Tuesday, September 25, 2012

First time in the racing single!

Tuesday the 25th
I have the day off work for a career development day (big paper due- so I will hopefully get the entire thing done today), so I got to row from 7-8:30 a.m, rather than 5:30-7 a.m.  Man, I like that time slot so much better. And what is really nice about it is I imagine I won't be dead tired this evening.  (Which won't really matter, because I'm not skating tonight- we have a walk through of the house, which we close on next Monday.)  Anyhow- I was really worried about rowing this morning.  I woke up and my right wrist was in terrible pain.  It felt like I had broken it, and any pressure on it hurt terribly.  You have to make changes to rowing by 4:30 a.m. though, so unless I was half-dead I was committed to at least going to the boathouse, I figured I'd decide whether I could actually row or not once I got there.  Just like my knees and back, once I was in the boat, the wrist didn't hurt at all (it hurts again now.) When we got there, the boats were already in the water for us- I was taking the boat Barb (who I often row in the double with) had been in.  I expected this to be the WinTech.  It was not- it was a racing single!  My first time in one!  I'll sum it up this way: success- I didn't tip the boat and take a swim.

More specifically, the boat is really easy to row.  It moves fast if you row well, and so even the low pressure strokes I take cause it to move pretty well.  I think I'm at the point now where I'm no longer "good".  Any natural inclination I showed toward this took me to here, but now the picky things to make me into an actually good rower are coming up.  I need to stop lifting my shoulders to get the blades in at the catch, and just let them go in from the flick of my wrist.  I really need to get some abs, because my knees are popping up too early on the recovery, and I need to roll through my body before I let them do that.  We have kind of combined the arms/body of the stroke, but they are still separate from the legs.  And I need to use my legs more on the drive, though I'm not sure I have enough leg to really do that. I tried pushing with more pressure on them, but I can only stretch them so far...

It was very hard to steer the single, as I've gotten used to in the Wintech (rec single) and the double using harder pressure on one side, or a longer stroke at the catch to help steer- to prevent having to stop and take strokes with one arm every time I need a correction.  At this point, though I have good balance (maybe only two major checks today), I am not stable enough to do that, so anytime I was off track I had to stop and row on one side.  I think I did okay though.  I drifted center a few times, but I don't think I was ever on the wrong side of the river.  Near the end of practice I was very near the shore to let a women's team 8 pass by, but I hadn't seen behind me another women's 8.  RC picks up the bull horn and yells "heads up", and then tells me to keep getting over, almost into the rocks, then yells "heads up" again.  Turns out that boat WAS on the wrong side of the river and heading right at me.  I just got very near the shore and stopped, and they got positioned to get back over to the other side, and I got a polite "sorry" from the cox as they went by.  The novice women have been rowing for about as long as I have. 

I really hope I get to go out in the single again sometime.  I don't know if I'll ever have the power to race successfully, but it certainly is fun!

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