Back to Practice

I’ve had a fairly long semi-hiatus from paddling and am just coming back to it now. Out of the past 4 weeks, I’ve been out of paddling for 3 of them. One was due to our week off after TIDBRF, one due to the Gordon conference, and one due to my vacation in Montreal between Montreal Challenge and Andy’s wedding.

I’m not all that sure it’s good to be back…

My body’s so tired right now. I definitely felt like I was falling behind while I was away. I tried to get in some paddling while in Montreal, but the canal flooded (fairly regular occurrence) so that plan went out the window. I also got bitten by black flies during Iron Dragons’ practice yesterday and my right hand is hugely swollen and stiff, so gripping a paddle was kind of hard. My hand is currently a giant round ball.

Apparently the team did an extremely grueling practice on Sunday while Chris and I were still in Montreal: 3 sets of 15 x (70 s on, 20 s active rest). Lactic acid training! Must’ve been painful. Today at practice before we left the dock, Gavin asked me if I did my 45 x 70″/20″ yet. I looked at him sheepishly and was like “uh…” and didn’t answer.

Later, Ben mentioned that while I had been gone, he had been steering a bit more, and so had only done 2 out of the 3 sets. I asked if he was going to do his third set and he said he would if I did all 3 sets as well (on the rowing or paddle erg). I was like “uh…” and didn’t answer.

We started the practice with a hard 2 km. Ugh. Hard 2 km practices are the worst because you’re in pain and you’re tired and you’re dying and you have to do it for so long. Don’t get me wrong, I think they’re great for the team and especially me. We need to get used to going hard and thinking we’re going to die but doing it anyway and holding on. But man, they hurt. Basically after about 10 or 20 strokes after the start, I was dead and thinking it was way too hard. But I was also thinking that we had to go hard because that’s our usual problem (not going hard enough) so even if I killed myself doing it, I would make sure we went hard from the start. And then for legs 2, 3, and 4 I was just holding on.

So much dying.

One of our pieces was completely terrible. I felt a significant rush from behind and the stroke felt short, incomplete, and heavy. After the piece, I got angry and commented on it. Adrian, in turn, got angry back, and said it was supposed to be race pace and we weren’t going race pace. I think it was likely a combination of both things. Heavy water leading to trying to rate it not really working and therefore strokes getting shorter and slower and people trying to rush it to get it back to race pace and just all around not a great feeling. It’s okay, Adrian and I made up after practice and we also ended with a much better start and transition just before heading back to the docks.

Now I’m just tired and my legs are extra tired because we biked to and from practice and my back is tired and my arms are tired and my hand is stiff and my bites are itchy and I’m sleepy. Good, hard practice, but tough. And I need to sleep now.

P.S. I promise posts on Pickering, TIDBRF, Montreal Challenge, and my conference will come relatively soon. Probably before Nationals. Probably.

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