Last night at paddling I got my okole kicked. I'm not sure why, but the practice did me in. I was hurting after 10 minutes, and we went on for nearly 2 hours (it seemed... maybe more like 1 1/2 hours). More than anything else, it reminded me of the few football practices I managed to do before my knee issues forced me to stop.
Have I mentioned that there was nothing, nothing I enjoyed about football practices. Not the running, not the bumping into people, not the sweating, not the painful sucking in of humid air....
We did 10 x 10 minutes, with each 10 minute set a 1-off/9-on combo. So my back started tightening up after the first 10 minutes. And there were 9 more 10s to go.
We had a 4-man crew in the OC6 (the women had 5 in the other boat, DougM steering), Murray in 1, me in 3, Jack in 4 and DougN steering. I'm realizing that I don't particularly like paddling short-handed. Even on the best of days, it just feels like there's not enough power to get the boat moving properly. And we had the boat moving pretty well for a good part of last night. I think we managed on timing rather than on power, but that's ok. It just felt like a grind the whole way.
We paddled down to the Ballard Locks and back and by the time we got out under the Aurora Bridge and into Lake Union, we'd done 4 10s. So another 6 to go... We paddled south along the west side of the lake, rounded the bottom near the Center for Wooden Boats, and started back up north into the breeze. It was cold and dark and somewhat hazy, which meant the full moon was blurred by passing clouds. At one point I glanced up and watched what I thought was a plane flying north. I only realized it was a shooting star when it faded away while I watched.
Out under the I-5 bridge and toward Montlake Cut for our last 2 10s, turning back for the final one and somehow managing to make it back to the beach, where Sabine and DougM were waiting for us and helped us pull the canoe up.
I was so beat I could barely talk, much less say anything intelligent. The entire last set, all I could think about was Thanksgiving. There were dinner smells coming over the water from houseboats and from the Ivar's on the lake. There was emptiness in my stomach. And there was pain and dumbness in my body.
I drove home and shoveled food into my mouth, had a shower, and climbed into bed. The end.
Except that even in my pain and exhaustion I was glad I had the opportunity to paddle, and glad I had the chance to work out like this. M dealt with the girls last night while I was on the water, and made dinner and cleaned up. All of which I'm very grateful for.