I almost missed this challenge because I didn't bother to read the challenge very well. I read, "For the first time in our Social Distancing Race you will have partners to help you race." Skating alone almost exclusively, and not having a big crew of distance skaters to pull from I didn't think I'd have a team. If I would have read a little further I would have learned that it was a relay with "unknown teammates."
Luckily, while having a DM conversation with someone from The IDSA, it was pointed out to me that I didn't need to pick my partners, my partners would be randomly picked for me. I learned that late in the month so I didn't have much time to get mentally prepared for a distance skate. If I'm honest, I have been a little nervous about distance skating since June's 100 mile challenge. I let myself get far too dehydrated during that challenge, and I have been freestyle skating in 90+ degree weather every afternoon making it difficult to stay hydrated. An hour of skating in this heat and the sweat will literally fly off my body doing a 360. When I end my session and bend over to pick up my bottle of water, the sweat flows off the bill of my hat as if water were being poured from a jug. I had to remind myself that this is ONLY 25 kilometres each and that is only about 15 miles. 15 miles isn't much after you've skated over 50 miles. Still, I was nervous as I turned on the Endomondo app and started pushing.
Switching from miles to kilometres was interesting. The automated voice comes much sooner which, honestly, gave me a little false security. I had to keep reminding myself this was a 15 mile skate which is, despite having skating over 60 in one go last month, longer than my usual distance ride.
Mile one is almost always my slowest mile. On a really long ride I use my first mile (er, kilometre) as a warm up. I go slow and get my body warmed up, easing into the skate. In all honesty, my fastest and my slowest aren't too much different. For the first 12k I listened to an audiobook, but switched over to music after and skating to music, carving, and pumping in between pushing was a lot of fun. My freestyle trucks are very tight. I have taken to purple khiro bushings and they are very stable, very hard to turn bushings...great for freestyle, but turning, flowing is still important in freestyler otherwise you end up being robotic from trick to trick. Anyway, enough freestyle. This is, after all, a distance skate post.
It was a comfortable skate. I had to slow down a bit toward the end because of an older woman with a walker getting a few laps in (I lapped her many times each time foot breaking and smiling as I passed), and I am relatively happy with my time. It was a little slower than I had hoped. I wanted to get 20k done in the first hour but was about 3k short.
I'm eagerly awaiting the results for this month's challenge and looking forward to what challenge August will bring. Since it will only be hotter in August I'm hoping for a fairly short ride (sub 20 miles) with a longer challenge when temps start cooling down.