I’m a lean mean paddling machine!

On Sunday, Vicki and I went for a paddle with the Huggers.

But first, I went for a long fast paddle to get the “need for speed” out of my system. I did 5 miles, and while I started out slowly for the first half mile, by the 0.7 mile point I was definitely up to race pace. I just can’t get the hang of this “warm up” business – never have. Going up stream, I was maintaining a pretty good 5.8 mph or so – although the last half mile before the turn-around was up above 6.0 mph. When I turned around, I was making better than 6.5 mph. The fourth mile was an average pace of 6.6 mph and the fifth mile was an average pace of 6.5 mph. Even including the slow first mile, that meant that my five mile total time (49:41) was faster than the speed (50:14) when I did a 5 mile time trial a mere 21 days ago.

But more importantly, doing a big work out mere minutes before going for a fun paddle did have the desired effect – I could enjoy a nice leisurely paddle with Vicki and the others without any need to speed ahead or run rings around people or any of the annoying things I do when I still have the need for speed. And we had a great time picking our way up and back Red Creek, this tiny and wild little stream in the middle of Rochester.

Today I went for an even longer paddle – 8 miles. I was going to go up the river again, but there was a bit of a breeze going down the river and I didn’t fancy fighting a head wind on the way home. But fortunately the Genesee Waterway Center gives you a choice – the river intersects the canal right there, and the breeze was blowing straight up the canal. So I went down the canal. It wasn’t an extremely pleasant paddle – the canal parallels highways and industrial land almost the whole way. Although I did see a Great Blue Heron and some ducks. Once again, I didn’t manage a proper warm up. Looking at the speed graph in Garmin Training Center, it looks like I once again only warmed up for half a mile or so. For the first 3 miles or so, I felt no fatigue, no soreness, the only sensations were a slight pull from the bandage on the sores on my back and the relentlessness of my own stroke.

On the way back, I was a little disappointed that the tail wind didn’t improve my speed that much, or at all really. My third mile had an average speed of 6.0 mph, and my downwind miles had average speeds of 6.1, 6.0, 6.1 and 5.9 mph. I don’t know if I was slowing down, or the wind was abating, but I definitely felt that there was a current going against me. But that doesn’t matter so much. What does matter is that I kept my pace up, and besides a few pauses to grab a drink, I didn’t have to stop at all. And afterwards, I was tired, and I was ready to stop, but I didn’t feel like I had to stop.

Eight miles, 81 minutes. I am *so* ready for the Tupper Lake 9 Miler. Only 11 days to go.