Skated 20 miles in 1:30 this week (last week it took me 1:50).
What a glorious morning it was! Amazing! Cool temp of 64, absolutely clear skies, and I was totally refreshed and ready to skate when I woke up. I skated south on a new route toward River Falls that I had scouted out a few weeks back. Fresh pavement...ssmooooooth! Like I said, excellent skate this morning!
I declare my new skates to be 90% broken in - after 5 miles, they fit perfectly. I have been nursing a severe friction point on my left Achilles heal. The annoyance started out as a come and go blister but then turned into a hole big enough to fit a pencil eraser. Now the skin is callousing over and turning into knobby tissue. Thankfully there is not much pain.
To the person who helped my purchase the skates -THANK YOU! I still don't know who you are but I prayed for you this morning between mile 12 and 14. God bless you!
So I am really happy with my time today. I've been researching more about racing strategies so that I am prepared on race day. I want to keep safe. I want others around me to stay safe. I want to do the absolute best I am able to. I figure my current training will allow me to finish the marathon between 1:40 and 1:30. However, that is by my own power unassisted by drafting and pace lines. Last year I benefited greatly from drafting but I didn't get in a group until after 5 miles. This year I will be in an earlier wave group with better skaters and thus I start drafting soon. I've read that good drafting can improve time by 10 to 20 percent. If that is true, I am looking at a really good finishing time. An hour and thirty minutes looks realistic although I am not ready to declare it a new goal. Last year the winning time for the entire open class was 1:27.