Saturday, April 12, 2008
It's a good tired.
With the end of daylight saving (thank goodness!- from the point of view of an early morning exercise convert, it's just bloody silly when it's still dark at 6.30) we were able to ride our tandem from home into town this morning. First light at 5.41, so we left about that time. 75 km later we were home again. Mind you, I think it's more the 5am get-up that leaves me a bit shattered by mid-afternoon, despite the coffee and a second breakfast (of fried eggs on toast!) before leaving town!
Shattered? Pffft. Why not push the envelope a bit more... Today there was no netball! It's the start of the school holidays - 2 weeks thereof, so 3 weekends netball-free. So it was a good chance for the mummy and daddy to do something else for themselves. It's been a long time coming, but finally, this past year, we are getting some regular 'us' time.
Years ago - and we're talking twenty-one of them - way back when we first started going out together - we started paddling canoe marathons (in a kayak, just to confuse you with terminology) in a double "TK2". We started paddling long distances together - gradually getting better as we did so. I'm talking marathons like the Hawkesbury River Canoe Classic (111km overnight) and the Murray River Marathon (400 km over 5 days.) We even progressed to an olympic class K2 (which differs from the touring class kayaks in that it is longer, even tippier, and with a stern rudder (underneath the boat) instead of a trailing rudder. (But that boat is currently in two halves, which is a whole other segue which I won't bore you with here..!!)
Most normal people would progress from paddling shorter to longer distances, but ever the rebels, we did it the other way, and started paddling shorter races (like 20km ones).(Which they still call marathons by the way!) We even won our class (Mixed open TK2 one year) in the NSW marathon series- travelling to a number of races around the state.
We last paddled "seriously" back in about 1990, but then started owner building a house, having babies, and, hard as it is to imagine, the kayaking didn't really get a look-in. Since we moved here 10 years ago we've had a couple of attempts at paddling with this local kayak club who run a handicap race every Saturday afternoon. One last baby and general babysitting issues interfered yet again, and we've never really managed to get back there, despite the occasional "We should try to go for a paddle sometime".
Sometimes all it takes is a catalyst (and for your kids to be old enough ... finally, finally...) A few weeks ago an old canoeing friend from our marathon days let us know about an adventure race to be held in our neck of the woods. We're talking trekking, mountain biking, sea kayaking and roping.
One thing led to another - the one thing being Marc considering doing the 'half' race, if he could find other people to do so with him - and the 'other' being him accepting an invitation to fill a sudden vacancy on this guy's team in the full race.
And I call me crazy....
Fortunately the team (2 men, 2 women) only aim to finish, not to win. Marc has done some adventure racing, back in the past.. He's certainly got cycling experience. He is au fait with ropes. And map-reading. And he can paddle, even if he hasn't done so for a while. And this team doesn't run the trekking part, so if he trains himself up over the next few weeks, he should be able to do it. These guys have just done quite a bit of this adventure racing over the years, while Marc's been busy with family, and working overseas a lot.
Unfortunately they are tandem nuts as well, and so they'll be riding tandems. This is an "unfortunately" because Marc isn't so keen on doing so on dirt - they would surely be quicker on singles. And I'm not so keen on him doing so with Another Woman. While it won't be on my tandem, it's effectively my seat. I am coming to terms with him doing this, because, after all, it is quite possibly this mad streak in him that attracted me to him in the first place. (So he reckons, anyway. ) I am not a good spectator, but in this instance I'll have to leave on the Sunday to drive two kids to Sydney for a recorder concert!)
So, if nothing else, he needs to train up, and if I can ride on his shirttails here, and get the benefit of the training, if not the actual thing (which realistically is beyond me anyway) then that's a bonus.
So today we pulled out the TK2, gave it a tub, and rocked up to the kayak club Saturday afternoon race. (Well, he washed it, and got the roof racks organised - I mowed the back yard, and drove #1 daughter into town to the movies!)
We made a pact to take this first hit-out easy, to make sure we could still do it. We could! Style ok. Didn't fall out. Muscles must have memory. We did the 6.5 km (for 'C' grade at a gentle pace ... and the arms didn't fall off. (I'm hoping my swimming helps.) We have said we'll go back.. Next week we can do so netball free, but after that we'll have to start scheming ways to make it there in time and back to pick up kids.
So I am tired, but happily so. I'd rather fall into bed physically tired, for one. But also, being back in the kayak, doing what we used to do, is great.
Not an easy sport to photograph..with less chance of there being spectators lining the 'course'.. this isn't quite what we look like these days. That was in the old days, in the K2. Somewhere just after that time we switched seats, and so now I paddle in the back (much like on the tandem!), bought carbon fibre wing paddles, and started paddling the marathon series races.
Still.. you get the picture....
Next morning: Marc got up at 1.30 am, drove into town, and rode around a velodrome for just over an hour (as a pace rider) for a 24 hour charity ride that was happening. (You think we/he are hardcore? There were people there riding the whole 24 hours - 500km round and round a bloody velodrome!! ) My contribution was not to grumble at being woken up when he got up, and when he came back to bed at 4am! And to sleep in with him till nearly 11.00!!
And he plans to go for a 'trek' this afternoon. Somehow I don't think I'll be able to walk fast enough for him. You can't go doubles or tandem when you are walking!!!
I have this feeling of being left behind in his wake... My only consolation is that because of my swimming, I don't think my arms and upper body are as sore as his after the paddling...
Jesus, woman! You have so much energy! Will I get some of that when I visit down under?
I thought I was doing it hard, gardening and fishing IN ONE DAY...
Still, I feel like I am being exercised reading your blog!