Rochester Open Water Challenge?

I may have been slightly optimistic to think that a mere 4 weeks after buying a surf ski I’d be ready to paddle the Rochester Open Water Challenge. It’s only 6 days to the race, and today I went out with Doug and Dennis to try to paddle the course. Instead, what I did was fall in. A lot. I must have fallen in and remounted 7 to 10 times, and each remount took 3 or 4 attempts before getting back in. I think I managed to paddle about 2 miles, and I’m more tired than I am after the 8 mile flat water paddle I did yesterday. Balance and remounting both use both different muscles than I’ve been using for all that flat water paddling I’ve been doing, and it doesn’t take much to exhaust me.

I haven’t gotten very good at balancing – the guys with more experience seem to just rock their hips without thought, where for me it’s entirely a conscious effort, which makes it too slow to react – I’m often doing exactly the opposite of what I need to be doing as a wave or boat wake passes. I need more experience. I can feel improvement over the last few weeks, but I’m still not good.

The other guys weren’t finding it particularly easy, and I take some solace from that, but Dennis only dumped a few times and I don’t think Doug dumped at all. But they also decided not to paddle the whole course. So maybe I’m not that far behind them. But if the conditions next week are like this, I’m not going to be able to complete the race.