Thursday, July 31, 2008

Needing a Plan

This past week and a half I've been down with a bad summer cold. But I must be starting to feel a little better now as I'm feeling the need for a plan.

When my dreams of doing the Louisville Ironman became a disappointment, I kinda let things go a bit. It was easy to do since my injury set me back from other activities and plans as well. Then as I started recovering, other interruptions in life, not to mention gas prices, made other plans and goals less feasible. I find myself back at square one, reassessing, wanting a plan and needing a goal.

I'm still in OK shape, but not anywhere near where I had hoped to be, and a long way to go from where I plan to be next March and July. Without having been able to do regular aerobic work, I've concentrated the last couple of months on core and weight training. I have been doing short bike rides to work (getting greener) and some fairly regular but not very serious paddles. I'll keep all this up, but with knees feeling better, I'm ready to start being much more active.

Need a plan! I've had to scratch a few of my 2008 goals/plans. The Blackburn didn't happen, couldn't afford to make the trip. The tri's are obviously out, and I haven't been riding enough and don't think my knees are ready for a century or even the MS150.

What I really want/need to do is paddle!

There are still 3 possible paddling events; the Lumber River 40 in North Carolina is probably a bit too soon in early September, then there is the Suwanee River Race 10/11 in Florida, and the Mayor's Cup Race 10/19 in New York. These are pretty big events, races with big miles. I'm not sure I can actually make any of these happen, but they are a possible plan, that would have me training and paddling.

I'd also really like to find some regular paddling partners. It seems that the old crowd has kind of disbanded over the last couple of years, and I had spent most of my time solo with my Kruger Dreamcatcher, with either single blade or sail. There were always a few of us ready for some serious weekly 20 milers (all year round). I'm hoping I can round some of that group up again.

There are certainly many more paddlers around these days than ever before and I am a member of a few local groups. Though many include paddlers seriously working on building skill and endurance, their primary focus is generally social paddles. There's nothing wrong with that, and I enjoy paddling with these groups, but few members are interested in the distances and endurance work I enjoy, or can commit the time.

Any one out there want to paddle?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Playing Hard and With our Kids

Last weekend started out a little bittersweet. Last Friday night I hooked up with Sara who was looking to buy a sea kayak, and wanted to try my orange NKD Explorer which I was selling. Sara already owns two other rec kayaks, one she uses for fishing. We paddled around a bit, then Sara did some wet exits and rescues; she'd not paddled in a skirted seakayak before. She fit the boat perfectly, and was already experimenting with bracing and edging.

Before the evening was over she bought my kayak. It was with some sadness that I helped put it on her truck, I'd had such wonderful adventures in that boat over the past 5 years. I did feel good knowing that Sara is really going to love and appreciate her as much as I had, and I felt especially good about it when a week later, Sara emailed me that she LOVED IT.

I know my new Explorer will also bring me as much pleasure; as soon as I stop feeling like I'm sitting in someone else's kayak. I'm still not quite used to looking at the different colored deck. I went out again early Saturday morning and put some miles in, getting to know each other better.

Later that afternoon, Paul and decided to drive up to Boone to visit our daughter Tana who was going to be off from her summer job on Sunday. We camped out on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and then the three of us spent Sunday hiking along the ridge. It was a great weekend.

This weekend, Alan came home Friday night; he had a little cold and needed to get a good nights sleep. He also wanted to get out in the 'Dawn Patrol for some sailing with us. I left for the lake early Saturday morning to paddle, then met up with them in the afternoon. Our friend Ken also came out in his home built Core Sound 17. We had some great light winds. Then a squall came through. The guys couldn't have been more pleased. The picture below shows my feelings as I saw the winds coming. I did start to enjoy the faster ride.

Today (Sunday) was very hot, yet I still wanted to get in a distance paddle. To keep from overheating, I just paddled and rolled, and paddled and rolled for 5 hours. After reading about the Captn's problems with heat in the MR340, I was careful to pack a small cooler and lots of water. Alan took the boat out again and went sailing with a friend, and Paul wanted to work on some boat related chores. I've decided that when you have a wooden home-built sailboat, the hobby is in the maintenance, not actually in the sailing :)

Next weekend, if we can keep the Tropical Storms away from the coast, I'm off for a weekend paddling camping trip.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

It's Official

Well, maybe not completely official until registration is open; but Kristen (KiwiBird) just posted on her blog that BubbaGirl has offered to be our title sponsor for the 2009 inaugural Yukon 1000 Canoe and Kayak Race.

Woohoo! We'll be racing as Team BubbaGirl!

BubbaGirl has previously sponsored Kristen in her WaterTribe Everglades Challenges, and also sponsored young Marissa Weber (SuperBoo) who also completed this years EC with her Dad, which she did as a breast cancer fundraising event to raise awareness (her Mom is a breast cancer survivor).

What is BubbaGirl? Quoted from their website:

"BubbaGirl®.com is unique because it challenges you to explore new ways of thinking--to experience new adventures and maybe even create a new way of life. It encourages you to get out in the world and DO something, not just sit at your computer and read about what others are doing."
No doubt about it, Kristen and I are definitely Bubba Girls.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Yes a Very Busy Weekend

My new NDK Explorer taking a rest on the beach in Swansboro.

Saturday's weather didn't pan out for sailing, so I worked on my skin-on-frame. The cockpit is in, just need to finish up the inside edge this week. I've decided to paint it a dark brown, and will start painting next weekend. I'm still trying to decide on how to put a flange on the cockpit (rope?) and some art work.

I also worked on outfitting my Explorer, needing to tie down the hatches, and add some thigh and knee padding. It desperately needs a compass to spiff it up. Then I had a great idea to decorate it. The color is quill on quill, a very light grey, with red accents. When sitting in it, it looks plain white, and needed something. So I played around and came up with this idea, some strips and circles. I really like it. I'm going to order some decals to make it permanent, and likely name the boat "Dots'.

Sunday was about sailing. I participated in a sailing class for women hosted by our local sail club. Morning was classroom work, then there was a training regatta in the afternoon, where club members volunteered their sailboats and themselves as crew. Those in the class were the skippers. There were about 10 various boats in all, Thistles, Flying Scots, Buccaneers, 505's, Lazers, an Isotope Cat, a Catalina 17 (my boat for the day), and a Core Sound 20 (guess who's). Quite a bit of fun, and I learned alot. It's amazing (and a bit scary) how all these boats move around all trying to stay on the same start line before the race start.
It was a very busy weekend.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Busy Holiday Weekend

I've got lots going on this holiday weekend.

First I'm off to Barrier Island Kayaks early Friday to pick up a new NDK Explorer, this so I can eventually retro fit the new Kari-Tec skeg/rudder. And I'll spend the day playing in the ocean.

Then on Sunday I'm attending the Carolina Sailing Clubs Women on the Water Training Series, the class is going to cover all the sailing basics.

And the best of all, I've finished sewing the bow and stern of my skin-on-frame, including finishing the ends. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. Hope to find some time this weekend to start sewing in the cockpit.

Happy 4th!