Monday, September 22, 2014

Inline Marathon, Rollerski 9.5k TT and a Running Half Marathon

It is tempting as a racer to only compete in events that you are good at.  I am a big proponent of  getting out and trying something new.  This spring while meeting with K2 they mentioned that they would be in Minnesota in the Fall for the North Shore Inline Race.  K2 is the parent company for Madshus our Ski, Boot, and Pole sponsor.  My focus is still cross country skiing and qualifying for the upcoming World Championships in February but I figured that inline skating would be fairly similar and the cross training would be good. 

Post race with Rollerski and Inline Skate friends
Several local groups" Team Hoigaards, Team Twin Cam and my friend Paul, let me join in on a few of their inline skate workouts.   I quickly learned that my expectations for the race may have been a bit bold.  My second timeout on skates I found myself skating with a heart rate of 180 and being dropped from the pack.  I watched a few more YouTube videos on inline skate technique and did my best to mimic the other skaters around me. K2 also sent me a faster set of skates with some harder wheels.  Both skates feel so fast relative to my roller skis but I would say that skating in the newer skates was similar to switching to your race skis with flouro waxes on them.  Although I originally had been entered in the pro open category I decided it would be best to move back in to the Advanced 1 wave.

Inline racing is fast and we averaged just under 20 mph for the marathon.  This meant that drafting was key.  Similar to racing in Europe, I spent the first part of the race earning a spot in the group.  No one would let me in to the pace line at first, so I would have to skate hard to the very front of the group.  It is amazing at such a speed how big an advantage the draft is.  Myself and several others made attacks along the course to try and break away but the big group was too fast with a slight headwind. We finished in an exciting sprint and thankfully no one was injured.  I had a blast and learned a lot about race tactics, positioning and competing in a group of strangers.

Caitlin and I made it a double race weekend, joining the St. Scholastica Saints Nordic Team for their annal Strand Time Trial.  We both felt great and set course records for the Men and Women.

Boys and Girls Club kids teaching me how to stretch.  Keep stretching when you are young or you will end up like me.
Caitlin and the Run Club crew practicing for Warrior Dash with a 400 m run and a lap of the playground without touching the ground.
The first half of the week we were joined by Lincoln a videographer with LL Bean.  LL Bean is a sponsor of In The Arena and will be opening a new store at the Mall of America this November.  

Fitting Madshus skis at the Hoigaards Tent Sale
This weekend also marked the Hoigaards Tent Sale.  Hoigaards is a big sponsor and supporter of Team Gregg and for the last 46 years has had a huge Fall sale on Winter gear.  The deals are hot and it is a festive event.  We have a blast helping fit skiers from first timers to experienced racers as everyone is getting excited for the snow to fly.

A fresh supply of FruitShare Organic fruit to fuel Run Club and Team Gregg this week.

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