September

Guys … We’re 44 days out from departure. 44 DAYS.

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Worlds is fast approaching and I’m going to guess that it’s going to be one of those situations where I blink, and suddenly it is here and happening.

The thing is, there’s so much going on right now that I don’t feel anywhere near prepared. We’ve amped up our training schedule, so that now we’re training 3 times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings. Things are slowly starting to come together – I’ve been working with the two sweeps that I’ll be on the boat with in China and I’m about 80% happy with where I’m at for that. For starters, working with Darren is a breeze. I know him well enough to predict what he’s going to say, and elaborate on some of his calls. He’s my club sweep though, so I’ve had over a year of practice reading Darren. There’s no way I’ll ever be able to predict Eliza though as I haven’t worked with her a lot, but she’s on top of everything, so the best I can do is pick up on some key words, relay them to the front of the boat, and maintain the energy she’s feeding the crew. And what energy! I’ve felt the boat leap when she’s made some calls, or when she’s pushing everyone to the max, and all I can say is that I’m excited to see how that transfers to when the crew is under pressure.

We’ve got our divisional coach heading to Melbourne this weekend for a bit of a mini-camp where we will work on our stroke and begin getting people into the seat they’ll be in when competing. It’s going to be a tough mini camp – Only one day, but two on water sessions, with video footage being taken for analysis.

After that, we have essentially 4 more camps and we’re done training as a unit. We have one this weekend, one that’s two weeks later that goes for 2 days. Then I’m off to Sydney for a 3-day camp early October, then we have one more camp immediately before we fly to China. Then that’s it. That’s us as a crew. How we gel in the next 6 week is critical to the overall harmony on the boat.

Physically, I’m not happy with where I’m at … I’ve just discovered that one of the medications I’ve been taking for the last month has caused me to gain weight, so all my work at the gym has been for naught. It’s a bit of a risk, but I’ve stopped taking the medication from now until after Worlds in an attempt to lose a touch more weight. I only use the medication for sleeping, so I’m looking at a herbal alternative that doesn’t have such nasty side effects. I had a chat to my mum and we though maybe 50kg was how much I should weigh, but there’s no way I’ll get to that weight … I’m older now, my metabolism has slowed down considerably and long gone are the days of me ever being that weight again. The best I can hope for is maybe an even 52kg.

I had a talk to one of our coaches though and he said that my current weight is acceptable. I’m just shy of 54kg, which for me is very heavy. But in terms of it being a drummers weight it’s actually not so bad. Apparently we need a to be light, but not too light so that we can help balance the boat if we need to. 54kg is apparently a good weight because there’s enough of you to make a difference by sitting slightly on the left or the right of the seat when it comes to balance. Any lighter and you risk not being able to help out with balancing the boat.

So you’re probably wondering why I want to lose a bit of weight then? Well, for starters, I’m not at optimal health. I need to be working more on my core strength in case I get flung around on the front of the boat in any of the races. I don’t plan on losing too much weight – As I said, I’d be happy with an even 52kg and having a strong core, but I’d be happier knowing that I was at peak health and fitness, like the rest of the crew.

It matters this time more than it did for Canada because the competition is going to a lot more fierce – In Canada it was the Canadians we had to be fearful of. In China, it’s the Chinese and Thai teams. Canada are still up there, but they won’t be on home soil this time. If you have a spare 5 minutes, google the Chinese crew’s performance on Youtube in a 200m race – It’s both beautiful and terrifying to see. They’re a professional team though, so there’s a fundamental difference between us and them. That doesn’t mean we’re not going down without a fight though …

So, what how does this little drummer gal train and get that nice strong core? Well, my current routine looks a little bit like this:

Monday: Gym in the morning (Mostly cardio work, then some mat work focusing on my abs and core. A lot of sit ups. A lot of kettle bell work.)
Tuesday: Training with the team at night
Wednesday: Gym in the morning
Thursday: Training with the team at night
Friday: Gym in the morning
Saturday: Train with the team in the morning
Sunday: Rest day / Regattas or Club training.

Let’s team my training regime with trying to figure out my meal plans too – Basically …. 1400 Calories per. No Alcohol (*whine*). Minimal carbs. Lots of protein and veg if I can get it.

There’s either eggs, or overnight oats with blueberries and nuts for brekkie, a pre-made frozen meal for lunch from Dietlicious (all under 400 Calories), nuts to snack on thanks to a weekly delivery called HarvestBox, biscuits because I CAN’T HELP IT IM SORRY MUM and dinner is yoghurt the nights I train, or whatever my boyfriend feels like cooking on the other nights. In my boyfriend’s defence, he practically caters to me every night, so I just have to say “Satay Chicken with Cauliflower rice please” or “Chicken and vegetable pot pie” (my Sunday and Monday indulgence – CHEESE!) and he makes it for me. It helps that my boyfriend is also training hard for a Ju Jitsu competition in October so he’s trying to eat lean and clean too. If I followed his diet and his 8 x weekly training sessions, I’d have killer abs. (Maybe I should do ju jitsu in the off season? My legs and my abs would be on FLEEK.)

So there you have it folks. That’s what’s been happening in my life for the last few weeks and why I’ve been so quiet on my blog. A LOT of stressing about my weight, a lot of time in the gym, and a lot of time on water. But hey …. 44 days right? That’s not a long time in the grand scheme of things! Onwards and upwards!

 

 

 

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One Step Forwards, Two Steps Back

I think I finally have a date for the Australian team trials in November. They’re falling midway through the month and so I’ve taken a moment to sit down and take a look at where I am health wise and I’ve got to say …. Since the last time I wrote about where I was sitting, I’m not impressed!

I’ve had a few work functions and things on, and in the Sales arena, it’s quite a boozy environment. Couple that with poor food choices and over eating, and I’ve increased my weight, and my sleep schedule is completely out of whack. Mt training regime has been a little bit scattered too – I’m not managing to make it to my three weekly sessions because I’m so run down at the moment (probably from my bad food choices) and despite my boyfriend’s constant nagging I’m slowly slipping behind on where I want to be.

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So I had a bit of a chat with my boyfriend this morning and we’ve got a few strategies implemented to get me back on track again and try and maintain it until November trials.

Firstly, the nagging continues. That’s always going to be a given. The getting to training three times a week is tough because for two out of three sessions I’m paddling, and I’m just not a paddler. My body aches for days afterwards, and seizes up, so I’m either going to have to quickly get some muscle memory or invest in a large bottle of Radox bath gel.
Secondly – I need to lose 1.5kg to get back to the weight I need to be for trials. That’s going to severely reducing my alcohol intake again to practically nil, and reducing my portion sizes back to what I should realistically be eating. Oh, and licorice …. We’re going to have to break up again for a while. Sorry, friend. We had a good run though … 😦

The maintaining the weight and fitness is going to be the hardest part of all.Being in the club with the Australian team coach comes with it’s own personal expectations which I never really thought about. Being someone who has chronic fatigue, I have to learn how to manage that because I will have to turn up three times a week otherwise I will be booted from the team. No ifs, no buts. There’s going to be many tears, and many tantrums, I imagine.

I know that being an athlete is not a linear process – that you can’t always be making progress and sometimes you either have to plateau or you have to take a step back. In my case, this time it’s two steps back, but it’s better that I’ve caught this now early on in the season and I have time to sort this out before trials. It’s so easy to get caught up in every day life and not pay attention to your body and that’s exactly what I did.

So I’m going to sit outside in the sun today, and enjoy my boiled eggs and salad for lunch, before going for a brisk walk up to Typo to buy my friend a birthday card and then tonight I’ll wander off to training where the real work will begin.

Let’s do this.