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Skate of the Union – 2010

With a focus on triathlons, the tri sista hood has not put skates on in nearly a year.

3 weeks ago, Jilly and I decided to dust off, and lace up the Bont skate boots…. Yes, there was boot pain. Our feet were screaming. Yes, we moved slowly. Yes, old ladies walked faster than we skated. Yes, we wobbled and bobbled. Yet, after only a few miles of very little forward propulsion – Jill looked at me and said “I think you’re ready for Skate of the Union”. Jill can sell ice to Eskimos.

The Skate of the Union is an annual inline skate race – where East Coast and local amateur speed skaters…mix with the elite pro speed skaters. i.e. these folks move FAST. I had to agree with Jill. We’re untrained and unprepared. Perfect condition to step into this world of fast skaters.

Only one problem. The “we” in the Tri-SisterHood became “me”. My tri-sista hood refused to look silly on wheels with me. Isn’t that what sista’s are for? No problem. I had a plan. Don’t fall….and get to the finish line before the boots dig holes into my feet.

I signed up for the half marathon – which meant 12 laps on a 1.1 mile track in Chantilly, VA. I started in the back of the pack and would spend the first lap making sure I didn’t tumble. Within the first 1/4 mile – I discovered a new group of skate friends for the day. Meet Team New Jersey. Team New Jersey – is a group of 3 young skaters (teenagers?), and 2 skaters closer to mid-life — draft buddies Rose and Barry. We skated lap after lap in a lovely draft pack. We changed leads every half mile, and everyone did their job pulling the pack along. What a delight – pack skating and a friendly vibe!

Somewhere around lap 6, we latched onto the tail end of a larger pack of skaters. At the end of this pack – was a tall man in a navy blue shirt. I HAD to draft him. He blocked ALL of the wind…and suddenly skating became effortless. All we (my new friends from New Jersey) needed to do — was to stay right behind the tall man in blue….

On the sidelines, tri-sistas Tami and Jill are doing an incredible job as support crew. Tami took most of the pictures on her camera. I think they came out nice. Tami never downloads her digital pictures to the computer, she likes to keep them in her camera at all times. So you’ll just have to “visualize”. Jill was busy watching the skaters. A speed skater in a well organized pace line is a beautiful thing to watch. Who can blame her?
By now, I can’t wait to be finished – so the TriSistas can take off on our next athletic activity. But, first things first. I need to finish. It is now the last lap – and the large group of pack skaters we latched onto at Lap 6 — crossed their finish line. They were one lap ahead of us – Team New Jersey. I took the lead at this point – and never let go. I needed to finish…as fast as possible. Boot pain was taking over, and it was time to end this skating experiment. Rose and I coasted over the finish line – and I wasted no time removing my pink skate boots.

Reunited with Team TriSistaHood – Tami, Jill and I took off for a 40 minute run in the burbs of Chantilly. Being a Sunday morning – the roads are empty. Jill wanted to swim in a man-made pond filled with large lily pads in the middle of corporate America, but Tami and I restrained her.
We couldn’t lose any more time. Our thoughts had turned to food. It’s time for treats.

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