Thursday, 26 August 2010

August activities

Well. Somehow now it’s nearly September. I arrived back in the UK just over three weeks ago. After one night at home, straight back to Southampton for rowing training for EUSA regatta. And when I say straight back, I mean straight back to a training session, still with the car fully loaded. Note; don’t ever try and move house in a classic mini. It’s a ridiculous idea in theory and in practice. After 4 days of outings, I was finally ordered to have a day off, when the jetlag STILL hadn’t gone away (not really surprising), but in general, the two and a half weeks of training have just blurred into one. I had one day off after that, so went home for a lovely Saturday walk in the countryside with one of my friends from school followed by the mandatory pub lunch (after a total soaking in the rain).

In the two weeks of training, we totalled 14 outings in 12 days (had two days off), and 175km of rowing. That’s not a huge amount when you compare it to what the top level crews do as training, but when you consider that in theory I am supposed to be working full time as well, you can imagine that it becomes quite a drain. I didn’t unpack from Bermuda for 5 days because I was so busy.

Caught the early morning flight to Amsterdam on Thursday, and then had Thursday evening outing, Friday early morning outing, race for lanes on Friday afternoon, Saturday early morning and late afternoon outings, Sunday early morning outing, and final on Sunday afternoon. Exhausting. We got fairly well dominated by what we think are actually the world cup under 23 crews from Poland and Germany, and a crew from Durham university that we know has several girls in who have done internal squad stuff at under 23 level as well. So in that respect we didn’t do badly for a small university boat club, especially seeing as we get (in comparison) very little funding from our athletic union.

Racing was at the Bosbaan rowing lake (the first man-made racing lake to be built apparently!).

Saturday daytime gave us an opportunity to go off into Amsterdam and explore by bicycle which was awesome. It’s a really lovely city, and I’m desperate to go back again when I have a bit more free time and can enjoy the atmosphere properly! Cycling around was awesome fun, I've never seen so many bikes in my life! Also loved the fact that we hired bikes where there are no brakes, you have to pedal backwards to brake. Nearly took a couple of people out (several times) by instinctively reaching for the handlebar brakes and not stopping in time!

Back home now for another 2 weeks or so, still need to write a conference presentation (first presentation at a conference – eeeeek!!!), and try and fit in an upgrade meeting with my supervisors sometime before the 10th of September – not quite sure how that is going to happen.

Just realised that my holiday I booked months ago is actually really soon, and hadn’t even thought about checking all the logistics of it, like how I’m going to get to the airport, whether I need any vaccinations, what money I need, what clothing I need, whether I need to buy anything before I go, what stuff I need to collect from home etc. Fortunately the friend I am going on holiday with is slightly more clued up than I am. Morocco here we come!!! (and then straight off to Hawaii 12 hours later – that’s a totally different stress in itself, although the flights are booked now, all I have to do is work out how to get to and from the airports for my respective flights). The worst thing is that no-one has any sympathy for the stress because it’s super fun places that I’m going to!!! :) Super looking forward to holiday though, Fear not - pictures will follow!

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