In this blog series, I take inspiration from one of the day’s Olympic events. Today: rowing, specifically the women’s single sculls. Not because I have a particular talent in this event, just because I am a) a woman and b) there’s only one of me.
In today’s heats, women raced over the 2000m course (do they call it a course?) at my “local” venue, Dorney rowing lake. I’ve coached there (open-water swimming), I’ve raced there (triathlon, 10km runs) but I’ve never rowed there.
And I still haven’t. I conducted today Olympic challenge on the rowing machine at the gym.
Earlier today, Korea’s Yeji Kim posted the fasted time for the heats (07:50:64). Girlfriend’s only 17 years old! The slowest time of the day in this event was 08:12:83. In the men’s race, the fastest time was 7:00:19 whilst plucky old Hammadou Djibo Issaka had the crowds on their feet as they cheered him across the line, last by quite a stretch, in 8:39:66. (Watch a vid here.)
Would I manage to beat Djibo Issaka’s time? Would I even beat 10 minutes? I had absolutely no idea. I do use the rowing machine quite a lot but tend to do intervals, tabatas or just a set amount of time. I really don’t ever take any notice of how far I go. I also have no idea what’s good, what’s rubbish and what’s “OMG get this girl out of the gym and into the 2016 single scull squad!”
I donned my cap (just about the only bit of kit I’ve got in common with actual rowers) and got to it.
Hm. This isn’t so bad! A bit huffy-and-puffy but it’s only 2000m! Surely I can do this.
Gosh. This is going on a bit.
Dum dee dum. Wish I’d worn my earphones.
36spm. Is that good? Is it like swimming where the slower your stroke rate, the faster you go? Or should I be pulling as fast as I can?
Hooray! 500m gone! Oh… also quite a few minutes gone. God this could be embarrassing.
I really am quite warm now. My face is really red.
Oh look, 7 minutes have passed. I’ve done 1510m. If I was in the men’s race, the winner would have crossed the line and I’d still be 3/4 of the way down Dorney.
Right, come on Nicola, pick up the pace. This really isn’t that far.
I can’t wait for this to be over.
10 minutes is approaching, oh no, come on….
2000m in 9:07. Haha!
Verdict: hot, sweaty, deceptively hard, legs very wobbly after. British Rowing unlikely to be ringing me up any time soon.
How have the London 2012 Olympic Games inspired you today?
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.