Merten, Wednesday, August 22. 2007
Friday evening, 8pm. Fläming Skate, south of Berlin, Germany's longest and best known skate trail. I'm on my own, extending a little warmup skate with Michi.
I cruise along. A gentle downhill ends in a wooden brigde, just as a group of skaters approaches. The sudden rattling is unsettling, but soon replaced by more super smooth tarmac. Black ice at its best.
Back into the forest. A scent of mushrooms fills the air, autumn is getting closer. Some last rays of sunshine filter through the trees, casting gold light on them, It is quiet, only the sounds of nature and my wheels can be heard. Another clearing opens - huge powerlines pass through the forest. The poles are surrounded by bushes and heath. And back into the woods. I can feel the first chill of dusk, although it is still nice and warm.
I just relax and take it easy, enter this almost meditative flow, and let my skates do the work. They feel like a natural extension of my legs, and carry me along with ease. I pass some other skaters - do they feel the same? I sure hope so. A little village is next. The skate trail has priority, car drivers are supposed to give way. Big signs with three-wheeled skaters raise their attention. Yeah...
Quite poetic writing there - but the words just came to my mind when I did this skate. Fläming is just the best place to skate we know. That's why we've already returned there three times, and for sure will be back again soon. After the little warmup, we did the biggest loop on Saturday, which is about 90km long! In total, there's more than 150km of perfect trails to be explored. Definitely recommended.
For the records - The weekend concluded in a half marathon in Berlin on Sunday, with quite good times and placings for both Michi and me. Some pictures are in the gallery...
Merten, Monday, August 13. 2007
Seems the skater gods have stopped to punish us for now. Yesterday's German marathon championships in Wedel were a pleasant change, with mild temperatures, little wind and some gentle sunshine. So much unlike the double marathon championship of Prezelle three weeks ago, which can be described as "swimming lessons on skates". Nevertheless, that race was also fun
For Wedel, I can be very happy with the results I achieved. I finished in a new personal best of 1:15:10, which is half a minute faster than at Mittelrhein Marathon, and I am much prouder of this one than my Mittelrhein time. And - for the first time I actually made the lead pack and stayed with it for about 7 km - until the attacks really started, when they left me and a couple of others in the dust... So I dropped back to the age 30 pack, stayed with that one for a bit, got dropped again, then skated among several chase groups until the age 40 pack swallowed us and swept us towards the finish, right next to the leading girls' sprint. Finished 45th out of 50 in my age category, but that's OK as only the very fast people actually competed in the marathon champs. And the little opening ceremony with all skaters taking of their helmets for the national anthem was special.
With Wedel done, I've already completed most of my races for this year, including the ones where I planned to achieve my goals. I dropped my PB again, and made some big improvements to technique. Starting a job didn't really do any damage, and training in the new club is really making a difference to my technique. Not bad, and next year I'll finally get that Berlin marathon qualification time for the World Cup block
As I'm typing this, I'm half looking at the weather reports. We hope to do a little trip to the longest skate trail Fläming-Skate this weekend, and also compete in a WIC half marathon in the heart of Berlin. I'll update on this, and maybe for a change put in a few new pictures afterwards
For the meantime, check out this crazy video: Jean Yves Blondeau, Grimsellpass downhill and maybe a couple of the others in a little YouTube search. Scary.
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