The week where I lost it with my team mates……

We’ll come to my minor melt down soon, but first

Saturday 1st August – what a great way to start a new month

We rowed from Petone/Northend this weekend, beautiful day. Should have been 6 of us there, but 3 didn’t show….. so in the end there was me, 2 of the guys and 1 man from another team to make a 4 and the coach came with us as cox.

I wasn’t impressed that the other 2 women who were meant to be coming didn’t – still only rowed once as a 4 and there’s 1 more weekend until race day.

I got to sit back in Stroke seat and once we were out on the water it was all good. We rowed really well as a 4. No major balance issues, some timing issues – you have to be in time – oars in together, out together and sliding up to the front to take another stroke together – if not and people are too fast, then the stroke can’t get to the front of the slide (to do with physics, boat moving in water etc) and 1, it’s really annoying and 2, it’s wasting a lot of potential power. Once we got that sorted we were doing racing starts and getting a lot better at them.

The coach then challenged the other boat out on the water to a race……. they stormed ahead of us across the ‘line’ but we pulled them back, over took them and then I caught a massive crab – was left hanging onto my oar with one hand (cue me looking for a picture of what ‘catching a crab’ looks like…… have ended up starting a Pintrest account and saving loads of rowing pictures……)

This was me, but I was left hanging on with only my right hand. Rule 101 - never let go of your oar....)
This was me, but I was left hanging on with only my right hand. Rule 101 – never let go of your oar….)

After much laughter (and me now owing the crew a round of coffees) we headed back to the boat shed for a well-earned rest.

This was the best row I’ve had so far – really felt like I could row – yes, made mistakes, but as far as keeping the boat balanced, being generally in time, it was great – such an awesome…. or should that be oar-some feeling!

Sunday dawned as not such a great day, it had rained overnight so got a wet bum cycling to the boatshed – does anyone know why my garmin can work out that I’m at sea level when I’m on my bike, but not when we’re rowing – it puts us at over 500ft?

We finally managed to get 3 of the ladies crew out in a boat together, the 4th being Emily, from another team who’d kindly agreed to come row with us while our 4th team member is still covering from an infection (although she did come down and cox for us so was good to be all out together).

Needless to say we were terrible, couldn’t get the boat balanced even when we were sat still – this is where I lost it, I was fed up with their lack of commitment – one didn’t turn up the day before as she was running late and the other had managed to make a magical recovery today from being too sick to come the day before. I waggled my oar up and down rocking the boat and told them to get it balanced. I was told I was the self nominated drill master, which caused me to ask ‘if we can’t balance the boat how are we ever going to row together? We were taught this week one, it’s ridiculous…….’. Things took a turn for the frosty, then the coach arrived in the coach boat and told us off for not balancing the boat…… I felt truly justified and much better……

By the end of the hour we were better, but still not great, rowing all 4 together was still a struggle……. people would just stop rowing if something went wrong (another of my pet hates – just keep going, stopping won’t win us a race).

My mood was not helped by us, as we were coming into shore, heading straight for another boat – no one did anything to try and prevent this (living up to the name of Princess as our coach seems to have dubbed us), so I ended up jumping out into the water to grab our boat and stop it…… grrrr women, useless.

Monday saw us back on the ergs. Some people’s enemy, but I like them, you get lost in the rhythm of things, it gets painful, but you just keep going……

We did a 20 minute warm up, 3x 3.5mins at 24 strokes/min, 2 min rest and then a 1km go as fast as you can thing.

I beat my previous 1km by 3 seconds – 3 min 58 seconds – was very happy with myself!

erg crab

No lunch time ergs for me on Tuesday – I think it’s the first one I’ve missed since starting, but instead, in the evening I had a PT session with Sean. Last week I requested more boxing, and he did not disappoint…….. We did 10x 3 minute rounds – exhausting. Then a circuit of 12x Arne lifts (bicep curl, squat, shoulder press, arms back down to finish bicep curl), lunging and twist with a 10kg medicine ball along the area we were working in, 1x pressup followed by 1x crab crawl sideways across the area we were working in, high knees into a boxing pad back along the length of the area and then 30secs of pounding a boxing pad on the floor…… repeat 2 more times but adding (after the pounding) throwing the medicine ball back along the length followed by 12x deadlifts……

Knocked 30 seconds off my time each time….. what was I thinking?

Then a quick abs session, 3x v sits – lying flat, arms straight, legs straight, lift arms and legs, touch toes and repeat until exhausted, then dropping to bent legs……

Then, just for fun, a bit more boxing until I could no longer speak

Then stretch……..

Which brings us to Thursday (and immense ab pain just around my breastbone).

Out on the water in the rain – first time getting into a boat in the wet – you get cold and soggy before you’ve even started – I got even wetter getting out of the boat as I was in a really deep bit of water and had to duck under my rigger to get to shore – water was too high to climb over!

Anyway, there were 4 of us, 3 ladies and Kade – it wasn’t too bad but a lot of rushing up the slide from the bow pair (I was in stroke seat) making it tricky to take full strokes. We practiced a good few racing starts, we’re getting there, slowly……

Good news though, our 4th lady has been given the ok to row again!!!! So, our coach  has very kindly offered us girls 4 rowing sessions at the weekend 2x Saturday and 2x Sunday. We should all be there on Saturday, only 3 of us on Sunday, but hopefully it will be enough to at least not make total fools of ourselves come race day……….


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