feanelwa: (Default)
Hello Dreamwidth, Livejournal has gone all evil now, so I am coming over here. I will probably continue to not post anything for several years now. I mostly use it for reading other people's entries.
feanelwa: (braids)
Related to last post, here is where you go to import your LJ content into your Dreamwidth:

I'm told it's pretty seamless, mine is still processing...
feanelwa: (braids)
This morning I went to read Livejournal and it popped up a box saying (paraphrased) "You can only read your friends page if you agree to this new user agreement but actually the English translation is not the real user agreement, the thing you are agreeing to is this thing in Russian over here" and somewhere in there is essentially "do not post about politics".

And in the news, Chechnya is rounding up gay people and imprisoning them, and some of them died in the process.

So I am closing my LJ account this time next week and going to read only Dreamwidth which is basically the same code but not pandering to fascists and murderers. Most people on my friends list are already also on Dreamwidth, those of you who are not (eg [livejournal.com profile] shermarama [livejournal.com profile] aiwendel), so long and hope to see you on the other side sometime.

Orton Mere

Jun. 1st, 2016 11:12 pm
feanelwa: (braids)
Did a competition last weekend, Orton Mere in Peterborough. Flat water (= endurance, and boy do I feel it) except for a little bit of a whoosh at the bottom of the weir that goes into the mere, which is a little bit smaller than at the bottom of Marple where I train normally, waves maybe up to spraydeck height.

Set a few good times. Had problems getting the cross on the whoosh right because the water feels different to anything I've been on before - it's very aerated from how it hits the bottom of the weir, so you are basically paddling bubbles. There isn't any surface tension! So you can't use the water in quite the same way as a solid wave. I got used to it a bit more with every run but would like to practise it and understand it better outside the competition.

Also odd in that it's a one-side-of-a-weir course and you go up towards the weir for the first half, and down away from it for the other half. So there isn't a stream that you follow and somehow that makes remembering the route a bit different even though they have numbers and direction markers on, which also took a while of getting used to. Gates are coded green for "go through this downstream" and red for "go through this upstream". But I think my brain has made its own shorthand that green = go through in the direction that you're generally aiming, red = turn round and go the other way for a bit. So when the direction that the course leads you is upstream, that shorthand doesn't work anymore, with hilarious/interesting results...

On the Sunday, having got my head mostly round it, I acted as guide for one of the little kids who was worried about getting it wrong, got her round ok, then on my own run (a few paddlers after and still knackered!) something really weird happened. I had a feeling like waking up from an operation and not knowing how you got there, between gates 6 and 7, got really disoriented and did 7 thinking it was 5, followed by 6, so I lost 6. It was really spooky feeling, as well as getting a massive penalty for forgetting how to count. Esther suggested it was from being "in the zone" for the first 5 gates, I suspect also that something was going on with my internal route-minding thoughts that went a bit wrong having gone round the course with [kid] without doing the gates. Or maybe the shorthand kicked in again because I was tired and I went into "yes paddle downriver" mode. So I have learned not to do that just before my run in future... I dis-volunteered myself for that in the afternoon and she seemed absolutely thrilled about trying it on her own and kicked ass, anyway. (She kicked my ass! Bah!)

So that was mainly (a) good exercise - I have spent 2 days peeing and drinking a lot and craving protein, and I can feel things have changed, and (b) an experience learning about different types of course and ways water behaves. And an excellent weekend with excellent people!
feanelwa: (braids)
Argh, I haven't logged training in forever. What have we had since then...
23/24th April: Oughtibridge slalom. Paddled with stinking cold, felt a lot better after. Managed to actually do what Esther was telling me to do on attempt 3 which is better than usual. No PB but hello, stinking cold.

1st May: Marple, turns in flow switching edges in the middle. Scary but I can feel I'm doing it right.
2nd May: extra bonus Wagon Lane training. Esther put my arms in right position to do cross right. V helpful, remember this as a possibility if I am having trouble getting something.
8th May: Marple, I think I just practised the last two sessions' stuff.

14th/15th May: Wagon Lane. Set piles of PBs, felt great, in charge. Sunny, nice place to stay, good breakfast. Stay at Ibis Shipley again next time pls. People being nice makes a LOT of difference.

Sunday coming up (22nd) need to practice crosses on bouncy stuff at bottom of Marple because next slalom is next week and has similar.
feanelwa: (braids)
Oops, forgot to write up last week. Regular Marple training, course set by Eloise, I concentrated on first few gates: across top of middle wave (turn on wave, easier than it looks, it's a flat top! Remember this, self!) out to down in eddy then back into flow for tight stagger. E did it with tail dips and tight turns, A did it with backwardses, I managed it a couple of times on sweeps and squiggly bow rudders, but not consistently. Small difference in angle and height getting on the wave determines how the whole rest of the gate sequence goes. Seriously, practice that, a lot, to get a feel for it in different waters. Will need for Wagon Lane.
feanelwa: (braids)
Marple again today! Trying to do a down gate in the eddy just after an up gate in the same eddy and then across to the other side, which sounds simple, except you're not allowed to just sneak round, you have to interact with the eddy line to get from one to the other. Forgot music, could not concentrate properly; I quit at the bouncy bottom bit and went back to the nice middle bit for some more playing on waves first and trying that gate combination again, which I eventually managed but had to concentrate hard to make myself use the right strokes for the turn in the middle. Bow rudders do not work when the water is going faster than you in the same direction as you. So I need to do a bit of work to build that as an instinct. Then at the end I went down and did a couple of crosses at the bottom.

Also first session of the year when it was too hot for a cag! Hello summer!

To do:
-Practice more turning towards the flow from an eddy type stuff, learn to stop bow ruddering the flow.
-Remember music
-Sort out sleep cycle and get the fuck out of bed ever.
feanelwa: (braids)
Marple tomorrow. Level looks like it will be about the same as last week so I think the main plan is to work on getting the crosses at the bottom more consistently the right angle and really bedding in those neural pathways for how it should feel to go in so as to get the right outcome.
feanelwa: (braids)
Marple again tomorrow, coach away doing his own competitions this weekend, but Anne and Cat will be there again. Tentative plan now is to break out on the V like before but then carry on and do some more gates in the flow instead of being so amazed that it worked that I stop paddling and do a dance to celebrate.
feanelwa: (braids)
So, a Marpe practice tomorrow, but no coaches :( though there will be Anne and Cat who are good paddlers and I can ask for advice.

I am going to concentrate on coming down a little chute with a V-shaped wave at the bottom and coming off it on that clear V above the wave by surfing off it a bit. At least half the time will therefore be spent paddling up again to have another go. So this will be interval training too.

Goal: do it like it ought to feel, like flying then a handbrake turn.
feanelwa: (braids)
5th March:
-Fried breakfast.
-Water high, cold, syrupy.
-Practice run obstructed by HPP kids; near capsize gate 9 (in the middle of the V that comes down after the pineapple rock) with child <1 boat length behind me preventing break-in at the right place on the flow. Gates 18-20 (after whoosh) too full, not attempted, just needed to get OFF. Arrived 8:30, they arrived 8:45 and leapt on while I was doing course walk.
-Run 1: Asked for extra time because Dhanuja, C1M, fast, on home course was behind me. Gate 9 nailed. Got to gate 18, whistled off as Dhanuja came down. Got as far out of the stream as I could, paddle stuck in tree, couldn't disentangle except by going downstream; missed last 3 gates. Crying too much to ask for rerun.
-Run 2: Asked for extra time as in let me get out of sight before setting him off; starter and pre-start just sneering, no sign of acknowledgement but was talking at same volume as they could hear me before. Got to gate 18, broke out late (confidence; had not had chance to even try this gate without somebody right up my arse yet), saw Dhanuja 4 gates behind me. Went back up and got 18 (up), went past 19. Went back for 19, missed 20. Saw Dhanuja about to come down for 18, gave up, went to finish. Got changed before I realised I should ask for a rerun now because I hadn't had a single proper run. Couldn't be bothered to put wet kit back on, went to hotel.

6th March:
-Did course walk in dark with torch the night before so I could just drive in and get on.
-Woke up to heavy snow falling. Decided to withdraw and get my money and Sunday back and go home in case the snow came across and made my street impassable.

Lessons learned:
1) Practice coming off a V above the first wave (gate 18), generally, then at Stone, then at Stone in high water. Work on cold water gasp reflex and moving water roll first because I doubt anybody will come with me.

2) Stone either cheat or are stupid in an alarmingly specific way. Jack R also got caught up by child behind in plastic boat who missed 10 gates and went straight down - in div 3. Ringer? Not sure what to do about this. Can you complain to jury after event? Are jury their mates who will just laugh in my face? What outcome could be achieved? Outcome I want is for them to be fair in future.

3) Cannot practice in morning at Stone unless they are forced to do official practice runs from above or HPP dominance of river time is broken up (try this, but make spare plan assuming their mates are in charge and have too much influence for this to work). Can turn up evening before and practice when they've put the course up, involves Friday afternoon off work and getting a set of kit wet but is doable with input of money and time.

-Practice breaking out before 1st wave - get Mike to show me at Marple, then go to Stone and try it
-Work on what happens when I capsize so I can do this safely(ish)
-Get more wet shoes, more underlycra
-Turn up Friday afternoons before Stone to practice on course when it is set up.
feanelwa: (braids)
So Valentine's Day was half spent on the River Derwent at Matlock freezing my tits off.

First up was some staggers practice on the flat bit, but really harsh staggers with long runs across the stream between them. The water was a bit faster than I've been on at Matlock, so a good data set for my brain to figure out how to calibrate turns. Then after a bit of staggers, I nearly gave up and got off, but the getting-out point at the top was occupied by a group of plastic-boaters who were finishing up, so I screwed my courage back on and paddled down.

It was also the highest I've been on at Matlock - eddies were washed out and I ended up going over the top of Killer Rock since it was a foot underwater. Fun bouncy stuff. We were supposed to break back in about where Killer is and out further down the opposite side, but I got too-many-paddlers syndrome and was feeling quite strongly that if I capsized I would probably panic in water that cold (it snowed later). So I went a bit further down and did a couple of crosses, not too bad. One of the dads decided it would help to "coach" me a bit when I really just wanted to be left alone and do little things on my own without having to have a conversation. Note to self, articulate that better next time. Then I went down the bottom where it was super super bouncy, then had to paddle a long way back up to the get out because I was having too much fun on the bouncy bits for about 30 yards to remember I should think about breaking out.

Additional findings:
-Forgot dry trousers for getting changed into - a factor in not wanting to take risks, but Esther had something she could have lent me, so it wasn't the major factor. Maybe put some really scuzzy old clothes in some waterproof part of the car (is there one anymore?) for the next time I forget my clothes. There *will* be one.
-I have got heavier - the tail was more catchy than it has been because lower in the water. TRAIN.
-I have got larger - my hips are sore because the seat was squeezing. And I say again - TRAIN. Maybe add out-of-boat exercise, e.g. long walks. Walk to work or home some days?
feanelwa: (braids)
Ooh, I missed writing up a Marple practice 2 weeks ago. My back had just unlocked so I went gently and stopped when my hip started hurting. I did some crosses of the wave train in the middle pool, then did a bit of visualising by imagining being at the bottom of Howsham Weir ready to cross, then opening my eyes and crossing here at or close to the smooth bit right at the top. Then I went and sat on one of the waves about halfway down and surfed backwards and forwards, trying to stay on the stream as long as possible and go up to the next wave up if I could. That was *very* good for anxiety and proprioception, must do again.
feanelwa: (braids)
I have been a landlubber for a few weeks because my back got stiff and the water got huge and I need something easy and flat to undo my back before I do big things. See also: summer is for courage, winter is for techniques.

I have decided enough is enough and I am going to go to the pool tomorrow with Manchester CC and work on rolls, that might unlock my back a bit. Also I really should learn to roll the slalom boat. In a plastic boat I could get it 90% of the time both sides, plus hand roll 80ish% (hand roll = no paddle, just lean right back and sort of wiggle the boat round), but the slalom boat is half the weight and the centre of mass of (human + boat) is further away from the axis of rotation, so it is a bit trickier. Plastic boat, centre of mass is somewhere around your hips; slalom boat it's closer to the chest so much easier to drag yourself back under when it starts to come up.

-Minimum target: one roll, RHS. (Last year I managed to get them on 60% of right hand side attempts.)
-Would be excellent: also one roll, LHS :)
feanelwa: (braids)
Bold = need to stay over

-Stone March 5th/6th (book that place where the party was last time? Or Crown Hotel?)

*4 weeks of nothing*

*1 week - there is a Washburn I may be needed for*

-Oughtibridge 23rd/24th April

*1 week*

*A week with no 3/4 but Manchester's HPP race - needed to help?*

-Wagon Lane May 14th/15th - book the Mercure hotel, NEED to start off warm and full for this one - will be just Div 3 this time. Come up with solution for lack of hot water.

*1 week*

-Orton Mere May 28th/29th - 3/4, Peterborough. Proteus Canoe Club. Like Duck Mill except one whoosh, it's slower but bouncier, and nearer. 2h drive.

*2 weeks*

-Manvers div 4 June 18th/19th will probably need to help

*1 week*

-Marple 2nd/3rd July have breakfast near Tesco

-Howsham 9th/10th July only if I've already done the cross before. Consider hotel not tent...

*6 weeks*

-Cardington 2/3/4 on Sept. 3rd/4th

-Manvers again Sept. 10th/11th

-Marple Sept. 17th/18th clashes with British Open again so may get changed again

*2 weeks*

-Oughtibridge Oct. 8th/9th

*1 week*

-Stone Oct/ 22nd/23rd BRR TAKE SOCKS AND COAT
feanelwa: (braids)
And then I read back 40 entries of my LJ since I was already on the page. Oh my god, I was so broken and scared and angry all the time. I'm going to stop reading that, it's too embarrassing.
feanelwa: (braids)
"Hmm", I think, "if only there was some kind of online thingy where I could write a training journal. Where would I find one of those?" Well now, there's this Livejournal I have forgotten to write in for about a year...

So this is the start of LJ being TJ.

Marple club session plan for Sunday 20/12/2015:
Summer is daring time, winter is technique time. So this will be a technique session, focusing on trunk rotation.
-Loosen lower back in warm clubhouse
-Forward paddling drills, concentrate on rotation, flat water
-Get on moving water in middle pool for small amount of adrenaline, forward drills pointing up and surfing gentle water. Move gradually up in flow to imprint muscle memory in scared-brain.
-Rest a bit
-Edge drills, flat water
-Ferry glides on moving stream, concentrate on edge and sideways flexing separate from leaning
-At end, if water quite low, go down to wave train for a few crosses to maintain courage level. If there was a wave train in the middle, don't need to bother with this.
-Stretch: lower back twists. Shoulders. Hams & glutes after climbing steps.

Measures of success:
-Trunk rotation >2 strokes in moving water
->2 crosses with good edge

New phone

May. 23rd, 2014 09:02 am
feanelwa: (braids)
Hello humans, I lost my phone so I have a new one. I have lost all my phone numbers so if you have my number, please send it a text including your name!
feanelwa: (braids)
I have not updated Livejournal* for a couple of weeks. Oops.

A general update. tl;dr I am sad but I am not yet unemployed. )
feanelwa: (braids)
Solitair did not phone me or email or anything on Friday, so I have gone from too anxious to leave the house to being able to go out and do easy stuff if I have a long rest in between them.

I wonder if this means they have decided to make the best of a bad job and hope the argument will go away if they stop mucking any more things up. (It will for the sake of having a less stressful holiday, but I after this won't ever use them for holidays again, life's too short to spend it on the phone rebooking airport travel). I shall have to turn up at the airport on Thursday and see what happens.

Otherwise, not much to say. Kind of depressed and tired, still wading through the treacle step by step.
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