I've spent most of today drying out and warming up. I skated the St. Paul Inline Marathon this morning in the rain. It rained the entire distance. My finish time was 1:52. I am very happy with that time considering the weather conditions. You've probably read in earlier posts about my lofty goal of 1:30. I still think I would have been under 1:40 on a dry surface.
Like last year, the best part of the whole experience is working with others in pacelines. I was in a group of fifteen to twenty skaters for all but three miles of the race. My group was a mixture of men and women. I have to say I am so impressed by a few women in our group who did most of the leading and setting our pace. Also, I traded spots often with one women who I believed was in her sixties. She was a very strong skater. Stay tuned and you'll read about how I accidentally goosed her.
There was a stretch where I got a little cocky and separated myself from the pack by skating out a head of them about one hundred yards. I kept this up for three miles then I realized how foolish I was being. I really wanted to catch another group but I soon realized that would take me another three or four miles. Skating alone really is not fun and it is a lot of work. I let up and wait for my old group to catch me. They did and they all welcomed me back with a few verbal jabs. I told them I was trying to increase the pace and was waiting for them to catch up. They all laughed and mocked my skating foolery. I was glad to be back. I remember a moment of cruising along with my group, rain falling everywhere, wheels swooshing across wet pavement and thinking "This is great! I am having a blast!" Seriously! I loved it!
As mentioned I accidentally goosed the sixty year old woman in front of me in our paceline. In a paceline when someone near the back gets moving faster than those skaters in front, the faster skaters give a little nudge to the person in front of them instead of breaking out from the line and passing. This keeps the group together and spreads the workload of keeping the pace. Because I was a little faster downhill I needed to reach out and nudge the sixty year old woman. She was standing upright so I pointed my finger in the direction just above her left hip. My knuckles were an inch away and she went back down into a tuck position. Her hip disappeared and her buttocks moved into the position my hand was going. There was no turning back now, my hand pushed into her backside. She responded with "Ooooie, I felt that goose!" I apologized and tried to explain what I tried to do. From there on out whenever she touched me, she gave me a warning, "pushing". Soon the whole group was doing it.