Flexibility Work

At last night's practice, Kate led us through some of the flexibility exercises from Fit to Paddle. Ben talked to us about stretching for flexibility vs overstretching (which can lead to less strength in that muscle). We held the stretches for 30 seconds (and could feel it!).

Amazon's got the Fit to Paddle book on sale right now, if you'd like your very own copy!


A Thanksgiving Thought

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, red wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ~ WOO HOO what a ride!"

(You could substitute "paddle in one hand, scoop of bean dip in the other" up there and have a fairly accurate description of how many of us feel after a good workout!)


Thanksgiving Practice on Wednesday

This week, and this week only, we will practice on Wednesday instead of Thursday. Practice will be at 6:30 at the MILLVALE facility, not the Washington's Landing facility. The group that normally practices on Wednesdays at Millvale cancelled their practice, so the ever-lovable ergs will be available.

Thanksgiving Information:

A 160 lb. person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours, or walk 30 miles to burn off the average 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal. So, if you practice on Wednesday and on Saturday and perform some other exercise, like running, on Thursday or Friday, you'll probably negate all the damage associated with your Thanksgiving meal. We will discuss leftovers later.

Oops!!!! I just read more of the article: Many people start by snacking throughout the day and that combined with the meal can lead to a total caloric intake of 4,500. So, my statement should read: "some other exercise, like running, on Thursday and Friday..." OK, you shouldn't exercise four days in a row, but you get the idea. Feel free to hate me.


Next Year's Festivals

It is time to consider which festivals we wish to attend next summer. I have compiled a list of dragon boat festivals within a day’s drive of Pittsburgh. I give the date of this year’s festival if the date for next year’s festival is not yet available. We can assume that the date of next year’s festivals will not differ too much from the date of this year’s festivals. A more extensive list of festivals is located at http://www.dragon-boats.com/dbnet/index.html. Please notify me if you would like to consider additional festivals.

Please e-mail me a rank-ordered list of four festivals that you wish to attend (ranked from the most to least prefered). I will sum people's preferences (four points for first, three for second...you get the idea) and post the results for comments. Some festivals require greater travel and last an entire weekend. These festivals will be more expensive to attend. It would be best if we choose festivals so that we can structure the full racing season around them. Practices will have greater meaning if we know that our work will soon pay dividends. Please also tell me the number of out-of-town festivals that you would like to attend.

I did not include the Pittsburgh or Cleveland festivals on the list. The Pittsburgh festival was originally scheduled for September 18 of this year. Cleveland is the only out-of-town festival that we can do in a single day. It is a small festival that we might want to consider as a last-minute supplement to other festivals that we attend. It was held on July 3 of this year. This date might conflict with potential commitments to the Three Rivers Regatta.

May 22, 2004 – Washington, D.C., Dragon Boat Festival http://www.dragonboatdc.com/ (about 4.5 hour drive)

May 28, 2005 – GWN 3000 Meter Endurance Challenge http://www.dragon-boat.com/3000mendurancechallenge.htm (Welland Watersport Course, Ontario; distance?)

June 13, 2004 – Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival of Boston http://www.bostondragonboat.org/index2.html (about 9 hour drive)

June 19-20, 2004 – Tour East Holidays Toronto International Dragon Boat Race http://www.dragonboats.com/ (about 5.5 hour drive)

July 24, 2004 – St. Catharine’s Dragon Boat Festival http://www.stcatharinesdragonboat.org/ (St. Catherine’s, Ontario; about 4 hour drive)

July 31-August 1, 2004 – New York City International Dragon Boat Festival http://www.libertydragonboat.org/ (about 7 hour drive)

August 7-8, 2004 – Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival in New York http://www.hkdbf-ny.org/ (about 7 hour drive)

August 21-22, 2004 – Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Festival http://mywebpages.comcast.net/PrincetonWarriors/ (Princeton, NJ; about 6.5 hour drive)

October 1, 2005 – Fifth Annual Philadelphia Dragon Boat Festival http://www.philadragonboatfestival.com/ (about 5.5 hour drive)

October 2, 2004 – 6K Long Distance Challenge http://www.montrealdragonboat.com/en/midbrf.php?p2=festivals (Montreal, Quebec; about 9.5 hour drive)

October 3, 2004 – New Jersey Dragon Boat Challenge Races http://www.njdragonboat.org/njrace (Parsippany, NJ; about 6 hour drive)


Birthdays, Television Appearances, and Practice

Last night's practice included circuit work (weights/abs) for most of us, with 4 people getting one-to-one coaching from Ben on technique. Ben will do this each Monday -- the majority of us will do a workout while he works closely with a set of 3 or 4 on technique, using the paddle erg. Stay tuned for the schedule of which week you'll be in the technique group.

We also celebrated Jack's birthday with Stef's delicious cake -- decorated with a school of big-eyed Paddlefish. Happy Birthday, Jack!

Today's the day KDKA plans to air the feature clips of Bob doing his job, so don't forget to watch Channel 2! (Rumor has it that Bob also has a birthday coming up....)

This week we've moved to the M/Th/Saturday schedule. Thursday's practice is currently scheduled to be on the ergs at Washington's Landing.

One More Winter Schedule Update...

We will switch to the winter schedule this week. Information on practices can be found in earlier posts. By way of review:

Monday practices are held at Millvale and begin at 6:30;
Thursday practices are held at Washington's Landing and begin at 6:30;
Saturday practices are held at Millvale and begin at 9:00.

Please be on time. The later we start, the later we finish.

We will spend some time working on technique. Additional information on technique can be found at:


The latter site is particularly informative.



So this morning we paddled from the 40th St Bridge down to the 16th St Bridge and back. The water was something like a bazillion degrees below zero and we are all probably nuts.

But we did it!

Kathi and Laurie have great neoprene gloves that can help keep your outside (in-the-water) hand from cramping from the freezing water. Please go to www.campmor.com if you'd like to order a pair for yourself:

Stearns Sportsman's Gloves
Price: 14.99


Saturday Practice + A Bit of a Poem

Practice Tomorrow (Saturday, November 13): Please come to the Millvale Boat House by 9 prepared to go out on the water OR work out indoors. It’s supposed to be cold but sunny, so we’ll see how cold it really is before making a decision on whether to be on the water (we’ll need someone in a launch) or indoors.

We’ll head down to Pamela’s after practice to re-connect in pancake fellowship. I would normally tell you to tuck some money in your sports bra for that (even though we’re not paddling down to the Strip), but given the weather maybe I should encourage you to tuck some money into a wool cap!

For your weekend reading pleasure, an excerpt from a poem by Pauline Johnson:

And up on the hills against the sky,
A fir tree rocking its lullaby,
Swings, swings,
Its emerald wings,
Swelling the song that my paddle sings.


Tonight's Practice & Tomorrow's Agenda

Practice tonight is at 6:30 in the Millvale Boat House. Pauline has promised to provide cardio/weight "entertainment" for us. This will be an indoor practice -- we will not be on the water, so come dressed for sweaty weights instead of chilly splashes.

The team meeting is tomorrow night at Ray’s Marlin Beach Grill on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. The food is good and the drinks are creative, so you can eat dinner during the meeting, if you like, or just have a drink, but we’ll try to jump right into the agenda (see below) quickly.

Second Annual Dragon Boat Team Meeting

November 11, 2004
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Ray’s Marlin Beach Grill

I. Review last year’s goals:

Develop an independent, self-sustaining travel team
Increase team membership
Enhance team members’ overall fitness
Travel to at least one out-of-town race

II. Discuss current issues:

Defining the team (purpose, expectations, goals)
Team membership
What kind of team structure will help us reach our goals

III. Treasurer’s Report

IV. Election of Officers



First announcement -- Carolyn's Big Birthday Bash will be held December 18th at my house, save the date and watch here for details.


Tale of the Channel Food Festivities

Anyone who can help out with food on Saturday please list below. Lori S and I are organizing. So far:

Kathy : bean dip of course!
Lori: cider
Mina: soup (we may need to warm up from what I hear!)

Ben thinks there may be 30-40 people. I am also sending out e-mail since some people said they have problems accessing and/or posting on the blog. I will make additions here as they are available.


Annual Team Meeting

Our 2nd annual team meeting will be held next Thursday, November 11th, at 7:30 PM at Ray's Marlin Grill (I may have that name a little skewed -- same place we met last year) on Butler Street in Lawrenceville. (See http://www.raysmarlinbeach.com/ .)

They need a head count for the reservation. Please post here or let Chuck know via email whether or not you will be able to attend.

Winter Schedule Update

We will maintain our Monday, Wednesday, Saturday training schedule until we can no longer practice on the water. We will practice indoors at the Millvale facility if we cannot do so on the water. In other words, we will be on the water until cold weather arrives permanently. Practices will begin at at 6:30 during the week and 9:00 on Saturdays. Practices should begin at the aforementioned times, so please give yourself additional time to prepare for practices.

We will shift to the Monday, Thursday, Saturday winter schedule when we no longer stand a reasonable chance of practicing on the water. I will let you know when we change the schedule. Practices during the winter will begin at 6:30 during the week and 9:00 on Saturdays. We will probably follow the following format: weights and/or abs and possibly erg work on Monday; weights or abs and erg work on Thursday; tank work and erg work on Saturdays. Ben and Pauline reserve the opportunity to change the workout format in order to inflict the maximum amount of pain.