Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Right, I did an abridged version of weights last night and cycled into work today. And I'm in agony. My quads hate me and as a result getting out of my chair in the office was amusing. I appreciate that I've had 2wks off and drank my body weight in alcohol approx. 50 times over, but I used to be able to do that AND a 20km paddle... and then do it all again the next day! Depressing. Going to be a gradual build-in me thinks...!
Monday, September 14, 2009
So, clearly I have less time to write a blog back in the UK compared to the luxury of masses of free time as a full-time athlete on training camp! To be brutally honest, I've been putting this off. For a number of reasons. The main reason (like a massive elephant in the room) is the race itself. Most, if not all, of you will now know the result and what happened. Seems ridiculous reading back over my posts that a silver could be disappointing but that's what happened. We won the silver and were absolutely gutted. As with my reasons for not completing another blog entry until now, we were gutted with silver for more than one reason. The big reason was obviously, after the race for lanes, we really thought we stood a good chance of winning gold. We knew the Germans were going to be good, we knew that it was going to be a fight, we knew we weren't going to be so lucky as to have a repeat of the race for lanes. However, when you go into a race believing you can win it as much as we did, coming 2nd hurts.
Secondly, and this really pains me on a personal level, I messed up. I've almost put it to bed now (after numerous tears and even more numerous reassurances that it did not in any way affect the result) but it will always be there. I lost my blade in the World Championship final. It's every rowers worst nightmare. It really doesn't get any worse than that (although, admittedly I could've ejected myself from the boat, in which case I might have swam to the bottom of the lake and stayed there!). However, on the bright side, I did recover it, which - frankly - is a miracle. 95% of the time there is no going back when you lose a blade as spectacularly as I did. Game over. Finished. I still to this day have no idea how I managed to keep my head and get back into it. Mind you, I still to this day have no idea how I lost my blade. On some bumpy water obviously, but usually you know 2 or 3 strokes before that happens that it's coming. Not this time - it was there in my hand one minute and gone the next. Heart-stopping stuff I can tell you.
Anyway, I've done a lot of soul-searching since then, looking for the positives as every good athlete should (every race is a lesson, etc., etc., especially those that don't go as you planned...) and I've come to the conclusion that I should remember that I did get it back, that we didn't spin 90 degrees, slip to the back of the field and limp in out of the medals. We won the silver - despite having the bow girl out of action for 5 strokes - and we didn't give up. We fought hard for that medal and in the end I think the result was the right one. We were beaten by the faster crew. Granted, we didn't have our best race and it wasn't perfect, even before I lost my blade. But, as Laura (our 3 girl) put it so well in our BBC interview afterwards, 'that's sport'. And I for one am proud to say I was in that crew.