November 08, 2005

getting ready to row really far

I had better not be coming down with a cold. Germs can have their way with me on or after November 26, but they are not allowed to have any effect before.

I'm optimistically choosing to believe that I woke up with sinuses fuller than usual and swollen tonsils because of the change from coast back to desert weather, or a pressure change or something. My tonsils and sinuses do often react that way, so it's more likely than not true.

After work today I'll be meeting the Old Salt, his wife the Mobile Monet (she paints in the car on long trips, as well as while stationary on an easel), and Dr. Bosun to load up our boats. (Rudder will get there late, because he's got a telecon with Japan.) They'll be driving out to Houston; we'll fly there on Friday, meet them and their son who lives there plus his girlfriend, then all ride together the rest of the way to Natchitoches. The Old Salt and Dr. Bosun will be rowing a double in the marathon, while Rudder and I wil be in singles.

A lot of Rudder's and my rowing gear will be going with them, so I don't have to carry it on the plane. I've been making a list to make sure everything I need makes it into either in their van or my suitcase; it worries me a bit that I'm up to 21 items and I haven't even gotten to clothes to wear while not racing, just stuff I need during or just before the race. However, it's not as bad as that sounds. Some items are small, like band-aids and first-aid tape; some are things that hold other things, like the bottles to hold water and Gatorade or the dry bag to hold my phone for emergencies; some are things I may or may not wear depending on the temperature or will take off right before I get in the boat.

We all have goals for our race. Ironically enough, Rudder's and mine are similar; we both hope to beat our time in our respective mixed doubles boats last year. Of course, the specifics are a little different: he and She-Hulk set a course record in their category, while the Old Salt and I were slower than everyone except a few of the canoes and kayaks. Actually, I'm hoping to break 5 hours, and I think I have a good shot at it, but failing that I'd be happy enough to beat last year's 5:42. The Old Salt and Dr. Bosun have been doing a lot more training than he and I did last year, and they're hoping to break 4 hours. It's what the corporate types call a "stretch goal" for them, as is Rudder's, but they should be doable. I cheated a little; my own goal only requires an average split of 3:30, including breaks. I hope to row at a split of 3:00 or not much slower, so as long as I don't take as many breaks as we did last year, I'll be good.

Also, an artifact of yesterday's drive home, coupled with an NPR story on short poetry and something I'd been thinking about a while back:

Or, The View From My Office Parking Lot

It's always a perfect sky, he said,
It's always a perfect sky.

Where the earth has been ravaged
Where Nature is savaged

Wildflowers plowed under
And trees torn asunder

The land has been paved,
And no beauty is saved,

Look up! to a still-perfect sky.

Posted by dichroic at November 8, 2005 12:42 PM
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