KR1 week 7-13th December

So, this week was a light week in terms of rowing – lots of technical stuff/short pieces so everyone was rested for the Christmas Regatta at Lake Karapiro.

It’s a BIG regatta, the biggest we’d been to and will probably get to go to (even Nationals isn’t as big as there’s no school teams there)

True to recent form, I have no idea what happened in the week, but on Friday through various means we traveled up to Karapiro, a small town/village by Cambridge, which is near Hamilton, or to be v general on the North Island!

Cambridge is famous in NZ for horses/horse racing/harness racing – we stayed at the Raceway – most minimal place yet, we were in a function room, a bar (no alcohol), a toilet, a long walk to the shower block (1 shower) where we did find a hot water boiler and a microwave…….. but it was only $10/night.

This is all a good 6/7 hour  drive from Wellington. I had my Software Testing exam on the Friday, so made the good decision to catch a flight up to Hamilton and by happy coincidence so was another rower so we had a fun trip together – drinking coffee and eating Russian fudge and boiled sweets.

As there are no cooking facilities at the Raceway and no where else within walking distance we went to the onsite bar/restaurant – there was a Friday special of steak for $16 and turned out to be pretty good. Pretty much everyone had arrived by 10pm when our coach came in for a chat/what to do in the morning etc. Once he realised how late it was we were sent to bed – had to be up at 5:30am!!

Saturday – heats

It was a bit overwhelming arriving and seeing a sea of boats along the side of the lake. There were nearly 3000 rowers and it felt like as many boats. People from all over the North Island, some from Australia and a team from China.

There are heats on day one and finals on day 2. This is the fancy regatta – they have people who lie on pontoons and hold the boats at the start (like you see on the TV).

I did not have a good day.

The first race I was in was the Quad sculls (it’s at this point in life where I’ve realised it’s sculling, not skulling – now have quite gruesome images in my head) anyway, it’s not my strongest point and for 3 out of 4 of us, I think it’s fair to say it’s not our strongest skill. We were also hampered by having (what turned out to be) an inexperienced cox. It was a horrible row, we came 6th or last depending on how you want to look at it.

Next up was the Novice 8 – I was in with the same crew as last week and still on stroke side – my favourite. We were in a battle for 1st/2nd from the start, it was great, we rowed so hard, but with about 250m to go I caught a crab, my oar twisted and got stuck and there was nothing I could do. 250m is a good minute or so of rowing, losing a rower on one side means it’s v difficult to steer as the other side is always pulling you around. There was nothing to do but 1. desperately try and free my oar, 2. cry when I realised that wasn’t going to happen and 3. watch our potential chance 1st place go, and the 2nd and the 3rd……. 4th place – I was gutted for everyone – 1st or 2nd and we’d have been in the final……. Everyone one was so nice about it, I got hugs and lasagna, wise words, stories of other crucial times people had messed up, but still, a chance in a final gone…..

Finally there was the 4, I was in bow side for this – my less favorite side and already feeling bad after the 8 race I didn’t feel great, we had the same bad cox as the quad earlier in the day, I think it’s fair to say we were tired and the wind was blowing. It was a bumping row to the start, a lot of fingers/thumbs getting bashed on the riggers and tempers were frayed by the time we were at the start…… The row itself was ok, we came 4th, so not last, but not great either.

I meant I had no final races the next day – the only Novice not to 😦


The girls in the 8, top 4 and quad and double had all got into the finals – they’d had great races and that was oar-some news!

We ate at the Raceway again – this time a yummy burger. Also spotted an amazing mullet – v blurry as we were quite far away, but I think you can get the idea.

Sunday – finals day and rain

Lots of rain! And even better, lots of wins. Everyone rowed so well, for the Novices, every win was a great one – especially the Novice  8 – was so exciting to watch – so proud of the girls. The races we didn’t win there were good reasons for, so a great leaning opportunity.

For me it was a hard day, the further realisation that I wasn’t up with the best rowers, so much technique still to work on…. What I did learn though was what I’d be reassured of the previous day – people do catch crabs – one of our boats caught 2 in quick succession – makes mine nothing special – just another thing to learn from.

Boat loading took FOREVER – probably not helped with the knowledge that we all had a massive drive ahead of us. We didn’t leave until around 6pm, took a quick drive to Taupo for Burger Fuel – yum – and then the long drive to Wellington. Events occurred that we will never speak of, although someone has spoken, I’m hopping it never gets out of the Novice girls circle of trust……




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!!!

Peak week, but kind of cheating

So, this has been sat in my drafts folder for well over a month now……

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

Tuesday –


Thursday sydney – early training rhys


saturday TM



Monday – lie in landed 11pm, home 1am




friday christmas party

sat rest day

sun 2x water sweep and skull



tuesday 2k test


thu boat loading 6x 1min

fri rest and wanganui – Jury Cup

Sat – race

Sun – train/travel

What more info do you need for 3 weeks worth of my life??!!!

Week 10 – swim test and Wanganui Camp

Monday – water – arms only fast, arms and bodies fast – feet out – hard!

Tuesday – on the ergs – 5 rounds of 10x 40-20s (40 seconds hard rowing/20seconds rest) then a swim test. I nearly passed out at the end of the 2nd round, was pleased there was only 2 more to go then realised we were doing 5…. not a fun night. Was some concern about the swim test – we’ve all seen the jellyfish in the water……

The water was freeeeeezing cold, had to be in for 5 minutes brrrrrrr

Wednesday – water?

Thursday – boat loading

Friday – Drive to Wanganui – it being a long weekend, we delayed leaving until gone 7pm, but it was windy and rainy, we didn’t get there until around 10pm. People were just settling down – we were staying at the Union Boat Club in their club room. Had an awesome mattress to sleep on, it just needed blowing up – v noisy in a v quiet room…….. amazing sleep though!

We had 3 rows on each full day of camp- 2 hours on the water, 2 hours off. We mostly worked on our catches and finishes – amazing to row so much and felt massive improvement – I actually like bow side now I’ve done it a bit more.

Saturday – The Novices had the early start – 6am – out on the water for 2 hours before getting back to get some breakfast – went shopping with some of the boys to get poached egg materials – yum!!!!!  3x rows, 1x floating cow, pasta dinner, blisters, nappy cream

No idea what this row was – might have been me coxing for the novice men – just proof we were there!

Sunday – late row – 8am start! 3x rows (2nd row 3rd row), 1x cow, sheep, more blisters, BBQ, John visited, bed by 9:30

Monday – 6am start – 1x row, no animals, 1 more blister, wash everything down, pack up, drive home and unload – absolutely shattered……

From the drive home
From the drive home


Another week another training plan


So this week we’re ‘building’ – I assume on the ‘base’ we created last week

Monday – mixed it up a bit today, instead of running with Sam at lunchtime we did 15min ergs and weights. I tried to row with my feet not strapped in – think I’m getting the hang of it…… Was such a lovely day we did the weights outside, trouble with a sunny day is that a lot of tourists are out overlooking the rowing club, and therefore us, we will be in a few holiday photos I think!! Little circuit of 15x dorsal raises (with a 10kg weight), 15x leg throws, 15x 8kg bicep curls, 15x 30kg deadlift and 15x 10kg ‘lawnmowers’ – knee and hand on bench, leg on floor, hand hanging down and pulling back to ribs like you’re starting a lawn mower…….

Was a good workout, but really warm in the sun!!!

After work, with more steady state to do I was planning on a run along the seafront with my bf…. he wanted to go up Mount Victoria and run, not sure why, but I agreed. Mount Vic, as the name should suggest, is a small, steep hill – any run at the top of it can only go one way…….down….. it has mountain bike trails, so lots of lovely steep bits….. and what goes down, must come back up…… we did this finishing back at the car, and then realising we may as well go to the top, we ran up a few stairs (for fun) to the peak – beautiful views

Tuesday – I was tired….. we had to run around the overseas terminal to warm up, then 3x 2km at 22/23/24 strokes/min – then I was shattered.

Our coach wanted us to do a bit more cardio, another 20 minutes of it. I’d had enough and decided I’d run to the train station…… not quite what he’d had in mind, but all that was left in me

Wednesday 6am – It was too rough to row. Asking us to be there for 6am usually means we’ll be out on the water, so we were all v quiet and just sat on the floor waiting for our coach to arrive.

We had to run to the police boat and back – took us slower ones 12 minutes.

On the ergs we were split into 5 teams of 3. We were split by our 2km erg times, so in theory the teams were all equally balanced – best time with worst time with a middle person.

As a race we took it in turns to row

100m arms only, then

200m arms/bodies, then

300m arms bodies half slide, then

500m row, and collapse.

We then did some sneaky power strokes disguised as fun – 3x row 250m in as few strokes as possible, push super hard with your legs and then crawl back up the slide so you get as much distance as possible from each stroke – our coach can do it in 11 strokes – me? 13, 12 and 12

To round everything off? Run around the lagoon and then Te Papa

Done – so tired, sat at work zombie like until I had some crystalised fruit and the sugar kicked in!

Thursday – I now have a key to the rowing club – I’m very excited by this!!

I trained at lunchtime today – have a school performance to attend this evening so can’t make training. Texted the coach to tell him this morning and ask if there was anything I should focus on – one word back – ‘strength’ – to some of my friends I’m ‘freakishly strong’ but there’s always room for improvement!

I had a fun warm up on the ergs, repeated what we did on Wednesday 100m arms etc, but with no breaks and then some power strokes trying to get my number of strkes to 250m down below 12 – it wasn’t to be – but it’s good to have a number to aim for, makes you try so hard as it’s so close within my grasp… but still so far. Then arms, abs, a jog back to work and done until Saturday!!!!!

Friday – a rest day – bubble soccer doesn’t count right?

Hmmmmm, not so much of a rest day – had to sprint for the train in the morning and bubble soccer is exhausting – running around inside a plastic bubble is harder work than you think…… 4 quarters of 7minutes each = a lot of hot v sweaty workmates + partners.

And as it turns out 1 bf with a broken 5th metatarsal…..

Saturday and Sunday – hop-a-long (complete with crutches and moonboot) threw a spanner in the rowing this weekend – barely able to walk, he needed a chauffeur/gopher/cheerleader/someone to round up his 2 girls (it’s like herding cats at the best of times). Ended up sneaking in a couple of runs while they were all occupied and unlikely to cause each other too much harm – miserable weather, windy, rainy, cold.

What have I been up to in the last 12 months?

Good question!

I’ve moved to live in Wellington NZ and am now in the process of applying for residency here. This means having a massive sort out of what I’ve been up to for the last 12 months and so I should be perfectly placed to answer the question!!

July 2014 saw me do my first run in Wellington – Tough Guy/Gal – have to say it was rather disappointing after Tough Mudder (but then will anything repeat that experience?) It was a 5km course, with no challenging obstacles, some mud, a massive hill you needed to pull yourself up using a rope and a river swim at the end – hence looking rather clean at the end!!

Before with my cheering squad
After - cheering squad less keen to huddle up
After – cheering squad less keen to huddle up

Next was Butterfly Creek Nightime Madness in August – a gentle 7.7km walk with a 295m climb – we decided to do it in fancy dress (the website showed people in fancy dress) I suspect not that they, like us, were the only ones…….

and After.... we were all a bit tired
and After…. we were all a bit tired

In September we tried Aikido, I didn’t really enjoy it at all…… no kicking, no punching, no breaking a sweat…… so that was a no.

October was all about the tennis – we’re terrible at it, very rarely did a rally last more than 3 shots, but it was fun and the weather beautiful – by the sea with tuis flying overhead we weren’t really complaining!!

In November I popped back for 3 crazy weeks in the UK but still found the time for a Chi-walk and a Chi-run with Gray along my old favorite – the Parkland Walk – I love running with Gray, he makes it seem so easy

December saw the start of 3 amazing months of me being a hut ranger in Tongariro National Park on the Round the Mountain Track – it got too long and now it’s a separate posting! But here’s a picture to try to tempt you to read it – my view for 3 weeks20150211_085737 (1)

When I wasn’t in Tongariro, I was back in Wellington and on Saturdays I was learning to sail at the Titahi Bay Boating Club.

I had 4 really good sessions in glorious sunshine before more volunteering (on top on Tongariro) got in the way – the Cricket World Cup – another amazing experience – got to see England vs New Zealand (the less said about that the better, but it was a lovely sunny day…..)


Got to love the hat (and melting suntan lotion in the eyes)
Got to love the hat (and melting suntan lotion in the eyes)

March arrived and so did my first proper New Zealand job – the end to my backpacking/volunteering ways – but the beginning of having some actual money again – hurrah!!! The first thing I treated myself to was a copy of Wilderness magazine which at some point the hut rangers of Tongariro may be featuring in.

The second was a months worth of MMA classes at MTI Wellington – what is MMA? you may be asking – good question – I wasn’t too sure myself, but as ever there’s a wiki page for it. It’s enormous fun, but vicious and brutal – kind of like no holds barred wrestling, but meaner. I was the only woman for the first couple of weeks, then another one, Gentiane, joined, she’s lovely and although she was a beginner at MMA, check out her previous experience…… here and here, but then also here – Eagle vs Shark!! Although I did manage to make her tap out a couple of times!!

Once that month was up, the same gym had an offer on a month of Muay Thai classes. Loved this, missed MMA, but with the kickboxing you could be a bit rubbish and still kick and punch. If you were bad at MMA you were just pinned to the floor and in pain!

I might have carried this on, but saw an advert for a Corporate Rowing Challenge – a challenge??? This had to be investigated! IMG_5859From May-August the rowing club (that I can see through the window at work) were offering to train you to row, land sessions on rowing machines (ergs), 2x a week out on the water (depending on the weather) and 2x fitness sessions – all for NZ$350 (about 175 pounds – no pound sign on my keyboard). It culminates in an indoor rowing competition and a regatta between all the teams in the middle of August (a month away now) – how could I resist??IMG_5863

Turns out I couldn’t, so I’m currently doing 3x erg sessions a week and 2x out on the water rowing and I love it!!! We had a seal with us this week


One last thing, I also managed to fit in a 10km run through Wellington a couple of weeks ago – if you believe the medal, I ran a marathon, but I promise it was only 10km!!


Best of Britannia

Slinks and TreasurePods

Calling all London and surrounding area folk... Calling all London and surrounding area folk…


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3rd and 4th October 2014 in London.

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(Use the promo code bobfeedsclerkenwell to gain 2 day access with a Pulled meal and a pint of Meantime beer for £8)

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What do you treasure? What do you treasure?

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