Tuesday, 16 June 2009

stroke, stroke ...shake ... stroke, stroke ...

Bloody hell, this rowing lark is tough going.

I've been digging deep and knocking off more Kms on my "row the Thames" element of the 365challenge, and I've got a goal that I'm working towards now: complete the rowing by the end of the month (June) so that, effectively, I can complete the final part of my 365challenge on July 4th by climbing, in the flesh, the wonderful mountain that is Ben Nevis - the highest mountain in all of the UK and Ireland!

Only 64 Km left on"the river", and recently, I've been targeting 10Km per visit (mostly), so the end of the month is an achievable target. But it is taking its toll, and not because it's causing me to feel particularly tired by it all - no really, I actually find it quite doable: stroke, stroke, stroke ... get up a good rhythm, keep it steady, listen to good music on my iPod and the Kms flow by (sorry!). But its the old numb hands business that is causing me the greatest difficulty.

Regular readers will know that my tumour was on my left arm, and when they removed it, they took out a strand of muscle. All seems well on the arm now, which is great, but it seems that the intrusive surgery and radiotherapy has meant that sometimes the flow of fluid through the arm isn't as smooth as it could be, and the resulting build-up puts pressure on the nerves, which effectively results in my losing feeling in my fingers and hand if I put a lot of pressure on the arm - for example, by rowing a lot!

So ... rowing 10Km has been complicated by this. Some days I can manage 5 or 6 Km before I have to stop and shake out my hand and massage the fingers to get the circulation going again, and can then get back to rowing. Some days, like today, it seemed to be every 2.5Km, which was a real pain in the a*se (or lack of pain in the hand!), and that meant that the whole distance took considerably longer than it should have. But, hey, there are worse things in the world! I'll keep plugging away, stroking and shaking: I'll get my Kms done and complete my Thames row well ahead of target.

And that is the next issue ... I know I said at the start of this post that I'll have finished all of my 365challenges by July 4th - and I believe that I will have - but that is way ahead of schedule, as I'm not due to complete my 365challenge year until August 31st 2009.

So how can I fill the remaining nearly-2 months ...?
All suggestions gratefully received!

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