Sunday, February 8, 2015

Skating Towards Something New 2015

So anyway it is winter here in Nova Scotia. It is cold here right now, and while run training is happening regardless, sometimes it is fun to actually take part in winter and thus I have started Speed Skating lessons.

I started taking lessons a few weeks ago, and while fun, it is hard work for sure. Much like swimming, I am an adult onset skater. My technique on any skates is fairly limited. Sure I took part in the Tri the Oval winter triathlons for the past few years, but my skating there was more tenacity than technique.

After a few weeks, I have progressed quite a bit, even to the point of rather liking skating quite a bit. And as is usual, that means I had to take part in a race. So this morning I suited up for a 5km long track race.

A small field of 10 lined up on a rather chilly morning, half on speed skates, half on hockey skates. After a few warm up laps and then we were off.

I'd love to say I flew along and did great things, but I will say I survived. I started in 4th place and then took over third, to stay there for the rest of the event.

Our race took place after the 10km marathon skate, so the track was already a little torn up, especially in the corners. I tried to do my cross overs for extra speed, but after a few stumbles, I decided to hold off and glide through the corners a bit more.

I was able to hold onto my technique for about the first half of the event, but slowly my lower back started to ache, my thighs started to burn. I just need more skate time to build my endurance it seems.

Soon, I heard my name called for my final lap, pushed through as best as I could and came home in 3rd overall. About 1 minute down on first at that point for a 13:47 time. Over a minute faster than my fastest Tri the Oval 5km skate.  I did keep my heart rate monitor on as well, and had an average heart rate of 156bpm. I'll have to see how that compares to future skates, but it is 1 beat away from my marathon heart rate.

I'm happy I took part, it pushed my limits, showed my lack of skill and took me out of my comfort zone. I am looking forward to more practice and definitely more races in the future. My skill on skates has grown a lot this winter season and I urge everyone to find a great "cold" weather sport to keep on their toes all winter long.

And hey, a cool medal! I'm not a huge collector, but it is nice to have a first medal to commemorate things.

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