12km in Wellfleet. Fantastic!

What a beautiful day for October.  It was nearly 70 degrees and sunny.  There was a bit of wind blowing from the southwest, maybe 10mph.  This was kicking up some very lumpy chop.

I went to row at nearly high tide and it’s a full moon, so all of the roads to the beaches where I launch from were underwater.  I ended up launching off the bottom of our stairs to the water, which took some maneuvering, but worked out fine.

The plan was for 60-80 minutes of steady state.  Heart rate limit at 157.

Since the water was so high, I decided to row up into Wellfleet inner harbor and explore a bit.

The ride up north to the harbor was a blast.  I was surfing down the waves and filling the footwell all the time.  The bailer worked great, but it does slow me down a bit.  When I turned behind the Wellfleet breakwater, the water got nice and flat.  I enjoyed poking around there and I was a bit worried about how much slamming it would be to row back into the wind and waves to get home.

After a planned stop for a drink, and an unplanned stop to clear some reeds off my skeg, I headed back out past the breakwater.  It was bouncy, but very rowable.  I was a lot slower, but in control and moving nicely.  I decided to extend a little bit by rowing out to my favorite buoy before turning to go back to the house.

Getting out of the boat was as much of an adventure as launching, but nobody died and nothing got broken.  So, I’d call it a success.

        Workout Summary - media/20171007-214327-Greg Smith 20171007 1257pmo.csv
Workout Details
00|05052|29:30.0|02:55.2|000.0|20.0|149.1|159.0|08.6 -

Tomorrow – hopefully another easy aerobic coastal row.  Next hard session will be a head race piece on Quinsig on Monday.

12km coastal row in Wellfleet

Oh, what a beautiful morning!  It was in the mid 60s, very little wind, flat water and bright sunshine.  It was just after low tide, and there was just enough water depth to launch and row out.  The seabirds were wheeling around my boat as I started out, and I could see the bottom.  Schools of striped bass swam under my boat chasing after smaller fish.

The Plan:

  • 60-80 minutes of easy rowing
  • HR cap: ~150
  • rate: ~20
  • Technique:  Work on keeping my knees together and tapping down cleaning without a lot of layback.  Get those blades off the water!

I followed the Lt Island shoreline out toward deeper water.  My path out is the more northerly one in the map below.  Once I was clear of the projecting point of the shoal, I turned west and headed toward the red buoy, but I couldn’t pick it up over my shoulder yet.  I was heading out and the tide was coming in, so the pace in this section was a bit slow.  After about 2000m, I did a more purposeful scan and found is bit to the south, so I turned and headed towards it.  I did a u-turn around the buoy and headed north to Wellfleet inner harbor, now with the tide behind me and the pace improved by at least 30 seconds per 500.  I rowed to the green buoy and then continued past two more marks around the tip of the breakwater.  I decided to turn at 6000m.  I stopped and had a drink of water.

I turned around and headed back the way I came.  I seemed to weave around a bit more on the way back.  I suspect that the tide was setting me east or west depending on my direction relative to flow.  The last 1000m of the row back to the red buoy was a bit sloppy.  A little bit of wind from the east had sprung up and there was a bit of cross chop that was making it hard to keep a good rhythm.  Once I turned into the wind at the buoy, the boat felt a bit heavier, but it was easier to hold a rate.

As I got closer to the end, I pushed the rate and pressure up a bit just for fun.

A fantastic outing.

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 12.05.17 PM



        Workout Summary - media/20170924-160226-Greg Smith 20170924 0910amo.csv
Workout Details
00|02397|15:30.0|03:14.0|000.0|19.3|134.2|147.0|08.0 - a/ tide
01|03610|19:30.0|02:42.0|000.0|19.3|144.4|148.0|09.6 - w/ tide
02|03643|23:00.0|03:09.4|000.0|19.6|142.8|150.0|08.1 - a/ tide
03|02180|11:55.3|02:44.0|000.0|20.8|149.0|160.0|08.8 - w/ tide

Tomorrow:  Short interval/Short rest on the erg.  15 x 3’/1′

Thursday: 4 x 1000 / 5′ Open Water

Weather:  Sparkling sunshine, perfect temperature, around 70F.  Light wind from WNW which built from nearly calm when I launched about 9:15 to about 10mph by the time I finished.  This was a cross wind.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.13.23 AM.png

The tide was ebbing.  This was against me on the odd intervals and with me on the even intervals.


  • 4 x 1000
  • 5 minutes rest (roughly.  I paddled 500m and took a drink.  I didn’t actually measure how long the rests were.
  • Stroke Rate Target: 28spm
  • Pace target:  I wanted to be faster than the 15×3′ session (2:34)

I rowed out to Buoy 10.  This seems to be a good starting point for these kinds of workouts.  I did some 10s and 20s to get used to rowing at 28.  My hip/back felt a bit tight and sore through the warmup, but seemed to be loosing up by the end.

I got lined up and started the first interval with 2500m on the speedcoach.  Doing these intervals in a Maas Aero is a different experience from doing them on an erg.  On an erg, they are over in a about 3:30-3:40.  In an Aero, it’s a lot closer to 5 minutes.  So, I found that I had to pace myself a bit more.  There is also a lot to think about.  Steer a good course, react to the waves, look for boats, row with good form (especially, clean finishes and getting good clearance o recovery).

I felt like I was pushing hard, but my HR was lower Thursday than it was on Tuesday.  Not that it mattered much, this was a good workout.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 10.24.22 AM

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        Workout Summary - media/20170817-194615-Greg Smith 20170817 0919amo.csv
Workout Details
03|01000|04:59.4|02:29.7|000.0|28.0|164.6|175.0|07.1 - not sure what happened here

I was pretty tired when I finished, and I took it easy rowing back to the beach.  I took a couple pictures of the beach where I launch.

Later Thursday, we headed back home.  We might head back to the cape this weekend.  On Friday, I think I will do an L4 maybe 60 minutes or so.


Monday: 15 x 3′ / 1′ Rest (Open Water L3)

Weather:  I launched in the late afternoon.  There was a light wind from the southwest which was kicking up some chop.

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 5.23.49 PM.png


  • L3: 15 x 3′ / 1′ rest
  • Stroke rate: 25 spm
  • pace:  Good question
  • Heart rate:  Maximize time in Threshold.



        Workout Summary - media/20170815-210759-Greg Smith 20170814 0356pmo.csv
Workout Details

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 5.21.22 PM

I launched from the bottom of our stairs.  This was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get both oars in, and backed away from the steps without flipping. I warmed up rowing up toward Wellfleet.  When I turned around, I noticd just how bumpy it was.  The head wind was a bit annoying too.  I decided to row into the lee of the Island and do the intervals back and forth there.  I could do 3 intervals in a dog leg around the island, and only the end of the last interval would be exposed to the chop.

This workout is one of my very favorites.  You end up digging deeper and deeper as the intervals keep going.  By the time you get to the tenth interval, you tend to start them with very light pressure.  In that way, it’s good head race practice where you want to use a reasonably high stroke rate and light, consistent pressure.

Even in the lee of the island, it was a lot easier rowing with the wind that against it.  I noticed it most when I was rowing into Loagy Bay.

When I finished, I was totally spent.  I was trembling.  It was pretty awesome.

Today: A rest day!  Finally, I feel like I deserve a rest day instead of being forced into it by circumstances.



An easy 90 minutes on a grey morning.

Weather:  Overnight a front came through.  You can see the sharp change in the dew point around 4:30am, and then the spike in the wind around 6:30am.  Since this is vacation, I was blissfully asleep while this was going on.  I got up around 8:30.  It was really cloudy, but the rain seemed to have stopped.  I debated just doing an erg session, but it seemed so nice and flat out on the water. I decided on heading out for a nice long easy row.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 5.28.37 PM.png

Of course, it started raining again as soon I was outside loading my boat.  But I hung in and it stopped by the time I had driven over to the beach.  It was close to low tide, but there was maybe 6 inches more water today  than yesterday, so no trouble finding a channel out to deep water.

The plan was to do a nice easy row.  I wanted to do most of it as UT2, and it turned out that way.  It was one of those mornings where my HR was pretty stubbornly low.  I can never really figure out whether that’s because I don’t feel like working hard, or if it’s some kind of after effect of a hard session the day before.

I went out without a firm plan about where to go.  I ultimately decided to head out to Billingsgate Island, and then back up to Wellfleet inner harbor.  All together, it was about 16km.  I took one break, about 2 minutes when I got up to  the harbor.  Other than that, I just rowed.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 12.48.55 PM



Workout Summary - media/20170812-164441-Greg Smith 20170812 0922amo.csv
Workout Details
01|02600|14:57.7|02:52.6|000.0|18.5|123.6|138.0|09.4 - beach to buoy10
02|02700|15:24.7|02:51.2|000.0|19.5|139.3|143.0|09.0 - buoy10 to buoy8
03|03800|21:24.3|02:49.0|000.0|21.5|140.6|145.0|08.3 - buoy8 to buoy10
04|03100|17:26.6|02:48.8|000.0|21.3|139.6|145.0|08.3 - buoy8 to wellfleet
05|02365|13:35.2|02:52.3|000.0|21.6|140.7|144.0|08.0 - wellfleet to buoy11
06|01460|07:54.7|02:42.6|000.0|21.4|143.0|145.0|08.6 - buoy11 to beach

It was a bit choppy out between buoy10 and buoy8, but other than that, it was just tasty smooth water.  The tide was slack at the beginning, but by the time I did the last leg back from wellfleet, it was pretty strongly against me.

Tomorrow:  L3.  Probably open water.  I think I will do a row from the wellfleet breakwater out to buoy 8.  That will be 1.87+3.17+2.98 = 8.02km.  Roughly 40 minutes.  I will aim at a stroke rate of 24/25.

Screen Shot 2017-08-12 at 5.52.50 PM


What a blast…4 x 2k / 5′ – Open Water

Weather:  Broken overcast.  About 70F.  Wind started nearly calm and built up to about 5-6mph from the ESE.


  • L2 – 4 x 2k / 5′ rest
  • Rate Target: 25 spm
  • Pace target:  I have no idea.  Just row hard and see what happens.

Unlike rowing on the twisty section of the Charles River, there is no problem finding a perfectly straight 2km course down here in Wellfleet.  There are other challenges though.  Specifically shallow water, tidal currents, wind and waves.  I was looking forward to those challenges though.  It might keep me from focusing on my own heavy breathing.

I launched very close to low tide, and I was a bit worried by what I saw.  All of the boats moored off the beach were aground and the channel was close to the narrowest I have seen it.  But, I was here and I had a plan, so dammit, I was going to launch.  It worked out OK.  I could see the bottom and my oar blades were guide.  If I hit bottom on starboard, then I steered to port.  If I hit on port, I steered to starboard.  If I hit on both, I hoped for best.  And it worked out.  I puttered along until I cleared the tip of Lt Island, and I was home free.

I planned to row between 2 buoys which mark the channel into Wellfeet inner harbor.  This is 2.4km.  I figured I would row 2k, then paddle to the end and turn around for the next one in my 5 minute rest.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.50.15 PM

After I got to deep water, I did an improvised warmup with some 10s and 20s at my target stroke rate.  And I maneuvered over to the red buoy that marked my start point.

I paddled until the speedcoach clicked over to 2700m, then I brought it up to 25 spm and steered a course of 200 degrees.  I counted strokes.  25 strokes a minute, so by counting strokes, I was also keeping time.  I checked the distace rowed.  I was taking just about 62 strokes to go 500m, aha, so the whole piece would be 250 strokes.  That bit of simple math kept me occupied for a little while.  I enjoyed rowing  this piece.  The water was pretty flat and the wind and the tide were behind me.  The Maas is very nice to row.  It feels heavier than my fluid, but it is responsive and fantastically stable.

I knew that there was a green can buoy along my path, but I was having trouble finding it while rowing under pressure.  All of the sudden, there it was, about 30 meters ahead of me, maybe 10 meters to my port side.  I had two thoughts.  First, wow, I almost hit that.  Second,  great job steering!  I clicked along through the rest of the interval.  It was a tough row, but I didn’t push it to the edge.

I paddled along for 4 minutes, then spun the boat, took a drink and set off on interval number 2.  This one was a lot more work.  The wind had built a little, so I was dealing with a bit more chop.  It was good because it forced me to row with my blades farther off the water during recovery.  If I didn’t, I smacked the wave tops and it slowed me way down.  The wind was on my port bow, and it really didn’t like the heading that I wanted to be on.  A few degrees more to the west, and things worked out a lot better.  I gave up on trying to go straight to the red buoy and opted for the easier ride.  The chop was substantial enough to fill my footwell by the time I got through the piece.  I opened the self bailer while I paddled and headed back in the direction of the Buoy.

The third interval was basically the same story as the first.  The wind was on my starboard stern.  It was easier rowing, but I was still getting splashed a bit.  It did keep me from getting too focused on the effort going into the interval, and counting strokes helped a lot too.

As I set up for the fourth, I noticed that I was running a bit short on time, so instead of aiming back for the red buoy, I set a course that would bring me closer to the beach when I finished.  This also had the advantage of putting me closer to the windward shore so the chop was much smaller and there was less wind.  I just counted strokes and made sure that I wasn’t going to run into anything and before I knew it, I was done.

And I was tired.  This was a lot of work.  But I’m really happy with how it went. I guess that’s the advantage of not having any real expectations about pace, and knowing that the wind and current will make the pace pretty much meaningless anyway.  I could just focus on rowing hard enough to be in the upper part of my threshold HR zone and do the session.  No real chance to “race my training” today.

Screen Shot 2017-08-11 at 1.35.44 PM



Workout Summary - media/20170811-172143-Greg Smith 20170811 0855amo.csv
Workout Details
01|02000|09:46.2|02:26.5|000.0|25.6|165.2|175.0|08.0 - w/ tide
02|02000|11:06.8|02:46.7|000.0|25.2|170.5|179.0|07.1 - a/ tide
03|02000|10:08.9|02:32.2|000.0|25.2|168.8|178.0|07.8 - w/ tide
04|02000|11:13.7|02:48.4|000.0|24.9|172.5|181.0|07.1 - a/ tide

Tomorrow:  Plan calls for an L4, I will substitute a 90 minute open water “easy row”.  HR limit around 150.

Sunday: 15km towards Eastham

Our guests left around 10am, and we set about cleaning the house.  I had such a good time walking the sand flats that I dragged my wife out for a walk around noon to explore around the north end of the island.

Things we well under control around 3 in the afternoon, so I decided to go for a row.  Just about all of my rows have gone north into Wellfleet Harbor, generally to ge some shelter from the prevailing SW winds.  Today, with very light winds, I decided to go south along the Eastham shore.

It was a very enjoyable trip.  I wanted to row for about 90 minutes, which at my plodding pace in the Aero would take me about 15km.  I was just going to row south for 7.5km and turn around and come home.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 5.58.54 PM

The trip was in about 6 legs.

  • From the beach to Red Buoy #10 (across the incoming tide)
  • Southeast from the red buoy to the Eastham shore (incoming tide on the starboard bow)
  • South along the shore until 7.5km (straight into the tide)
  • NNE along the shore until I got to the southern edge of Lt Island (with the tide)
  • Follow the shore around to the northwest corner of the island (not much tidal current)
  • Back to the beach, with a little bonus distance to get to 15km. (with the tide, this was fun!)

As I rowed, I kept track of distance and time.  You can see the HR climbing as I approached 5K.  I wanted to be sure I did that in less than 30 minutes.  Then I eased off a little bit, until I was getting close to 7.5km, which I wanted to get done in under 45m.

I finished that about a minute and a half ahead of the pace  plan, and took about that amount of time to drink some water and turn the boat.

Coming back with the tide, I got way ahead of the plan, but I was having fun pushing a bit harder, so I went with it.   Then when I passed the northwest corner, and saw the pace getting faster from the tide, I wanted even more, so I kicked up the rate a bit and tried to hold about a 2:15 pace.

I saw that I would be short of 15km, so I headed a bit north toward the indian head shore line.  I turned back when I reached the floats marking the corners of the commercial oyster beds.  Then I just rowed until the speedcoach clicked over 15km.

I coasted to a stop had a drink and paddle back to the beach.


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I took a quick look at the iphone versus speedcoach GPS data on the charting SW.  Generally it lines up very well.

Screen Shot 2017-07-16 at 6.04.03 PM.png

If you zoom in you can see some differences.  The most noticeable difference was the turn at 7.5km.  The error there is 40m.

We left the cape around 8:30 and it took us nearly 3 hours to get home.  I slept in instead of rowing this morning.  I’m going to go do a quick 10K on the erg at lunch instead.

Sunday: 15km in Wellfleet

Weather: nearly perfect. Temp in the low 70s, sparkling sunshine, wind from the NW at about 5-10mph with gusts to 15. This made the water lumpy, especially on the eastern side of the bay.

I launched from the northeast beach, my plan was another UT2/UT1 outing, about 90 minutes or so.

I headed up to Wellfleet inner harbor figuring that I would have less chop to contend with if I was closer to the north. As it turned out, the wind swung a bit to the west so I don’t think it helped all that much.

The row north was not that pleasant. I was bashing into the waves and not making very rapid progress. I was glad when I finally passed the breakwater and turned east. I was glad until 3 big cabin cruisers passed me at close range and high speed, stopping me dead in my tracks. After that, it was a smooth coast into the harbor, past the commercial dock and along the town jetty. I turned around the end and behind my boat, I saw a curious seal pop up his head to see what the hell I was doing.

I turned around behind the jetty and had a quick drink of water. A fishing boat pulled out ahead of me as I started to go back the way I came, and because of the “no wake” 5 mph speed limit in the inner harbor, I passed him. Later, as e passed the buoy marking the end of the speed limit, he returned the favor, complete with a monumental wake.

The row out of the harbor over to the great spit was another slog. I was going into to teeth of the wind but the waves were considerably smaller. I took on a lot less water and made good progress. I reached the shallows by the spit at around 8000m and turned SW to row in the lee of the spit. This bit was good fun. Flat water, wind on my starboard beam. I counted out strokes until I hit 11000m. In my fluid, on flat water, I do about 10m/stroke steady state.  In the Aero, which is shorter and slower, and with a slightly higher stroke rate, I do between 7-8m/stroke. So it takes 120 to 130 strokes to cover a kilometer.

When I hit 11km on the speedcoach, I had a quick drink, and turned for home. This was bouncy fun. I was going nearly dead down wind and the waves built as I went across to the east side of the bay. It wasn’t particularly fast, but it was a blast.

As I passed the northwest point of the island I started a slow turn back to the beach, finishing just past the 15km point.

After I got my boat loaded, I went for a quick and refreshing swim.

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myimage (86)

myimage (87)

Workout Summary - media/20170709-163411-Greg Smith 20170709 0901amo.csv
Workout Details


Tomorrow:  I catch a 8am flight to San Francisco.  I’ll be out there for a few days, returning on the Wednesday red eye.

Saturday: Choppy 10k in Wellfleet

Weather:  Sparkling sunshine.  mid 70s.  Breezy, about 10-15mph with gusts to 20mph from the SSW.

I launched at about 1:45pm, from the Northeast beach.  I wanted to go for about an hour.  Since the wind was from the SW, I decided to go south for a change so that I would finish by coming downwind.  I also have not explored that side of the island at all.

I hugged the shoreline of Lieutenant Island as it wraps around to the south, then south east, and I skirted along the edge of the salt marsh.  The initial part to the south was quite choppy and I managed to fill the foot well a few times.  I am having trouble with the self bailer.  It does not want to stay deployed.  I think there is a spring that is supposed to hold it in position, but it is not working.  So, ultimately, I gave up and just rowed with the foot well full of water.  On the plus side, it’s a small foot well.

Once I turned the southern corner of the island and headed along the salt marsh, I was headed more across the wind and it took some work to get used to the waves on my beam.  I didn’t realize how much the wind had built up until I turned around to head west.  The wind was whistling past my ears and I was pounding into the waves.  But the water was warm and the sun was out and I felt pretty confident in my boat.  I just tried to keep track of my heart rate and basically ignore the pace.  I kept track of the distance and I decided that I could turn north after I hit 6000m.

After I turned north, I got a better appreciation of how big the waves were since they were coming at me from the stern.  Since my vantage point is so low, the waves looked huge, but I bet they were not much bigger than a foot.  But at times, my bow would be completely buried.  Other times, the stern would be buried for two or three feet, and most impressively, there were some waves that submerged the shafts of my oars while I was recovering.  That was new experience for me.

Generally, I was able to handle the waves well, but a couple of times, I was pushed broadside to the waves and pushed around.  But the boat has a ton of natural stability and I never felt like I was going to go over.

I turned the corner at the northwestern tip of the island and headed over to indian head. The waves were smaller and more regular here and much easier to judge.  Finally I turned for home, heading back into the waves one last time.

I tried to draw the wind and tidal flows on the chart.  The key thing was the tide was against the wind, which I think help pile up the water a bit more.

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 5.14.42 PM

You can see the effect of wind and tide on the summary chart.

  • to 800m: flat water in the lee of the island
  • 800m to 3500m:  rowing south along the shore with the wind and waves abeam, slowly turning to the east following the shore.
  • 3500m to 4400m:  rowing south east across the waves
  • 4400m to 6000m: bashing my way to the west basically right into the wind and waves.  The transients to very slow pace are essentially when a big enough wave totally stopped my and filled to footwell.
  • 6000m to 8100m:  Wind and waves on  my port stern.  This was the wildest bit.  Again the slow downs were swampings.
  • 8100m to 8900m:  easy and fun surfing dead down wind.
  • 8900m to 9500m:  back into the wind for the last bit back to the beach.

You can see how rowing downwind in this amount of chop is more technical than aerobic.  My HR was much lower.

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It turned out to be a pretty close to perfect 60 minute aerobic session (and a hell of a lot of fun)

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Its hard to describe rowing in waves.  The gopro point of view doesn’t seem to show what it’s like.  Here’s a picture of the waves after I got back to the house, from about 40 feet above the water.

2017-07-08 15.34.52

When I was out, there were more white caps and the waves were a bit bigger.  They certainly seemed a lot more confused than they look from here.

This has nothing to do with rowing, but last Sunday, I went for a walk as the tide was falling.  I skirted the edge of a salt marsh and I ran into what looked like the kingdom of the hermit crabs.

Tomorrow is the last day of my vacation.  I’m flying out to California on Monday morning for a conference.  I hope to wake up reasonably early and get my last row in.



Vacation continues

Monday, July 3:  We delivered my sister in law and her two sons to the ferry in the morning and spent the day doing laundry, cleaning and hanging out.  It was great to have company, but it was also nice to have the house to ourselves again.  Around 3:30 in the afternoon, I decided that the wind had died down enough for a row.  So, I packed up my boat and headed off to the northeast beach.  The wind was blowing about 10mph from the WNW, and there was a ton of chop from the wind and whole lot of motor boats.

I launched from the northeast beach of the island and headed up to wellfleet harbor.  The tide was coming in, so I was going with the current up along the shore of indian neck.  I went into the harbor and did a broad turn up toward “The Cove”.  As I came back toward the channel, there was a sailboat coming out of from behind the jetty.  It’s pretty shallow where I was, and I suspected it was even shallower where they were.  Sure enough, I soon heard a grinding noise and they came to a stop, aground on a sand bar.   As I rowed out of the harbor, I saw them back the sails and maneuver off the bar.

I then headed west along mayo beach.  At certain points, it go pretty shallow.  I could see the bottom and a couple of times one of my oars touched bottom, but it was OK. Then I took a broad turn toward the south and circled around the point of great island.

The row from there to my turning point was bouncy and somewhat unpleasant.  The waves were very confused with all the motor boat traffic, and the various shallow spots.  Eventually, I noticed the time and turned for home.

I had intended to row due east straight past the red buoy #10, but the waves wanted me to take a bit of a more northeasterly course.  I swung around in a big arc and headed for the beach when I passed the northwest tip of the island.

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Workout Summary - media/20170704-015955-Greg Smith 20170703 0352pmo.csv
Workout Details
00|04982|29:30.0|02:57.7|000.0|20.0|154.8|162.0|08.4 - to harbor
01|06740|42:47.2|03:10.5|000.0|21.0|155.6|160.0|07.5 - across and down
02|03749|21:33.0|02:52.4|000.0|21.7|152.3|162.0|08.0 - back to beach

I was working hard through the whole row, and the HR shows it.  I have to avoid doing that in long races or I will burn out for sure.

Tuesday, July 4: We packed up ourselves and headed back to Hopkinton.  The traffic on the day after July 4th can be murderous on the cape, and we wanted to avoid it is possible.  We got home in the late afternoon, and eventually, I settled down for what I hoped would be a quick and easy 40 minute session.  Of course this was on the cursed, awful dynamic erg at home, so it didn’t turn out that way.

The plan for was an L4 style workout.  I really enjoyed the last 20 minutes of the session I did on Saturday, so I decided to do basically the same thing.  But I found doing it on the dynamic to be a whole different experience.  It was massively difficult.  I have never worked so hard to go so slow!

One mitigating factor was the heat and humidity.  It was 70% humidity and 80F in the room when I finished.  It took two towels to mop up the floor.

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Wednesday, July 5th: I guess I must have been tired, because I slept until 10:30.  The rest of the day was a blur of shopping and yard work.  We aren’t around the house much and the outside was looking a bit shabby.  All day long I was dreading the idea of doing another session on the horrible dynamic in the sweatbox.

The plan was to stick to strict HR cap at 155, no matter how slow I had to go.  That turned out to be very slow, and continually slower to stay under the cap.

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So, how much worse is the dynamic.  I used the comparison charts to look at this workout, and the 3×20’/2′ workout that I did on the prior Saturday on a static erg.

Both sessions were endurance sessions, with a HR cap at 155.  Here’s  the HR compared.


The orange trace is the dynamic.  The green is static.  Now here’s power.


In the middle of the last interval, when the HR’s were about the same, I was pulling 50w lower on the dynamic!

Here’s a scatter plot of the HR vs power.  You can on the static (green points), the expected relationship of higher powers and higher heart rates holds.  The dynamic (orange points) shows a backwards relationship.  It seemed as if no matter how much I backed off the pace, my HR was pegged in the 150s.  This is consistent with my thought that there is something wrong with the machine which is increasing the friction on the drive.


One confounding factor is temperature.  The static session was in a cool (but humid) basement.  The dynamic session was in 80F/70% humidity.  That could explain a bit of the difference.

Thursday, July 6th:  My father passed away last December.  He took up sailing in the 1970s and it became more and more important to him over the next four decades.  For the last thirty years, he has been a member of the Boston Yacht Club and over that time has been the chairman of the race committee and a principle organizer of a big ocean race that the club runs every other year between marblehead and Halifax Nova Scotia.

We decided that a fitting send off for my Dad would be to scatter his ashes at sea off of marblehead.  We planned it for this Thursday because the start of this race is coming on Saturday and many of the folks that he knew from Nova Scotia would be around for the race.

A friend of his has a very serious vessel, the Elizabeth M.  It’s a 40′ trawler.  Here’s a video of it out for a cruise on another day…

We had aabout 25 people on board, took a slow cruise around the harbor, and then, once we were off marble head light, we scattered my Dad’s ashes and left some white flowers.

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It was a really nice send off for him.  He had a great group of friends and he has left a legacy at the club behind him.

Then we headed home, packed up and headed back to the cape.

Friday, July 7: Rain was in the forecast starting in the late morning, so I got up early (ish), and headed out for a row around 7:30.  I launched from the NE beach.  It was overcast with very little wind.  The wind picked up a bit about half way through the row, but only to about 8mph, from the SSE.

The plan was for an easy row.  Try to get the feeling of rowing at a stroke rate of 20 SPM and stay in the UT2 HR zone.  For a 3 to 4 hour race, I want to be doing a pace I can hold all day long!

I decided to explore wellfleet inner harbor a bit today.  I rowed out to Buoy #10, then turned north.  The trip up to the harbor was fast and smooth.  There was little wind and I was rowing with the tidal current.  I  rowed to the breakwater that marks the entrance to the inner harbor and rowed along the town jetty, and around behind to the boat slips.  The speedcoach showed that I had done 7500m.

I stopped for a drink of water, and then retraced my steps.  The row back from the breakwater to buoy #10 was a lot slower.  The wind had picked up a little bit and I was rowing against the current.  The plots show a good 30 seconds difference in pace.

I turned around Buoy #10 and headed due east to get back to the beach.  When I reached the place where I launched, I was about 500m short of 15km, so I continued on a bit, turned around and beached the boat right when the speedcoach passed 15000m.

It was a very happy row.

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Workout Summary - media/20170707-170512-Greg Smith 20170707 0739amo.csv
Workout Details
00|02397|15:00.0|03:07.7|000.0|20.8|133.1|146.0|07.7 - to buoy #10
01|02947|15:00.0|02:32.7|000.0|20.4|141.4|146.0|09.6 - to bkwtr
02|01704|09:00.0|02:38.4|000.0|20.6|139.5|142.0|09.2 - to turn
03|01163|07:00.0|03:00.5|000.0|20.0|130.1|136.0|08.3 - back out of hbr
04|04753|29:00.0|03:03.1|000.0|20.5|141.7|147.0|08.0 - back to buoy #10
05|01872|10:11.7|02:43.4|000.0|20.9|148.4|157.0|08.8 - back to beach

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Now it is raining like crazy.

Tomorrow, hopefully another row just like this one!