May 5, 2008

A weekend Full of Kayaking

Lake Whatcom Classic Race

Ben picked me up with the Mark 2 and XT Surfskis on his roof. We headed to Surrey to pick up Johnny and off we were to Ferndale to meet up with some other paddlers at Larry’s new home. It was neat to meet a bunch of fast kayakers. We had some burgers and drinks, chatted about kayaking etc and then headed to bed in Larry’s old house next door. My sleep wasn’t the best. I scored the couch but still managed to twist and turn all night long. Oh well, better than outside I suppose. We awoke Saturday morning to rain. BOO. Ben, Johnny and I headed to Old Town CafĂ© in Bellingham for some breakfast and off we went to my first official Kayak Race. My friend Chris came down to see me which was awesome. He is an awesome guy that I had met back in my Whistler days. While, we were registering and organizing the boats I was starting to feel a little nervous. I wasn’t nervous about the placing but more that I would finish and love it and feel good and not tip over. I felt fairly steady climbing into the boat to go warm up.

I was grateful the start line was very long and so it wasn’t as intimidating as others races are with all the boats beginning at the same time and the wash from all the boats creating large waves that could knock a beginner surf skier off their boats. So the horn went off and off we paddled in the rain. Now, it’s an odd feeling not being able to go as fast as your strength will let you due to poor technique. This is where I am at in the surfski (oh and still figuring out the whole balance part.. but its coming surprisingly quickly…I am grateful for this.). I was doing fairly well (all things considered) until about ¾ of the ways through the race. My butt muscle (I still haven’t figured out which one) seized up which caused me to experience severe pain in the buttocks area and down my legs. This pain was fairly intense, to the point where if I moved my lower body at all shots of pain were going through me…it was fairly unpleasant and therefore, I was no longer concentrating on anything but my pain and the need and want to get to the finish line…I was moving slowly (after all my hard work catching up to the double kayak…arg). In the end after a couple of hours, a good night of waffles, drinks, biking and catching up with good friends I was feeling much better and excited about surfskiing again.

Tour De Indian Arm – Deep Cove

Sunday morning I was still somewhat sore in my back and butt muscle (I wish I knew what muscle it was?) but decided to head out for a morning run to loosen everything up before my second surfski race. Following my run I practiced a little yoga to try and stretch it all out.

Once we got to Deep Cove and got our selves all organized I decided it was a much smarter move for me to do the short course rather than the long as I had nothing to prove and I have a big race coming up this weekend in Lake Mead (Desert Winds) with a fabulous strong team (Dart-Nuun) and I want to do well for them (and me!). When you race lots sometimes you have to pick and choose your battles and this race was lower on the scale for me at this time than my Adventure race coming up. On a weekend, Indian Arm is a popular place, especially with the power boats. These power boats would prove to be my enemy throughout this race. I was doing well (for me) for the first half of the race. Going across the channel a huge powerboat managed to create some large waves for me to fight through. I was doing fairly well (well… surviving) until midway through these series of waves one managed to tip me over. I was so surprised and nervous that I slipped back into the boat in nearly record speed but just sat there with my feet dangling out until the series of waves passed by. I regained my concentration and off I went across the channel, a little shaky at first but my fear of falling disappeared. It was great. Coming back from Grey Rocks I again was being challenged by the motor boats. Waves were coming at me every which way and due to my lack of experience I was lucky I managed to stay in the boat at that point. I crossed the line in 1:02. I received my first Kayak Ribbon and a 1st place blue one at that! I got the pleasure of watching Ian Mckenzie and the other great paddlers (Ben and Johnny) cruise in from the long course.
All in all the weekend was a great experience, I am learning lots and am so excited to learn more and watch myself improve. I need to really concentrate on my technique…

Live, Love, Laugh,…DREAM!

No comments: