Bouncy 2 hour row

Tuesday:  I went for another nice walk.  This time a bit closer to low tide.  Again, Itraced out the water’s edge.


Here is Monday and Tuesday’s walk superimposed.

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 12.57.42 PM

It was about a 5km walk.  My wife and I went into Wellfleet for lunch and some exploring, so no row in the afternoon onTuesday.

Wednesday, July 4:  2 hour row

On the right morning, I would really like to row down to Rock Creek Harbor.  Today was not the day.  I would need nice flat conditions, no wind, or a light breeze from the east, and close to high tide.  Today there was a wind from the northwest and nearly low tide.  The coast off of Eastham is really a huge sand flat goes out a mile or more from shore.  That means that when there is an onshore breeze, the chop really piles up, and I was essentially trying to row across it.  It was slow, tough going.

But I get ahead of myself.  I knew that today would be a reasonably busy day, and I wanted to do a long row.  I knew that I would be rowing around low tide, but I figured it would work out OK.

I launched from  the north beach on Loagy Bay and headed out following the deep water as near as I could tell.  I rowed west until the big rock was on my beam, and then I turned south.  These first two parts were great fun.  Light wind, flat water.  But as soon as I hit the shoals off of Eastham (at 28 mimutes in the time plot), things got a lot more difficult.  The chop became much steeper and more irregular, the water was less than 2 feet deep.  I don’t know if it was my imagination, but rowing in the shallow water made the boat feel heavier.  It was certainly slower.  On the plus side, every now and then I could see lobsters crawling along the sand.  Some of them were big!

The goal for today was a 2 hour row, so I slogged along until I reached the 1 hour mark.  When I turned around, I was hoping that the wind would be a bit behind me, but it seemed like it was still right on my beam, and I was still rowing beam on to the waves.  I experimented with rating up and that seemed a bit more effective in these cross seas.  I steered a bit farther off shore on the way north, at least at first.  Ultimately I turned back  to the northeast and this was a bit easier going with the waves on my stern quarter.

I kept going this way until I spotted the big rock.  I had come a fair bit too far onshore, and I needed swing around and row out to the rock.  I could see my oar blades stirring up the sand on the bottom.  I swung around the rock and headed in to channel on the north side of the island.  I managed to lose the channel and had to get out and walk to find the way to go to get back to the beach.

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 7.48.30 PM.png

          Workout Summary - media/20180704-1555230o.csv
Workout Details
01|05138|27:15.0|02:39.1|000.0|20.3|137.4|151.0|09.3 nice water
02|05007|32:13.0|03:13.0|000.0|21.4|141.5|149.0|07.3 shallow choppy
03|05246|33:57.0|03:14.1|000.0|22.4|145.7|154.0|06.9 choppy way home
04|01958|11:56.0|03:02.8|000.0|23.1|148.2|154.0|07.1 after water break

Very tired after this.

Here are the last 4 rows that I have done to the south.

  • Blue:  90 minutes, hot, flat water (launched from stairs)
  • Green:  70′ row, launched from stairs.
  • Yellow: 80′ row, tough northerly wind
  • Red:  Today, 120′ row, launched from beach, low tide, choppy

Screen Shot 2018-07-04 at 7.40.14 PM.png

Today’s row was about 20.5km, and 120 minutes.  Rock Harbor is about 12km from the bottom of the stairs, so I think on the right day, I could totally make the run.

Great day! – Walking and rowing

After I got up this morning and had breakfast, I decided to go for a walk.  It was low tide, which is a blast because the sand flats are exposed and you can see all kinds of marine life.

I headed down the stairs from our deck and headed straight out to the water’s edge.  Then turned south.  My first goal was to walk to the rock that I nearly hit going down to Eastham.

Here it is about an hour after low tide.  It’s hard to get a sense of scale, but the rock is about 8 feet tall and 16 feet long.  It’s a big rock.

2018-07-02 10.37.52

I then continued to walk along the edge of the water.  The tide was coming in, so the shore was receding visibly as I walked.  But I had never really walked all along the south edge of the sand flats before and I was eager to explore.  I ultimately decided to try to find my way to the tidal creek that runs under the little bridge to our island.

Along the way I saw some really nice shore birds.  I think the white one was an Egret and the pair was, I think, Willets.

I had a couple of false starts as I went into streams that turned into dead ends in the marsh.  As I got further along, the sand turned to mud and at times I was buried to the middle of my calves, making slow progress.  Ultimately I found the creek and it was about 6 inches deep with a nice sandy bottom.  I was able to rise off all the muck.

As I got close to the bridge, I found a little tidal pool off to the side of the stream and there were 3 horseshoe crabs in it swimming around.

I made it to the bridge and walked back across the causeway, and then out to the Loagy Bay Beach.  I then followed the north shore of the island back around to the house.

Here’s the whole path.  It was just over 6km.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 10.22.01 PM.png

The last bit was really sunny and the southerly breeze was entirely blocked by the island.  It was hot and the sand was soft.  I was pretty sweaty by the time I got home about an hour a twenty minutes after I started.

We chilled out at the house for most of the day, and then around high tide, I decided to go for a row.  I can launch from our stairs at high tide, so I did that and headed south.  The wind was in the process of swinging from the SSE to the SSW as I went.

I followed the shore of the island on my way south to give a wide berth to that damn rock (and also because the marsh is fun to look at).  Once I was well into the bay, I turned and followed the south shore out nd then turned to follow it.

That took about 20 minutes or so.  I decided that I would row south and turn at the 40 minute mark.  With a more direct course and a tail wind, I figured I would end up with a nice 70 minute row.

I watched my heart rate on the way south and tried to keep it around 150 or so.  When I turned, I stopped and drank half a liter of water.  Then I headed home.  The tail wind was pleasant because it lightened up the load.  But I missed the cooling breeze.  The chop was pretty big, maybe 12″ and the boat wakes would interact with it in unpredictable ways.  I experimented with different stroke rates and focused on clean finishes and keeping my blades clear of the wave tops.  It’s a lot more press down than I am used to in my Fluid.  The waves were pushing me around a bit and I had to do a lot of steering to stay on track.  Now the goal was to head directly back to my launch point and not run into the rock.

Mission accomplished.  I spotted the rock off on my starboard bow, about 100m away.  I turned toward the island and back to the stairs.  I stopped a bit offshore, got my feet out of the straps, and undid the nuts on the oarlocks.  It can be a bit hectic with the waves bouncing the boat around at the bottom of the stairs.  I paddled in like that and made a clean landing.  I was just in time.  The rocks around the base of the stairs were almost exposed and would have made landing a lot harder if I had pushed the time much further.

Screen Shot 2018-07-02 at 10.51.43 PM.png

          Workout Summary - media/20180702-2150230o.csv
Workout Details
01|02113|12:32.1|02:57.9|000.0|20.2|142.9|153.0|08.3 - into current
02|04542|26:16.9|02:53.6|000.0|20.6|149.4|154.0|08.4 - with current at first
03|05513|30:57.0|02:48.4|000.0|21.6|153.2|162.0|08.3 - tail wind

As usual, the hardest work of the outing was carrying the boat back up the stairs.

A great day!

Sunday: 4 x 20′ / 2′ Dynamic

Crappy weather and I was too lazy to go to Newton to row.  Around 3, I decided to do an easy cruise of a session on the dynamic.  The goal would be to work on getting my heels down and keeping them there.  Hopefully also keep reminding myself to sit up tall in the seat and hinge at the hips.

Allowing for how much I loathe the dynamic, it was a lovely session.  I was relaxed and comfortable throughout.

          Workout Summary - media/20180429-2110250o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  80′ of speed play down in Newton on the Charles.


14K OTW – Steady State and Technique

Big day today.  Back in my Fluid, back on the upper Charles River.

It took me a little to get my boat reassembled, and I took my time.  The last thing I wanted to was to screw something up and flip when the air temp was 35F and the water was around 45F.

The despite it being a bit cold.  The weather was beautiful.  There was very little wind and it was nice and sunny.  It had warmed up to the mid forties by the time I had finished.

The water was nice and flat and I was able to just focus on trying to remember how to row.

The plan was pretty simple:

  • 4K to the dam just rowing steady state to reacclimate
  • 3K back upstream working on technique
    • 500m Square blades
    • 500m alternating SBR and feathered
    • 500m trying to row feathered without touching water
    • repeat
  • Same thing 3K down stream
  • 4K back to the dock rowing steady state to see if I made any progress

It’s funny, the first few outings in  the spring, my heart rate is quite high and my boat speed is quite slow.  After a couple weeks in the boat, I seem to get back in the groove.  Today was much the same.  In addition, there was a reasonable amount of current flowing, so I was about 5 sec faster downstream and 5 sec slower upstream on pace.

Screen Shot 2018-03-29 at 11.10.13 AM.png

Workout Summary - media/20180329-1335260o.csv
Workout Details
00|00889|04:34.2|02:34.3|144.2|17.0|131.5|146.0|11.4 to the cut
01|02735|13:15.0|02:25.3|157.2|18.4|154.1|158.0|11.2 downstream ss
02|02815|15:54.0|02:49.5|136.3|17.5|148.1|161.0|10.1 drills
03|02768|14:43.2|02:39.5|133.5|18.6|143.7|155.0|10.1 drills
04|02881|15:22.2|02:40.1|145.0|19.4|151.0|157.0|09.7 upstream ss
05|00835|04:31.8|02:42.7|146.4|21.2|147.2|160.0|08.7 cut back to dock

I’m nursing a nice set of blisters on both hands, and I’m sore in lots of places.  And I’m happier than I’ve been in months!

Tomorrow:  Low Intensity day.  OTW 1x.  Depending on time and fatigue, somewhere between 60 and 80 minutes of rowing.  Main intent is to get in some ss meters, but I want to do some side video to see where I am from a technique perspective.  So that means I will probably throw in a few short rate ladders.


Sticking to the easy stuff 4 x 20 / 3′

Just trying to keep my base building going.  Another instance of the PM5 misbehaving and painsled losing all my data.  This is getting old.

Nice and easy.  HR stayed below 150 the whole way.

This was one of the error codes.  It popped up with 3:00 left in the whole row.

2017-12-24 16.04.22

I guess I will try a firmware upgrade tomorrow.


A bit better. An easy 40 minutes

Around 6pm, I decided I really wanted to exercise a bit more.  So, I jumped on the erg, dialed up 40 minutes and started rowing.

The thought was to just pile on some Cat VI meters.  And that’s what I did.

Workout Summary - media/20171223-2300300o.csv
Workout Details

I felt a bit better after that.  Tomorrow, more of the same.  4 x 20′ / 3′ – Cat VI.



4 x 20′ / 3′

Not surprisingly, I felt pretty tired this morning.  The HRV data agreed.  Luckily, I had an easy sessions scheduled.


  • 4 x 20′ / 3′
  • Cat VI: Pace – 2:06-2:11, Rate: 18

This felt like a lot of work, but my heart rate stayed nice and low.

          Workout Summary - media/20171218-1410320o.csv
Workout Details

Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 2.41.37 PM

Tomorrow: I really would have liked to train tomorrow, but I am flying to San Diego at 7am, and flying back on the red eye.  Next session is probably Wednesday afternoon.


Thursday: 4 x 20′ / 3′

The plan for the session was to keep it nice and easy.

  • 4 x 20′ / 3′
  • Cat VI: 2:06-2:11 pace, 18 spm
  • Heart rate: < 150

I felt very stiff this morning from yesterday’s adventure.  I had low expectations, but I was glad that it was a long slow session.  As it turned out, my heart rate plateaued early and at a low level and basically stuck there.  I was able to hold the 2:06 split throughout without coming close to the HR limits.

          Workout Summary - media/20171214-1350320o.csv
Workout Details

All in all, a nice way to spend 90 minutes.


  • 45′
  • Cat VI
  • Power 20 every 5 minutes at r32


Tuesday: 4 x 12′ / 1’30” Cat V

Today’s session is a nice short endurance session done at paces a little bit faster than base endurance pace and a little bit higher rate.

          Workout Summary - media/20171212-1135290o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow:  Big Day…Time to redo my 20′ test.  Last time was 1:52.7 pace (244W).  I will see how I do against a 1:51.0 target.

4 x 20′ / 3′


It was a fantastic workout.  I did it in the basement on the old rowing machine from work.  I brought it home to fix it on Friday.  A couple of new screws, and resetting the rower type in the PM5 was all that was required to have it working like new.

The plan:

  • 4 x 20′ / 3′
  • Cat VI (pace: 2:06-2:11, rate: 18)


My HR hardly every broke 140 and every stroke felt effortless.  I am really happy with how my base endurance seems to be improving with Roylerow training plan.  I am looking forward to the next round of tests (20′ and 75′) that are coming up in a couple weeks.

Tomorrow, I head off to San Francisco.  I’m there on Monday and Tuesday, and then I fly to Taiwan for meetings on Thursday and Friday.  I will get back on Saturday morning.  Depending on how the day goes tomorrow, I might try to get a workout done in the evening.  If I do, it will be a 4×12’/1’30” at r22 and 2:01 pace.

On a side note, I had another PM related problem in today’s workout.  It dropped the connection to my phone 70′ minutes into an 80 minute workout and started to throw error messages.  I’ve seen this before when the batteries get low, and swapping them after I finished seems to have fixed the problem.  It is crazy that the mechanics of the rowing machine are so robust that a machine that is probably 20 years old can be restored to working order with two screws and windex, but the electronics are so half baked that they can’t even let you know when the batteries are running low.  I hope that they can make improvements in the PM over time, because I think it is holding them back in the broader fitness market.