Walking outside today wasn't going to happen. The roads were still really bad from the snow, which was STILL falling as of this morning. Now it has stopped and the roads are better, but only the main roads are clear, and the roads we would walk on are likely to be pretty awful for a few days or more, as the temperatures are quite low.
So Kelly and I decided that 20K at the Olympic Oval would be a wise move. The really nice 442m mondo track beckoned to us, along with the added attraction this morning of a speed skating competition to watch as we walked. There was a men's 5000m race going on and there were some other races as well; we were a bit focused on our workout so couldn't tell for sure what the other races were, but we were inspired by the fast skaters and the beauty of their fluid technique.
We had to walk in lane 3 because of the race; the officials were using parts of lanes 1 & 2 on the running track for various purposes. A spur-of-the-moment calculation yielded 43.67 laps for 20K (at 458 meters per lap). Turns out that it should have been 43.9 or so (by the track calculator at www.eracewalk.com) or 43.73 by another calculator. Well...close enough. It's a bit tricky since the track is a bit larger than a regular track. Anyway, no matter. We did the 43.67 laps in 1:59:47 for just about 6:00/km. (If we were off a bit then the time might be 30 sec-1 min more; we still felt fast!). I felt great today - my legs were a bit tired to start, but not too bad, and I felt like I had a lot of endurance and strength all the way to the end. My HR was 150 or so for most of the laps; we did push it a bit to maintain our pace when we tired on the last 6-7 laps and then it was about 156-158.
Having Kelly along was fantastic - we helped each other with our form a lot, chatted, and in general encouraged each other. She nags me about getting my arms back a bit more bringing my right hip through low, and staying upright enough, and I give her red cards for her left knee, help her with her arms, toe-off, and posture. We talk about everything while we walk, from our schedule and where/when we will walk next, to pop or country music, to the speed skaters (we're going to hopefully watch the World Cup live here on Jan 26-27!!!), and anything else that comes to mind. It's SO nice to have company exactly my speed. I'm spoiled now!
Garmin data here.