Tuesday, July 14, 2009

missing: my fast-twitch muscles

I've never been a sprinter. My "strength," if you can call it that, is my ability to keep on going. If there's a need to get somewhere fast, I'm screwed. But if you need me to putter along all day, I can probably do that. That means I've got slow-twitch muscles, right? If I have any at all....

Last Saturday I participated in the PNW ORCA Sprint Championships in Silverdale, WA. It was my first experience racing in outrigger canoes, due to limited time, and a late start on paddling. It was an all-day affair full of lots of local (ie Hawaiian) flavor, and I enjoyed it, even though it gave me anti-social flashbacks to small-kid-time swim meets, meets where you sat all day in the hot sun, slightly sick to your stomach and waiting through 50+ events to do your 2 or 3, all of which seemed to be clustered in a single 15-minute time period, all of which you never did quite as well in as you'd hoped.

In spite of this, this was fun, though as far as "winning" goes, I didn't do that so much. The first 2 races were 500m (yards?) and I never felt that our canoes got into a rhythm or in sync. It was pretty much a flail from start to finish, with poor finishes. Not particularly satisfying. And both starts were ... poor, late, sloppy, for various reasons.

The 3rd race I was in felt much better. I think it was a 1000m race and there was time to get into a pattern and to feel the boat start to move as all 6 of us got in sync. And, we came in second (but I'm not competitive!).

I did a few more races after that (either on loan to another club, or with our paddlers) and it was great to get the experience, even though we mostly came in last and frequently didn't feel in synch and I was left wondering if maybe I'm not really that good at this thing I've become quite attached to doing.

Maybe that isn't the point though. Maybe the enjoyment is what matters most. My problem is, I don't like to not be good at something. If I'm going to do it, I want to do it well.

Next stop: The Gorge races next weekend. This one is an ~10 mile race. We'll see if I'm any better at the longer distances.... A guy can dream, can't he?

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