Tag Archives: fitness skates

Carry that weight

Last week I noticed we’re spending more on groceries lately. Innocently enough, I asked Horseypants where all the grocery money is going. She says, “Take a side-long look in the mirror!” So it goes…but I thought this skating thing took care of those details. These past few weeks, I’ve been feeling like a guy I once knew,  a guy I’ll call Crossfire. He would consume cubic tons of Bolivian marching powder, in all it’s forms, on a daily basis, all the while cutting and maintaining a figure that would make Jackie Gleason slim by comparison. If you know anything about the physiological effects of nose candy, you’re thinking this is nothing short of impossible. But it is possible and it’s exactly how I feel…despite how much I skate, I need a wheel barrow to cart around ma belly.

"I'm gonna eat your pace line."

I’m just back from a week in Pasadena, California. I was there on business, but my only carry-on was my CadoMotus Travel Bag stuffed with a week’s worth of corporate casual work-wear and spandex. Seriously, I didn’t even bring a brief case, but that’s because I’ve become a simpering, Angry Bird playing, App wetting iPad devotee and no longer feel the need to travel with my “adult viewer,” er, I mean, laptop computer. (We’ve been SO over-sold on technology…but I digress.)

It's quite the tidy bowl I tell you.

3 out of 5 days I was lucky enough to get in a sunrise skate at The Rose Bowl loop (big UP to R (O) (O) (O) (O) GER for the tip!) There’s a great 3 mile loop around the perimeter of the world famous complex.

East side stretch along the golf course.

Along the east side, (I think it’s the east side, as it was closest to the mountains. Might be north…) a 3/4 mile long hill. It’s the gradual kind, it had me crying about half way through. Tree-lined but not too much debris, it was a welcome challenge after having spent much of the winter indoor on flat tracks in Colorado. The West is just the opposite, and I was hitting speeds of 28mph, which got scary on the approach to the parking lots.

The west side...see the cars? They stop for walkers...skaters, not so much.

The first day there I was clearly pissing off the locals by going to the left. The looks said it all. Several of them shouted something, but I couldn’t hear them over the sound of my squealing bearings. I don’t think the hand gestures had anything to do with looking up, despite where their fingers were pointing.

Coming around to the west side (I think).

Nonetheless, I got in a few really incredible workouts. My schedule was such that I skated Tuesday & Wednesday. I rested on Thursday, and by Friday, I was eating that hill on the east side for breakfast.

But it was what I was eating the rest of the time that did me in. Since my wife has scored so well with finding great restaurants in strange cities using TripAdviser.com, I decided to do the same, and man, did I end up packing on the pounds.

If you’re ever in Pasadena, you’ll want to check these spots out:

Lovebirds Cafe: Incredible breakfast burrito. I bought one and it was breakfast one day, lunch the next.

Saladang & Saladang Song: Simply some of the best Thai food in the US. Seriously, the food and atmosphere (particularly Saladang Song) are out of this world and deserving of their Zagat’s ratings.

Smitty’s Grill: this is the one that killed me. I’m still skating off the filet mignon burger. The Chicken Pot Pie is the size of a manhole cover and truly to die for.

Cafe 140: Great food, great atmosphere, with a signature Blue Corn Salad.

Wolfe Burgers: You know it’s good when the entire Pasadena police force is taking shifts on the front dining room and there’s a big guy named Fat Al sleeping at the center table in the back dining room. Another belly bomber of a breakfast burrito, made to order.

And of course you’ve got your Starbucks, Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble and Apple Store all within easy skating distance. But thanks to these restaurants, I’ve now got some work to do. Time to bust out the fitness skates, crank up Something/Anything? on the iPod, and hit the trails here at home. Ah…it’s winter coat shedding time. 12 pounds to go. Let’s see how quickly I can do this. I’ve got a feeling it won’t be such a long time…gotta love inline skating.

Anatomy of a skate bench

Ah, hoarding. The excessive acquisition of items, and the inability to discard them. I’ve seen that “reality show” on A&E and while some of you may find entertainment value in these people who are desperate enough for fame that they’ll allow cameras to document their squalor, and sit idly by as their family and friends besmirch their reputations and community standing, others look on with sympathy, seeing the human tragedy and emotional neglect amid the rubble of these people’s lives. I tend to empathize with the show subjects…does that make me one of them?

I really am researching ways to recycle pizza grease in speed bearings. Really.

You might be a hoarder if you look at the clinical definitions of pathological hoarding or disposophobia and defensively argue in favor of the term “collector with purpose.” While my buddies the Collyer brothers and I would tend to think our shared behaviors more in line with the eco-friendly mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,  I think we all know that deep down inside most serious inline skating enthusiasts, this twisted psychological disorder claims a small part of us all. One look at my skate bench tells my story. Why is it that I can’t seem to part with that 100mm wheel that’s been chewed down to 76mm? HA! Because it will come in handy some day, I just know it.

As I sit here looking at my skate bench, waiting for the A&E film crew to come in and hand me a big ‘ol slice of public humiliation pie, I decide I’m going to take the first step and inventory my accruement. When the hazmat team comes to dig me out, here’s a sampling of what they’ll find in my little corner of the garage…NOTE: this picture was taken in May, 2010. The bench is now much worse than this, but I’m too ashamed to show it:

Touch anything and you'll never write again Slim.

I’ve got everything exactly where I want it:

A. SpeedyWeezy’s first “speed” skates – a pair of adjustable kids rec Rollerblades with the cuffs cut off.

It was a start...

He actually did pretty well on these for a month before we ordered his first pair of Luigino Mini-Challenge. We’ve been saving these in case he becomes the next Joey Mantia, because surely The National Museum of Rollerskating is going to want these for the permanent display.

Can't believe he didn't snap his ankle. Bad Daddy.

B. My first pair of Rollerblade Lightning 10 fitness boots. I’d just popped off the buckle to use on my buddy John’s pair of Powerslides pictured here on the bench. The liners for the Lightnings have been used to make a pair of boots I use on my slideboard.

The chicks really dig these, especially when it's all I'm wearing.

C. Mailing label with Stephen Charrier’s home address so I don’t forget to send him a Christmas card.

D. The Black & Decker heat gun I used to put a hurting on…

D1. …a brand-spanking-new pair of CadoMotus Pro110 boots, now with nasty burns on the inside lining of the left skate.

E. A foam earplug used to make ear-candy bud covers. (Do you know what that means?)

F. Set of Buck Bearings I used to become First Loser in Duluth in 2009 (I think they’re still there, rusted to the table.)

G. 2nd Gen iPod 8GB Mini that I used as the soundtrack to my skating for 4 years. Needs a new battery, works when it’s plugged in so I can’t throw it out. Worth -$10 on Gazelle.com.

H. One of Jondon Trevena’s Rollerblade Lightning race skates – 5 x 80mm set up, all plastic frames, all leather upper, zero support. He actually won races on these things, he thinks he even wore them on MTV back in the day. Yowza!

I think I had a Members Only jacket that would have matched these.

I. eZeeFit Slider Gloves – they’re just sweet.

J. Bowl of miscellany (stripped axles & mounting screws, cut washers, credit card shims, small screws, all crap. But you know…useful crap.)

What my camera missed, but the A&E crew would find…the boxes of used wheels, bowls full of beat bearings, 4 or 5 empty skate boxes, 1/4 full bottles of lube and WD-40, old pairs of protective pads, 1/2 gone boxes of fabric softener, full box of industrial latex gloves, open tube of synthetic axle grease, 16 98mm scooter wheels with bearings rusted firmly in place, cut pylons, instruction manuals and spare Allen wrenches from every new pair of skates I’ve ever acquired, 6 or 7 heel-break assemblies, a set of wheels with disc breaks built into the axles, wheels from my very first pair of fitness boots, old wrist bands, a broken heart rate monitor, two helmet lights, a fanny pack, 2 hydration belts, and holy crap…and a stainless steel coffee pot full of, um, well, it was for those pinch situations when you’ve got your skates on already and can’t go back in the house…we don’t have a floor drain – you figure it out. And all of this is just what’s on or under the table.

Then, there’s the 6 ft. shelf…

Yes, those ARE anti-gravity bounce boots (no homo.)

The shelf is actually a place where I’ve made a little progress since May, in that I rearranged some crap and actually got rid of 1 pair of skates…

These Problades now live in Kenya. Frealz.

Then there are all of these pads, which I’m saving on the bottom shelf for some poor little field mouse who’s going to want a warm place to live this winter…

Seriously, I found a dead field mouse in my knee pad last winter. It was the salt in the liner that killed him.

So in surveying all of this, I think I counted 13 or 14 pairs of skates out there. Some belong to my family, but yes, most are mine. Imelda Marcos ain’t got nothing on me. I’ve got a deeper selection than Zappos. And I can’t ignore all of the frames, cracked helmets and old Ezee Fits out there too. There could be a Yeti living out there in the corner for all I know. It’s a complete disaster.

In May, the lead in to this post was: “I swear, this bench was completely cleaned off two weeks ago…” And it was man. And it was my intention to keep it clean so I could have a place to hang out. But that didn’t happen. With each passing day I was more interested in gearing up and heading out. I’d just keep the important stuff (CadoMotus torquing Allen wrench, indoor & outdoor wheels, Garmin Forerunner) in my skate bag, dump the garbage or unnecessary accessories on the bench and go on my way.

The junk really started piling up once I got my Pro M1’s. These skates don’t live in the wilderness of the skate wasteland I’ve documented here. No sir, they stay in the house, in my ventilated skate bag, with charcoal Stunkies, in my climate controlled closet. Once I got these it’s like nothing else mattered. I didn’t really have time for any of this stuff I’d been “collecting.” And now it all just sits there, a living monument to my mental illness.

What does all of this say about me? That I’m lazy? That I’m a slob? Probably both. But I’ve definitely got a bit of that hoarding gene, and I know I need to shed some gear, toss some crap and get in touch with Dr. Phil. And when he asks me how it’s workin’ for me, I’ll tell that snide bastard to go to hell, cause you never know when your extra junk is going to come in handy and help your kid with his “simple machine” project.

Speedy Weezy's Popcorn Flipper

But seriously, I can’t even find a good way to close this post out…it’s embarrassing. WTF is that all about? Look for some gear to be posted to Nett Racing’s used board soon…maybe. I’m not sure. Ah, I should probably just keep it. You never know…

10/23/09 – Digger

Morning: Took a camera with me on a loop around the office I work in. (It’s three floors, about 25,000 sq. feet of office with about 225-250 workers.) If you thought I was kidding about the sweets & treats…

Tell me where Hot Wings fit into the picture at 8:30 in the morning?

Tell me where Hot Wings fit into the picture at 8:30 in the morning?

This was the jump off point – 3rd floor, NW corner.

This is where my bag of Smarties ended up.

This is where my bag of Smarties ended up.

Stop two – remember this is a descending loop I’m running here. NE corner 3rd floor.

So far, I’ve shown you the doughnuts and Smarties I spoke of the other day. Folks – this is two days after that post, and all of the foodstuffs are FRESH!

A brownie plate already clobbered before 9 a.m.

A brownie plate already clobbered before 9 a.m.

Floor 2, SE corner…

The creps must have been real flakey good - they were already gone!

The crepes must have been real flakey good - they were already gone!

The sausages were on the SW corner of the 2nd floor. At this point, I had to get back to my desk. If I had gone to the 1st floor, you would have been in our cafe. Yes, we have a cafe in the building. A full cafe – it’s Loveland’s Favorite Place to Eat Lunch

Don't forget the homemade banana bread!

Don't forget the homemade banana bread!

I forget where this one was taken, but it was on the same run through, on the way back to my desk.

I gained 5 lbs. on the walk, so I decided I needed to skate at lunchtime. No, I didn’t eat any of it, I gained weight just by looking at it all!

The weather cooperated, so I went to skate…

Noon: Just a simple 1 hour skate in and around the neighborhood where I work. I do this loop all the time. There are some really good, long, gradual hills. I’ll post pics sometime. Anyway, there was a slight headwind, so being in my fitness boots I got an extra good workout. Which, after having fought off all that temptation earlier, felt extra rewarding! But on the way back my right front nub of a wheel caught a crack and I went down in the street. I was wearing full armor, so my hands, elbows and knees were fine, but I twisted going down and caught a nice case of road rash on my right hip. I was wearing my tights so it wasn’t that bad, but it’s burning this morning. Need to go put more triple-antibiotic (boo-boo stuff) on it.

Where was this boo-boo stuff when I was growing up? I NEVER remember my mother using it on me. I don’t even think I knew it existed before I became a parent. In any event, I keep tubes of it everywhere. Boo-boo stuff is the best!

10/22/09 – Training

GOAL ACHIEVED: I work in an office where candy and treats are abundant. You could quite literally go into work having had nothing to eat and find enough free food on any given day to end up quite full, fat & happy.

I’ve been doing a good job of avoiding the sweets lately. It’s definitely an effort. I have a sweet tooth. I was doing fine till Monday, when a friend who works with me brought in a 1 lb. bag of Smarties.

Snorting them has crossed my mind.

Snorting them has crossed my mind.

Something about the Dextrose fueled goodness of that little tube of sugar drives me wild, to the point where I’ll eat so many in one sitting (open one end, slide the entire pack onto my tongue) that my upper lip will sweat and my tongue will burn. And once the sugar demon is loose, I crave more.

Breakfast of Champions...NOT!

Breakfast of Champions...NOT!

On Tuesday it drove me to seek additional sweets and treats around the office and I found myself having consumed 15 rolls of Smarties, a doughnut and 2 Pennsylvania Dutch, home-made moon pies by 11:30 IN THE MORNING! Out of control. Gained 3 lbs. since Monday.

So yesterday I took the bag of Smarties and gave them to someone else. I set a goal for myself: just for today, I won’t have any sweets or treats. I then went about my day. I walked right on by every candy bowl and open box of Krispy Kreams. I was able to get through the entire day without indulging! But don’t you know it – at 5 pm I was thinking “Great job…maybe you could have just one!” WHACK – back to reality…but I didn’t have it. For me, one is too many and a thousand not enough.

Noon: Went for an hour-long skate in my fitness skates. Kept the cuffs loose so I could get more freedom of movement and it felt great. Nice to get another day to skate outside in CO. And the 3lbs. gain wasn’t permanent, and I’m already feeling better. Whew – dodged a bullet, but its a daily struggle.
One day at a time…let it roll.

FWIW: Chad Hedrick is an official First Loser of 2009 as a result of the 5,000 meters 2010 Olympic time trials last night, second to Shani Davis by two-hundredths of a second. I guess I’m in good company.

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10/16/09 – Training

Morning: Skated in to work on my fitness skates. 5.5 miles of burn. Need to skate back to my truck at lunchtime, so I’ll have 11 miles in before the day is over. Less than usual, but at a high intensity level so I’m happy.

Wow!I forgot how much work it is to keep those 82mm wheels moving forward while you’re strapped into a high cuff! What a great burn. It was hard to stay low and make an active recovery at first, but like anything else, a few minutes on and it all came back. Even managed to get some exaggerated double pushing in. But what is that thing hanging off the back of the right boot?!

It’s only been maybe 2 months since I’ve been on my fitness skates. I don’t know why, but this time I was a lot more aware of how restrictive fitness skates are, and how much harder you have to work to achieve anything like proper racing form in them. Makes me pause to consider how much harder the guy in the picture had to work in Duluth this year.

Advanced Wave A in Fitness Skates

Advanced Wave A in Fitness Skates

We were in Advanced Wave A together. (He’s second from left mixed in with these elite women.) This dude tried to come screaming by me at the top of the off-ramp. I took one look down, saw his skates and kicked it into high gear! Granted, he’s on 100MM wheels, but he still had the cuff.  And now that I think a little more about it, unless you’re going to be out front pulling, or looking to take extended fliers throughout the race, you probably won’t worry so much about having you ankle movement restricted. The extra support may actually help you power through a little more in the paceline. For me, it’s pretty hard to maintain proper form when riding a draft. I tend to stand up more, can’t get down as low as I’d like without breaking the pace. Yeah, maybe he didn’t have to work all that hard during the race after all. But the sprint had to be difficult. Or so I’m guessing.

Today in my old fitness skates, I was very aware of the cuff. I was working a lot harder on “proper” form in these skates. And that’s always good. So I’ll definitely spend more time on my fitness skates this winter. My Rollerblade Aero 10’s with the 82MM wheels. But I won’t be skating casually, I’ll be working hard to exaggerate my form to get as close as possible to my racing form and speed. Why not at least try?

Noon: Another 5.5 miles to pick up the truck. The hills were particularly difficult, probably because I hadn’t eaten much in the morning. Was reminded that you shouldn’t just think you can roll over most debris on the smaller wheels. Oh, and low crossovers in high-cuff boots don’t mix so well unless you’re really, REALLY down in the heel!