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April's Journal
June's Journal

[17:50] End of a short working week, and the end of May. I've run precisely five miles, which is probably the shortest distance I've run in a month in years. Lots of rowing though, and erging. I feel... pretty tired, to tell you the truth. A lot's gone on in a short space of time both inside and outside of work and rowing. Lots going on there. More in some areas than others. I could do a lot better in some places, probably pick up a few (quite long ago) dropped threads in many others, and most likely just be a bit more sociable generally. For the most part though I think I just need a bit more sleep, to counterbalance with the amount of training I'm doing. That and some sensible eating so I have enough energy to do what I want to without putting on the wrong kind of weight.

Friday morning has recently become the morning I get to 'sleep in' past 07:30. And I took advantage of that enormously after having to be at the boat house until gone 21:40 last night helping to load the trailer for this weekend's regatta. This wasn't helped by most of the people remaining at the boat house ordering food without including all of us in on the idea. This meant that right at the time I was well past fading, energy-wise they were getting burritos delivered and I had to cycle home. Thank goodness there was some quick to reheat sausage casserole made by Rachel for me to eat within a few minutes of getting in the door. Energy levels probably weren't helped by the 8K erg I did before starting trailer activities.

Work today has been pretty much a non-event, thankfully. That's enabled me to get on with the pile of email correspondence I've had in my inbox for a little while, as well as a few personal emails that needed to be replied to as a priority. I think I've got my life in a bit more order than perhaps it was in only a few days ago. I just hope I can keep things balanced now from here on in.

However, it's now the end of the working day (by quite some time), the end of the month, and the end of this journal entry. See you in June.

[16:55] Weights last night. Well, weights circuits. They're always good for getting the heart racing and the breathing increased. Not to mention sweating a good few pints. After that it was almost a pleasure to have to stand around in a cool boat bay and help rerig the 8+ to be bow rigged. It turns out that of the four events we applied to be in at this weekend's regatta, we only got into one (no competition for the others). So, apparently it has been decided that we'll rerig the boat and put me at stroke for it. This regatta is the last one we experiment at before we settle on a crew and a lineup for the run up to a hopeful place at Henley Royal Regatta. This time last year (actually just before Nottingham Regatta) we did the same thing. Well, we were already bow rigged, but I went into the stroke seat. Here's hoping we've (especially me) learned a lot since then. The current crew lineup's a little different, but the core people from last year are still in the boat. Anyway, after rerigging I skippped off to have dinner with Kate at a rather nice restaurant, practically fell asleep after one glass of red wine and made it home before I passed out. I barely remember getting into bed.

This morning I woke ten minutes before my alarm and thought I had an hour and ten minutes. Only when it went off did I realise the awful truth. I dragged myself out of bed, breakfasted, and cycled to the boat house for the morning outing. The weather forecast had said it wouldn't rain, but as soon as we started getting into the boat it began pouring down. Thankfully, within about ten minutes it'd stopped again, so I was able to concentrate on putting down a reasonable rhythm which everyone seemed to have a fairly good time following. The higher rate pieces we tried didn't quite come off as well, probably due to a combination of my lack of stroking experience and people just being off their games too a little, but all in all it was fairly promising.

At work today I've spent a fair amount of time dividing my attention between a two hour meeting about systems administration and its role in the new organisation that's being created out of two old, pre-existing ones, trying not to fall asleep, and a fair amount of home truthiness that I'm having to get to grips with. Hopefully I'll be able to do so in the latter case.

We're boat loading for the weekend this evening, apparently. I might try and fit in at least one 6km UT2 erg beforehand.

[17:00] So I didn't do the 2K last night. I did a 30 minute AT erg instead and for the first half did really quite well. However, I faded somewhat in the second half. By the end of it I was pretty shattered. That fed forward into this morning where I had trouble dragging myself out of bed by 08:00. I'm not sure why given the week thus far. Hopefully tonight's weights circuits session won't finish me off. I've got dinner with Kate afterwards. Falling asleep at the table would be a bit off.

Luckily, nothing requiring serious attention has gone on today. The usual standard work, but nothing that would have exploded if I'd fallen asleep. Not that I would have, as post-lunch I seem to have rallied quite spectacularly. Which is nice. So, off I go.

[17:00] Bank holiday weekend, hence me not being in work yesterday. The weekend went pretty well, even with the rainy weather on Saturday and today. Saturday was rowing, as per usual. The morning was an 8+, and then a 2- outing with the tallest and strongest person in the club. Talk about a bit of a mismatch. We seemed to go fairly well, all things considered, even with me steering. At home afterwards it was all about cleaning and tidying the house for Rachel's evening, and then my parents' Sunday, arrival. Tesco happened, conversations happened, film watching happened, food happened, bed happened. I thought I'd booked myself off rowing on Sunday morning but it turned out I hadn't. So I had to be up and down to the boat house on Sunday morning. Luckily, the 4- outing we did went quite well, and we even had some coaching. By the time I got back Rachel had gone for a 10 mile run, so I waited until she got back and had a bit of a rest, and then we went for a 5 mile tester run to see if I was still capable of actually running any appreciable distance. I hadn't run more than 1km since the Paris Marathon and whatever I'd done to my right sacral area. The run seemed to go fairly well apart from a shooting point pain in my right glute on the tip of the sit bone, and aches in the top of my right thigh both at the front and inside areas. Still, in the grand scheme of things more positive than I was expecting. My parents arrived in the evening, we had lots of nice food, and then given the time went to bed. Monday was a bank holiday, so after a lazy morning and a nice brunch together we headed down to the boat house and I gave everyone a short lesson in sweep rowing in the club's 'tub'. This is a conventional-looking rowing boat that's practically impossible to tip over. I wasn't at my best teaching-wise, but I think everyone got the gist of what was going on. Back for afternoon snackage purchased beforehand we settled in for an afternoon of relaxation before watching a really good film in the evening with dinner. This morning was an early morning outing for me, so everyone else was still in bed when I left the house. The outing was fairly OK, all things considered, even though it was raining quite hard from before I got out of bed until well into the outing. We all got quite damp. Now, after having gotten through the day, had a text to say my parents are safely home, and that Rachel worked from (my) home today, all I need to do is decide if I'm going to redo my 2K with a few other people, and then get home to Rachel and have a nice evening. I'm honestly not sure, at this point. I'll let you know tomorrow what I did.

[16:25] Had a great night last night. Almost felt like I might be able to have another go at running. So that's what I think I'll try this weekend. Nothing huge. Maybe only 7km or so. Well, 7.2km anyway. Most of it'll be on the tow path by the river, I think. Although now I think about it I should probably do another route for various reasons. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. I also won't take any painkillers, so I can be sure that there's nothing too untoward going on. Rachel'll be around too, so that should mean I don't do anything too stupid. As I was saying though, good night last night, got up early this morning and made it to work perfectly on time, which was brilliant. The day has been mainly about working out what the chances are of us getting a site license for something we use a lot of here. Cue a number of web searches, phone calls, and attempted scares by software vendors designed to make us pay more money than we potentially need to.

I am going to go via the boat house this evening, but not to do any exercise. I'm actually going to make Friday this week a complete day off from anything strenuous. I'll try to remember to tell you how that goes. Tomorrow morning I've two outings. One in the eight, and one in a pair with the tallest and strongest member of the club. That's definitely going to be really interesting. I had thought I'd booked Sunday off rowing, but apparently not. So I've got an outing first thing on Sunday morning, which is a bit of a fly in the ointment. I then do have the rest of the day off (when I really should be helping run a regatta) before my parents arrive in the evening and meet Rachel for the first time. They stay through Monday and leave on Tuesday morning. Which they'll have to do on their own as I'll have the usual early Monday morning outing.

For now though, I think it's pretty much time to head off. I might start on the house tidying this evening, seeing as I actually have one free for the first time this week.

[16:50] Weights last night. Not as tough as I thought it might be. Probably due to having reasonable cardio recovery rate. Either way, it was still nice to get home afterwards and have a nice dinner and a sit down for the evening. This morning htere was another early morning outing, so it was all about getting up and getting out of the house before 05:40. The outing itself wasn't too bad. Lots of square blade paddling, with some starts on the way home (also square blade, except for the last two). Luckily I was at 7, so didn't get too splashed. I don't know how bad it was for people further down the boat. Anyway, after that it was to work and a day's worth of fixing things after one of the NFS servers we told people not to rely on (that they then relied on) broke overnight. That and the myriad other things that happen over the course of a day.

No training this evening, for once, I'm off to see Rachel.

[15:05] Lots of shouting at other people doing their 2K Test last night. A good number of people doing better than I did, too, which is a bit worrying for my place in the squad/top boat. I may do another one at the end of next week to see if I can improve on my time given proper foot strapping.

Otherwise all is well-ish, I guess. Nothing really to report.

[16:10] Well, no PB for me, but I'm pretty sure I would have gotten very close to one if I hadn't had the erg with the footstraps which come loose not when you're warming up, but about 500m into the 2K itself. Every 200m or so our cox had to come over and try to pull them tight again, all the while I'd be trying not to clonk her on the head with the erg handle. As a result my splits for the first 1500m weren't anything special. However, once she found somewhere to sit out of danger for the last 500m I was able to 'open the taps' and get a reasonably good final burst in. As a result I think I lost about 2.5 seconds off what I think I should have got. Hopefully this will be noted in the 'records'. Other than an absolutely terrible sore throat afterwards and with remnants of same still lasting into this afternoon, I felt pretty fine about five minutes afterwards. Not that I'd have been able to do it again there and there, but definitely recovered and feeling OK. I went home, had some leftover Chinese and some other things for dinner and went to bed feeling fairly OK.

This morning was an early morning outing. I think I need to, for the first time in quite some time, sleep with the curtains closed as I was awake at 04:20, when I really didn't need to be. The outing started in brilliant sunrise sunshine and almost ended in rain, but we seemed to avoid it except for a few minor drips. The outing itself wasn't too bad with some almost OK UT2 square blade work. I got to work afterwards and immediately felt very, very tired. Given I had a 2 hour long meeting in the main meeting room from 10:00 to 12:00 this wasn't good. I think I fell asleep at least twice. It didn't matter, the meeting wasn't very important or useful, at least at this stage. Future ones may be a little more so.

So, no 2K for me tonight. Instead I'm going to leave work at 16:30, do a very quick/light cardio weights session, then sit around as record-keeper for the rest of the club as they endure/do theirs. I'm sure a few people will get PBs this evening. I wish I'd been one of them last night, but I've still yet to beat the very first 2K I ever did seven years ago... although my technique is a whole lot better now.

[16:15] Well, the racing didn't really go as planned for the most part. Getting to and from Nottingham was fine. The day, logistically, went well. But the racing... The 8+ really didn't come together at all. After our eighth rower (who admittedly hadn't rowed with us in weeks) came off his bike on the way to the boat house and broke his thumb and wrist) we went with a sub from M2. It wasn't him, but the row just never really happened. I had high hopes for my 4+, and indeed we did really well in the final, coming first without really breaking too much of a sweat over the 2K course on a really hot and beautiful day (and not too windy for Nottingham, which was rare). However, come the final something went terribly wrong either with the rower in front of me, or the steering, because every time I put power down we'd begin to slide over to stroke side (I'm a bow side rower). So, to keep from being disqualified I had to back off the power for most of the second half of the race. We dropped from an easy first place to fifth. Beaten even by our other 4+. I've been mostly chalking it up to that being how rowing works, but it's a bit galling as we're now going to have to wait another year for a Nottingham pot.

On Sunday I really wasn't in the mood for rowing, so ended up doing two 5K ergs on the balcony of the boat house instead. After that I socialised with some rowers at the pub but then left just as a few more people arrived so I could get home and meet Rachel. We met at Tesco, got food, and came home to enjoy the benefits of a back garden on a lovely hot day.

And now it's today. It's very hot in the office right now. And it's probably only going to get hotter considering the cooling for this building has apparently never been any good. This isn't brilliant considering I'm doing the 2K test this evening rather than tomorrow as Max can't do his tomorrow as he's away and you shouldn't really do one on your own/in isolation. Jonno should be joining us as well as he's probably going to be doing record-keeping for those people doing theirs tomorrow at the scheduled time. It's going to be even hotter there. I hope it goes well. I'll let you know tomorrow, of course.

[16:50] Last night's outing wasn't very good at all. We had a new person and a person who hasn't rowed in a while. It didn't go well. We'll see how tonight goes with a slightly different lineup. It can't be much worse than last night was, anyway. I had to stay at the boat house until close on 21:30 last night helping to put a new speaker system in our boat, finding we didn't have all the parts, discovering that someone had broken a rigger for another boat we're taking to the regatta, and then noticing that the boat that was already on the trailer was in the wrong place and inconvenienced everyone else loading tonight. I slept in this morning until 08:00, which is practically unheard of for me. Doing that, plus washing up meant that I only just got to work on time, but that was OK.

Tonight we have one final outing, as I said. Then it's an evening of derigging which I hope won't go on too long as I need to make food and pack for tomorrow's all day regatta thingy. Pre-06:30 rise on the cards. And probably not getting to bed much before 22:00 will make it another long day. We'll have to see how the racing in the 4+ and 8+ pans out, but I'll let you know about that on Monday. After Saturday we apparently have a semi-normal rowing/training schedule on Sunday. Then Rachel comes over, we catch up on a week apart, some television season finale action, probably head to Tesco (I know how to show a girl a good time!) and then most likely stuffing our faces with food. Suddenly, before you know it it's Monday morning and I'm staring down the barrel of a 2K Test most likely. But that's all still to come. For now, I'm off. Have a good weekend.

[17:20] Went to the opening of a new jobsite/corporate matchup thing last night run by one of our rowers before weights circuits last night. Some free food and drink (none of the other rowers had any alcohol) and live music. It was nice. Then a phalanx of us cycled to the boat house and spent 40 minutes cooking ourselves in the rather lovely weather that seems to have lasted into today. Afterwards I'm sure I was sweating pure water (again), having run out of salt. Home, food, made lunch for today, watched some television and went to bed as early as I could.

Got up this morning at 05:00 rather than 05:20 so that we could be on the water for as soon before 06:00 as possible in the 4+ (one of our crew had to head to a meeting on the train at 08:15). That outing wasn't too bad, and I looked forward to it more than the 8+ this evening, even though that should potentially be just as good an outing, even if some of the people in the crew are carrying injuries, or haven't rowed in over two weeks... We'll see how it goes.

Over lunch today I made a few pounds doing another psychology study thingy. I'll be honest with you, I had a hard time staying awake in it, and I'm pretty sure once or twice I did microsleep for a few seconds. Cycling back to work afterwards was mildly interesting.

Work, however, has not been. There's not a whole lot going on at the moment, so I intend to get some things in motion tomorrow which should give me a little bit more to do over the next few months. Or at least I hope it will. For now though I'm going to head back to the boathouse for this evening's outing, then head on home for a well deserved relaxing evening. Tomorrow, theoretically, nothing's going to happen except an outing and a derigging for this weekend's regatta in Nottingham. But you can never quite tell if things will go as you assume they will.

[16:1Dude.0] I don't know if it was the personal difficulties yesterday, the can of Coke and the Twix that I ate about 40 minutes beforehand, or I'm actually getting a little bit fitter... but I got a new PB in the 30 minute AT erg last night. Which was nice. And not just a small improvement either, but 24m, which isn't all that much in the grand scheme of things, but it when it comes to me and ergs. Anyway, other than needing to go to the loo straight afterwards I didn't feel too bad afterwards, which makes me think I may have somewhat more to give next week. Although that time next week I may be doing the 2K Test instead.

Work today has mainly revolved around MySQL replication issues, watching the building site next door fill a hole with concrete (for the crane, I think), and getting some kit ready for a hardware change (new fanboard going in). In a moment I'll be leaving to go and do that, then head back over for a small buffet thing that a friend's new company is hosting just across the way from my building. After that it's weights circuits, then an evening of television-watching before an early bed. Tomorrow I have outings both morning and evening, so I should probably eat a little more than normal. Any excuse, really!

[16:30] Last night and this morning were a bit fretful for various reasons I won't go in to right now. Suffice it to say that it was 10% bad communication and 90% me being... well, me. Said fretfulness bled over into most of this morning (with a break when I got to not think about it whilest rowing). I think most things were resolved, or at least shelved for the time being by around 14:00, which has given me a few hours of mental space to decompress before this evening's training. Which is the 30 minute AT erg. Thankfully not the 2K Test we had been warned of over the weekend, but in some ways much harder, and potentially just as painful over a longer period of time. Then I'm going home to collapse onto the sofa, have something simple and filling to eat and forget about everything for a few hours before bed. Tomorrow morning I will not be getting up early, unless I awake refreshed and feel like I'm brimming over with vim and vigour. I certainly don't feel any of that right now. In fact I think I'm going to go to the vending machine for the first time since we moved into this new building and get something chocolatey to eat and maybe even a can of fizzy pop.

[16:50] The weekend had rowing, it had wind, it had a smidgen of rain, and it had me being really very very tired, but forgetting to have afternoon naps both days. I'm not entirely sure how that happened, but it might have had something to do with going out for second breakfast or early lunch both days with rowing people and then getting home and having things to do, and then basically getting on with them until it turned out to be too close to bed to do anything other than stay up and go to bed at a normal time instead. And that was a really long sentence. Rachel came over on Sunday afternoon after having come first woman in a half marathon race, which was really very cool. She was also 18th overall out of a field of about 400, which was just as cool. I really wish I could run without discomfort/limping/terrible technique at the moment. I'm hoping that the exercises the physio gave me on Friday might help, but honestly I don't know that they will. I think I may just have to give up on running for the next little while/few months until whatever's wrong goes away (I'll still be doing the exercises, of course). At this rate though I may not be ready for the half marathon I normally do in November. Not to mention some of the longer races I want to do with Rachel this year and potentially next.

Anyway, that's for another time. For the moment it's weights circuits night at the boat house, then I'm off home to have home-made curry with Rachel. Tomorrow morning's a 4+ outing, but I'm not sure it's with the people I'll be racing at Nottingham with, which is a shame as I think the crew selection for tomorrow is probably one of the better ones. Especially as the person who I think is replacing me hasn't been rowing for a few weeks and... ah, never mind. It's all good so long as I get to be in the top 8+ come Henley.

[16:50] Friday. I got to stay in bed later. This was good. As was last night's meal, which, after a very hot and humid 2x6km UT2 erg, was just what I needed. Other than that there hasn't been much going on here that I can relate to you. It's windy and sunny here, which is nice... or at least better than windy and rainy. Hopefully it'll stay nice over the weekend while I'm rowing and Rachel's running a casual half marathon. However, it doesn't look like it's going to be all that nice tomorrow morning.

Really, not much else to say today. Work has been pretty quiet, thankfully. Especially as for most of the day I've been on my own with both systems administrator colleagues out of the office for various personal reasons, and my networks colleague/lead otherwise engaged too. Here's hoping I have something useful/meaty to get my teeth into next week.

Time to go and see the physio and see if they can work out how to get me up and running again. I'm really beginning to miss it, even if I am low on energy most of the time due to all the rowing training and weights I'm doing. Have a good weekend.

[16:50] Early morning outing, after last night's weights circuits. As the crew wasn't the same one as that which raced last weekend and some of the replacement people not being quite up to what we'd been doing then the balance wasn't great for the whole outing. Things were a little short, movements were rushed, it basically didn't go terribly well. I mean, it wasn't terrible either, but I think we're chalking it up as a "learning experience". Got to work before it started to rain, which was a plus.

The day has mostly not sucked. I've managed to firefight a few issues, get DBAs and developers to give me information I needed, and generally keep the place from exploding and/or catching fire and collapsing under its own weight. In a few minutes I'll be leaving for the boat house, and then heading home to see Rachel for the evening, which I'm really looking forward to given the week thus far. Not only that, but tomorrow morning will be the only morning I won't be getting out of bed before 07:00 this week. Which is going to be wonderful too.

[16:55] After last night's moderately unimpressive 30 minute AT erg (still missing out on hitting 8000m again) I've decided this is where I change gear, training-wise. I started with going to the boat house this morning to do the core session, rather than simply some exercises at home. I had planned on doing another erg (just a UT2 one, pacing someone doing their AT) but no-one else turned up, so I did core instead. Probably a good idea. Tonight is weights circuits, then an early bed. Well, earlyish.

Workwise we had a weird one today. A server with KVM guests on it was reporting that its interface was going up and down constantly. I went over there and moved the cable to another port on the switch which resulted in the same symptoms. I moved the cable to another port on the server and reconfigured to use that, resulting in the same symptoms. Moved the cable back on the server and reconfigured back to use the first port again, same symptoms. Moved the cable back to the original port on the switch... and suddenly the connection is stable again and all is well. We have no idea what went on. But it works now so we're leaving it alone. Otherwise work has been mostly about emails for the 1001 things that make up a system and network administrator's day when both team leaders for those two roles are on vacation or out of the office.

Otherwise... I can't think of anything else to tell you. I'm still not running at the moment. The niggle, whatever it is, continues to plague me when I try to do anything other than walk or row (thank goodness it doesn't affect my rowing). I have a physio appointment on Friday evening which might shed some light on things, but I'm not 100% hopeful. Maybe I just need to stretch more, and keep workingon my posture.

[16:55] A long weekend consisting mainly of rowing. Friday evening: rowing, Saturday morning: rowing, Saturday evening traveling towards Dorney for rowing, all of Sunday from 05:00 when I got up, through to first race before 08:00, and last race at gone 19:00: rowing. Monday evening: weight training (for rowing). Lots of rowing going on. In the middle of all of that was plenty of housework, washing, washing up, not quite enough sleep, lots of food, and Rachel coming over on Monday afternoon to help me forget about rowing for a little while. Sadly, I had to get up at 05:20 this morning (to go rowing).

Happily, although I'm erging tonight, then bank partying another crew, I don't have to do anything tomorrow morning so I'll be sleeping in until the unheard of hour of 07:00. Luxury!

Otherwise, I had a great weekend, got a little sunburned, spent time with good people, ate good food, and even got in some reasonable rowing on a 2K lake with some of the proper rowers. I don't think we made terrible fools of ourselves, either. We're into it now. I just wish I could run comfortably. I still feel like I'm missing out terribly when I hear about Rachel doing a casual 14.7 mile run whilest waiting for me to come back from the boat house.

They're also adding on a major addition to the building next to mine over the next few months, so not only am I going to be able to see less out of my window eventually, it's going to be noisy for... the forseeable future. Headphones and working away from my desk may be the order of the day. For now though, I'm going to escape five whole minutes early and get this 30 minute AT erg out of the way, then have a damned good go at dying. I really don't feel ready for it.

[16:50] Last night's erg wasn't a 30 minute AT. But it wasn't UT2 either. Think of it as more like UT1... ish. Not stunning by any means, but plenty hot and sweaty. I'm pleased to report that my cardio doesn't seem to be getting any worse for not doing any running at the moment... but my muscles sure are tired. I'm not entirely sure that an outing tonight and an early morning outing tomorrow are entirely great ideas given the racing we're doing very early (and potentially on and off throughout the day) at Dorney on Sunday at Wallingford Regatta, but we'll just have to see how that all pans out. I was rather tired this morning at any rate. I think it'll be a moderately early bed time for me tonight.

So yes, outing tonight, one tomorrow morning, then second breakfast at the boat house while/after/before we derig and trailer the boats, then packing for a Saturday afternoon/evening drive to our cox's parents house for the night, then it's up at the crack of dawn on Sunday to get to Dorney, row a few times in the 4+ and the 8+, derig, come home, rerig, fall into bed. Monday's another bank holiday (hurrah!) so I may just take a morning to laze in bed before probably mowing the lawn and generally doing some housework things before Rachel arrives hopefully some time before too long in the afternoon. The weather currently appears to be favouring Sunday and Monday, so that's nice at least.

See you Tuesday.

[17:05] This morning's outing felt reasonably good to me up at the bow end of the boat. However, everyone else felt it was a little flat with regard to power and pick-up. I'll admit, it didn't feel all that strong, but it was fairly well balanced for the most part, which is something we can add the speed back into, as we have done before. Anyway, it didn't rain whilest we were on the water, and I got to clean up the kitchen, and have a cup of tea made for me while I was doing it as I didn't actually have to be at work mega-early for once. So that was nice.

I've almost managed to catch up on lots of things here at work, even if it mean sacrificing a few things that would have been helpful for me to do. Still, I don't think anything suffered for me doing so, and I feel a bit more centered/grounded with regard to what's going on on my computer now, as it were. Now though it's all about this evening's erg, and then getting home for tagliatelle and meatballs with Rachel, who will be making her way here even as I'm sweating it out on the erg. Yay for not having to be up mega early tomorrow as seems to be the way of things for me for the other five to six days of the week.