kayaking

Paddle Power…

What has HAPPENED to me?

I’m planning to camp out and go Kayaking in the rain, this weekend in Galway; and I’m stunned to discover that I’m excitedly looking forward to it. Where has girly Gates gone?

Anyway, great event this weekend.  It’s the ‘big splash’ Inishbofin swim.   Half a dozen hardy souls are planning to swim from Cleggan Harbour to Inishbofin Island – that’s 8 miles in tough conditions.   I used to keep a horse on the Island and I’ve spent many an afternoon getting sick on the ferry over,  so I know how choppy those Atlantic waters can be.

I’m not swimming – but I’ve offered to Kayak to help with the ‘boat cover’ for the swimmers.   I reckon it will be great experience and a hard work-out in preperation for my ‘Concern’ kayak challenge in Uganda this November.   I have absolutely no idea whether I can ‘go the distance’.  My new Kayak friends say it’s not likely; I’m not experienced enough, and my kayak is a very short ‘sit-on’ which means I’ll have a wet ass and very little stability in big waves!

The organisers have promised to pull me out of the water if it’s not working though, and I’ve got all the safety gear, so I’m not worried about that end of things.  They’ve also told me they don’t mind if I wimp out and they promise I won’t be causing a problem if they have to fish me out.   So all bases seem to be covered.  Now all I need to do is get wet and work up some blisters.   (I think I’d better bring gloves).  Wish me luck – and I’ll let you know on Monday how I got on.

I’ll also let you know how the swimmers did – they’re heroes already for even thinking of doing it, and they’re all swimming for various charities too.  Can’t wait to meet them all.

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing.  And remember , if you’re thinking of getting active – stop thinking about it, just get up and do it.   If I can, anyone can.  🙂

If You Work It, It Works….

Thursday was a rock n’roll adventure day….   I cycled 30k, did an hour lifting weights in the gym, and finished off with a couple of hours on the river, playing water polo in a kayak!

I feel a bit tired just reading that myself, but it wasn’t planned, it all sort of ‘happened’.  I hadn’t been on the bike since the Triathlon on Saturday, for all sorts of reasons – most of them connected with laziness, but then I saw on the weather forecast that Thursday was going to be a good day in Dublin, so I decided to roll out the wheels and start cycling into work again.  I’m not saying I’m fast  (I’m not) but I really felt the benefits of the ‘work cycle’ when I did the 18k in Kilkenny; and cycling into work means I HAVE to time myself and cycle to time.   As it happens,  I do seem to have knocked a few minutes off – I left the house at 620am and found myself on Pearse Street at 7 – with time for a quick cup of coffee, sitting in the sun, beside the bike, beside the canal… before I went into the office.  What a lovely way to start the day.

After work I cycled back home – via the gym.  I wasn’t looking forward to that.  It’s a time-trial too, because I’m reading the news at 3pm, and have to make the gym by 4pm, which is a bit tight.  Whenever I’m late, Dave my trainer, makes me suffer by stepping up the intensity of the session, to make up for the minutes I lost.  This time I was on time, but he still creamed me!  We did kettleweights and quite a lot of squat-lifts with fairly decent weights.  My shoulders feel a bit sore after that today.

By the time I’d finished the gym, there was just enough time left to grill some chicken, dress some salad – wolf it down, and throw on a swim cossie and wetsuit, before belting out the door for the river.   I really didn’t feel like kayaking – I had 6 training weeks of being forced to capsize for hours on end, and I just wanted to sit in the boat and be dry for once.  It was unlikely to be tonight – I was having my first go at water polo and the boats are a lot more unstable than the learner kayaks I’d been using up to now.   They’re tiny and light and overbalance in a heartbeat.  Well to my suprise and my club-mates’ amusement – I left the river with dry hair.  I was so damned determined not to fall out, that I remembered every trick in the book that they’d taught me the last few weeks.  Blocks and brace turns, and balance and leaning forward.  The works – there was NO WAY that I was getting wet this time, and I walked away a dry kayaker.   lol…

PS. Loved the water polo.

PSS.  You know, I started off dreading everything this Thursday and ended up enjoying the lot.  Says something, doesn’t it…..?

😉

 

 

 

 

Mellow Yellow Day on the Liffey

 

L:Saffron, R:Vera

What a stunningly special day.

Started with a bang – a 15k cycle into work, and planned 15k home.   A 30k round-trip, but much needed as I’ve got my first triathlon on Saturday in Kilkenny and I don’t think I’ve prepared well enough.

The best fun was after work, when I cycled down to ATI City Kayaks near the IFSC for my Monday paddle.  I had two special treats.  I was joined by my Concern/Uganda buddy Vera Baker – and I got to try out my new kayak.  A loan from the fantastic marathon swimmer, Fergal Sommerville, who heads off to swim the North Channel on Thursday.  Best of luck Fergal.

My new kayak is yellow, and I’ve decided to call my mellow yellow craft ‘Saffron’.  she ripped through the water like a shark (well, maybe a goldfish)…. and I love her already.

Good friends, good equipment, good weather and good waves…. what more could a girl need to start the week?

 

 

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