As I said a few days ago "I would rather go and lose than stay at home and wonder" and as Q said to me "Sometimes racing is about getting to the finishing line... sometimes the victory is getting to the start line. I think turning up and rowing a 2k of any description is a victory - you have been to hell and back. This is not about winning in the eyes of others, it is about winning your battle. That occurs when you take the first stroke. Nothing after that matters..."
I had a not very good session on Thursday I attempted two by 1k on 4min rest first 1k was aimed at 1:33 r30 which I hit (this was target for 2k) the second 1k was to be 1:32 r32 but 400m in I just felt it on the legs and stopped... But I've learned and this didn't completely disrail me but gave me a new target for the day. From looking at the competition I thought the 1k could be around 2:55 so I planned to start at r32 1:28 pace and I would do what I needed to do to win. If I have to bury myself so be it. As it turned out the guy I expected to be the main competition didn't arrive so I changed the plan to 1:30 r30 and see what was happening at halfway. On starting the race I noted that guys from the lower age group where showing on the screen but knew that one of the guys in front of me was in this lower age group and pretty sure that the guy leading was also in the other group. At about 600m gone I saw that I was in second and as I was pretty sure the leading guy on the screen was in the lower group thought I would just sit behind him .... that didn't last long and the pace came up to 1:26's and with about 100m to go I went passed him finishing in 2:57.8 - the second guy came in at 2:59.2 - it turned out he was in the same category as me - phew!
So the 2k plan was aimed at a 6:15 orinally as again I had it planned around another rower being there - for some reason he didn't make it - it was to be r32 and start at 1:35 pace and this was to remain until half way at which point I will decide if I needed to destroy myself to go for the win or if I can save some for the 500m. I ended up rating a little lower than planned at 30 maybe the 1k took more than expected or maybe the recent cold/flu - lack of training etc etc still I had the control and come the final 500m I simply kept the pressure on and controlled it home - a win but I'll be honest slower than I really wanted.
There was quite some crowd there ....
ahh the reason for the crowd :o) O'Donovan brothers
So then the 500m that itself will be a fly hard from the start and hold on to the wings of the angels. As I was lining up to get to the erg I heard the all so familiar "Attention - This is a emergency - Please evacuate the building" ... err no that's not right its Ready Attention Row! Nope there is was again and at that the arena was cleared and we waited outside for the fire brigade to come on scene and declare it safe - as there was apparently a fire detected in a plant room this took about a half hour or more. Still once back in I was even more pumped for the 500m - on the erg - music on and ... balls forgt to put the phone on airplane mode and the wife was calling - quickly chucked the headphones off and tried to focus - got a good not great start but think I missed first stroke - patiently waited for the pace to come down as I was hitting 1:16's but the average was showing over 1:20... eventually it came down and I was looking at a sub 1:20 finish up to the last few strokes - ended on 1:20.1 and my third Gold.
Overall I was happy with my day - it was about getting to the start as much as it was about finishing the races and to get three wins made it all the better - talked to some old friends and met some new ones and for that I am grateful. Also got three new t-shirts :-)