I had been planning to race on July 8th at the Cromwell Cup. I’ve decided to scratch. My training has been too spotty, I’ve not done nearly enough race prep work, and I missed most of last week because of a work commitments and a quick business trip to Europe.
How do I feel about this? Lousy. What do I do now? I’m not sure.
But, I like rowing, and I like working on getting better at it. I sure like Head Races more than Sprint Races, but I’ve been unsuccessful executing training plans toward any objectives for the past two years. I’m on vacation now for the next. I’ll have some time for some nice coastal rowing and plenty of time to figure out what to do.
For now, here’s a recap of the past couple of months.
Sunday – 6/17:
We had not planned to go to the cape, but I remembered a couple of things I needed to do down at the house, so I drove there in the early afternoon. One the things I wanted to do was go for a row. It was a lovely day. Sunny, with light breezes (at least at first), and nice and warm.
I launched straight from my stairs, since I wanted to go south and it was nearly high tide. I was bummed that I forgot my heart rate monitor back in Hopkinton, so no HR data for the row. I was planning a 90′ row, so I wanted to keep my HR at a reasonable level throughout.
Here’s the chart of the whole row. I headed southeast until I got to the eastham shore. There was one interesting bit, which I will describe below. Then I turned and hugged the beach going south, and turned at the 45 minute mark. I stayed close on shore for the row north as well, and continued right across to the salt marshes on the southern coast of the island, then turned and followed the edge of the marsh back around to the steps.
I was very tired by the end and carrying the boat up the stairs was pretty daunting.
I had a bit of close call on the first leg down to the Eastham shore. You might notice that there is a asterisk on the chart, right on my course. That’s a rock. At low tide it sits on the sand flats. At high tide, it’s underwater. When I was rowing, it was just below water level. I knew it was out there, but couldn’t see it. I ended up hitting the top of the rock with my oar. The is no way I could have navigated well enough to get that close if I tried to. Here’s my course magnified on the satellite image. You can see the rock in the image.
Monday – June 18: Rest Day
Tuesday – June 19: Starts Practice.
- Race warm up
- 5 x 20-stroke starts
- Rest between: 3’
- Rating/Pace: SR 36-40 (or your most efficient rating)
- Notes: Steer straight, clean releases, same sequence as planned for your race
- 2 x 9’
- Rest between: 2′ easy rowing
- Rating/Pace: Cat V: SR 22
- Notes: Focus on your releases.
Back on the Charles in my Fluid. A lovely morning. I did my favorite warmup. It takes the whole way down river and showed me that I am in pretty lousy shape right now. But I was certainly warmed up by the time I finished it.
I turned around and started doing my starts. I felt pretty good. I decided to practice my shift down to “reasonable” stroke rates, so after 5 strokes, I was trying to get down to a nice r32 for the rest of the 20 stroke burst.
After I did 4 starts, I decided to do 40 strokes for the last one. The plot shows a hiccup in the middle but I don’t remember what happened.
Then I did the 2 x 9′ pieces. Hard, but uneventful.
Workout Summary - media/20180620-1800250o.csv --|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg --|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS --|10740|58:42.0|02:44.0|113.3|22.9|150.5|176.0|08.0 W-|01175|04:31.0|01:55.5|254.0|33.2|151.5|171.0|07.9 R-|09572|54:11.0|02:49.8|101.6|22.0|150.4|171.0|08.3 Workout Details #-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS- 01|00136|00:34.2|02:05.9|210.2|28.0|164.2|170.0|08.5 02|00123|00:29.8|02:01.1|220.8|30.3|157.0|164.0|08.2 03|00144|00:33.6|01:56.7|251.7|32.1|163.1|171.0|08.0 04|00112|00:25.6|01:53.9|279.1|35.2|134.2|155.0|07.5 05|00117|00:25.8|01:50.1|266.3|35.0|143.0|155.0|07.8 06|00120|00:26.0|01:48.5|263.8|34.4|138.7|146.0|08.0 07|00154|00:34.0|01:50.5|261.7|33.5|152.8|168.0|08.1 08|00269|01:02.4|01:55.9|271.2|35.7|150.8|165.0|07.2
Here’s the two 9′ pieces
3.4 m/s is a 2:27 pace. Ughh.
Wednesday – June 20: 4 x (2′ race pace / 1′ paddle / 2′ race pace) / 4′ rest
This is a tough workout, and I had failed miserably last time I attempted it. Today, I was determined to make it through, so I decided to start conservatively.
I started with a race warmup. I enjoyed it as much as I did on Tuesday. It was another perfect morning.
I turned around, had a drink, did a KOM drill, and practiced my first stroke of the start a couple of times.
Then I did my first piece, the start was good, and I shifted my rate down to a 26 immediately for the rest of the first 2′ chunk. That was hard enough. After the fleetingly short minute of paddling, I spooled it back up to 28 and counted out the strokes to 56. Well, that wasn’t so bad? Actually it was. Slow and painful.
I paddled around the s-turn and got into position to start my next interval. Again I had a drink of water, but instead of doing a couple of practice first strokes, I decided to just setup and go. I got into my start position, said “ready” to myself and squared the blades and buried them, then as the speedcoach hit an even minute, I started. Somehow, my starboard blade was funny, and as soon as I started the stroke, I realized I was in trouble. I tried to abort, but my blade had submarined and I flipped right over on top of it. It happened in the blink of an eye.
My feet came out fine and I popped up next to the boat. I got the boat back upright and made sure I had all my stuff. Then I executed a perfectly ugly re-entry. I flopped across the seat deck, swung my legs around, got back on the seat and took stock of my situation.
The boat was full of water, I was wet (but not that much wetter than I was before I took the dive), and I was pissed at myself. What the hell happened? What the hell should I do now. Part of me just quit. Quit the workout. Quit racing. Quit rowing altogether. That seemed a bit dramatic, so I decided that I should finish out the workout.
I splashed as much water out of the boat as I could and got myself psyched up to do another interval. This start was fine, but I pulled the plug almost immediately. I’m not sure why. I set up again and started again and held my rate to 26/27. I let the rate climb in the second minute. It was tough work.
I pulled the plug at the start of the third one, and restarted it again. This one was pretty good. I did the first half at 28 rising to 30 and the second half between 30 and 32. That’s a bit closer to what I want to be doing.
The last one, honestly, I was getting tired. I did a great start and the first 2 minutes were fine. The minute of paddling was very welcome. Then I went into the last 2 minutes. I made a minute, and then I got hit by a gust of headwind and that was it for me. I decided I was done.
I got my feet out of the shoes and rowed with feet out back to the dock.
Workout Summary - media/20180620-1801080o.csv --|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg --|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS --|10513|57:34.0|02:44.3|116.6|22.9|151.7|179.0|08.0 W-|04047|17:03.0|02:06.5|195.2|28.0|162.5|178.0|08.5 R-|06480|40:31.0|03:07.6|083.5|20.7|147.2|178.0|08.3 Workout Details #-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS- 01|00108|00:28.0|02:10.2|181.5|23.5|162.3|165.0|09.8 - wu 02|00144|00:36.8|02:07.8|168.2|26.0|157.7|163.0|09.0 - wu 03|00159|00:38.5|02:01.3|210.9|27.8|155.6|162.0|08.9 - wu 04|00174|00:41.0|01:58.2|204.0|29.3|158.7|166.0|08.7 - wu 05|00143|00:31.5|01:49.8|270.9|34.1|160.8|169.0|08.0 - wu 06|00441|01:53.2|02:08.5|190.2|26.4|159.8|172.0|08.8 - 1 07|00432|01:49.2|02:06.2|184.6|27.4|169.3|176.0|08.7 - 1 08|00424|01:47.6|02:06.9|192.9|26.7|164.6|176.0|08.9 - 2 (after the flip) 09|00548|02:24.4|02:11.8|192.8|27.1|159.7|178.0|08.4 - 2 10|00437|01:49.5|02:05.3|195.5|29.5|160.7|174.0|08.1 - 3 11|00428|01:46.7|02:04.5|205.9|31.0|171.5|178.0|07.8 - 3 12|00415|01:47.5|02:09.4|188.3|27.9|157.7|171.0|08.3 - 4 13|00195|00:49.8|02:07.8|193.4|28.9|165.9|169.0|08.1 - 4 (abort)
So, points for persistence. But I have to say, it was a pretty discouraging workout.
- Session: 3 x 25′
- Rest between: 3’
- Rating/Pace: Alternate 4’ @ Cat VI pace; target SR 18-20/ 1’ of drills.
- Half-slide and Quarter-slide rowing to work on drive suspension.
- Delayed feather rowing to work on clean release then feather away.
- Open fingers on the recovery to set posture, weight over the handles.
- Pause arms/body away for rhythm out of bow and setting full angle.
- 2 x 25’
- Rest: 5’
- Rating/Pace: Cat VI; target SR 18-20.
- At every 5-minute mark include an Acceleration 15 raising the stroke rate 2 spm every 5 strokes.
- For example: 26-28-30, 28-30-32.
Workout Summary - media/20180623-2140240o.csv --|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg --|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS --|13097|55:59.0|02:08.2|176.3|21.2|151.1|168.0|11.0 W-|01781|06:45.0|01:53.9|258.2|26.4|151.5|164.0|09.9 R-|11325|49:14.0|02:10.4|165.0|20.5|151.0|164.0|10.0 Workout Details #-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS- 01|00004|00:03.1|06:48.1|140.6|00.0|079.0|79.0|00.0 05|00012|00:03.0|02:03.0|170.1|20.0|088.0|88.0|12.2 06|00271|01:00.3|01:51.2|258.2|24.8|144.7|153.0|10.9 07|00278|01:01.9|01:51.2|260.7|25.9|152.0|159.0|10.4 08|00253|00:55.7|01:50.1|266.9|25.9|156.0|162.0|10.5 09|00196|00:42.8|01:49.0|274.1|28.0|156.1|162.0|09.8 10|00197|00:44.4|01:52.3|247.6|26.6|154.4|157.0|10.0 11|00194|00:43.3|01:51.3|255.5|27.6|156.2|160.0|09.8 12|00189|00:41.7|01:50.6|261.5|27.4|159.1|163.0|09.9 13|00186|00:40.7|01:49.5|271.0|29.7|159.4|164.0|09.2
Workout Summary - media/20180629-1335230o.csv --|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg --|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS --|11116|49:33.0|02:13.7|154.8|19.8|139.2|154.0|11.3 W-|10480|44:36.0|02:07.7|167.8|20.0|140.6|154.0|11.8 R-|00638|04:56.0|03:52.6|037.8|18.3|126.3|154.0|10.0 Workout Details #-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS- 00|03522|14:59.5|02:07.7|167.5|19.7|132.1|144.0|11.9 01|03479|14:49.0|02:07.8|167.7|19.9|142.2|149.0|11.8 02|03479|14:48.0|02:07.6|168.3|20.3|147.7|154.0|11.6
Workout Summary - media/20180701-0110230o.csv --|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg --|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS --|14372|85:39.0|02:58.8|000.0|22.7|153.0|164.0|07.4 W-|13904|79:55.0|02:52.4|000.0|21.6|153.4|163.0|08.1 R-|00471|05:44.0|06:06.2|000.0|38.4|147.0|163.0|01.7 Workout Details #-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS- 00|07260|39:55.0|02:44.9|000.0|20.8|151.1|157.0|08.8 01|06644|40:00.0|03:00.6|000.0|22.3|155.7|163.0|07.4