Tag Archives: racing

Harrison Dragon Boat Race Festival July 25, 2015

29 Jul

This past Saturday was the Harrison Dragon Boat Festival, held at (in case you didn’t guess) Harrison Hot Springs. The race is held on a beautiful lake. This means clean, heavy, choppy, water – it’s pretty much awesome. πŸ™‚

2015-07-26 12.00.59There are four races in a day, which is average for festivals. The day and most of the night prior it was raining and not cold exactly but not warm, ya know, cause of getting drenched every time you went outside on account of the rain so we all prepared for a rainy race day but lucky for us when we woke up it was overcast and windy but not raining, yay! πŸ™‚

The paddler’s village is on the beach so we all lugged the stuff we would need for the day the whole 5 minute walk from the motel to our team’s tent and settled in for a day of awesome.

Our first race started fairly normal, the teams lined up, madam caller gave us the mark to go and boom! We are off! Then all of a sudden we weren’t because another team rammed their boat in to ours! Fyi, this is not normally a contact sport so yeah, not cool.

Since the team that hit us never came over to apologize we don’t know for sure why it happened, I am going on the assumption it was an accident since there was no reason for them to do it on purpose.

Let me set the scene for what happens when dragon boats collide…the boat with the most momentum tends to go over / into the second boat so the dragon head and part of the boat actually ends up inside the other boat. Since there are people in the way this generally means the dragon head hits or goes over top of a paddler, or two, or three…and sometimes hands and paddles get squished between the boats. Sometimes boats tip, sometimes they don’t, there are a lot of factors that decide that.

Here is a video of multiple dragon boat crashes, you can see how there are a lot of different reasons for boats to flip. Just ignore the propaganda type text that is talking about dragon boating lol oh, and no, none of the crashes shown are our crash, I don’t think it got caught on video which is too bad really, it’d be fun to see!

So yeah, we got hit, at first we kept paddling but we got the call from the water marshal to stop so we did, then once the boats were no longer connected we were told to keep going so we are hmm, maybe halfway through the race and have to start from a dead stop while the other teams had kept going (well, except for the boat that hit us). Basically we just dug in and gave it everything we had and then some to stay in the game. It is amazing how motivation and adrenaline can help boost you lol For that race we ended up coming in second place, I know right?! You’d of thought we’d be last but nope, second. πŸ™‚

The water referee saw the collision and recommended we file a complaint with the officials so we did and they took 6 seconds off our finish time. That kept us in second place finish for the race but that’s ok, it’s still a good finish, especially considering the collision!

The remaining three races seem a bit anti-climatic compared to the first, no more collisions, no more drama, just normal racing. We placed first in races two and three which put us in to the medal round for Division A Rec which is awesome and terrifying all at once.

Part of me was all “how’d we get in to A Division? We’ll never medal in A Division, dammit, why aren’t we in B Division?” but I think that was just my nerves talking. I know how we got in to A Division, we earned it, and we were going to show everyone there we earned a spot in that medal race by kicking ass! πŸ˜‰

There was a bit of nerves, a lot of encouragement being shared amongst the team, reminders that we know what we are doing and we’ve been doing great all day so just keep it up then before you know it we are lining up for the race and there is no more time for nerves, no more time for doubt, no more time for anything but focus, determination and control. Relying on training and technique and muscle memory, relying on our steersperson to keep us safe, relying on our caller to keep us motivated and in the game, relying on ourselves and our teammates to get us to victory!

So how did that race go you ask? Oh you know, fairly well, we only came away with the GOLD MEDAL!!!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

The Twisted Hips Won Gold!

You can see me over to the right wearing the black baseball cap. πŸ™‚

2015-07-26 12.04.14

After the festival was over we all went back to the motel, we were in a bunch of suites but congregated in one as it was the biggest. All the normal things happened after that, people showered and changed, we all kept our medals on, went for dinner at a local pub, got congratulated by random strangers (fellow dragon boaters and non-dragon boaters) as we walked through the town, then we ended up back at the motel to celebrate (aka drink and revel in our victory lol) πŸ™‚

The next day those of us that stayed overnight (which was most of us) went for brunch where I had the most amazing omelette ever, Mmm! and we slowly started to drift back to our vehicles. We all car pooled to some degree so don’t go thinking 22 people all drove up there individually! πŸ˜› You could tell that nobody wanted to leave even as we were all saying how we should leave because the goodbyes kept being drawn out, excuses were found to take pictures, people lingered for ages until finally we all went our own way. You’d think we were never seeing each other again or something when in reality it was Sunday and we were going to see each other at practice on Tuesday lol

Our last race weekend group selfie…

Some of my awesome team!

Some of my awesome team!

Fort Langley Cranberry Festival 2014

13 Oct

This past Saturday was the Cranberry Festival, yay! πŸ™‚

It is a dragon boat festival that isn’t a dragon boat festival lol The teams competing are dragon boat teams but we race in canoes, with canoe paddles, the boats hold 10 people (instead of 20 paddlers, one caller and one steers person), the first bench has only one person on it instead of two, the steers person sits instead of stands, the boats purposefully collide with each other and the races are a lot longer (2km minimum instead of 500m).

These races are wicked fun and are a great way to end the season – no pressure, no worries, just go out and have fun with the team. There are no prizes, no medals, just bragging rights lol πŸ˜›

My team

My team!

At the Cranberry Festival it is all about the final race, it is an obstacle course and really, it’s the only race we care about on the day lol From the start line you head towards a bridge where people have dropped pumpkins, you have to scoop up a pumpkin, go under the bridge, do a figure 8, go back under the bridge, turn around, partially beach the boat while one paddler jumps out and does an on-land obstacle (they take their paddle, have a cup of cranberry juice balanced on the flat side, run down the beach without spilling any juice, collect a bag of cranberries), the paddler jumps back in the boat, we unbeach ourselves, turn to go in the opposite direction we are facing, go around a buoy, go under the bridge and get past the buoys that represent the finish line. Awesome huh?

Someone cheering for another team took video of part of the race so you can have a look and see a bit of what it was about. The boat that gets away from the beach first and gets an awesome breakaway lead, that’s my team *nonchalant shrug* Cause ya know, we’re awesome like that. πŸ˜‰

After that turn (when the video cuts out) we headed straight, went under the bridge, passed the finish line and had time to turn around and watch the rest of the boats finish the race, it was a crazy long lead lol

We were especially happy with this win because our team had never won at this festival before, we broke our curse! wOOt! πŸ˜€

 

Victoria Dragon Boat Festival

19 Aug

Alrighty, so two things…

(1) Sorry for the inconsistency of my posts, I have been having internet difficulties and have been going for days with NO internet! None! It is quite annoying, sigh. Β Shaw has replaced the modem so theoretically I should have internet access again without disruptions…we shall see *glances with suspicion towards Shaw*

(2) This post is not going to be about my vacation (no, I’m not done with those posts), I just want to let you know what happened this past weekend, then I’ll get back to my vacation posts – hopefully with a bit more speed than I was posting them before because of ya know, actually having internet access again lol.

On to the fun part! This past weekend I was in Victoria BC dragon boat racing, it is a two day festival, August 16th-17th. I didn’t go with my team (The Twisted Hips), instead I went as a filler for a team called Dragon Hearts Attack. They were short some paddlers and my coach works with that team so she asked if I was interested in racing with them. I had already booked the time off work assuming I would be racing that weekend and since I didn’t have another team I was racing with I said yes. I love the festivals, the competition, the fun of it all and I was bummed that I didn’t have a team to go with so I was really glad this worked out. πŸ™‚

Three of my Twisted Hips teammates were also going to be competing at that festival but for one of the sister teams of the team I was on, they were with Dragon Hearts Burn. Three of us went over on the ferry together Friday night and spent almost all of the weekend together. πŸ™‚

This picture was in the bathroom at the ferry terminal, because apparently people need to be told to not stand on the seats *rolls eyes*

Seriously?

Seriously?

There are two races per team a day at this festival and once you are done your second race on the Saturday you are basically free to do whatever you want…within reason! lol You still have to be able to paddle the next day! πŸ˜›

It was our coaches birthday on the Sunday so we all went out for dinner on the Saturday to a Greek restaurant, it was yummy, nothing amazing but not horrible either. Ray got this appetizer that they light on fire, it is cheese, he ordered it because it gets lit on fire which I think is a perfectly valid reason lol

That's the waiter, not my teammate lol

That’s the waiter, not my teammate lol

Here’s what it looks like when it isn’t on fire…

Cheeeeeeese!

Cheeeeeeese!

The restaurant had a belly dancer…

2014-08-16 19.41.04

Who then came over and tried to teach some of our guys how to belly dance…not gonna lie, they weren’t very good lol

It was a funny lesson!

It was a funny lesson!

They then had a dance off which I was too busy laughing through to take pics of, there is a video but I can’t figure out how to get it off facebook and on here so you’ll have to take my word for it that it was freakin hilarious!

Coach got a birthday dessert of baklava, hey c’mon, it’s a Greek restaurant, what did you expect?

A candle in a piece of baklava, classic? ;)

A candle in a piece of baklava, classic? πŸ˜‰

After the dinner some of the team spent the rest of the night partying and having fun, nothing too wild since we had to be up and in the lobby by 6:30am the next day, ugh.

Races went exceptionally well on the Sunday for my team and we ended winning gold in our division, yay!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

Gold! Gold! Gold!

One of the main sponsors for the festival was Denny’s, hence the name Denny’s on the one side of the medal, I feel I should now get free pancakes for life from them as a congrats lol πŸ˜›

The three of us that came over on the ferry together spent the next chunk of time wandering around a small piece of Victoria. We couldn’t go far cause one of us, Kathryn, rolled her ankle coming down The Chief prior to the festival so she was gimped. She was thankfully off the crutches but still limping quite a lot and she had to sit often to rest it. Sucky. She was supposed to race that weekend but wasn’t able to cause of the ankle. 😦

Some of the sights we saw included…

A whale made out of a bush.

A whale made out of a bush.

A fancy hotel covered in ivy.

A fancy hotel covered in ivy.

A woman being a statue, I'm surprised she didn't melt.

A woman being a statue, I’m surprised she didn’t melt.

A statue of Emily Carr that makes her look like an unattractive man...that is a monkey on her shoulder.

A statue of Emily Carr that makes her look like an unattractive man…that is a monkey on her shoulder.

The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon

The Netherlands Carillon was a gift from BC’s Dutch community to honour Canada’s 100th birthday in 1967. Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Netherlands unveiled the cornerstone of the tower on May 23, 1967. A carillon is a musical instrument with a set of 23 or more bronze bells. This carillon, the largest in Canada, has 62 bells. It is housed at the top of this tower, which stands 27 meters (89 feet) tall. The largest bell in this carillon weighs 1500 kgs. To play the Netherlands Carillon, a musician climbs the 75 steps of the spiral staircase and then a 10-step ladder. There, the carillonneur depresses the keys and pedals of a clavier to play a song on the bells. Carillon bells do not swing like church bells; they ring when struck by clappers connected with wires to the clavier.

We happened to be there when the carillonneur was up there playing, at first it sounded like a song, then it sounded like a child hitting bells at random, then it sounded a bit like a song again lol it is an interesting sound.

Memorial to our courageous dead.

Memorial to our courageous dead.

Parliament building and a pretty fountain.

Parliament building and a pretty fountain.

The harbour - those tent tops and the crowds of people are the dragon boat festival.

The harbour – those tent tops and the crowds of people are the dragon boat festival.

hitchBOT!

hitchBOT!

We came across hitchBOT lounging on the sidewalk! When I first heard about his journey across Canada I so badly wanted to come across him and yay! I actually did! He managed to hitchhike from Halifax to Victoria in three weeks. πŸ™‚ People had written happy messages on him and attached cute little magnets to his chest, magnets of Canadian flags etc, to show where he had been. I’m so glad he made it lol I was kinda worried for him. Here is his website link if you are interested in learning more about him http://www.hitchbot.me

This statue is called The Homecoming and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy

This statue is called The Homecoming and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Navy

This random building that  I like the look of lol

This random building that I like the look of lol

So there we go, that is my weekend in a nutshell. πŸ™‚ I would like to go back for 2-3 days as a mini vacation and actually have lots of time to wander and do things. It’s great travelling places when racing but you don’t have a lot of time to play tourist ya know? So I’m thinking maybe next summer going over on my days off and seeing what I can see as well as go off and have some adventures.

Had an awesome time, lots of fun memories and I am so glad I was able to go. πŸ˜€

Nanaimo Weekend

9 Jul

This past weekend (July 5-6) was the Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival. Last season there was drama! drama! drama! And since you probably don’t memorize my blog posts if you would like to refresh yourself on what happened clickΒ here.

We had a goal, win a medal to redeem ourselves from last year.

Well…we didn’tΒ quiteΒ make that goal a reality. We did redeem ourselves by having a strong presence at the festival, by racing hard, by having new jerseys the other teams were envious of and by moving up a division to the highest division at the festival, yup, that’s right,Β highestΒ division! Awesomeness! The only part of our plan that didn’t quite come to fruition was the whole winning a medal thing but hey, we tried and we were close and having close times with the teams we were racing against, teams that consistently rank in the highest division, well, that isΒ nothingΒ to sneeze at.

Overall we ended up ranking 8th place out of 80 teams, notΒ soΒ bad, right?

My team The Twisted Hips

My team The Twisted Hips

The people there are still the friendliest peopleΒ ever,Β it is a beautiful location for a dragon boat festival, the water is warm and clean, even with the rain the temperatures are still high. There are so many great things associated with this festival! πŸ™‚

Overall the weekend rocked, we all got there Friday night, I didn’t get motion sickness while on the ferry going over to the island (yay!), the three teammates I was bunking with were hilarious, the food was tasty, there was lots of walking and racing and just in general physical activity. There was free paddle boarding both days, two of my teammates and I gave that a try on the Saturday. It was ok, I was paranoid about falling in to water while wearing my racing clothes so I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I might have if I didn’t have the worry of spending the rest of my day in soaking wet clothes lol Having said that, even if I had been in a swimsuit and not worried about getting wet I don’t think it’s an activity I’d do for an extended period of time, it’s notΒ thatΒ interesting lol πŸ˜› There were all kinds of food trucks but our team pools money and we have a little buffet of food at our tent (as do most teams) so I didn’t get anything from the food trucks, I did hit up Tim Horton’s for tea multiple times but tea is a whole different story, I can’t survive without tea lol

There were also lots of booths set up with people selling everything from home made jewellery, to official festival clothing, to dragon boat gear to scarves…the list goes on and on. There are also booths set up to educate people on things like drinking tap water or recycling as well as booths representing banks and other boring Β things lol.

I bought two bracelets as thank you gifts for the daughters of my friend, they came and checked on my cat while I was gone and I thought they’d get a kick out of some jewellery, shrug. I also bought myself a festival t-shirt. I buy a shirt not from every festival but from a lot of them, I like having a memento that is also functional lol

One of my teammates and I are taking part in a plank challenge, on the Saturday we decided to plank while in the middle of partying (cause isn’t that how everyone planks? lol) and the teammates that were present decided to get in on the action lol Planking is now a team sport!

The plank challenge!

The plank challenge!

Even though it was slightly overcast most of the time, and raining for chunks of both days I managed to get sunburned, a special talent of mine lol Oh, and I also managed to get injured, another special talent of mine lol

While planking someone leaned on me and somehow I ended up hurting my lower back, I don’t mean a twinge I mean I was in massive pain and had trouble standing up straight. Luckily one of my roomies has a mothering instinct and she helped me out, she got me a microwavable gel pack thing from the hotel office and walked me through some yoga that she thought might help the back get better. A combination of some sort of cream a friend had, plus pain pills, plus yoga, plus the heating pack led to me being ok to race on the Sunday. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered what level of pain I was in on the Sunday I would have still raced but it was nice to race and not be thinking I was screwing my back up even more lol πŸ˜›

The other injury is just stupid *rolls eyes* when I was paddle boarding sand got in my shoes, didn’t matter how much I rinsed them out some sand stayed in them and while I could feel the sand rubbing against my feet it didn’t seem like that big of a deal, I was wrong. By Sunday I had 5 open and quite nasty wounds on my feet, ugh. Couldn’t do much about them till I got home and really all I could do once home was wash the feet, put some polysporin on the wounds and wrap with bandaids. The feet are healing well, slower than I would like but meh, whatcha gonna do? I wash, reapply the polysporin and bandaids daily and am basically waiting for them to finish getting better. I’m down to three bandaids instead of five now so that’s a nice improvement! πŸ™‚

The trip home went smoothly, once again I managed to not get sea sick on the ferry, this is a big deal for me in case you were wondering lol I had an unpleasant surprise waiting for me though, a spider apparently decided the best place ever to have her eggs mature was in my bathroom, ick! ick! ick! I came home to this…

Baby spiders. Lots of baby spiders. *shudder*

Baby spiders. Lots of baby spiders. *shudder*

I went on the offensive asap, obviously, and became a mass murderer. Thought the situation was taken care of but the next day when I got home from work I had a smaller web with fewer inhabitants in the exact same spot. wtf?? So they died also. I then sprayed the entire area with Mr. Clean all surfaces cleaner, and I don’t mean a gentle spray, I mean I drenched the area, it was dripping off the ceiling! Chemical warfare at its finest lol Since then I’ve seen an occasional baby spider but no big webs and en masse gatherings so I’m hoping they have moved on or died. πŸ˜›

Filming and Medals and All Around Fun

25 Jun

I soooooo wanted to write about this yesterday but my internet crapped out, bad timing that!

Yesterday I was, get ready for this!…filming an episode of a tv show! *squeal of excitement* Awesome huh?! πŸ˜€

I can’t give a lot of specifics due to signing a loooong confidentiality agreement but here is what I can say:

– I was a principle character in the episode (that means a main character)

– the show is docudrama/soap opera genre

– the show is international

– my character was a nurse so I was in scrubs which (1) are super comfy and (2) made me look humongous *rolls eyes*

– each episode has completely different cast so there is no potential for reprising the role

– I was up at 5am so I could be on set for 7am

– the make-up and hair ladies loved my hair and cheekbones lol

– crafty (that is the catered food) provided pretty decent food

– we filmed at an abandoned psych hospital and the crew had some super creepy stories about the place

– I wrapped (that means finished) a bit after 6pm so I was able to get to my dragon boat practice on time, which was a pleasant surprise

Oh, and fair warning, once the episode is aired if I can find a link to an episode online I will be posting it on my blog so you can all have the option of watching it or not lol πŸ˜›

Here are some pics of parts of the psych hospital, outside only…

One of the buildings

One of the buildings

2014-06-24 06.27.15

 

I didn't get to go in this building, it looked more ominous than the others.

I didn’t get to go in this building, up close it looked more ominous than the others.

Spooky stairs all over the place leading to who knows where...

Spooky stairs all over the place leading to who knows where…

Than, as if filming wasn’t enough to make the day amazing when I got to dragon boat practice I got given my medal from the weekend! I thought I would get a medal since I raced Saturday but was worried that since I missed the Sunday due to being sick I miiiiight not get a medal, ya know, cause of not being there for the final race. But I was worried for nuthin, phew! lol It is so purdy!

My medal!

My medal!

I was coughing all day, doing my best to cough between takes of course lol I was doing really well until the last scene where I started losing control of the cough, the hot tea I’d be sipping all day to soothe my throat was no longer helping and I thought I’d have to ask for some cough drops (which I had brought, along with cough syrup and throat lozenges lol) but I managed to tough it out. On the way to practice I was sucking on cherry halls, the type with the cough syrup in the middle, to try to get the cough to stop. I was sorta ok during practice, I coughed all the way through it but was still able to paddle. I did notice that I had less stamina than normal, not sure if that was cause of the long day or the trouble breathing cause of the cough and congestion…I’m leaning to it being more because of the cough since the filming left me all energetic and psyched lol. However, by the time I got home from practice my voice was shot, totally 100% shot! I was a croaking frog, not pretty! *wrinkled nose* I spent today not talking lol I just stayed in and chilled in the hopes that would help my voice recover faster, I don’t think it will help much though cause I am coughing even more than before and the cough is what is causing the most damage to my throat – in my non medical opinion lol πŸ˜› Hopefully it goes away soon, if not for me than for the cat, every time he tries to cuddle with me I cough and it disturbs him, he’s been glaring at me a lot lol

My Rio Tinto Alcan Weekend

23 Jun

This past weekend was the biiiiiig dragon boat festival! We spend all season gearing up for this festival, training! training! training! Rio Tinto is the largest dragon boat festival in North America, teams comes from all over the world to compete, it is a big thing in the dragon boat world.

I absolutely love this festival! Not only are there 160 dragon boat teams competing against each other for coveted medals there are food vendors, booths set up with free samples, coupons, random information about all sorts of topics, live performances, this festival has it all! It is one of things I look forward to all year.

All us dragon boaters will be the first to admit that unless you know someone in a race watching dragon boat racing can be a bit, um, boring…I know! It sounds horrible to say but it’s true. Each race heat can take what seems like forever to get set up because you can’t tell from the shore how much the tide has moved the boats as they try to line up or any of the other random things that can happen that make the start of the race be delayed. That’s why having all the on shore entertainment helps, it keeps people entertained when they stop being quite so entertained by the races lol

The weather on Saturday was perfect! Sunny, warm but not boiling hot, abso beautiful! πŸ™‚ I’ve competed at this festival when the weather is cold and pouring rain so the warmth and sun was much appreciated lol. I of course was coating my exposed skin in 110spf sunscreen and wearing long sleeves and pants, oh and a hat! lol I look like I hate the sun, and I kinda do because of how easily I burn, but I also don’t, I just hate the UV rays that try to not-so-slowly turn me in to a lobster, shrug.

Our race times on Saturday were strong, 2:06 then 2:05. They put us in a nice solid position for day two of racing which (obviously) is important.

Sadly I can’t tell you much about Sunday, sigh. By the time I went to bed Saturday I had a fever, no voice and an upset stomach. I kept telling myself “you are not sick, you’re just tired” but no matter how many times I said that to myself I really was sick, not just tired, sigh. I woke up in the morning after a night of crappy sleep to the realization I was too sick to paddle, heck, I was too sick to get out of bed. 😦 I debated still going, pushing myself, I was hoping maybe I would feel better once I was up and moving and there but I know better than that, if I can’t manage to get to the sink to get a glass of water no way I can keep up in a race piece and no way in hell am I going to risk my team winning a race because I insist on being on the boat. Damn self-sacrificing instincts, sigh.

I got text updates from teammates during the day and I was glad to hear how much fun they were having even though I was curled up miserable on my living room chair. Then the best news of all came, they won Silver in B Division! I’m so proud of them! I don’t know what the actual finish time was but I know it had to have been awesome lol πŸ™‚

One of my teammates posted this to our facebook wall:

Of the SIXTEEN teams that raced above us in both A Rec Consolation, and A Rec Championship, there were only THREE times faster than ours β€” 1 in Consolation, and 2 in Championship. Our time bested 13 of the 16 teams in A Division”

How amazing is it that our time was only beat by three other teams! *shock face*

I didn’t take any pictures of the festival on the Saturday because I was planning on taking them all on the Sunday, a decision I now greatly regret, sigh. So here are some pictures I stole from facebook and the media images that were used in papers and websites…that’s right! We made it in to media footage!

one of my teammates medals resting on his jersey

one of my teammates medal resting on his jersey

that's our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

that’s our caller and the first two rows of the boat (left side) in the final race

Normally I sit second bench left side but since I wasn’t there on the Sunday I am not in this picture, my good friend KR is though and she looks awesome! πŸ™‚

we are the team with the white sleeves

we are the team with the white sleeves

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend, the parts of it I got to experience and the parts of it I missed. I’m really bummed I wasn’t there with my team to win the medal but I’m so so so happy for them and proud of how great they did! πŸ™‚

Only 362 days until the start of next years Rio Tinto dragon boat festival…not that I’m counting or anything… πŸ˜‰

A Gold Surprise!

12 Jun

Last weekend my team and I competed in a dragon boat race festival, to read about it clickΒ here. It is a smaller festival so even though we won gold in our division we didn’t get anything for it, well, except bragging rights lol

Our coach this evening after practice had us all gather around and surprised us with…

Front Side

Front

Back

Back

Gold Medals!

Turns out this year the festival organizers decided to award medals to the winners but medals were awarded Sunday and my team competed Saturday so none of us were there for the medal ceremony. Lucky for us coach was there so she collected the medals on our behalf. None of us had any idea we were getting them so we were all super surprised and of course delighted when we got them tonight. It was like winning twice lol πŸ™‚

I have a video of the final race that one of my teammates uploaded to facebook and am trying to get to embed on here but not sure if it will work…

…aaaaand nope, it didn’t work. sigh. I’ll try again another night.

It was an odd practice tonight, we were all tired for some reason and paddling just seemed harder, ugh, I hate nights like that. πŸ˜› We have a makeup practice this coming Sunday because this past Tuesdays practice was cancelled. I won’t be able to make it to the Sunday practice because I will be at work, boo! There is only one more week until the biggest festival of our season, I can’t believe how fast this season has gone!

 

Race Day: DZ 500m

7 Jun

This weekend is the DZ 500m Dragon Boat Race Festival! πŸ™‚

My team. :) We didn't all realize there was a camera looking at us lol

My team. πŸ™‚ We didn’t all realize there was a camera looking at us lol

It is a two day event but each team races for only one day, there are three races per team per day. In the grand scheme of things it is a fairly small festival, mostly used as a qualifier for the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival (the largest North American dragon boat festival). It’s a good festival to gauge where your team is in comparison to other teams, and a great chance to see how your team does in a 500m race since you most likely haven’t competed in a 500m race since last season.

Racing during practice, either against a stop watch or other teams that are on the water practicing is a completely different thing than racing in festival, obviously lol.

We had an early start, we met at 8am and our first race was scheduled for around 9:30am…I think…I know it was around there but these things almost never run on schedule lol When we were getting ready for warm-up we were told they (the race officials) were running behind then in an almost magical turn around they were running early *rolls eyes* Ah well, keeps things interesting! πŸ˜›

We had excellent race times for all three races! πŸ™‚ Yay!

First Race: 2:15

Second Race: 2:14

Third Race: 2:11

wOOt! wOOt!

Even though we are racing against other teams we are also racing against ourselves, we always want to do better than our previous race and we are oh-so-happy that we got faster with each race!

Plus! Not only did our times get better with each race we came in first place in our division! FIRST PLACE! *happy dance*

This is an excellent way to be heading in to our next race festival and talk about a boost to team morale, what a truly awesome way to start the race season!

Oh and on a vain note, we have new jerseys this year and we all looked amazing! πŸ™‚ Last year we kept having jersey issues and we ended up going the whole season without a jersey, it was really nice to actually look like a competitive team this year lol One of my teammates designed the jersey and wow did he make them look sweeeeet! I didn’t take any pictures during the day, our races were back-to-back so there was no time during the day and afterwards when we were hanging out it didn’t really cross my mind but next festival there will be more time between races and we’ll probably take a team photo so I’ll post one then so you can see the jerseys, we all love em! πŸ™‚

I’ve been pretty good about eating healthy today, well, except for a cookie I had earlier after our third race as celebration for doing so well lol Yeah yeah, I know! I shouldn’t celebrate with food but those cookies were staring at me all day and I’d just done three races, gimme a break lol πŸ˜› Other than that cookie I did ok, oatmeal, banana, babybell cheese, salad, turkey bacon, egg, toast with peanut butter, tea, water…I think that’s all of it…that’s not sooooo bad, right? *nods head* Right!

8km BMO Run…and a Dragon Boat Race

4 May

Today I ran. πŸ™‚

I know to a lot of people running an 8km is nothing, it isn’t even long enough to count as their training but to me 8km is a huuuuuge accomplishment. I’ve never run that far and today I did. Today was a good day lol

The race didn’t start till 9:30am which means I got to sleep in later then if I had gone to work, yay for sleeping in! lol I had to be downtown by 8:30am at the absolute latest in order to catch the shuttle bus that would take me to the start area, I decided to get there for 8am just to play it safe, I was highly paranoid about missing the shuttle and not being able to get to the start area in time and not running, that would have sucked. Luckily that didn’t happen.

So I got downtown, checked my backpack, boarded a school bus (um, when did the leg room in those seats become sooooooo small? I barely fit!), got shuttled to the starting area and then proceeded to try to find shelter cause oh yeah, I forgot to mention, pouring rain! Brr! It was a funny sight, all these groups of people wearing running outfits huddled under huge trees trying to stay warm, limber and dry. I went under a tree for the length of time it took to write a text, I was trying to keep my phone dry-ish, after that I decided screw this I don’t want to huddle under a tree like cattle *rolls eyes*, so I wandered a bit. From where we were waiting we could see the half-marathoners go by so I went by the sidelines for a bit to cheer them on, I was encouraged by their speed. I’d had the horrible thought that I’d be the absolute slowest person out there and be passed by and left in the dust but the majority of them seemed to be running at a speed I felt I could maintain for quite a while, phew! One less thing to be freaking out about!

While standing around waiting I randomly started talking with a really nice lady named Kristi, she is from Manitoba and came here specifically for this run. Crazy huh? We chatted, she is one of those super friendly people that you just instantly get along with. Without even planning it we started running together, I thought she’d leave me behind super quick cause she has been training for this unlike I who kept intending to train and didn’t, oops! πŸ˜‰ But she didn’t, we stuck together for 3-4km? I can’t quite remember the distance…the only reason we split up was she stopped to use the bathroom and I kept going. Now that I think about it maybe I should have waited, that would have been the polite thing to do…but before I could suggest waiting she waved me on and said she’d see me at the finish line as she headed off course to the washroom so I just kept going. I kept an eye out for her the rest of the run, I was absolutely convinced she’d catch up with me but I didn’t see her, and trust me I would have, she was wearing a very bright orange jacket.

At the same spot I left her there was a water station, I was one of those people grabbing a little cup of water while running by, how weird is that? I’ve only ever seen that on tv before lol Anyways, it turns out it wasn’t water, it was some sort of, I dunno, sickly sweet something, gack. It was nasty and made me thirstier then I was before I drank it. Not cool. This all happened right before a hill and about halfway up the hill I am sad to say I started to walk, I was super thirsty, had a sickly sweet taste in my mouth and I haaaaate hills. Looking back I wish I had managed to run that hill, I had run all the previous ones, because walking that hill somehow gave me permission to walk all the other hills if I felt like it, sigh. I know at the time I felt like I had to walk it, a quick walk granted but still a walk but I wish I’d pushed myself a bit harder, seen just how much more I could have done. Running is a mental game after all.

There were volunteers along the route cheering the runners on, for the most part I didn’t notice them much but there was this one group of 4 teenage boys who were holding up signs with quotes and cheering. One had a sign that was a quote from Gandalf (from Lord of the Rings) but this other sign really helped me. It said:

The voice in your head that says you can’t do it is a liar.

I know that quote, I’ve heard that quote, hell, we’ve all heard that quote or a variation on it but the timing of that sign, held by that stranger really helped me. It helped me to speed up, to run a little longer, and every time after that I wanted to stop I repeated to myself Β “the voice is a liar, the voice is a liar, you can do this!”

Yeah I know, Β I’m crazy lol πŸ˜›

I have multiple official times because of how they released the 8km runners on to the course, we were merging with the half marathoners who were already running, because of that our official start line was farther back which meant we started running before we actually go on to the race course. So, we crossed over two mats that registered our running chip at the beginning and then crossed over two at the end. This gave us our time for the actual distance of 8km as well as the time for the real distance we ran. My results are:

(heads up, don’t expect to be impressed or anything lol)

I did the 8km in 1:03:09

The goal I set for myself was 1:10:00 so I am very glad I beat my goal, screw glad, I am kinda proud. πŸ™‚

But, to keep this in perspective, the fastest runner of the 8km was a guy from Victoria BC who did it in 28:20! Eesh! The average for the 1858 participants was 56:06 which means I was 7mins slower than average which, considering my lack of training and the fact that I am not a runner doesn’t seem that bad…to me lol

what my Runtastic App tracked

what my Runtastic App tracked

Every single persons name gets called as they cross the finish line, which I thought was awesome, made me feel special lol

front and back of my medal, there is a spot in the back that will get a chip inserted in to it that shows my time

front and back of my medal, there is a spot in the back that will get a chip inserted in to it that shows my time

As soon as you cross the finish line there are volunteers urging you to keep moving, they are thrusting water and juice boxes in to your hands, you get given a medal, then food, lots of food! A banana, some yogurt, this lunch box thing that had all kinds of yummy treats inside (all healthy) and because it’s how we roll here everything was recyclable or compostable. πŸ™‚ I heard some people from the States commenting saying how you know you’re in Canada when not only do the garbage containers have multiple slots for all different types of recycling and composting but there is a volunteer at the garbage can to make sure you throw stuff in the right slot lol I guess I am so used to that I didn’t stop to think it might look weird to someone not from here. πŸ˜›

I then had to rush to get my bag from the bag check area, snag a cab and get to the dragon boat regatta my team was competing in today. They knew I’d be late for the races but that I’d do my best to get there as soon as I could. I missed the first two heats but got to race in the third. πŸ™‚ They were all so happy when I showed up, all proud of my medal and asking questions about how it went. I’m so lucky to have a team that supported my doing the run rather than be mad I was going to miss part of the regatta.

We had a good third race and I heard from the team the first two races went really well also. πŸ™‚

Then we all went for food, which fyi, from the time the race was over until about 7pm I have felt like a bottomless pit lol I started the day off with a protein packed healthy breakfast and for the most part have eaten fairly healthy throughout the day, each time I ate it was a meal with protein to try to help my poor body get over what I put it through lol

All in all I am feeling great! A bit of muscle pain in the calves and thighs, my knees are kinda sore, but nowhere near as bad as it could be. It may have been a rainy day, and I may have spent it soaked to the skin from about 9am till 1pm but it was an awesome day and I’m so glad I decided to run the 8km! Who knows, maybe I’ll run a longer race next time!…wait, next time?? What the hell am I talking about?! I’m not a runner! lol πŸ˜‰

Sidenote: I apologize for the lack of pictures but I was so busy enjoying the day I didn’t think to pull out my phone and snap pics of things as I went through the day, I know I know, bad blogger! πŸ˜› There were official pics taken but I haven’t received a link yet to see them, once I do I’ll post one so you can see how much of Β a drowned rat I looked like lol

Almost Within Our Grasp

12 Jul

I put off writing this because I didn’t want it to turn in to a rant, or a post with a lot of swearing lol Last weekend my dragon boat team raced in Nanaimo, BC. It was my first time racing in that particular festival, also my first time visiting Nanaimo. The festival was great (for the most part), and while I didn’t see much of the city the area I was in seemed to be filled with the nicest people ever! Seriously. Ever! πŸ™‚

the boats all tied up waiting for race day

the boats all tied up waiting for race day

Since Nanaimo is on Vancouver Island we all went over at varying times Friday. I had the day off, as did some others, so we went on the mid day ferry and had lots of time to explore the race set up, bits of the city, and take the littlest boat ever to Protection Island where we ate at a floating pub called The Dinghy Dock Pub…oh, and drank, there was definite drinking involved lol πŸ˜‰

Saturday our first race was early, ugh, we had a great race! Came in second place, with a time of 2:09 (I can’t remember the milliseconds, oops!). The water conditions were nothing like what I am used to. There were water planes landing alongside the race lanes plus a high level of wind plus in general just choppier waters so the waters were nowhere near as calm as what I practice and usually race in. Despite being in the outside lane (which means being farthest away from the race master and unable to hear what he was saying, and closest to the landing planes) we rocked it! πŸ˜€ It was definitely a race to be proud of, and we were!

The wind picked up so much by lunchtime that the second set of races for the day had to be cancelled due to safety concerns, sucky! I mean, we all understood but at the same time we reeeeeally wanted to race, we had such great momentum built up from that first race ya know?

We ended up hanging by the pool at the hotel then almost all of us went to Protection Island for visit number 2 at The Dinghy Dock Pub…to be fair, for most of them this was their first visit there lol. After dinner we went back to the hotel where we took part in a Jell-o shooter contest, oh and played Battleshots (think of the game Battleship, only the boats are large enough to hold shot glasses…wait for the awesomeness of this game to fully sink in to your head, yup, there ya go, *nods* πŸ˜‰ ). Basically, general partying ensued.

Battleshots! Girls vs Guys, and oh yah! Girls won! wOOt! :)

Battleshots! Girls vs Guys, and oh yah! Girls won! wOOt! πŸ™‚

Hey what can I say, dragon boaters practice hard, race hard, and party hard! lol

Sunday…hmm…Sunday is where the not so great part of the festival happened…

Our first race on Sunday was amazing! So great! We shaved off a second from our race time, we came in at 2:08, second place, this meant dun-dun-dunnnn we qualified for the medal races in Diamond Division! Oh yah babeeeee! πŸ˜€

Now, two of our paddlers had to leave early so we found two subs to take their places. This, for anybody who doesn’t know dragon boating, is normal practice. I have known boats at race festivals who had so many paddlers missing that over half the boat was filled with subs from higher ranking teams and they won medals because they basically stacked their boat. We were not looking to stack the boat, we were just two short, and are used to being in festivals where you can borrow paddlers. Our captain got two paddlers from a lower ranking team and voila we were covered!

Welllll, not so much, sigh. A person who I will do my best to not call a mean name decided to file an official complaint against our team for having people in our boat who were not on the roster. We didn’t know this till after we raced tho so picture this…We race our final race of the day, this is for the medal, everything counts! We gave it everything we had, we paddled hard, we came in third place, bronze! We won bronze! We were neck and neck with the boat that came in second place, we were apart by mere milliseconds! Milliseconds! Epic! We knew we won the bronze medal so we are cheering, full of adrenaline, totally stoked as we pull in to the dock, and that is where it ended…an official wouldn’t let us out of our boat, came over, explained about the complaint, blathered on about people in our boat who weren’t on the roster, and for me anyways, just kept talking while I sat stunned, soaking in what he was saying, wanting to shake my head and yell no and stomp my feet and cry, I knew the medal was gone, all that work, all those practices, putting everything we had in to that final race, and none of it mattered because one person was able to yank it away.

We were allowed to argue our side, our captain and our caller went and spoke with some of the officials while the rest of us stood in a group discussing, worrying, plotting revenge…in the end it didn’t matter. Turns out there was a rule for this festival about who can sub in for teams and we accidentally got subs who were not allowed. If the complaint hadn’t been lodged the officials would not have punished us, people had been getting subs for their teams all festival, it is one of those technicalities that is over looked by officials buuuuut if someone complains then the officials have to investigate and enforce the rules. They took our medal and get this, it got given to the team that had the lady on it that filed the complaint!…no bias there huh? What makes it worse is they were ridiculously slow in that race, Β 6 seconds behind us! Fyi, 6 seconds in a dragon boat race is huuuuge! It’d be one thing if it had been a close race, but we were so obviously better than them and yet, they got our medal! Grr!

The officials didn’t completely disqualify us, even though we didn’t get our medal we didn’t lose our placement within the festival, we ranked 11th out of 80 teams which is awesome! We just don’t have the medal to show off to people…I’m trying to not let this bother me overly much…

What gets me is, how can they be proud of their bronze medal? They didn’t earn it, they don’t have a race time that is deserving of it, they got it by complaining…I wouldn’t want a medal gotten that way. If I had gotten a medal that way I wouldn’t be telling anybody about it because I wouldn’t have earned it, why would anybody want a medal they didn’t earn?? *confused face*

After all that happened, not gonna lie, put a bit of a downer on the rest of the day, we went out to a pub (not the floating one) for dinner as a team, played some pool, basically we were trying to force ourselves to start putting the whole thing behind us, which I think was a good way to handle it. If we had all just gone our separate ways we’d all of individually stewed about it, this way, we talked about it a bit, decided how we would get revenge, and then helped distract each other from what happened. Team work! lol

Something kinda awesome happened on the ferry ride back to the mainland…a lady from a team I’ve never heard of, a lady who didn’t know us, had heard what happened, she came over to the group of us that were travelling back on that particular ferry together and she said she was impressed with how well we were handling things, she said it is was unfortunate that some people feel the need to be like “that lady who complained”, and said some other stuff about her being a poor sport an stuff. It felt good knowing that people who don’t even know our team, but who heard the story, think what happened was crap.

We almost had a medal, we were so close we could taste it, I swear I could already feel it hanging around my neck, but then, in a blink of an eye, it was gone. 😦 Even though it was taken away, I still feel as if we earned it. We had a race time that shows we earned it, and despite the disgrace of being stripped of our medal I am proud.

Proud of my team for racing so well that entire weekend.

Proud of my team for having race times that qualified us to race for medals.

Proud of my team for winning the Bronze medal in the Diamond Division (that is the second highest division in that festival).

Proud of how well we handled the drama of the medal being stripped.

Most of all, I am proud that since that festival we have had strong, solid practices, we have worked hard, we will work even harder next week, and then we will race in our next festival and we will be awesome! We will have fun! We will race hard! We will race smart! We will be a team to be reckoned with! (insert warrior cry here!) πŸ˜€

And that lady? She will be nothing to us but a story, a person to mock and pity because she is so unhappy in her life she has to go out of her way to try to ruin things for others. But ya know what? She didn’t ruin things. We are even more united as a team now, we are stronger, we have each others backs and what does she have? A medal that she can’t even feel proud of.

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