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May's Journal
July's Journal

[17:25] Well, this is it. My last day in work before Henley Qualifying Races and, hopefully, Henley Royal Regatta. I won't be back in work before a week on Wednesday, unless I decide to reclaim a week on Monday and Tuesday as I feel like I've had enough time off. Chances are that'll be the case, to be honest. Especially as Rachel can't get the same time off. We'll see anyway, as there's only a certain number of days I can carry over from one vacation year to the next and not taking those might push me over my limit and I'd lose them anyway.

Last night's outing went reasonably well. I think everyone's a bit tired, if I'm honest. That meant that the three minutes pieces really wore most people out and is causing me to be worried that we're not going to last the distance tomorrow, and at at the regatta proper if we make it there. There's plenty of strength, but not everyone has a decent cardio base, I don't think. I'm also worried that as we get tired we're going to lose our ratio of drive:recovery and the whole boat/stroke's going to go to pot. I'm not getting back into the stroke seat for Henley, I'm sure of that. But I'm going to do my damnedest to do my part and try and get us there anyway.

Thankfully nothing's really gone on at work today either, so I'm not leaving anything hanging for a week. However I may have to pop in on Monday, at least into reception, to collect a delivery. For now though, that's me done for a week and a bit. I hope everyone has a good period of time doing whatever it is you do when you're not reading this, and I'll see you with good news or sad in a little while. Good news to end with for now, though: Rachel's on her way to see me again for the evening, which is fab.

[16:30] I actually thought last night's outing was going quite well. We'd moved on from the previous day, and the bursts we did looked pretty good on the GPS track I looked at afterwards. Sadly though, the coaches felt that my catches were holding back the crew/were the last in, so I've been moved out of the stroke seat and the person at 6 (who was in stroke before I got into the crew) is back there. The coaches admit that he has some issues too, but his catches are faster, and apparently that's what's going to make the boat go faster. This is the point at which I have to accept that I'm not going to be stroking the boat for Henley, and to therefore rely more on the other reasons to give everything in the time trial on Friday (and then hopefully at the regatta next week if/when we qualify). Not that being at stroke was the main reason, but it did make me proud, gave me something to focus on, and a sense of strong purpose, rather than 'just' being a piston in the engine. Now I have to concentrate on into the boat and doing my part another way; as one of the 'middle four' instead. As I said, the tracks on the GPS seem to show that we went faster before the change, but this is the point that you just accept the much more experienced coaches' decisions and go with it for the good of the boat.

Suffice it to say I was feeling a bit flat when I made it home after the outing. And I'd been on a considerable high beforehand as Rachel got a very early train, which meant we were able to see each other before I went to the boat house. When I got back she helped me feel better about my (perceived) demotion as well as making a great dinner for us to share. Sadly I then slept quite badly, and have been pretty tired for most of the day.

We've our last outing tonight before we pack up the boat for Henley. Chances are we'll be doing some high rate/race pieces to see what's what in this new configuration. I think what bothers me more than not being in the stroke seat any more is that the person at 7 really splashes his catches in, so I'm going to get soaked. Not too bad when the weather's warm, but otherwise it's a bit annoying. I'll let you know how it goes.

[17:00] Surprisingly, last night's outing was quite good. Even really good, in places. We had one sub in, and a different crew order behind me. It looks like we're going to keep that crew order for at least tonight (when we have our actual proper crew together for the first time in over a week). Hopefully the few vocal/analytical crew members will continue to keep their thoughts to themselves for the remainder of the week, and just listen and try to act on what the coach and finishing coach are trying to get us to do. I don't agree with everything they've been telling us, but for the most part I think they're still going to get us rowing better by doing what they say than us not doing so. I think that's the big difference between this crew and the previous two years' crews. This year everything is questioned, statistics are king, and the crew don't just get on with rowing the boat. There's too much discussion. It may be down to the stronger egos, greater experience, and the nature of the crew/coach relationship. At this point though it's time everyone just knuckled down and got on with it. The coaches have more experience than us, no matter what statistics say. I'm not blind to the things the boat has done in the past, even the recent past, but I'm putting my faith in them for this last week that they know how to get us through the Henley Qualifying Races. But anyway, that's that. The outing was good, we have to try and build on that tonight, and tomorrow night.

Nothing happened at work today. Other than I went out at lunch time to collect a parcel. Rachel has already arrived at home for the evening, amazingly. As I said, I have an outing this evening, but I hope to have it over as efficiently and early as possible so I can go home and see her.

[17:20] Mixed fortunes this weekend, sadly. It started with a very early rise on Saturday to drive to Dorney with the trailer. We managed to tear one of the trailer's four tyres on a curb when we stopped for breakfast at a service station. Luckily the trailer carried a spare, so we were OK. At the regatta we prepared for and rowed a reasonable time trial. Not super fast, and well below half way on the ranking. However many of the faster crews aren't going to be ones we'd be facing at Henley, if we end up competing there. It still rankles that we were beaten, though. What was even worse was how well we performed in our 'final'. After being bumped down one to the bottom final, we then did very badly. I can't tell you why, other than the fact that we all seem to forget how to row to varying degrees when we're side by side with other crews. This doesn't bode well for Henley.

We don't actually know if we're going to Henley yet. The lists of pre-qualifiers and those required to qualify came out and we have to turn up this Friday and take part in the time trial for the Thames Challenge Cup and see what happens. There are 28 crews, and 13 of them will qualify for the event. Right now I give us a 50/50 chance on us making it to Henley Royal Regatta itself. This is mainly based on the fact that even after (being in the towing vehicle) having to wait for the last crew using our trailer to get off the water before I could go home, and having a poor night's sleep, we had a reasonable outing on Sunday morning where we potentially began to work on a few of our issues (including going back to our original start sequence). It was a reasonable outing, and moderately cathartic after the previous day's debacle. I spent the rest of Sunday post-Tesco trip sitting on the sofa watching downloaded things.

Work today has been standard Monday-like, and I'm going to be leaving soon for this evening's outing. It's more than likely going to be windy and raining. So long as it's not too cold I don't think I'll mind all that much, I hope. However, our coach is going to be there and he's not going to be happy about Saturday's performance. Plus we're doing our one hard (physical effort) outing of the week, so that plus the inclement weather is going to make it a fairly difficult evening, I think.

In much much better news, Rachel is coming tomorrow evening and potentially Thursday evening, too. Which is marvellous. However, for now I should probably go and get ready for rowing.

[16:10] This morning's outing was cancelled, thank goodness. However, we still got up and went and did a 30 minute erg instead. It was supposed to be UT2, but I don't think everyone did that. I know I was pushing a little harder. The aches and pains in my shoulders and feet don't seem to be bothered by the rowing motions, thank goodness. When I'm walking around or getting into and out of bed I do feel a little like I'm suffering, though. Anyway, after the erg we derigged the boat and as we were putting it on the trailer noticed that two of the cross-braces were cracked. Them breaking completely is something that's happened a few times in the boat, luckily not during a race, thus far. I waited until it was a more polite time and then called our resident ex-rower and handy-man, who promised to take them away and get them welded/braised/whatever you do with aluminium. Hopefully they'll have been returned to the boat house by the time I get back there after work in about an hour from now. That way I can put them back in the boat before it goes down to Dorney tomorrow. We've actually, as yet, been unable to work out travel logistics for everyone, but hopefully that'll happen before 05:30 tomorrow morning.

Otherwise I've been at work today, trying not to overeat too much, drink enough (the usual failure on that score), and let my body recover as much as possible before the hardest row(s) of the season (thus far). Our time trial tomorrow could be what gets us pre-qualified for Henley, but probably won't unless we do something amazing. There's a final to row after the time trial, but how we do in the final we get into is less important than which we get in to.

Sadly, both of our women's crews lost (one failed to qualify) at Henley Women's Regatta today. I know that the 4+ at least will be rather upset, given the amount of training they put into their campaign. Hopefully it won't mean any of them give up rowing.

So, my weekend is a day of rowing at Dorney, then home, Sunday we're apparently rowing in the morning (madness), then I guess I have the rest of the day to do things like Tesco shopping and washing. Rachel's coming this evening as her parents are with her all weekend for an Amnesty walk and then some other stuff.

[17:20] A reasonable, if hard, outing last night. Our second coach, who's more experienced than our usual, experienced, coach said I did my best ever rowing last night. Which was nice. Amazingly for me this wasn't even damning with faint praise, as he never normally is positive about someone unless they're actually doing quite well. Anyway, we were all pretty shattered afterwards, although the GPS track shows that we were almost as fast as we've ever been over some of the pieces.

Our women's crews head to Henley for tomorrow and the weekend's Henley Women's Regatta. I would have loved to have gone with them, having coached the 4+, but it wasn't to be, and instead I battled to get into the M1 8+. Which I managed. Now all we have to do is do Marlow Regatta and (pre)-qualify for Henley Royal Regatta.

Disk replacements, plenty of small things to keep me busy, and even coming off my bike on the way back from replacing the disk and nearly breaking my shin, has been the order of the day. It's going to be strange not rowing this evening, but we have a gentle erg tomorrow morning followed by derigging, and then nothing in the evening, thank goodness. I'm about to go home and tackle the mountain of washing up that's accumulated over the course of the week, and then maybe even do a bit of vaccuming. These evenings off really are all about having fun...

[17:15] Last night's outing didn't go too badly. We keep having breakthroughs as to what the stroke rhythm is supposed to be, and then the boat sits up and goes really well, then we either forget or someone out of the eight of us does something off and it goes away again. In any event, the outing was fairly good in places.

Got to bed fairly early (I think) but was totally shattered this morning. After forcing myself through morning exercises I got to work on time and then after getting the morning alerts and other things sorted headed over to one of the server rooms to install the other VMWare host. Once done that was handed off to the VMWare host-master, who added it to VSphere, or whatever it is. Once that was done I was able to re-create my three guests and install them with all the Moodle-related configuration stuff that they need. That took me up to just after lunch. For most of the afternoon I've caught up on emails, tried to find web developers to ask why some of their applications were going nuts and nailing their DB servers (no-one to be found), and made a start on ordering Rachel's birthday presents. We've another outing this evening where we'll have two coaches on the bank and our original cox back again. We're practicing starts this evening. So it's going to be lots of 1, 3, 8, and ~20 stroke bits, all from a standing start, I imagine. Although we do have a rolling start for a time trial first thing on Saturday at Marlow Regatta, so there may be a few of those too. Once that's done I'm home for some food, and another early night, I hope. Thursday we have the whole day off!

[17:10] Throughout the day we've been having intermittent power outages. Nothing that causes our computers to reboot, but they have been tripping the air conditioning units at one of our server rooms. This then necessitates someone going out there to reset them. If someone does, the temperature rises in the server room very quickly. If this temperature reaches 35degC a thermal cutout drops power to the whole room. This is technically known as a Bad Thing. This morning, after three power blips a couple of the air conditioning units wouldn't seem to come back on after being reset. This lead to the temperature in the room going up to 32.86degC at the sensor. We asked the estate management people to come out and fix things while we ran around shutting down as many servers as we could to take load off the remaining working air conditioning units, but they asked if we could wait until someone was back from lunch. Yeah. In the end we figured out where the breakers that'd popped were and got things going ourselves. Since then I've gone back to initialising the sister server of the one I redid as a VMWare host last week, and bringing back all the servers I shut down over lunch.

Last night's outing with two coaches and a different cox was further enlivened by two subs and one of the regular crew swapping sides for the evening. On top of that we had a lot of new ideas and things to try and intergrate. The coaches thing we improved a lot. From my seat it felt... occasionally good, with patches of terrible. But what do I know. We've got another outing tonight with no coach, but some hard pieces of work. I just hope we can keep it together for the water time. I've dinner with Kate after that, which hopefully I won't be late for. Then bed, which I'm definitely looking forward to, too.

[15:45] All manner of things have been going on in the last few days. I'm sure some of it might even be of moderate interest to some of you. Friday evening finished off with an outing on the river. Four 4min pieces. Plenty of grunt on the boat, although perhaps not as awesome as we could have been in places. Still managed to get home in plenty of time for dinner and a moderately early night. Saturday morning was another outing. Just steady state, which suited us well. The outing on the Friday had been with a guest cox, just as Saturday was, so we had to adjust to that, as well as some crew changes. Again, only having one outing I was able to be home well before Rachel. However, a badly worded text meant that she rushed to come over from London, for which I needed to apologise. I still got the shopping done and even tidied a little before she made it. On Sunday morning I was up and off for the last outing away from the boat house. Another guest cox, this time helping us do eight 2min pieces. Unfortunately we thought that the cox box had broken, so everything had to be done with shouting and hand signals. As a result I got a lot of one-on-one coaching from the cox (which I really needed). Max was back in the boat for one outing (it doesn't seem like he's in any more to judge from the outing lists I've just seen). He was behind me, in a hark back to last year's Henley campaign. I don't think he did too badly at all. I managed to get home just before Rachel arrived back from doing a fairly impressive half marathon distance along the river. After lunch and some television (we finished The West Wing, again), we cleared the air a little over a few things which'd come up, then I had an honest-to-goodness afternoon nap whilest brownies were baked. Following some enjoyable tastiness, and two films, it was bed time. This morning was something of a rude awakening, although I don't feel too tired after the last few days (probably putting more carbs back into my diet has helped). I was actually late for work by 8 minutes (the first time ever, I think). Not that it mattered. What matters more is that I have a strangely blood-shot left eye (not usually visible, unless you pull the lower lid away. My hypochondriac self thinks it might be something to do with all the duck/goose/swan poo that was on the wet grass where we boated from for the last week. In any event, rather than worry about it much more I've got a nurse appointment this evening before my outing which should hopefully get rid of any worries. Given the eye doesn't hurt, and there doesn't seem to be any sight changes it's probably nothing. But I'd rather know. Then there's an outing with not only the good-but-eagle-eyed cox from Sunday (who will therefore pick me up on everything, but that's a good thing), but also two coaches on the bank, the new one being even more critical and technically analysing than our normal one. No pressure at all for me in the stroke seat, then!

In other news. The disk I was waiting for to rebuild half of a RAID1 set finally arrived today after being refused delivery twice due to an incorrect name on the parcel. It's the wrong size (capacity). And the wrong speed. It's even the wrong physical size, although that actually doesn't matter. It turns out it's a joint mistake (both ours and the supplier's), but they started it, as it were. Hopefully they'll ship out another one of the correct model to arrive tomorrow (but I doubt it).

[16:50] Last night's outing wasn't too bad. 8x 2min pieces, which seemed to go reasonably well. We might have turned a corner with regard to the mentality in the boat, somewhat. I think we're getting out of our own heads and starting to think in terms of what makes the boat go better, rather than how to make the boat feel better. It's a strange distinction, but if you might understand it. I went to bed reasonably on time last night after a good evening meal, but still had serious issues dragging myself out of bed this morning. Still, I did manage to get morning exercises, a shower, and a shave in and get to work on time. Sadly, the disk I was hoping would arrive didn't seem to until I got an email from someone else saying that it had actually been refused delivery twice owing to the fact that the company sending it out put the wrong name on it. Someone who doesn't exist here. They then told the delivery company to use the right name, but the delivery guy(s) did not. Monday, now, apparently. I've told reception to accept the delivery, even if it has the wrong name on it.

Another outing this evening, with a replacement cox. Hopefully it won't be too bad. I'm mostly looking forward to getting home afterwards and eating some more, before an early bed. This weekend I've outings away from the boat house both days, with us coming back to it with the boat on the Sunday to rerig for next week's outings. Rachel arrives on Saturday, so obviously I don't want to spend too much time away from her once she's here. When not rowing we'll be looking at holiday options, Tesco shopping, and getting as much relaxation time in as possible. For the time being though I've got to get on my way, there's rowing to be done.

[16:45] Not a huge amount happening here today. The weather has been perfect, which is annoying as I've been at my desk the whole time. However, we have an outing this evening, so we'll have to see how that goes. Having the wind finally calm down a bit would be a good start.

Last night's social event went OK, I guess. I'm just not a social creature by habit. Only by necessity. As a result, even though I made the effort (ironed trousers and a shirt!), and stayed to the end, I didn't go to the pub afterwards. Nor did I drink during the event. I think the latter was mainly due to the fact that I seem to be a lot tireder at the moment, without doing significantly more exercise. I get the feeling it might be down to my decrease in carbohydrates, although I didn't think I was eating significantly differently to before. Anyway, I'll keep it up for another few days and then start back on the pasta and stuff in time for the race a week on Saturday.

I can't really think of anything else to mention right now. I managed to clear up a misunderstanding I caused first thing this morning with a phone message, and we have some minor power fluctuations, but otherwise it was pretty much all about the status quo today. There's a good chance I'll be moving another server over to VMware ESXi tomorrow (with the attendant reinstallation of three guests on it), but that's about it. Outing tonight, outing tomorrow night, sleep, food, and work in between.

[17:25] A better outing last night. Not only that but it was relatively short, too. Only 10km of steady state paddling. We even had our whole crew back together for the first time in more than a week. It was good. Dinner at the adjacent pub afterwards, then home in almost reasonable time.

Perhaps it was harder than I thought, though. I was actually woken by the radio alarm at 07:00 this morning. Something that I don't think has happened in months, if not what could be more than a year. Not only that but I went back to sleep and woke with a start at 08:15. I was able to get to work on time though, so everything was OK. Today's main task was sorting out the three VMs I built yesterday. Two wouldn't boot until I'd figured out they needed to be installed with EFI rather than BIOS booting. Once that was done it was moderately plain sailing, even incorporating the extra setup that was required and had been done to them before I reinstalled them. Now, when I do the three other guests on the other physical server in a little while the installs should be pretty much flawless and smooth sailing... I hope.

I have to decide whether or not to have a complete evening off tonight, or go and watch rowing on the river in smart clothes. Most of me says stay home, but I think it would be good to socialise at least a little bit. So, that means going home as soon as possible, having an early dinner (as I haven't paid for a food/drink ticket) and then heading on over as soon as I can. Perhaps once everyone's had their fill I can vacuum up any leftovers. It feels a bit strange not to be rowing this evening. But I am tomorrow, and I'm fairly certain we'll be rowing Friday night as well. Then there's the weekend and most of next week's evenings, too.

[17:20] Last night was pretty hard. Getting to the launch point/pub wasn't too difficult, and the launching of the boat was a bit more organised than previously, but the rowing was very tiring. I think we did reasonably well. At least the coach - who was in the boat as a sub - wasn't too upset by how we went. The wind was pretty high going down stream, so the piece we did in that direction wasn't terribly awesome. The two we did on the way back were somewhat better, but I'm having quite a hard time going with this new (actually a variation on the original) style of rowing I'm being asked to do. And being at stroke is therefore twice as hard as I have to be the one who sets the rhythm, rather than just following it. I have this horrible feeling most of the time that I'm either not doing the right thing, or I've switched back to the rhythm/style I've been rowing for the two previous years. We'll have to see how things go in future outings. Like tonight, which apparently is only 10km of steady state. I'm quite thankful to be honest as we didn't get away from the boat until well past 21:00 last night, and I didn't get on with eating dinner until 22:10. In part this was due to us seeming to run over a muntjack deer on the way home (although we saw it run off afterwards), which damaged the front of the vehicle we were in. But also because we're so far out of town now, and the outing was around 20km in length.

Work-wise I'm starting to get my head around VSphere/VMWare/etc. There are some deeply annoying foibles to do with browsers and plugins and things, but I seem to have worked around all of the ones that were a problem. Whilest I have all three of the virtual servers installed (necessitating SCPing an ISO file around a bit), only one of them seems to want to boot itself from the hard drive image/OS I've installed. The other two resolutely believe they don't have hard drives, despite just installing to them a few minutes earlier. I'll take another look tomorrow, when I'm sure it'll all seem a lot more obvious.

[16:55] A long long weekend. Saturday was supposed to be fairly hard work, and it was, but for different reasons than I was expecting. We had only outing rather than two, but the outing we did have was moderately poor. Especially after Friday's nightmare. I'm certainly more to blame for Saturday's outing's quality than Friday's as I've been put back at stroke. That probably contributed to some of my mental tiredness, at least. Anyway, after that we derigged the boat and stuck it on the trailer, and went for lunch with Stacey and Max to catch up. After I got back home following that I absolutely needed to get very close to dozing on the sofa for about forty minutes or so. Then I probably did my body a disservice by doing about two and ahalf hours of hard gardening to get the front garden back in some form of order. I managed it, but ended up needing to spent much of the rest of the day visiting the smallest room in the house, possibly for dehydration or food-related reasons. I had a very bland dinner in the hopes I'd be OK for the outing on Sunday morning.

Luckily I did seem to be mostly fine the next day, so cycled down to the boat house and caught a lift to the place the boat is going to be for the next week or so. We rigged and got on the water with the coach in a motor launch and proceeded to get 20km or so out of the way without seeing more than one or two other water users, which was brilliant. The weather wasn't too shabby either. Unshabby enough that I ended up with a bit of sunburn by the time I got home following the outing and lunch in the pub next to our boating point. Happily, I was able to get home before Rachel, so I could to meet her at Tesco and congratulate her on her 10 mile run and tell her about my second outing at stroke, which didn't go too badly, but has shown me how much I need to concentrate on every stroke to make sure I'm doing the right thing for everyone behind me to follow. Somehow it feels harder than it did in previous years. Maybe it's because we have a new stroke pattern that's different to what I've previously been doing. Anyway, we spent the afternoon relaxing very hard after our respective mornings of exercise, and ate quite a bit (home-made fajitas/wraps).

Today was the first day this year I decided to come to work without a waterproof (my heavy one, anyway, I do have a pack-mac) and obviously after yesterday's glorious weather it's now raining. Hopefully it'll stop before I leave work and especially isn't raining by the time we get on the water. I'm not sure how enjoyable it'll be to do race pieces in the rain, especially when I need to concentrate on stroking this different rhythm, too. Work-wise the interesting thing I had coming has thus far proven to be a smidgen less interesting than I was hoping for, but there's a chance it'll improve over the course of the week once I get a few more things in place. For now though, rowing.

[16:45] Rachel arrived late last night due to other people's late flights and overrunning meetings. We still had a good evening though, which I think was very much needed. This morning was annoying, mainly because we didn't have the day off, but also because there was a torrential downpour. Luckily most of it stopped before we went out in it, but it was extremely humid, even at slower than normal cycling speeds.

I spent most of the day preparing the box I was due to install with VMware. Configuring, initialising, and consistency checking 12TB of not terribly fast disk can take a while, so it wasn't much before 15:30 before that was done. After cycling over there with the ISO on a CD I arrived in front of the server to discover that it didn't have a CD drive. I'm going to have to go back on Monday with either a USB stick with the software on, or a USB CD drive. Probably both, just in case.

There's a chance Rachel may come back this evening, but it's more likely she'll head home and come back on Sunday afternoon. I've got rowing tomorrow morning, and then after derigging and trailering the boat we'll be training out of town from Sunday to Friday (and possibly the following weekend) whilest the river is full of other people doing things. This Sunday we'll be rowing one long outing, then apparently having lunch nearby before heading back to town. Hopefully the time we get back will be similar to, or before, the time Rachel gets here. Otherwise it's a standard weekend.

[16:55] Last night's outing wasn't shocking, this morning's outing wasn't great. Not really a tale of two outings, but we certainly didn't take advantage of the beautiful weather and low wind conditions in either of them, either. We're stuck in a slump at the moment, and I can't quite see why that's the case. Hopefully having this evening and all of tomorrow off will help, such that Saturday on the river, and then Sunday and next week at our 'secret training location' away from the carnage that's going to go on where we normally row, will be an improvement. I can but hope.

My piece of work has finally made it to my desk. I start on it tomorrow, hopefully. It should be interesting, but will have me away from my desk for the first half of the day, I think. Not so much of a problem, really. I might even get to be outside for a bit, too.

With luck Rachel is already on the train here after her meeting. I've had no texts from her all day so I can't be sure. I'm going to head off shortly thought, and try and get the washing up done and the house a bit tidier.

[17:15] We did a little tin-pot race on the local river last night. Came 10th overall, but top in our category, which was nice. It was atrocious conditions in terms of headwind, but we hammered away and came away not feeling like it'd been all that bad, considering. We have a technical outing tonight, which hopefully will start us on the next stage of our rowing better and together. I asked again about the possibility of going into the stroke position. It's not out of the question, but I don't think it's going to happen. I'm getting pretty sanguine about it these days.

There hasn't been much movement on the body of work that's coming down the pipe for me. I think it has figuratively jammed itself in there due to its size. Still, at least once it makes it out and to me I'll have something significant to do for a little while. Not too long though as there's a fairly immediate deadline on it, so I won't have long to learn the relevant technology and then get it out out into the field and doing what it needs to do. Probably after that is when I'll learn the nuts and bolts of it such that I can support it. Rachel was going to be coming this evening, but as I have an outing tonight and one tomorrow morning, and she's got things to do it makes a little bit more sense for her to come tomorrow evening instead, which definitely works for me.

Anyway, outing tonight, and for once the weather is both sunny and not blowing a tremendous gale. We might actually make some progress this evening.

[16:55] I don't know what to tell you today. It's very windy, and the sun has come out. I'm racing in a local head race this evening. There are plans for us to train elsewhere on the river from Sunday for a week, which will necessitate a lift in someone's car, and us storing the boat elsewhere than the boat house. It'll also mean some late nights getting home again, as well as longer sessions on the weekend mornings, which is a bit annoying if I want to see Rachel. That's about it, really.

Oh, a few videos from the cox's position in the boat came out today. Although I'm second furthest from the camera, I can see that my technique isn't as good as thought it might be. I think it's time I turned a corner on this and actually made sure I row as well as I think I can.

[17:55] A long, tiring, and ultimately disappointing weekend in passing. Saturday started with a very early rise and a drive to Dorney Lake again for the Met. Regatta. Our first race was early in the morning, so we got on the lake, did our warmup, and then rowed quite badly, to come last in our eliminator. This then meant no more races for the rest of the day. Disappointing, to say the least. I spent the rest of the day on a borrowed bike cycling up and down the coaches path watching other crews from my club. In the evening we went for a meal together, then to our respective hotels and B&Bs for the night. The place I stayed wasn't awesome, being under the Heathrow flight path.

However, even with a disrupted night's sleep I didn't feel horrendous in the morning, and the breakfast was OK too. Back at the lake for the second day's rowing we were guaranteed three rows, so we got onto the lake for the time trial in good time and had a reasonable row, placing somewhere about the middle of the pack for that. We then didn't do stunningly in the group semi-final we were placed in, nor in the group final itself. Overall I was disappointed in the boat, the egos/opinions in the boat, and in myself for not enjoying rowing all that much, and it having apparently been commented on by others in the crew. I had hoped I was just coming across as quiet, rather than "lacklustre" (in whatever sense that was being mentioned). I came home, had pizza, and tried to sleep well last night in the hopes I'd feel a bit better about rowing in the morning.

It's now the day after the weekend before and I'm still not all that enamoured about various people in my crew, how the boat's going, and generally what I'm doing in boats at the moment. Not only that but I feel out of shape (literally, in that I feel like I'm putting on non-useful weight, i.e. not muscle), I miss running, and am honestly not sure how I feel about rowing this week, let alone if we decide to try and qualify for Henley. Given I've just renewed my rowing license (but not just because of that) I'm going to stick with rowing until I'm dropped from the crew, or this season's campaign is over. Then, depending on who else comes back next season I might just give rowing a rest for a full season and concentrate on running (hopefully injury-free).

Work-wise there's a good chance I'm going to be learning how to work with VMware ESX in the next few weeks, so that'll be nice. For now though I'm off to brave the weather at Tesco, the home to do all the other housework related things I should have done over the weekend when I was failing at rowing.