks Dan! You might be thinking my training motivation has a little less to do with the excellent pavement quality, and a little more to do with the post workout reward. No comment.
Some shots of the skating action….
Its was a pretty good day for early spring skating. This time last year we were still snowed in. Its great to have a chance to train for a couple of weeks before the Texas Road Rash and before Run For Reach. If you haven’t signed up for Reach yet, Do it Now!. The temperature was around 5C, tolerable. The wind though….the second half of the loop we were pushing wind the whole way, and a lot of wind. Its good training value though, so I won’t complain too much
This time out the focus was on base building, so not a lot of sprinting. We took turns pulling for a lap. The 3.4Km loops were about 8min a shot, so essentially the aerobic interval was 8min on and 8min off (when drafting). Nothing too fancy just a solid calorie burner…and a nice light snack, before the main meal to come.
Golf Links is a great venue, a little windy at times, but the street is very wide (4 lanes wide), and traffic is pretty light. Most times when there is traffic the drivers give us plenty of room and the honking is pretty minimal. In general road skating is not always so safe or drivers so kind.
I’ve had my share of driver road rage being focused on me as a skater. My experience is that its generally better to not agitate them further. Escalation won’t normally help you as a skater facing down a 2000lb car, or some idiot who believes a gun is his right.
My favorite road rage episode from last year was on Corkstown road in the west end of Ottawa…a low key neighborhood road, not at all a main or well traveled street. But even still some guy managed to get irritated by me. Maybe I was stopping him from getting to work 0.000013 seconds faster? He…I assume a ‘he’ found vengeance by pulling in front of me and then slamming on his brakes.
No biggie, I swerved to the driver side of his vehicle and made it clear that I was watching his license plate. Maybe this could have been cause for escalation? Nothing further happened (he sped off), but it makes you wonder what these people are thinking. If your so tweaked out that the 2-3 seconds it takes to drive around a skater gives you cause to go postal…maybe you should see a doctor. Seriously.
I was pretty lucky. I know stories of friends who get side swiped while on their bikes. My coach (Barry Publow) had this happen to him, and was further rewarded with a nice gash on his arm that took months and months to heal up. But even still, he was lucky. Sometimes the skater/cyclist dies, and for what? 0.000013 seconds?
I try to skate as conservatively as I can when on the road. With raging drivers I try to minimize anything on my end that might cause escalation. To be fair, skating on the road (any road) in Ottawa is actually illegal. Technically the driver has the right to call the police or take some other legal action. They do not have the right to be a d-bag. Some rights are presumed though unfortunately.
On this day though, thee was no rage, just lots of skating.
While putting the hurt on my unwanted fat cells, I took some time to focus on the quality of my double push. After a long winter of indoor skating on a 100m track, you lose your form for road skating. Indoor is mostly turning. It was good to start getting my road legs back and my road form. There is still some work to do, but even today I could feel my under push getting back to where it should be. I was also able to feel, maybe for the first time, the under push from the top of my quads, separate from the inside of my quads.
This was very cool, because eventually it should let me switch between muscle groups. When one gets tired, switch over to the other one and then back again later. In a longer race this could be really useful. Hopefully I can start getting a better sense of using the separate muscle groups. Maybe this is also connected to the way some people say there is a marathon version of double push, and a sprint version.
For me personally, I do feel like there are two forms of it, but maybe its just different gears of the same thing; different knee bend, more/less aggressive kick back etc.
At any rate, the paths in Ottawa are more or less clear now, so this week I’ll be out there getting in some early season training and getting ready for TxRR. Time to train!