Row hard, row fast

Tag Archives: Preparations

Marlow Regatta, for me nearly didn’t happen. Having come down to the area the night before, to ensure I was on time, relaxed and ready for it, none of those actually happened. My Sat Nav has gone on a holiday and appears not to have found its way home again, so I was relying on printed directions. I left at 9:30, for a 15 minute journey, I eventually got there at 11:10, having had to send someone to let race control know I was on my way. You wouldn’t believe the number of ways you can get lost in Slough!! Thankfully I found a vaguely helpful gentleman, who pointed me in the right direction.

The consequence of this, was that I was wheeling around at high speed to get boated in time. I just made it to the start line in time, but I wasn’t at all prepared mentally, so my race was pretty poor. I finished third and then was approached by someone from BR, who congratulated me. I was a bit surprised by that, until he explained that they hadn’t realised that two categories were racing, and that I’d actually won my event!! Sadly no medal, but I was presented with the winner of the other category’s medal, then had to give it back, but they’re going to get me one engraved and sent out to me.

I was meant to finish this entry off before I went to Henley Women’s but it didn’t quite happen. HWR was a fantastic experience, although it would have been even better if we’d had more para-rowers. I’d had some coaching by a different person between Marlow and HWR, and I was pleased to see the technical changes we’d made, I managed to produce on the day. I was the only entrant in my category, so raced up a category. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I was determined to do my best. I had a good start, on which I built, and managed to lead for the first 400 m, but as the wind increased, the difference between being able to use just your shoulders, versus the whole of the trunk, became very evident. I dug deep though, and I had nothing more to give at the end, so I can’t be disappointed with my race. It has given me things to work on, which is a good thing, especially so early in my rowing career.

I had to try and hold a coherent conversation with the umpire until we got to the landing stage, who wanted my thoughts on the event, para-rowing in general and a bit more about me. My main thought was, I’m tired, and cold!! Can’t remember what I actually said, but she seemed happy enough with my responses.

I think that’s the main races done for me for a while. There’s the National Championships, but they aren’t until October, so will probably do a few local regattas with my club in the mean time. Other than that it’s mostly training for now. Well, when I can avoid hospital appointments. Not sure how I’ve managed it, but I seem to have loads of tests at the moment, and appointments all within a few days of each other. Not my favourite past time!!

This morning the fun is radioactive egg, with toast and jam. I’ve only got an hour left. I’ve had 3 or possibly 4 scans so far, each an hour apart, so I’m quite bored!! I nearly escaped the last one, if my stomach was behaving, but there’s still quite a lot of the food left, so I’ve still got one more scan. Time has been passed talking to the other girl, who is also having the same scan. I’ve been abandoned now though. The most trying bit of the experience was having to eat the jam. I don’t like jam, let alone jam with seeds in it *shudders* seeds are a big problem for me, I’m terms of my ASD, so I’m kind of proud of my success!!

Tuesday I spent an hour trying to sleep in an MRI machine, whilst also following instructions, multitasking at its finest!! I’ve got two London consultants to see in the next 12 days and a dermatologist up here. I’d been working so hard to cut down on the number of appointments, and don’t know how I’ve managed to end up with all of these.

Right time to go and do something useful, or procrastinate until it’s time for my outing!!

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As part of my preparations for next months trial, a GB coach came down to swap the rails on my current boat, to fit the ones that go with the seat I’d been set up with previously.

Sadly, the weather was far too bad to go out, but we decided to put the boat on the water, just to look at positioning. We nearly hit disaster at this point. The coach was holding the boat with his foot, suddenly a big gust of wind sent the boat on a trip along the jetty, along with the coach. I had visions of him going straight into the water, which I fear if it had happened would have been the end of my GB hopes!! Thankfully all was fine, but I was still rather nervous about drifting away when I got in.

The weather was so bad I think I could have rowed a new record time, but then never have managed to return. I went out the day before, and it was more a strength training exercise than actual rowing and it was even worse when the coach was down, so rather pleased I didn’t have to go out, even I know where to draw the line!!

Trials are now less than 2 weeks away. Someone asked me today if I was feeling ready for them. Honestly, I don’t know. I know I’ve been putting in the hours to improve, but have I done enough? I am trying to remain realistic again. Getting to this stage was unexpected, so anything more would be utterly amazing. By the time I trial I’ll only have been training properly for 11 months, 4 of which I spent in casts and splints. Don’t get me wrong, I desperately want a place on the team, to be doing what I’ve dreamt of doing, to be on the road to Rio, as they say. If I don’t get a place this year, I will work even harder to get a place next year, once I’ve set my sights on something it’s very difficult to shake me off the path.

In semi related news I spent much of last week writing applications to try and receive some funding to help with costs associated with the sport, and also for new equipment in terms of a handcycle for cross training purpose. The latter application, as well as having a judging panel, each week people can vote for their favourite applicant. The link is here I would be very grateful if you could take a minute to help my Paralympic dreams come true. Thank you.



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