21-25th Dec – Christmas!!!!


A relatively easy morning on the ergs – nice long warm up and then 3km at 2km pace….. All followed by coffee with the girls 🙂 and pot luck dinner in the evening – great way to start the week


It was pouring with rain, but nice flat water in the lagoon, so the lovely Nina and I headed out with me in a single and her with her trouser legs rolled up holding onto me…….

You can row the length of the lagoon in about 5 strokes, so the holding on to the end thing was to practice the rowing stroke without endlessly having to turn around! That and I got some coaching at the same time

Best advice for being in a single – if it all feels like it’s going horribly wrong, put your hands together. Putting your hands together means the boat will find its balance and you shouldn’t tip into the water……

We were out for about an hour, did do some rowing up and down the lagoon, and it wasn’t too scary and I didn’t fall in (but to be honest I was so wet from the rain it wouldn’t have made a difference!!!)

Felt really good to be out in a boat, not too terrified, so fingers crossed I can stay rowing even when the others are out in the 8.


Ohhhh, it was a traumatic row this morning. While the other Novices went out in the 8, I went in an 8 with the Masters.

We have a boat called the City of Wellington, COW for short and this morning it lived up to its nickname. I was happy in my traditional spot of 4 seat.

The row was a rocky one with balance being a major issue, but what I soon realised was that my left calf was getting cut into by the slide – the bit the seat moves backwards and forwards on. It had no cover on the end so was just bare metal, stabbing my leg every stroke, before long it was bleeding and then it was all I could do to stop thinking about the metal jamming into my leg – felt pretty queasy…..

On the up side we went to see Star Wars in the evening at the Lighthouse in Petone – all thoughts of manky leg forgotten

Thursday – Christmas Eve

No evening rowing session tonight, so instead I went to Masters lunchtime ergs – there was 3 of us, so not exactly packed!!! Did manage to rescue 2 birds trapped in the shed, didn’t want them being stuck in there over Christmas.

There was a rumour we could leave work at lunch time, was untrue, but the boss left around 2pm, so we followed soon after….. Home for food shopping, present wrapping and Muppets Christmas Carol

Friday – Christmas!!!!!

Had a crazy long lie-in until 8am!!! Then we were up and cooking lasagna and cannelloni for dinner.

Was rescued from too much cooking by a Skype call to Nikki and her family – they have fab Christmas Eves so was lovely to see them all, champagne in hand!!

Although Friday is normally a rest day, today we had to exercise as tomorrow was a travel/rest day….. our coach had requested a gift of a photo of our chosen form of exercise. We went on a really great bike ride round the coast to York Bay – wanted to make it all the way to Eastbourne, but lunch was calling……

chrsitmas 1.jpgchristmas.jpg
On the cycle back I got waved at by a police man – I’d been a good girl and looked over my shoulder before pulling out, spotted him behind me and so waited for him to pass (in his car). The then turned around (I was a bit worried) and waved!

Home in time for a speedy shower and a drive into town – such a beautiful day, the water looked amazing.

Off for our now traditional (2 years in a row) Christmas lunch at Dragons – Yum Cha – so yummy, totally justified the eating after our cycle!! We went for a walk afterwards along the waterfront and then spotted that Te Papa was open. Rhys hadn’t been to see the Gallipoli exhibition, so seemed like a perfect time to go. He enjoyed it as much as I did the first time I went. It was quieter (fewer people) and somehow became more moving than the first time. We both left in a slightly less than Christmassy mood, but back out in the sunshine thoughts turned to the afternoon ahead and the arrival of 2 excited children.

Was a great afternoon with the girls, they loved their present, we walked the dogs on the beach, watched the original Miracle on 34th Street, had yummy pasta, I started watching the end of Hotel Transylvania 2 but headed for bed at 9pm…….

Could be why I was then wide awake at 4am…. decided to Skype my parents and was happy to see Christmas jumper action in full swing.

christmas jumper
From 3 years ago!




A hard week, but full of fun 14-20th December

So nearly up to date!


A triumphant start of a very hard week.

After our late nights getting back from Karapiro we were given Monday morning off, but not a rest day – 30mins steady state, so I treated myself to a run – my achillies are super sore, hoping they behave themselves and it’s just the lack of running recently.

Tuesday was to be a training session involving Ballena Bay – brings dread into every Wellington rower’s heart……. After warming up, our coaches requested that 3 of us stay behind while the other set off……. we hadn’t made the top 8.They spoke to the other 2 first and then me. I kind of knew what was coming, I’d been thinking about it but didn’t know quite how it would work out.

It was a hard conversation for all 3 of us.

There are 12 people in the novice squad.

8 get to row in the coveted 8

1 is currently injured

2 get to row in a double

and then there’s me…….

This I’d worked out. What no one had worked out was what to do with me…..

Needless to say I cried, a lot, I couldn’t disagree with what they were saying -the 8 best novices are amazing (the best squad they’ve ever had), the 2 in the double are amazing also. So, we talked through options, some I vetoed (giving up, moving to Masters – they’re lovely but I want to complete my season with the Novices if I can), a few things popped out of the discussion to think about, so we left it there.

I was amazed to be given the option of just heading home, but wanted to brave it out and go finish the training session with the girls, so we went and found them. It was good to get some fresh air and run back from the Bay with them.

Wednesday – this was going to be a tough week

One of the ideas was that when the 8 and double were out I could (on a Wednesday as that’s when they train) go out with the Masters, so I did! Allan who coached me at Corporate rowing was there and made the mistake of being nice to me….. cue tears…… went out in the 8 with them, had my own personal coach sat behind me, was a rockier ride that I’m used to (us Novices have better balance than they did) but was good to be out on the water!


We did something in the evening…….

Friday – rest day!

But also email chat day – having thought about things since Tuesday, I had questions/requests to discuss. Was a very honest exchange, but no point being anything else!

I get to try being in a single – a boat all by myself – terrifying – but it means I can still row even when everyone else is out on the water. I get to sub into the 8 when people can’t make training (makes me feel like I can’t be sooooo terrible) and I’ll still do all the land-based training too 🙂

Saturday – meant to be a regatta


But in true Wellington form it’s too windy, so instead we were out at 7am for a row. The water was beautifully flat and I had fun in the coach boat as they rowed out to the airport. I swapped in on the row home as someone had a injury. Sadly by then the water wasn’t as great, but good to be in the boat 🙂

Then, a lovely thing happened as the Masters had just arrived and were heading out to Petone to row as the water wasn’t great in town. They asked if I wanted to join them – fab as it also meant I got a lift home!! We went out in an 8 and it was a lovely row, I really enjoyed it – sitting on stroke side really helped with that (and also I wasn’t the worst in the boat!!) Their coach at the end said I had a lovely finish (part of the stroke), well, bless him, I felt so bad as I then proceeded to burst into tears – after everything that had happened this week, praise was a bit too much for me!! We then proceeded to have a lovely chat and he said that I was welcome to come and borrow a wide-bottomed single from him if I wanted (he usually coaches the club next to ours) they’re more steady than the racing boats. He also said he’d have me in his novice team, but that’s never going to happen as I love mine too much.


No regatta did mean I could make it to sailing for the first time this season….. we sail out at Titahi Bay. We got there and it was WINDY, the water choppy and an on-shore wind at that. Too windy to sensibly go out – we may never have made it off the boat ramp!


Not sure why (retrospect is a wonderful thing) but we decided to go out in kayaks instead….. we’d gone less than 100m before I decided I was going back….. as I turned around I capsized…….  but managed to 1. get out of the boat, 2. keep hold of my paddle, 3. hold the boat, 4. realise my rowing hat had fallen off and managed to rescue it, but best of all 5. put my feet down and discover I could stand!!

What a relief, the kayak was so full of water and there’s no way I could empty it unaided, so I walked it over to a little boat ramp, hauled it up and awaited assistance……. Help arrived via a boathouse full of geese (apparently they rescue injured birds) kayak emptied it was back into the water and less than 2 minutes paddle to the boat ramp to the club.


The evening was no less jam-packed with a trip to the Westpac Stadium to watch Wellington Phoenix play Sydney FC – our work night out. Was great, we had a lounge, food and an amazing view. My boss is a massive fan, taught me the chants, my favorite being the one when you spot seagulls flying over the stadium – ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ ‘Seagull’ until they’ve disappeared…….. Final score was 1-1, disappointing Wellington weren’t ahead in the last 10 minutes as then we’d have been treated to the sight of the Phoenix fans removing their shirts and twirling them around their heads….. My boss challenged me to get a selfie with the team captain at the end of the game – mission accomplished – photo and an autograph…. Bodes well for my next performance review I think


Sunday was a quieter day (thank goodness!)

Another 7am rowing, this time the girls went out in 2 quads, I got to cox one and they spent an hour or so chasing each other up and down the water – I got a tad soggy, but was great fun.

The girls then went on to do weights while I had a go in a single – v scary, just you in a boat by yourself – you go off balance, you fall in, it goes wrong, it’s your fault – no one else to blame. But also, you are totally in control – if it goes right you stay dry and can work on correcting what’s going wrong without affecting anyone else. Apart from a mad 5 minutes where I drifted into a load of other boats that came into the lagoon (while everyone was watching) and the one time I got myself stuck in the corner of the lagoon and had to be pushed off with an oar it went pretty well!

I stayed dry, didn’t panic too much, loved actually rowing it, struggled with turning round – my oat kept sinking, but left the lagoon happy and ready to do it again soon 🙂




Jury Cup week 30th Nov-6th Dec

The notes are still incredibly vague……..


no clue!

tuesday 2k test

Horrible – had to work out our own plan to get through it – my plan, as ever, was to get under 8 mins, all I needed to do was sit on 2min/500m splits and under for a few strokes and I’d make it under 8 mins.

We had no one coxing us apart from to say ‘remember your plan’. I was doing really well (at sticking to the plan) until the last 250-300m when my splits went from 2mins up to 2:11, I pulled myself and my legs back together, but by then it was too late. I finished at 8:01 – gutted


no idea

thu boat loading 6x 1min

Erghhhhhh. I got to training early and someone else was already there so we did out 6x 1min together. She declared this would be the easiest set piece we’d done in ages…. The first one was mental – we just had to to them as fast as possible – we rated at 40 strokes/min – stupidly fast, normally we do low 30s for racing

With a rest inbetween (I think 2 mins??) we went again 5 for times, this was generally at a slower rate of 36/37 – far more do-able after the  craziness – no way we could have kept that pace up!

fri rest and wanganui – Jury Cup

Rest day and a drive to Wanganui. This was an easy drive compared to when we went for camp, no pouring rain or driving wind. We arrived in daylight! Stayed at the YMCA – an old private school – lovely place, had time to go to the supermarket and settle in before others arrived and an early night before race day

Sat – race

I wasn’t in the Novice 8 but did get to row with another team from the rowing club in their 8 – had a great row – we came 2nd. Also came second in our 4 – hurrah!

Was also in a quad, but that was cancelled – it got really windy out on the water, we all had to shelter under the trees – actually under – we were holding onto branches/leaves to stop floating downstream. Once they’d decided to cancel the races we then had to row the 2km back to the finish – slowly and carefully, but was fun as we had a safety boat with us and a lady filling up her memory card on her camera – sadly not found where the photos ended up!


In the evening we chilled out, some of the guys partied, I was boring (and tired) had 1 beer and was in bed by 9:30pm……..

Sun – train/travel

We got a lie in as the Club women trained first. We had a fab long paddle up the river and back before loading the trailer with boats/oars etc. Left pretty early to travel back and were home in Wellington at about 3/4pm – the luxury!!!

Vague memories of 23-29th November

So, here are my notes in bold and what I can remember from them……

Monday – lie in landed 11pm, home 1am

Had texted to say I wouldn’t be at training (at 6am) was a bit too little sleep for my liking!


There would have been rowing, but no idea what it involved….. but I remember it being hard – my legs had not recovered from the weekend

More excitingly though – I got my Resident Visa granted – I can stay in NZ for another 2 years!!!


You can tell I’d been training – check out the cheeks


Another mystery day in terms of rowing, but I do know I popped into work for an 8am meeting before heading off to my Software Testing course – not something I ever thought I’d be involved in, my ‘techy’ computer knowledge is terrible, or so I thought….. turns out it’s quite easy really!!

Amazing food – check out our afternoon tea



Another no clue about rowing day, but there was more testing

friday christmas party

Last day of my course! 33/40 in our mock exam

Then the Rowing Club Christmas party – was great fun, lots of drinking and dancing. There was some cartwheeling which wasn’t without incident, but I wasn’t involved in that!!!

I don’t have any photos of the party (there must be some somewhere??) but I’m sure she won’t me sharing her involvement in the pre-party decorating


sat rest day

Thank goodness for a random rest day! I think it’s fair to say not many of the Novice girls achieved all that much today.

sun 2x water sweep and skull

We were right back at it today though – 2 sessions out on the water – one lot of sweeping and another skulling – beautiful day, some comparison of random bruises and piecing of the night together


Let’s see what I can remember from 16-22nd Nov

Monday 16th – sleep in, text from Joe, immigration, no key, bootcamp, green parrot

Those are the clues….. I slept in (ie didn’t set my alarm for 5:20am), Texted my rowing coach, got a reply…… got a phone call from Immigration saying my work visa application had been approved – hurrah can stay for at least another year in NZ – collected passport for can go to Oz at end of week. Did bootcamp to make up for missing training in the morning (hideous circuits trying to beat previous time each time round) and then went to the Green Parrot to celebrate – amazing steak!!!

Tuesday –

There would have been some training in the evening…….


According to my calendar – hair cut and then rowing…..

Thursday sydney – early training rhys

Here I have more of a clue – went to Sydney!!!! But first did some erging with my bf (trying to correct his technique) then a monster breakfast out, a mad pack, trip to the airport, flight to Sydney and then a drive to the Blue Mountains – stopped at a really yummy Thai restaurant on the way, but sadly no idea where or what it was called….. The temperature difference between Welling (17) and Sydney (27) was amazing, so warm, every time we got out of the car we were reminded of how warm it was (compared to the aircon in the car!!) We drove out to the Blue Mountains and stayed at a really friendly hostel called the Flying Fox in Katoomba – was late when we arrived, so time for a glass of wine and a sleep!


For some reason we were both awake stupidly early, but was to be a blessing in disguise – temperatures of nearly 40 degrees C were forecast so it was good to get up and out before it got too hot. Took a walk down to see the view at Echo Point – it didn’t disappoint and even better there was no-one else there!!


We wandered back for our free breakfast – amazing yummy bread and jam and cups of tea. Spent the day exploring, went to see Gordon Falls – a bit of a disappointment, but with the weather it shouldn’t have been surprising there wasn’t that much water!

Lunch was at a yummy veggie/vegan place in Katoomba. In the afternoon we were in Leura and spotted a sign for a vegan restaurant open in the evening – was upstairs in the mall, popped our heads in and it looked great, so that’s where we went for dinner – after an evening stroll back at Echo Point.


Food was delicious, was even dessert – we got 2 to share and thankfully both preferred different ones!!


saturday TM

Tough Mudder!!!! Our reason for being in Australia. It was held in Glenworth Valley just under 2hr drive away from the Blue Mountains – was a lovely drive, but we only had the map they gave us when we hired the car…… it took us most of the way, but not the vital end bit….. we had no data on our phones, was getting a bit tense as to whether we’d missed a turning/not gone far enough when out the corner of my eye I spotted a sign (I thought) for Glenworth Valley, we turned off the main road and there were no signs, we drove, no signs, then turned around to retrace our steps when thankfully I spotted a sign from another road pointing to Glenworth Valley, with much relief we followed that and were soon surrounded by people all heading in the same direction!

This was my second Tough Mudder to participate, but my 3rd after volunteering in Auckland last year – spent 2 great days manning the Cage Crawl (Day 1 and Day 2).

My first TM was in the UK and was soooooo much fun and I’d trained so hard for it, this time, I’ve been training for rowing and hoped that would be enough!! My report for the UK was obstacle by obstacle, but without the memory of Nikki to help me this is far less detailed!!


11233093_10156293221250293_1878294117877734748_oIt was fun, it was hard, it was wet, muddy and shocking (of the electrical kind) was well worth the travel to get there and everything that went before.

My favorite obstacle this time was the mud mile – mud banks to climb over before plunging into muddy water to climb up another bank (and repeat). Least fav was Arctic Enema – plunging into a skip filled with water and ice, ducking underneath a divider and climbing out – loved it first time round, this time freaked out, panic breathing, horrible – the smile in the photo above is misleading!

Had 2 showering sessions to attempt to get the mud off before changing into clean/dry clothes. Then drove to Sydney, parked up and found our hostel (our room more like a hotel) for the night – by the train station – Bounce. Had an ensuite and white towels….. they may rethink that for next year – any TM people should just get old towels. Despite the previous 2 showers there was still mud to be found, lots of it – I was finding mud in my ears and nose for days…….


After a v solid nights sleep we were up early for breakfast – got to see a steam train leaving the station from our view over the railway tracks in the hostel’s fab kitchen.

Then packed away our stuff, carried it back to the car before heading off to our treat for the day – a Jet Blast Ride in and around the harbour. This was so much fun, the time flew by, we got a little soggy, but then we did sit right at the front!!

The rest of the day we walked to the Rocks, the Harbour Bridge, Opera House, Botanical Gardens, back down Pitt Street and we were done.

When I say done, I mean could walk no more, had seen as much of Sydney as we could do.

Time to head to the airport and back to Wellington…… arrived back at 11pm and we were home for 1am. What a great trip away 🙂


9th November – James Bond week

Monday out in the 8 ghost rowing – loved it – the concept of pushing with the legs and doing nothing with the arms is doing wonders for my blisters, or complete lack of new ones – going to stick with this!!


Tuesday on the ergs, horrible weather, horrible 2km pieces, 3 of them…….

Had a shocker. The first was fine. Rating 24 for 1000m and 26 for 1000m. The second I couldn’t breath at 1000km (at 26), stopped, cried and after some friendly encouragement pulled it back together for the last 1000m (at 28). The third I managed 1000m at 28 and some at 30 before again my breathing went haywire, missed about 10 strokes getting by breathing back and then finished – I was amazed – I finished before quite a few people, so if I can sort out my breathing and keep up that pace I’ll be pretty chuffed with myself.

So, not much to celebrate about rowing, but I did get my work visa for another year, so was allowed out for chocolate cake 🙂


Wednesday – I slept in for a whole hour….. woke at 6:20am thinking it’s a bit light outside and sure enough it was. Quick text to my coach stating the obvious – I’m late! It was a mad dash to get dressed and drive into town and to training. I arrived at the club to find all the ergs full, so was sent on a 20minute run (here) while the others finished what they were up to. When they did it was my turn – all by myself (totally my own fault) – 40/20s 3 lots of 10 – it was HARD. The others had looked broken by the end and they had each other for company. It was a good exercise in not letting myself talk myself into quitting or taking it easy – no point in getting up late, coming to training and not doing it properly – may as well have stayed in bed for that.

Thursday – really enjoyed today. We started with a fun abs session – all 10 of us got to pick our favorite abs thing to do and we did it for 2mins, high knees in between! Then we had a really great team chat about race plans and how things are going to work going forwards before getting into some erging putting that plan into action – hard work, but fun – I love chats like that, made me feel really excited about rowing and it’s always good to remember why we’re doing all this training!

Friday – rest day, but also James Bond Day!!!!!!! As a fundraiser for the club we sold tickets to a special screening of the new James Bond film, Spectre. Was at the Penthouse in Brooklyn, nice arthouse-type cinema, v comfy seats and free wine 🙂 Really fun, but with a 7am start was home straight afterwards for an early night

Saturday – 7am start but rowing in Petone so a quick cycle and I was there – early – early enough to make me double check facebook to check I’d got the time right as no one else was there…… We had rather a rough row in the 8 (the waves not our technique (so much)). I was on bow side (my less favorite side) and have discovered that the feeling I’ve been getting of ‘catching’ the water before I put my oar in properly and I’ve been trying to correct is what I actually should be feeling (it’s called getting backsplash). Good to know if slightly frustrating to have been thinking it was wrong all this time…..

The afternoon was given over to the important job of cider tasting. A magazine (Capital) had got in touch with our coach and wanted to know if he could find 10 women who’d be prepared to try about 20 ciders….. he wasn’t short of volunteers! It was a really fun afternoon of tasting, commenting and trying to think where we pictured ourselves drinking these ciders, what landmarks or personalities did they remind us of……. we got better as time went on – some were really yummy, one or 2 were certainly not, but I’m now a firm fan of berry ciders – yum

Sunday – erging – it was hard, I wanted to give up, we did 3 sets, only a short way into the 2nd and I was willing to give up and go home, but talked myself through it and somehow held on through the 3rd. Next week is peak week….. help!


Week 9 – erg-a-thon

Monday – evening run, gentle 30mins

Tuesday – on the water – swapped for another rower via the coach boat – we had tickets to see Neil Finn 🙂

neil finn

Wednesday 6am – got a lift into town so a bit of a lie-in – on the water again – so still no idea what 40-20s are……

Thursday – water again and a run to the station……

Friday – rest

Saturday – erg-a-thon – in town at 7am for 8x 15mins of rowing – teams of 6 (or 5 in our case) rowing for 10 hours (about 100mins each) Managed a good pace, 24 strokes/min rating under 2:10/500m until my knee couldn’t take it any more, rowed the last couple of sessions with 1 leg – was still fun though!!!!

row a thon

Sunday – weights session – was meant to be 8am, but delayed until 5pm to allow for the rugby! Knee still pretty sore, not happy standing up or sitting down (coach advised to do neither……) still managed the 2hr weights circuit though, just didn’t do any erging

Week 8 – 2km test week and our first regatta

Plan 151005

Monday – we did a deal – rowing this evening (usually when we train by ourselves) for a lie in on Wednesday – the water was great, so who were we to turn down an extra row and a lie in??


I loved this session, we worked really hard and had the honour of being coached by Dick Joyce. He’d already spoken to me when I was warming up on the ergs, but I had no idea who he was, but thankfully happily listened to his advice!

Tuesday – 2km test day…… last month was my first test and amazed myself by getting on the leader board. Now I wanted to do it again…… so did everyone else! Told to hold my stroke rate at 26/min, 500m split of 2min for first 1000m then go for it in the 2nd half of the row. I was good for the first part, fell apart a bit in the middle*, my splits heading towards 2:10….  but pulled it back together to manage a time of 8:08 – so 1 second off (better) than my previous time, but not enough to get back on the board……

*the coach watching thought I was about to give up, so did I, but happy to have overcome that and kept going, and a second is still a second……

Wednesday – a lie in!!!!! But still managed to fit in a lunchtime erg

Thursday – I honestly can’t remember, but I imagine it was erging……..

Friday – only some people were going to get out on the water first thing this morning, but another girl was going to erg/weights and I said I’d join her at 6:30am – so many reasons why this was a silly idea – 1, I had the day off work, I could have slept in. 2, it was meant to be a rest day. 3, with a regatta on Saturday the rest thing was important. 4, did I mention it was my day off?????

We did some erging, then a bit of chatting and I was home again before anyone else in the house had woken up!!

Saturday – Regatta Day – Porirua Goodwill – erghh an early start to be in Porirua for 7am. The regatta was pretty delayed due to the wind/waves! We found a sheltered spot to sit out of the wind and eventually began to warm up as the sun came out. Our first race was the Novice 8 – not sure if this will work this should – but we won!!! There was a worrying moment when the referree boat came over to check we were Novices and all women…. apparently they thought there might be a man in the boat…… I don’t think my short hair helped….. it was suggested I should ‘get them out’ but thankfully it wasn’t needed…… We came 2nd in the Open 8 – might work? will work. We were split between 2 boats for the Novice 4s – the first boat rowed a storm coming in 20sec ahead of everyone else!!! Our boats wasn’t so fast, but think we came 1st in our heat…… here

The regatta was in Titahi Bay, where the sailing club is, and as it happens there were people there so popped along to say hello – they were selling a safety boat, the rowing club needs a coach boat – it was a match!

With all the delays we didn’t leave until 4:30pm – the sun that was warming in the morning had burnt a lot of us – lesson learnt – learn to love the shade (and get a hat)!!


Sunday – team chat – this was good, the coaches Nina and Joe sat and outlined what was on the horizon for us. Rowing camp on Labour Weekend is going to be the start of stepping things up for Nationals. After camp they’re going to have 1 2 1s with us and tell us where we are in terms of ability etc within the squad, what we need to do to improve etc. We need to be ready to tell them whether we’re committed to training towards Nationals or just want to learn to row – either way is fine, just so everyone knows where they stand.

We also had a chat about behaviour – turning up on time, making availability known, when we arrive at the club, get organised, coach boat out, oars out, boats etc. Once on the water listening to coach/cox/stroke for instructions, not chatting when you’re not rowing, but listening/watching/balancing the boat.

I really appreciated this, I hate all the faffing around that goes on, people wandering off etc. Also finally knowing that if you commit to training for Nationals you will go and you will get to participate – went home feeling much happier

I got told off…….

I was in trouble yesterday with Nikki.

In fact I’ve been in trouble with her since Saturday.

Roller skating without protection is my crime…….

It was all fine until I was attacked by an evil lip at the end of a bridge…… the skates swooped out from under me as I tried to jump/step/skate over it and I landed on my right hand, elbow and bottom with great heaviness and much attention from those around me.

I was mostly fine, no head bumping, slight amount of blood on my hand and  having refused all offers of help, I managed to get back up on my ‘feet’.

Once the small crowd had dispersed I may have admitted to a small amount of pain, but it was all good – although I’m never skating over that bridge again!

Stopped off at the rowing club to wash my hand and remove a couple of loose chunks of skin. It was deserted when we’d passed about 10mins before, but when we arrived the deck was covered in people and there was no hiding my injured hand or my ‘old school’ skates or the fact I almost could have put an end to my rowing for a while……

We headed off in a safer direction – away from people/dodgy surfaces and on to Oriental Parade. Much better, I had a chat to a man who referees Roller Derbys, picked up some skating pointers from him (he was under the illusion that I was just learning to skate…… no my friend, I have a good 35 years of experience)

Then, and far more excitingly, I spotted a shiba inu – a what? you may ask? only one of the cutest dogs ever!! They’re fairly rare over in the UK where I was lucky enough to have 2. Over here, it’s the first I’ve seen since I’ve been here. But chatting to the guy who owned her, there’s a breeder in Christchurch.

Murphy dog, he had a peaceful life
until this one came along – Maple
But they were good friends
1927870_6647795292_2757_n (1)
Murphy on his favorite chair in the days before Maple – so handsome

Of course, I had to sit on the floor and have a cuddle, she licked my hand better and cleaned my face and then it was time to say goodbye – she goes for a run and tows her owner behind on his skateboard!

So, should I be wearing protection? (well, probably yes) My friend had wrist and elbow guards on, but that wouldn’t have saved my hand or my bum….. Do I listen to my very wise friend Nikki, who points out that just because this all didn’t exist when I was younger doesn’t mean I shouldn’t wear it now…… or compromise and wear pads, or do what she wants and wear a helmet which feels like over kill, but if I bumped my head would keep me much safer?

Week 6 – no training plan – probably as it turned out to be peak week!

It’s Tuesday already and no official training plan yet

Coach/Masters/Tertiary (the uni folk) have been away in Twizel (as in a Johnathon Ross ‘trying/twying’ not ‘twizzle/swizzle’ for the uninitiated – Kiwis laugh if you make that mistake….). Still making the long journey back and so we’ve been unsupervised!

Monday – with Mr Moonboot unable to go to bootcamp and me needing to do 2x 35 minutes of steady state I thought I’d take advantage. So, 6am, freezing cold, howling wind, pouring rain, Petone waterfront – was fun to be back, but I didn’t work as hard there as we do in our normal training sessions – it’s hard to when you’re partnered with someone, you’re so reliant on them to work super hard too. I left feeling like I’d worked out, but it certainly wasn’t 60mins of steady state….. Thankfully Sam had texted by the time I got to work and we agreed to meet at lunch for an erg session (hurrah for my key). She had a plan…..

4 mins 18 strokes/min

3 mins 20

2 mins 22

1 min 24

5 mins steady around 20

1 min 24

2 mins 22

3 mins 20

4 mins 18

Was good fun and hard work, and certainly felt like a good workout

Tuesday – was a bad training session for me.

More erg stuff, this time endurance pieces. 2km, 2.5km and 3km

I managed to 2km piece easily – we were rowing at a few seconds over our 2km times and it felt really good. Then we rested while another group did theirs then back on for the 2.5km and something happened to the left side of my back/shoulder, massive amounts of pain, I stopped a couple of times to stretch it, but it didn’t help, powered on through to the end but knew something wasn’t right. More stretching, sat down to do the 3km piece but was told to go do step-ups instead…….

Wednesday – terrible weather so coach mixed it up with a weights circuit session

Really good fun and despite my back/shoulder still feeling not right there was plenty I could do, so felt much happier, although still annoyed

Thursday – a sunny evening, so after 20mins warming up on the ergs we went to do some hill sprints – not exactly my happy hurrah, but it was good to be outside!


This is where I love my garmin – you can see the 2 sets of shuttles up and down the hill, the 2 runs up the hill and then the 2 last sets of shuttles before the journey back to the rowing club (in a car) so one of the other girls and I could get in our ‘power strokes’ before heading to the train station!

The shuttles were hard and the hill ridiculous, but as ever, we do what we’re told and it is kind of fun………

Friday – rest day!!!!!!

Saturday – no training as we’re saving ourselves for tomorrow (promises to be a lovely day) so I went roller skating for the first time in years (and I really do mean years). It was really great fun, but hard work once I was back in the swing of it and lovely by the sea.





Sunday – out on the water for the first time in ages!!!

It was a beautiful sunny 8am morning, the water was so flat it was incredible – we could see the bottom of the lagoon (and all its seaweed), out on the ocean when we got round by Oriental Parade we could see all the starfish on the bottom, lots of little ones and some big ones – normally the water has been so churned up you see none of this – we were a happy bunch out in our 8 – we even rowed all 8 of us together!

Very happy until we were made to stand up in the boat – it’s a practice piece – you put your oar in the water, feel it ‘connect’ with the water and then pull yourself up against the oar


Clearly this isn’t us, but this is the idea, although we did it in pairs rather than all 8 of us…….


We were back at training at 4pm, but in the mean time I ended up ‘playing’ tennis – I say this in the loosest sense – there were rackets, there were balls, there was one rally when all 4 of us hit the ball over the net, but I’m fairly sure there was only one….. There was a lot of running to try and hit balls or after balls we missed…..

So, 4pm, bit windier than it was, but still sunny and this time we were in Quads – the boats where you have 2 oars each – not my favorite – find it very hard compared to sweeping (what we were doing in the morning). But I learnt a lot, still getting there, but again we managed to row all 4 together (which means no one is balancing the boat with their oars – we all balance by getting our hands at the right height….)


Was tired by the time I got home and I think have caught the sun – I think finally summer is on the way!!!!

Regatta next weekend – will be the first time wearing a club vest – very excited