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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Say Hello to my Rollerblade Friends!

Way back in the mid-90's I first discovered rollerblading and rollerblade friends.  I grew up in DesMoines, Iowa, which has an awesome and very extensive trail network.  My friend Cortney and I would meet up to inline skate on the trails.  Cortney's family was a hockey family and she was a much better skater than me.  I remember saving my part-time job money and then buying my Rollerblades.  I can still remember sitting in the shop and trying them on since it was such a new thing to me.  I hadn't yet discovered running for fun and really spent most of my time either at the dance studio or cheerleading practice.  I used rollerblading as my cardio workout compared to those two activities.
I don't have a pic of Cortney and I out on the trails, but this is a photo of the trail system that I took in my high school photography class!

I moved away to college and lost touch with rollerblading.  The town where my college was just didn't have a trail network like DesMoines.  I finished college and moved to Washington, DC where I met another rollerblading friend.  My friend Meridith was a co-worker who started a week before me and had a very similar background.  She suffered from early onset arthritis in her feet and used rollerblading for her main source of cardio.  Every so often Meridith would run with me but she preferred her cardio with wheels!  About the time I was training and fundraising for my first half marathon, Meridith was training with Team in Training for a Rollerblading marathon event.  We held some fundraising events together and both had successful first forays into long distance events. 

Meridith, me, and Sarah at one of our fundraising events!

Another rollerblading friend that I have is Anjeanette.  She is another Iowa girl who I met in Arkansas through Rush Running.  She loves rollerblading and still skates as a way to maintain fitness and avoid injury through cross training.  AJ is a runner and friend that I do a lot of training with whether it is running, biking, or swimming.  She hasn't yet managed to get me out on Rollerblades again because I'm a little scared that I won't remember how to skate! 

Here's AJ's game face! This is from a roller derby event we went to and she was practicing her mean face!
And finally a rollerblader who I think could easily be any fitness girl's friend.  Amanda Russell is a fitness enthusiast who attended University of Virginia on a full scholarship for track.  She was a strong runner and was one of the top seeds for Canada in the 10K event leading up to the 2008 Olympic Trials when she suffered a potentially career ending fracture in her fibula head just 2 weeks before the trials.  Her injury crushed her Olympic dreams but not her spirit for sports and athleticism. 

Amanda began a recovery process that incorporated rollerblading and within a year she returned to sport and won the first triathlon that she ever entered.  She credits inline skating with being a big part of her recovery. 

Below are some facts on rollerblading / inline skating and why you should consider it for cross training/injury prevention or recovery.

 Inline skating burns almost exactly the same amount of calories as running but with much greater muscular benefits. For instance, a 125-pound athlete skating at a moderate pace for an hour burns roughly 700 calories; running for an hour at a moderate pace, the same athlete would burn 730 calories. Skating also happens to be 50% easier on your knees, hips and other joints than running (a real number from a University of Massachusetts medical study). Physical therapists love inline skating because it gets people outside and is a full body-body strengthening workout. In addition to legs, inline skating works your core, back and shoulder muscles.

Rollerblade has released an App to help you with tracking your skating workouts. This App allows you to track your inline skating sessions including such things as pavement quality and difficulty of the session as well as things like speed.  And you know, we runners love to track things like speed! I invite you to check it out and look at Rollerblading as an alternative for injury recovery/prevention. Visit Rollerblade's Facebook page to learn more and chat with other inline skaters for recovery tips and workout ideas. 
iPhone Screenshot 2

Some information for this post was provided by Rollerblade USA.

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