12K in a borrowed boat

I was excited all day long yesterday.  On Thursday night, when I got home, I saw a big object wrapped in bubble wrap on my front porch.  My new rigger!

I didn’t have time to get it on my boat and adjusted Thursday night, so I erg’ed on Friday morning and planned to install the new rigger as soon as I got home from work on Friday evening.

After dinner, I went out to get it all set up.   I got the old rigger off the boat, started to unwrap the new rigger, and I noticed something looked a bit odd about the port end of it.

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That’s funny, I didn’t remember them having a bend in the end of it like that, and it looks kind of sloppy.  So, I unwrapped the starboard end.

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That’s the way it’s supposed to look.  Dammit, the rigger got bent in shipping.  I looked more closely at the bend on the port end.  The aluminum tube was actually fractured on the inner side where the crease was.  This is not repairable and there is no way I would try to row with it.  My boat is still unusable and it’s 21 days to the HOCR.

So, I dispatched an email to Fluid with pictures and I am awaiting instructions on what to do.  In the mean time, I need to get my ass back in a boat with some urgency.  So, today, I headed out to Worcester and made arrangements to borrow a friends peinert.  Until I have a boat, I will just have to wake up earlier, and schlepp out to Worcester to get out on the water.

The plan today was to take it easy.  Just get comfortable in the boat, build up some more aerobic endurance minutes and keep my HR below 155.

The conditions were not ideal.  It was grey and cool, in the mid 50s, with a gusty 6-10mph wind from the North.  This was shooting straight down the lake, so there was a good amount of chop.  And heading into it was a slow slog.  I was very interested in trying to be good to my back, so I purposely rowed more lightly and at a higher rate for this easy of a workout.

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I started off with a double heading south on the lake.  After about 1000m, I noticed that they weren’t behind me anymore, so I headed back to check on them.  They were off in the cove doing some drill work, so I resumed my trip down lake.  As I got back to them a single came by heading south, so I took off in pursuit.  My rules were simple.  Respect the HR cap.  Keep the rate between 20-22. And catch up with him.  I did, and passed him as we went through the narrows.

I rowed into the cove at the south end of the lake, had a quick drink and then headed north into the wind.  I upped the rate to around a 23 to try to avoid putting too much pressure on my back and tried to rationalize that the pitifully slow pace was due to the head wind and chop.  As I came past the little island coming out of the cove, I caught sight of an 8 from our club heading south, so I spun and followed them into the cove.  The double that I started with was also coming south too.

We all headed into the cove again, and I spun.  The double spun quickly and took off north again.  I watched them go and they looked pretty smooth.  I decided to give chase using the same rules as before.  Respect the HR cap, keep the rate above 22, and focus on keeping my damn knees together at the catch.  The chop was a bit challenging at times, and the gusty headwind slowed me down.  It was a relief when I was rowing in the lee of an island or outcrop.  The most obvious example of that is the drop in pace around 47 minutes.  I went from being in the wind shadow coming up to the narrows into a choppy, gusty mess as soon as I passed it.  I was gaining on the double all the way up to the bridge, but they bailed and headed into the boathouse.  I continued up lake.

After another 1000m or so, I decided I wasn’t really enjoying the slog.  Also, I was concerned that everyone would head in to the dock and I’d be making them wait if I went all the way up lake.  So, I spun it around and did the downwind slide back to boathouse.



All in all, a very nice outing.  My back feels good. I liked the Peinert.  It seems a bit tippier than my fluid, so that was good practice to keep the boat set.

Oh, and I used the Polar OH1 on my arm today.  It worked great, even under a long sleeve shirt.

Tomorrow:  Steady State erg session, 60-80 minutes in 20′ chunks

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