Well this years lead up and training for the RPM has had a lot of speedbumps and it is now rapidly approaching!
First off, I was on-call for work for a couple of weeks, which seriously curtails any boat-time. The next hurdle is getting my seat right in the boat. I thought I had it OK, but then I started getting numb legs after about 45 minutes – to the point where I have to stop and get out!.
Limited boat-time while still trying to come to terms with the boat in all conditions is having a serious slow-down on my preparation.
First step-back. Over the summer months I did manage to get a little bit of coaching, which has given me a few items I need to improve on. It is slowly starting to come together in that regards, and every time I do get on the water there are improvements – both in terms of how I finish and the average speed.
I have had a couple of coaching sessions including doing a visual clinic with Clint Robinson. It is great to be able to get someone to really tell you what you are doing well and what you need to look at changing, then get back out and work on the specifics.
Now, for the most part, in the hour before my legs go numb, I am averaging around the 9.0km/h mark, which is a big step-up from the previous 8.2km/h in the C18. Of course, the downside is as soon as I have to stop and get out for a few minutes, the average speed drops off, and I cannot even get an indication as to the average over a longer distance at the moment.
Current progress is that I am having a custom carbon fibre seat made – and it came out of the mold last week. All was going well with the fitting and getting ready to blow the foam to fit it to the boat, until we noticed that I had “broken” it in the process! Well, not totally broken, just flattened it somewhat!. Fortunately, it was still somewhat green and some heat was applied and it returned to the correct shape! So, back to the drawing board, some extra re-enforcement will be added to spread the load a bit before we try again later in the week.
So, a few small changes to my foam “seat” and then I headed down to Encounter Bay on Sunday morning to participate in their monthly 6km handicap event, with a scratch time of 50 minutes.
As this was my “first” event, and I have been averaging around the 9km/h mark I figured that I could do 6km in just under 40 minutes and suggested 39.30 time, or a 10.30 start offset. I figured being only 6km, and very protected that I could sustain a tad over 9km/h.
I was wrong! The conditions were pretty much perfect and I was a lot quicker than I thought, and finished the 6km in 37.41 (9.3km/h). At the end, I was just starting to feel a bit numb, but I guessed that with just 6km, it would be pretty much OK.
So, now all I can hope is that I can manage to get my seating sorted out in time for the B2B and see how it goes – otherwise, I will have to get my other boat repaired so I can use it. That would be a big backwards step in terms of my performance, so trying to avoid that step unless I have no options.