Friday 22 March 2019

My first canoe polo game

I've known of the sport of canoe polo for 25 years and I've been living in Parys for three years where this is a regular activity at our paddling club. Yesterday evening I enjoyed my first canoe polo game.

It should actually be called kayak polo, because we paddle kayaks with a double-bladed paddle... but the name of the sport is canoe polo.

This is a five-a-side, full-contact sport played on flatwater, where the objective is to score goals.

Paddling skills and ball skills are key - as is rolling; players are allowed to push each other over!

I need to practice my rolling this weekend and Celliers will work with me on more paddle stroke techniques to improve my manoeuvrability.

I'll play on Monday nights and look forward to getting much better.

(Yes, a Fluid canoe polo kayak - Celliers' design from when Fluid was his baby. Vagabond currently doesn't have a canoe polo kayak in our range.)

It feels good to run (Parys SPCA fundraising run)

I've been running most days of the week for a good 26 years. How much I run a week goes up and down according to what else I'm doing and how much time I have available.

I have had a number of times over the past few years where I have just been running so beautifully -and then I get hit with a nasty respiratory infection. I can count my blessings that I am rarely ill so these infections tend to really knock me.

Last year, going into June, I was on fire. Running nice and easy over any distance without blinking. And then I came down with an awful cough that was bad for two weeks and then hung around as an irritating dry cough for another two months - until I sought medical intervention prior to flying to the US. And even then it was still another few weeks before my lungs were properly right.

I've just been ticking over the past few months. I mostly run with Rusty, which means that I don't do big distances - between 5 and 8km (with some walking and sniffing). I've done some parkruns and myruns and Wednesday evening time trials.

I actually had a good timetrial last week. I ran to the park with Rusty -  a fast run to make it there on time. I met up with my mom at the park and she took Rusty while I did the 4km timetrial.

This past Wednesday evening there was a full moon 5/10km on the local golf estate -  a fundraiser for our SPCA, which has been in a mess. The NSPCA is overseeing it and a new committee of dedicated locals is being formed to take care of this very important organisation. One of our local runners is very involved with the SPCA and this was her initiative. These funds will be used for projects like created a grassed area for the dogs and other improvements to the facilities.

I haven't run a straight 10km on tar for ages but I figured that the run would be totally worth it.

The start - there were more people than seen here and also lots of doggies. I did leave Rusty at home - too much craziness for her! Photo from the Parys Gazette. That's me in the pink tee to the front right of the photo (next to the guy in the royal blue tee).
I had the most superb run!

At the start, we ran towards the full moon that hung gloriously above the road. I know the route well so I checked my pace and settled in. For the 10km it was a two-lap route - similar to that used my the Parys myrun but differing in that it stayed on tar the whole way.

I clipped the first 5km nice and easy and when I turned around at the start/finish, I was looking forward to the next 5km.

At the far-end turnaround (7.5km), I had seen a woman I know not very far in front of me. She has been running so well and beats me at the 4km timetrial. Distance is my friend and my 'rule' is "If you can see 'em, you can catch 'em". I kept it easy, waiting to get over the bridge for the final sections, which is just over a kilometre to the finish.

I caught her not far from the bridge and then dropped a gear through to the finish.

Perfect evening. Beautiful moon. Ideal running temperature. I felt good! Even better, not even an inch of stiffness on Thursday morning.

I really need to put in more distance more regularly. It makes me feel on top of the world. Working crazy hours just makes this challenging and I also try to fit in yoga, paddling and longer outings with Rusty.

Nonetheless, the run has left me feeling far more buoyant than I have been about my running and I look forward to making more time for me in the coming weeks.