Wednesday, April 14, 2010
The new boat, an 18 ft QCC 700X. A sweet roller & cruiser. I've graduated! LOL
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Last July as a reward for losing 100 lbs I got myself a little 12 ft Current Designs Kestrel. I loved that boat. I took it out almost every day after work. I paddled it in all kinds of weather, including crazy storms (just ask CARRIE1948, LOL).
There was a problem, though. After about a month I found that I wanted to go faster. It seemed kind of stubby and slow. It was so stable I had problems edging it. And whenever there was wind or a diagonal following sea I spent more effort correcting course than I did actually moving forward.
In other words, I outgrew the boat. Although I actually outgrew it in about a month, I loved it so much I kept paddling it anyway. It was pretty fast for what it was, handled nicely, and was comfortable. But I knew that I'd eventually have to replace it with something more designed for big water like we have sometimes on Seneca Lake.
On Monday morning I met some friends and tried three of their boats: Necky Looksha (I hated it - couldn't roll it at all!) Perception Shadow (really impressed with it, actually), and a QCC 700X that they use for racing. Gosh, the QCC was a sweet ride. Fast, smooth, and rolled almost as easily as the Shadow. It was also 18' long.
I looked at the Paddling.net classifieds and there were a few shorter used QCC boats for sale in the northeast, and one Shadow that had been in CT was sold already. So I thought, "I'll keep that in mind for the future. Oh well."
Later the same afternoon I looked again, and suddenly there was a new ad, for a 700X, somewhere in NY. Gee. Maybe it's only in the Hudson Valley, or Buffalo? I wrote back and asked about it.
Nope. West Syracuse. Less than an hour's drive. And this boat that goes for $3000-$4000 new was being sold for $1800 and the owner said he'd paddled it 3 times. So I wrote back and said I was taking a rest day from the triathlon training (which was true) and could I come see it tonight?
It was in pristine shape. I'm actually kind of surprised he'd paddled it at all. Almost no marks, even on the hull. So in the end I bought it and drove home Monday night with an 18' boat on top of my Honda Fit (which is 5' shorter than the boat, LOL).
The funny part is, until Saturday I'd never heard of QCC, and until Monday morning I'd never even seen one, let alone paddled one!
I've ordered foam to pad out the cockpit some and add thigh braces, but as you can see from the video it already rolls just fine.
It also cruises. No wonder people race in them.
I'm going to use it for cruising up and down Seneca Lake after work, and for kayak camping.
And I know that it'll handle those nasty diagonal following seas just fine, thankyouverymuch.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Back in September I took a whitewater kayaking class so I could learn how to roll for my lake boating.
It was all well and good while we practiced in the pool, and even on the one day outing.
But everything changed when we did the overnight trip to the Middle Moose river in the Adirondacks.
We went down that section twice; once on Saturday when the river was running at 3.5, and once on Sunday when it was running at 4ft.
Saturday was a blast, although frustrating. I was in a giant RPM Max boat that was so big I couldn't maneuver it at all, but it was so buoyant that it basically floated me upright through everything no matter what I did.
Sunday was a mess. I traded down to a Jackson 4Fun play boat with much less volume (its original paddler got so beat up on Saturday he decided not to go at all on Sunday), the river was higher, and I swam at every rapid, as most of us did. One student even lost her paddle - we never did find it. The instructors decided halfway through to cut the trip short and we walked up the hill to the road.
That day I was cold, tired, and yet still wanted to keep going. And that day it became personal. Between me and the river. I vowed that I'd lose the rest of the weight, get my rolls solid, build up my core and upper body strength and return in time for spring to do that same section at the same water level, with finesse.
I decided I'd become the baddest 40-something ass on the river who used to weigh over 300 lbs. And if that pool of competition was too small, I'd open it up to ANY paddler on the river who used to weigh over 300 lbs. LOL
Today, 7 months later, the first time out in my new boat on moving water, I did it. No swimming, no rolling, AND we added a rapid at the end that was much bigger than anything I'd done in September. According to the gauge the water level was somewhere between 3.93 and 3.9ft, which is close enough to 4ft, in my book.
In one way I feel really good about this; I set out to show the Middle Moose who was boss, and I've done that. On the other hand, as so often with achievements, it was a bit anti-climactic.
I kept waiting for those big scary waves and holes I'd remembered. And we got to the point where the class finished in September and one of the guys said, "gee, that was tame" and I found myself thinking, "but it hasn't begun, yet. what happened?" And now that I've actually done it, on my first day out of the 2010 season, holy heck what am I supposed to AIM for between now and September?! LOL
According to one of my companions the last rapid we added was supposedly a low class IV.
One of the guys did come out of his boat (it's hard to roll that boat - it's a weird Italian play boat). Another who'd gone down before me said he'd come through the rapid all which-way. Somehow I got lucky on that one and missed most of the big holes and punched through the ones I didn't miss. And I stayed pointed downstream.
Part of the credit I think is due to my boat. It's a Pyranha M3 233 creek boat, designed for big water - and I bought it because I figured it would be forgiving of my mistakes more than a river runner or a play boat.
And I was right, I think. Today demonstrated that.
Unlike the RPM Max, it actually fits me, so there is lots of ability to edge and maneuver it. It spins on a dime. I can see that I'm going to find this boat very comfortable for a long time, unless I start getting into playboating.
Amusingly, on the way back to the cars we ran into the guy I'd bought the boat from. He now paddles a Pyranha Burn, which is the next generation after the M3 and he says he loves it.
Thursday, April 08, 2010
I got my iPod Touch in preparation for a business trip in January so that I could track my food on the fly without internet access. Since then I've added a bunch more apps that I find helpful for monitoring my health and fitness.
It seems time to list them all in one place, so I'll do that here.
1) Lean Me Pro
This is the food tracker I use. It works even without internet access, unlike the Spark app. I also track my cardio, weight, and % body fat with it. Customer support has been very responsive whenever I have contacted them.
(A popular free alternative is Lose It! www.loseit.com )
I use this for tracking my water. I just set up a list called "water 1, water 2, water 3, "etc. up to "water 8" and check them off as I drink them. At the end of the day I reset the list.
Another option is the water-specific app "HEALTH&WATER" by Merop:
The English is a bit strange and there isn't much functionality, but it does track 8 glasses of water per day in a cute way. The developer's website is unavailable, as well.
3) True Weight
This is a nice moving average weight tracker along the lines of the Hacker's Diet.
This is what I use to track my strength training sessions. It's very easy to use and has some nice features such as graphing weights and estimating the 1 rep max.
5) Sleep Cycle
This neat little app uses the motion sensor built into the Touch to monitor my sleep. It also has an alarm clock that will wake me up nicely in the morning. It's fun to look at my sleep graphs to see when I was dead asleep and when I was moving around. I've also noticed that I need to get more sleep - I've been averaging around 5-6 hours a night, which might explain some things, like the cravings and general ennui.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Maintenance is No Joke, as many people have pointed out.
I personally am struggling with the eating part of it; the exercise is pretty well locked in, with training for a half-iron Aquabike event in July (1.2 mi open water swim followed by 56 miles on the bike).
On Monday the scale read 165. *gulp*
It was probably due in a large part to salt from Easter dinner (ham, pickled green beans, cheese, etc.) Regardless, it was very unwelcome and shocking.
On my ticker I'm reporting the weighted moving average on Physics Diet because it smooths out the fluctuations that happen near goal.
The point, though, is that I AM struggling. I am not giving up. Never again. And I'm going back to what works for me. Protein. I think even the complex carbs of oatmeal have been too much for my system.
And as GRACEFULIFE has suggested privately, I need to stabilize my calories around 2000 and stop messing around with trying to go lower. That just makes me hungry the next day and sets me up for a potential binge.
I still also struggle mentally with self-esteem and the feeling that I'm super obese, a human anomaly who doesn't physically fit in society. 80-90% of the time I forget that I'm now a size 8-10 and still feel miserable about how my life is slipping by while I live in a coffin of fat. Phantom fat is real.
Yes I have been going to counseling. But these are well-worn mental ruts that will take some time to bust out of.
So, onward. I will beat this. I have to. Because regain is simply not an option. I refuse to go there.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Tonight was the last pool practice in Syracuse. At the end of the evening we asked the lifeguards permission to jump off the diving board in our kayaks. About 5 of us went for it.
I could never have done this at 335.6 lbs. Or even 235.6 lbs...
And it seems I've even made some progress since last September... hehe
Now I just need to find me some running water... LOL!
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