My second day in the single was much better. I still wouldn’t say it was good but I’d moved off the ‘slowest-boat-on-the-water’ position again. It had been a bit of a shock going from fastest boat at the club in the double to being overtaken by things, even if they were doubles and fours.
I’d like to think this progression wasn’t entirely due to the juniors being training.
From the start I was still a bit shaky round the edges and my navigation still left a fair bit to be desired.
By the end of the session though, I was only having to stop for juniors and increasingly rare encounters with unruly trees. The sort that jump out at you from around corners and steal your sunglasses.
I have a new found respect for bowmen and coxes
I’m still not confident for the race I’ve agreed to do in it in four weeks time. That is going to be either agonising or hilarious (if you are me or watching me, respectively).
I’m sure every one in life has people they don’t get on with. The people you try not to be left in the same room as for too long. There are very few people I actively dislike, I generally choose to ignore them and get on with life around them. There are quite a few people that I would’t choose to spend time with.
What happens though when one of these people offer you help? Especially when you need the help they’re offering?
The bowman is still training in a quad so I spent this morning out in a single. I’ve not been in a single for a long time and as I always am the first time out, was shaky at best. I spent a few miles paddling getting used to it again but wasn’t really getting anywhere. The problem is that I have never really been coached in a sculling boat. When at the end of a length one of the more irritating members of the club (also out in a single) suggested we did the next length together, my heart sank. I’d got used to working at my own rate. If I wanted to stop I could. If I wanted to go to arms only for a few strokes there was nobody to complain. Now I had to not only make small talk, but stay at steady state in a boat that wouldn’t do what I wanted it to do.
It is often said that the people you don’t get on with are the ones you can see yourself in. If this is true I apologise profusely to all who know me. This guy was one of those people who knows they are always right. There’s no point giving your opinion. If it differs from theirs it’s obviously wrong and if it doesn’t it serves no purpose other than to inflate their ego. They delight in being able to impart their knowledge to people and explain why they are doing things wrong and why the way they do it is the best.
The one place where this is a useful attribute is in coaching. I now had a voice beside me giving me a blow by blow account of why everything was going wrong in my boat. No detail was spared. If he thought he could find fault, he’d say. Possibly the only thing more annoying than this was the fact that it was useful. I needed someone outside the boat giving feedback and advising on technique. The things he said were things I need to work on. I spent the rest of the session begrudgingly going along with him and listening to what I was doing wrong and how he was a mighty fine sculler having been at Henley once. To add insult to injury the changes worked. It did start feeling better and by the end I wasn’t bouncing from one bank to the other with such regularity. I suppose I ought to be grateful.
After fighting the VIII at uni all term it was always going to be good to be back in a boat that runs well. To come home to bright sunshine and discover that the double was running as well as it was last summer, if not better, was something else. I really look forward to these sessions now. There’s something about sculling that sweep doesn’t offer. The more natural movements as you stay central and the feeling of greater independence while still having to work together. Being our first couple of sessions, we just did steady paddling rather than anything speed related, but there was still run on the boat and the noise of the water as it passes under the boat is one that never gets old.
The comparatively state of the art boat house I scull from during holidays. It even has running water
After readjusting blades and such back to how they were when we were last in the boat, we only ended up getting six lengths in before it was too dark. I had also cycled the the boat house (20 miles) so wasn’t really up for much more. Saying that though, it didn’t feel as bad as it could have done. I managed an average of 21.8mph on the way. I also managed about 45mph average on the way home but that was more due to being collected by the parents. I’m not sure that’s how training is supposed to work but I could hardly turn them away once they were there.
Saturday’s session was longer ending up at 12 lengths (~20km) and included a few higher rate/pressure lengths. On the last of these, the eleventh length of the session, we did a r32 length resulting in a time of 5:37. I don’t think either of us were that close to completely flat out and it was still faster than our fastest of last year. It’s really starting to move well again. Extrapolating using dodgy maths (maths degrees don’t use numbers) and Paul’s law, it works out to be ~7:07 for 2k. This isn’t amazingly quick but is closer to record times than the VIII ever went this term. And even closer than that considering it as PGM.