Friday, 21 November 2008

Thursday afternoon

...or "I have a rather nice view from my desk"

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Monday Morning...

...or "Living in Hammersmith is actually OK"

All things considered, it has been a pretty good start to the week. A great sunrise and an entire day of geekery at work on Monday, and by close of business today I'm halfway through an external audit of the black magic which is the corporate quality system, confident that the auditor will wet himself with excitement on sight of the integrated electronic quality system (yup, it is exactly as exciting as it sounds...), and go away happy having recertified us compliant with a new, shiny, exciting, international quality standard.

I woke up this morning with this stuck in my head:

I can only suppose it was the thought of the impending quality audit that put me in an incredibly good mood...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Good stuff...

Everything was beautiful as I walked over Hammersmith bridge this morning. The moon, a massive, peachy-gold orb somewhere over Chiswick, was setting in a rich and welcoming blue sky. To the other side of the bridge, the lights of the planes flying overhead reflected clearly in the river, a milky blue from the promise of day break to the East. Birdsong was perfectly audible even over the constant drone of the traffic. A tree, its turning leaves backlit by a streetlight, appeared to be dripping gold. The air was crisp and cold. Despite a day at work beckoning, I was left with the impression that, at that particular moment, life really couldn't get any better.

All that from my short jaunt over the bridge - I guess I must be in a good mood...

Friday, 7 November 2008


I'm racing on Saturday. 7km head race (time trial).

I can't quite reconcile this with having been not entirely at my best over the last couple of months.

About four weeks ago I sat in the bar at the club attempting to have a chat with the coach. Being a high-transmit sort of person and giving the impression of lacking a 'receive' button, I was limited to interjecting the odd word into his soliloquy, but nevertheless managed to convey the assertion that I would indeed be fit to race 7 km four weeks later, despite at that point having lost 4 kg in weight almost exclusively from my thighs. Obviously, it was a complete lie, and there was absolutely no way I thought I'd be in race shape a month later, but figured it was worth keeping open the option of racing, and doing so required telling the odd porky.

Remarkably, four weeks on I'm actually in excellent shape. I might have had a few small issues with producing solid sh*ts, but it doesn't seem to be impacting my cardio-vascular fitness nor having sufficient impact on my strength to be noticeable over mid/long distances. Even after being ill and coming back with a light training load, I'm outperforming the rest of the club in the gym. (At least, I'm outperforming the portion of the club who turn up to the gym.) I'm fit to race... but I'm not up for racing.


This bothers me. Four weeks ago, I figured that by now I'd be well up for the fight, but be let down my lack of physical fitness and wellness. I never imagined I'd be in good shape physically and (at best) indifferent mentally. Gee-ing myself up for a competition is not something I've ever struggled with before. True, before I took a few weeks off, I'd been finding it difficult to motivate myself to do the training, and wondered whether I was actually enjoying rowing and, if not, whether I ought to find something more enjoyable to do. Having later admitted defeat to illness, I took some time off and figured that my lack of motivation was actually due to being ill. Now I pretty much feel fine, but still am not enjoying the training.

Enough navel-gazing. I'm getting too close to the obvious conclusion that actually I'm just not enjoying rowing as much as I need to in order to justify the time commitment, and I ought to find something else to do. (I'm still holding out some hope that my lack of enjoyment is a hangover from being ill and everything will be fine once I've been fixed, or at least once I've caught up on sleep.)

I'm rather hoping that something miraculous will happen between now and the start of the race which will see me adopt my usual 'wannabe killer' attitude. It'd better happen, otherwise it's going to be a painful experience in all the wrong senses.