Saturday, 23 August 2008

Oops...

Since Peterborough regatta a couple of weeks ago, I have been officially 'resting'. As far as I can make out, resting seems to consist not only of not doing any weights and ergs, but also spending inordinate amounts of time on the sofa watching the Olympics, and over-consuming chocolate and alcohol.

I have tried to rest. I think I've mostly been successful. I have eaten quite a large amount of utter rubbish. I have watched bits of the Olympics. I've spent more time than usual sitting on the sofa, and far less time than usual in the gym or on the water.

I was going to do another half marathon erg over summer for a bit of fun. I haven't done a half marathon erg. I haven't even done half an hour. In fact, I haven't erged. I have gone a bit stir-crazy.

I haven't run further than five miles. I haven't even run up the stairs at work. I have run up a huge bill on my credit card through being forced to re-discover the concept of a social life, instead of spending evenings on the river or doing land training.

I haven't been completely successful at resting. See, by the time the afternoon comes around, and I haven't done much exercise for a few days, and am fidgety, and bad tempered, and the weather looks good, and I'm sitting in the office, on the 20th floor, with a view of the river... well, it's not surprising that heading out in a small boat is a pretty enticing prospect. It wouldn't have to be hard work, it'd be enough to go out for a paddle in the early evening sunshine...

I confess I have been out on the water a few times.

We took a couple of singles out last week. When my sculling buddy challenged me to a race, I succumbed. As we raced over only about 300m and, in particular, as I lost, I don't think it really counted as exercise.

We've also taken out the pair a few times. This is less like resting. For one thing, I can't really take it easy on the water if my partner isn't working equally lightly.(As we only have one blade each, we'd go round in circles if we didn't row with the same pressure). Also, as we're not yet absolutely completely fantastic, we're not doing much technical work and instead are putting in the miles until we've got the simple things right. Things like steering, getting into the boat, getting out of the boat, pushing off from the pontoon, landing back at the pontoon, spinning without capsizing, and lastly, rowing. We've quite a lot of work to do...

In the interests of getting a bit more practice at the simple things, we headed out this morning for a light paddle. It was all going absolutely to plan when we found ourselves upstream of Chiswick bridge, with a wide, flat and empty river ahead of us. The original plan for the return trip (paddling back with a few bursts of firm pressure in an otherwise light trip) got scotched as we succumbed to the urge to row the course for the Pairs Head (a time trial for doubles and pairs held in October), and test out whether I could still steer when moving with a bit of speed. We did a timed piece over the 4km course, instead of sticking with the original plan of paddling back with a few bursts of firm pressure in an otherwise light trip.

We had a lot more fun...

We rowed under Chiswick Bridge to the start of the course, reaching the dizzy heights of all of, ooh, about 26 strokes a minute. Quarter of an hour and probably the longest continuous stint of rowing we've done since March later (including a brief stoppage to avoid a double who'd put themselves in the middle of the river and on collision course with us), we'd passed under somewhere near the second lamppost on Hammersmith Bridge and finished the course. We were pretty pleased. I'd managed to steer an almost reasonable line. We'd done some decent rowing (mostly when I wasn't concentrating on not hitting other boats, occasional buoys or the ever-present banks), and we'd moved the boat at a reasonable speed. For our sixth outing as a pair, it felt like a good result, even if (as I realised about three kilometres in when various bits of body started complaining at the effort) it may not entirely have fulfilled the requirements of 'resting'...

Oh well.

It was fun...

12 comments:

Kahless said...

Rowing seems in your blood.

I would love to read a post on how and why you took up the sport.

But Why? said...

Kahless,
I'm not sure it's in the blood. I am, however, absolutely convinced that it's what one ought to be doing during daylight hours when there's not too much wind and when it's sunny but not too hot.

I will write the how and why post sometime (be warned - it may turn into a long story - these things usually do).

Rob Clack said...

Oh god, I love you.

Your passion for what you do is wildly beyond anything I do, and yet you explain it in such a totally normal and understandable way. I can plug your emotions into my life and get what you're about. More, please.

Oh yes, it's midnight, and I've had lots of wine, so if this sounds bizarre or silly, please just ignore or delete it. It sounds OK to me, but I do realise my judgement is a tad impaired right now.

DJ Kirkby said...

Lol to Rob's comment, but he is right, your posts are very endearing. I was very impressed with the amount of resting you have done. Taken into context that was indeed an admirable attempt at resting and probably did you a world of good.

But Why? said...

Rob C,
Well... erm... thankyou. I'm flattered.

I'm rather surprized that this post has elicited a declaration of love. I'm not sure what else to say, (the internet is surprizingly quiet on the etiquette of responding to wine-induced declarations of blog love,)
save that I hope you had plenty water before hitting the sack last night.

Was it a good bottle (or bottles)?


DJ,
Quite. And as if I'd ever delete a silly comment(!)

I'm impressed with my resting efforts, though I admit I am enjoying being able to have the odd drink in the evening and attend social events. And eat chocolate. And have lie-ins. And have time to sort out all the bits of life admin that can't be dealt with electronically (why can't I get my car MOT-ed online?? It would be so much more convenient). But anyway, I must dash. After an extended lie-in, I'm off to the river to jump in the pair for another attempt at resisting the urge to do 4km pieces. I'm sure with enough practice I'll get the hang of this resting malarky - probably just in time for training to resume in September!

trousers said...

Nice to drop by and see that you're keeping up your usual standard.

I seem to be occupying a middle ground - some rest, some exercise, some (well, more than some) alcohol and rubbish food. Having done - for me anyway - a hell of a lot of cycling this year, I've been taking it easy in that respect the last couple of weeks. Too easy - I'm itching to get out there again, once other pressing matters have been done and dusted.

I love how you put across the need to get out there and do it - great stuff!

But Why? said...

Trousers,
Careful - you're in danger of making me sound like an advert for Nike...

It's amazing how much sapre time I have now I'm not heading straight to the river after work every day. I'm beginning to see why so many people watch so much TV - there are actually quite a lot of hours in a day.

It's expensive, though, this having time to do things in. I've managed to more or less catch up on buying the things that I've been thinking for a while I could do with (e.g. lightbulbs to replace the ones which have died, sorting out getting my passport renewed, replacing my wellies (this became vital after losing one whilst out sculling last week...), getting some stuff to re-proof various jackets and waterproof kit, etc.) - all terribly exciting stuff, of course, but the sort of things which I'd quite happily manage to do without for another week or so, because for the last few months an afternoon nap has without fail seemed more enticing than the prospect heading into town to go shopping.

Anyway, get out there and enjoy the clement weather - it'll be winter all too soon.

trousers said...

Oh bugger, was I talking in ad-speak? That's very worrying since I have very little idea about recent ads, at least on tv...

DJ Kirkby said...

Yes you are quite right...WHY can't we get our cars MOT'd online and everything else? A virtual world, at least for the more mundane aspects of life, would be nice...

But Why? said...

Trousers,
Sadly so. I was bemoaning the lack of decent modern British comedy when it occurred to me that I wouldn't have a clue if there were any decent comedies, seeing as I rarely watch TV.

DJ,
If someone would offer to pick up my car, take it for an MOT and sort out any bits that need fixing and just present me a reasonable bill, well, I'd be chuffed. It'd be even better if they'd remind me when the damned thing was due...

Casdok said...

I find resting difficult! So am impressed with your efforts!

Am sure you cant wait for training to resume if it hasnt already!

But Why? said...

Casdok,
Err... yes and no. Training has sort of resumed (in the pair with a training buddy), but the squad stuff kicks off this weekend. I'm a little concerned that I've enjoyed having free time a bit too much and that I am a bit lardy for getting back to hard work, and that I'll decide it's just a bit too much like hard work. Then again, I've gone a bit stir-crazy without the training, so maybe it won't be too painful to get back in the rhythm of things...