Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Pride comes before a...

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The day began well. During my lunch break I managed the longest run in six weeks. Granted it was only 15 minutes, but it was pain free. I collected my gigantic race shoes from Profeet for the MdS, extra big to accommodate swollen, tortured soles. And the sunset was great.
But then I arrived at Eel Pie Island where our uber-sleek kayak is stored. It was time for our first training session, with the Devizes to Westminster race just over a week away and sensible warnings of the need for four months of training ringing in our ears. The Thames is in flood at the moment, and Eel Pie Island is accessible only by a footbridge, now located several feet from dry land. Fortunately an enterprising young scallywag was loaning welly boots so I arrived dry and keen.
The river was racing, the night was cold but bright. We lowered the sexy carbon fibre boat into the water. Lucy climbed in. I followed behind. We pushed away from the jetty. BANG - we were upside down in the river and the water was dark and cold and racing and we whizzed downstream and grabbed the paddles and the boat and the jetty and began hauling ourselves out of the Thames. I had not even imagined a kayak could be so unstable!
So our training evening turned into hot tea by the radiator and me squelching home early in too-tight borrowed jeans, a girl's rugby top and plastic bags on my numb feet. Time for a rethink. Time for a search for a less sleek boat. Time for humble pie. Time to get up early before work tomorrow and get back out there and see if we can stay upright for more than one second...


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