12 July 2007


I’ve never gone go-karting before, until last night. I went with my workmates and we had a blast. I didn’t expect to have soooo much fun driving a little, speedy, noisy go-kart around and around a track, passing and bumping (not on purpose) other go-karts. I started out very slowly and tentatively. I just wasn't sure how to handle the car in the turns and how fast it can go without me losing control. We got to race four times and with each race, my confidence grew and I got faster and faster. I even finished second in one race. I still can’t believe how much I enjoyed it. Definitely have to do that again!

Gibsons race

July 7, 2007
27km! I actually did it. I raced with the FCRCC outrigger womens #2 crew - Jen, Sandra, Cathy, Lela, and Barb. I carpooled to Gibsons with Cathy on the Friday. On the ferry, we bumped into a couple of paddlers from Victoria. Mick started pointing at landmarks - this island and that island - and how we’re going to paddle from the island over there to the island over there and then to Gibsons over there. Like, far points over there! That was when it truly hit me that this race is freakin’ long! My heart started pounding and I started to feel very anxious. What the hell did I get myself into?!?

I had a restless sleep. The anxiety of the race made it impossible to sleep well. Woke up at about 6:30am and had a big bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Filled up my hydration system and got my energy gels ready.

Time to race. The first leg of the race had big waves. I still find it awkward paddling in big waves but I concentrated on getting into the forward lean position to plant my blade and catch. I guess paddling in big waves is more fun and interesting than flat water. I just need to get more comfortable doing it. We finally got calmer water once we turned around Hut Island and paddled the length of Bowen Island. The boat also sagged at that point. But we battled through it and got some power pieces in there. I set my Garmin GPS to beep every 15 mins and also every 9km. I started thinking of the race as 15 min pieces and that helped a lot in keeping my focus. I could do a 15 min piece, no problem, and focusing on the task at hand that way was a big help. I focused on my technique - keeping my back tall, swinging my hip forward as I reach it out, leaning forward solidly for the plant, burying the blade fully, and using my legs for the pull. I thought about acceleration through the water. But as I got tired, the harder it was to do that. But really, all I thought about throughout the race was keeping my form solid and doing what it took to keep pulling hard.

The third leg of the race, we turned away from Bowen and started heading back towards Gibsons, was wavy and windy again. This last leg was pure adrenalin. I think all of us got a second or third wind because we got the boat to glide a lot better. The most tiring part for me was around km 20 when Barb had me paddle on the left side for a while to help keep the boat stable through the waves. It must have been around 6 hut-ho’s that I stayed on the left. It was like dragon boating but after paddling for 20 kms first. That one hurt.

Our time was 2 hrs and 42 mins and we came in 5th overall (out of 11) in the women’s category. I think that was a good showing for a crew that had a newbie who had never paddled 27 kms before. I was very happy with how I did and how my body held up. Staying hydrated did wonders and eating properly before the race helped, too. When we crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that I did it! What an amazing feeling that was. I think that’s what people who finish a marathon for the first time feel. Disbelief and pride, all rolled into one big emotion. It was great!