Monday, April 5, 2010

Back on the Water

The weather over the weekend here in northern Virginia was just great. Temperatures reached into the high 70s with low humidity. It felt so good just to sit out in the sun. The start of this month also marked the first time when I could get back on the water in a single. I directed my browser to the appropriate web site and paid my membership fees and then hoped in the car and drove over to Sandy Run Park. The park was pretty crowded for a Friday mid-morning. This was mostly due to the schools being out for spring break and the coaches taking advantage by scheduling practices during the day rather then late afternoon after school lets out. In addition, the first full regatta was the next day. So some last minute fine tuning of starts and getting familiar with the course, I presume. I signed out my boat (but forgot to list the time I left - oops) and headed up stream. The water conditions were good. A slight breeze, but no choppy water. The first time out I want nice flat water until I get the feel of the boat again. Sculling in a single is not unlike riding a bile. Once you master it, you never really forget how to balance the boat but the first few minutes you're still a little unsure if you'll remember how to row and keep from flipping the boat. Overall I would judge it a good first outing. I got the boat to move much better then I had any reason to believe. I'll be the first to admit that my winter training this year was pretty much nonexistent and I need to work my way back into shape before my sweep rowing starts in June. Again given my fitness level, I was able to row decent distances between water breaks. My hands came out in ok shape. First rows of the season are notorious for chewing your hands up with multiple blisters and abrasions until the callouses develop. I had no real blisters although I manage to abrade the skin off the tip of my middle finger on my left hand. and a small part of my left palm. My right hand came out unscathed. I rowed up to Fountainhead park and back. A distance of 7 miles. I'm hoping to get up to 350 miles before the season ends. The wind started to pick up just as I was finishing up, but managed to get the boat back to the dock in one piece. I just missed hitting one rather big log floating in the water and one large tree that had fallen into the reservoir due to high water eroding the banks. Both times I turned around just in time to see them and stop the boat. Hitting objects in the water is not recommended.

Saturday had a meeting of my men's team (sweep rowing) for some instruction on the erg having to do with catches and releases. Unfortunately I missed the part of the message saying that's what was going on and I just thought it was an organizational meeting of sorts and didn't dress appropriately for erging. I listened to our coach for a bit and then cut out after the other rowers started their pieces. I feel a bit bad about that. After I got home, I took our two new miniature schnauzers (Amy and Emily) out for a long walk. At two years old they have endless terrier energy and long walks helps to calm them down a bit and not get into so much mischief at home (like chewing up one of our dog beds). We still trying to arrange some basic obedience training for them so they don't go so ape shit every time they see a living soul be it human, another dog/cat/squirrel. It does make it challenging to walk them. I try to go out on our walks when I think the least amount of pedestrian traffic will be about. The rest of the day was spent running errands and then, finally, watching the Final Four. I was happy to see Butler win and not so much to see Duke win. I will definitely be routing for Butler tonight.

Sunday morning Ann and I headed off to mass. Lord it was crowded Not quite as bad as Christmas eve masses, but not an open seat to be found. Seemed all that kneeling was a bit harder on my knees then usual. Getting old is hell. After mass and another long walk of the twins, it was off to get some much needed mulch for the island out in front of our house and the shrubs that border the house. and front walk. The yard looks 100 per cent better. Given the yard work and the nice day, I cracked my first Corona(s) of the year. Now if it will just stay warm. Fingers crossed.

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