All about kayaking from the San Francisco Bay Area


I  use to think I was flexible.  In some areas I believe I am.  When it comes to my training, once I make a plan, I’ve discovered it’s difficult for me to make alterations.  I did take the work week off from paddling which is usually 3 days in the water. I was still holding my breath and hoping I would get to paddle the Sacramento River this Sat., but it was not meant to be. So, I returned to the Oakland Estuary with the goal to complete 25 miles (my 3rd attempt).

With 6 days off the water I was ready to return; my body well rested.  I adjusted the Perpetuem formula by increasing to the maximum dosage for my weight, and I doubled my electrolyte capsules. Besides lots of sun and in the boat over 6 hours, it’s also been quite humid here.  I vowed to drink water every 15 min. and sip my liquid food at least every half hour.  I also took some ibuprofin right at the start and made a mental note, that if I needed more, what time a 2nd dose would be allowed.

I planned my route from the beginning and was not going to deviate. This way I didn’t need to expend any energy planning while on the water.  I was going to do all 25 miles in the estuary (with a little jaunt into San Leandro Bay), which required me to pass my starting point 3 times.  I find that psychologically difficult, but I wasn’t going to think about it once I climbed into the cockpit.  I was pushing off from the dock by 6:30 AM.  It was cold and foggy, with hardly a breeze (I was blessed with hardly any wind all day).  I had the water to myself in the early morning hours, except for a few huge container ships being escorted by tugboat out to the bay.

I had the first hour against the tide; 4 miles to the tip of Alameda Island.  I turned around and went with the flow for about 9 miles, and turned around again.  Well, you get the point.  Back and forth and back again; with the flow and then against it.


Here’s my speed over distance.  My average moving speed was 3.9 mph, which I’m pretty happy about as the incoming tide is pretty swift around a couple of areas where the estuary thins by bridges.  My fastest pace was 6.8 mph.  The extreme dips in speed is where I’ve stopped paddling to drink or eat.  The total moving time in my kayak was 6 hrs. and 13 min.

I went through a period this week where I was ready to throw in the towel.  After a few days analyzing the previous two Sat.’s, I realized I had probably “bonked.”  The hardest part is when you’re bonking you don’t know it.  It took a few days of rational thought this week to figure out what I could do to try to make a difference in my performance.  I’m still considering the possibility of training too much, besides just the nutritional adjustments I’ve made. I have some family obligations where it would be very difficult to do a long Sat. paddle.  So, I’m going to continue my weekly regimen and alternate long paddle weekends. Keep your (my) fingers crossed; here comes 35 miles!

eat well, sleep well…………paddle fast.  Training miles: 185


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