Started conversation Feb 4, 2013
I go running along side rivers and, last Saturday, looking at the kyakers in the Cam, I thought "rather out than in". As I ran past (I had a stiff breeze behind me and they had a stiff current against them), I peered at their paddle tips, tried to estimate their stability score between 1 and 9 and realised I now know something about the equipment and work involved!
On the other hand, they looked as if they were having fun in a group, presumably travelling up from Ely to Cambridge. It was sunny and there were quite a lot of them. Between the fishermen (all men), rowing eights (the fit young things in Lycra from the university were practising bumps) and the sunshine it looked as if, come summer, it would be the most funnest hobby in the world.
With a few friends, family etc I can see some lovely picnics being on your horizon come June.
Posted Feb 6, 2013
Deke, I am sorry that the weather was against you. I am so glad you shared all your adventures with us. I hope that maybe next year, you'll be able to get enough practice in to compete. Your perseverance through all the bad weather has been inspirational. You are a to this couch potato.
Posted Feb 6, 2013
Thanks very much for your thoughts. I've come to terms with the realisation that I've had to put my race entry onto the back burner for this year. I'm still pushing the boat out but not with quite so much urgency at the moment. It has been a lot of fun, even though sometimes it didn't feel like it. Right now I'm looking forward to the summer and hoping to get a much sounder fitness than I have at the moment as a basis for another try next year.
I'm really quite disappointed in myself for not seeing it through this year. Obviously not the ‘right stuff’, as a year's practice should have been enough. But I didn't plan it out well enough and didn't do the right things. So it's not just the weather, although it didn't help much.
It's been quite a pleasure writing this blog. I've never written to a deadline before and at times it's been quite a challenge. It's also one of the things that at times, has kept me going out. that and the encouragement I've received from all those of you that have left your comments.
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it.
Posted Feb 6, 2013
What I have appreciated about this series was the vivid way you shared your experience.
I know it was important to you to make progress - but frankly, win or lose, the thing we readers take away is the sense of what it's like. I think it's what we do best at the Post - all of you writers - that you take us with you where you go.
Many thanks for that!
Posted Feb 10, 2013
But you did see it through!
Dunno - but I have been involved in semi-pro sport (plus juniors, amateurs etc) over the years and there is a huge difference between "seeing it through" and working out how long your pre-season will have to be to work at a certain level.
If you continue through the summer to get skills and fitness together (for me, skills would be more fun to work on when it is warm) then you can bring it together and peak in 14 months time. Also kyaking in summer with friends joining you at various points with elderflower cordlial and smiles for 25 mile end-point riverside picnics will get those km's up with a smile!
Posted Feb 12, 2013
Postponed, not cancelled.
I'm certainly looking forward to more longer runs during the summer, and hopefully a lot better weather to do it in. No matter what, it must at least be warmer.
The club I belong to styles themselves as a 'Touring' club, which means their week-end runs are usually around ten to fifteen miles. Far more than I can manage at the moment without slowing them all down, although few of them seem to be doing much at the moment. But to get up to that sort of distance would be a good step forward. I'm looking forward to it.
Posted Feb 18, 2013
Hmmm, just re-read my comment. Don't post late at night I remind myself.
I intended to say almost the opposite of what I wrote: "seeing it through" can mean getting a long pre-season together that means you miss your first competition but you eventually do the race without getting injured or causing others grief.
I s'pose the other thought is that this is a fairly skilled Olympic sport and trying to master it both technically and for fitness is not trivial. And the weather this winter has been miserable.
Posted Feb 19, 2013
I do indeed intend to see it through and I‘m now aiming at next year’s event instead.
I made the mistake of seriously underestimating how long it would take to get to grips with the paddling technique. I thought that a year would be more than enough, but the old law of old dogs, new tricks applies Really I still haven't got it nailed yet as my speed on the water is so slow. I used to do a fairly considerable amount of running but that seemed 'easy' compared to this.
I take heart from the fact that the speed was improving a little, and that I even got a tentative inquiry whether I wanted to team up with another guy to do the 'overnight' race. I was really tempted by that, but sanity prevailed. If the offer is still on for next year though...
There is another award course run by our club in April that I'm trying to get on which would be a good way of launching the summer campaign for speed and fitness. I almost make the qualifying criteria but need to up the endurance a bit, which I think I can make for April. We’ll see.
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