Oh my hands – May 5 to May 7

Well, really just my right hand.

Because of travel, there was a period of 8 days between 25 April and 4 May where I did no OTW rowing.  Over that period of times, my hands got all soft.  Then on Saturday, I hop into my Aero and go for a 18k row that takes about an hour and forty five minutes.  This was 1887 strokes, and there was enough chop that my hands and the handles were wet.  The chop also makes it impossible to maintain the light fingertip grip that we all aspire to.  By the time I was on the last leg back to the beach, my hands were really hurting.  Over the rest of the day they were a weepy blistered mess.

On Sunday, the weather sucked, so I wasn’t tempted to go back out on the water, but I did a hard 10K (with limited success, more to come  on that later) on slides.  My hands were perfectly OK with that.

On Monday, they were still pretty beat up, but I ignored that and did a nice technical session in the boat.  A lot of the drills put pressure on my blistery bits, and ripped open some blisters under old callouses.

I wasn’t sure if my hands were up for it, but the weather this morning was beautiful!, So, I went for it.  I had a great session, and I didn’t have any real grip issues to deal with, but boy, it stings.  Especially in the shower!

Enough complaining.  On to the training.

Sunday – May 5 – Hard 10K on slides.

Started with a 2k warmup.  Pick drill followed by a few bursts at possible paces for the 10k piece

Then the real thing.  I was a bit scarred from the 10k session that I bailed on last weekend, so I specifically tried to give myself permission to target a pace of 2:00.  Of course, as soon as I started and it felt easy, I immediately changed my mind and stuck on 1:57.  This lasted for about 6 or 7K and my HR was up at 177.  I couldn’t handle the idea of rowing the last 12 minutes “in the red”, so I tried to back off, and then a dropped a few strokes and slowly brought myself back to around a 2:00 target.  By the time I had 1000m to go, I was pissed at myself and I rowed it hard.

       Workout Summary - media/Import_38138690.csv.gz
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|39:31.0|01:58.6|207.5|25.0|166.5|182.0|10.1
W-|10000|39:32.0|01:58.6|207.5|25.0|166.5|182.0|10.1
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|182.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:54.5|01:57.2|212.8|24.6|141.9|155.0|10.4
01|01000|03:54.8|01:57.4|213.9|25.0|157.4|160.0|10.2
02|01000|03:54.9|01:57.5|213.1|24.8|163.2|164.0|10.3
03|01000|03:56.3|01:58.1|209.8|24.8|165.7|167.0|10.2
04|01000|03:57.4|01:58.7|206.9|24.5|168.4|171.0|10.3
05|01000|03:55.8|01:57.9|211.0|25.4|171.0|174.0|10.0
06|01000|03:57.1|01:58.5|208.0|25.2|174.8|177.0|10.1
07|01000|04:07.7|02:03.8|184.3|24.7|169.4|176.0|09.8
08|01000|04:00.1|02:00.0|200.1|25.0|173.7|177.0|10.0
09|01000|03:53.7|01:56.8|216.6|25.7|179.7|182.0|10.0

So, what do we make of this?  First, it was probably an effective workout from a physiological point of view.  I had 27 minutes in the TR and AN HR zones.  But in terms of grit, this one was a fail.  Also from a discipline perspective, also a fail.  I should have rowed it conservatively and gotten a good marker for the next session.

Monday – 6 May – Drills on the 5s – 60′ session

As is usual, I spelt pretty poorly on Sunday night.  The weather was OK.  It was grey and there was a pretty steady wind from the north.  Temps were in the 50s.

I thought under the circumstances that a session focused on technique would be a good idea.  So, back to a favorite, drills on the 5s.  Row steady state for 4 minuutes then do a minute of a drill.  The drills were

  • half slide
  • slow roll ups
  • open hands on recovery
  • pause at body over
  • on the square

The drills were useful and the format of the workout makes time pass very quickly.  A lovely session.

Tuesday – 7 May – 4 x 2k on the water

Time to do some heavy lifting!  I was out late last night at a business dinner, but I managed to get my ass out of bed on time.  I was a bit worried about how well I’d do in the session.  I’m not sure if this was a cause or effect, but I felt a bit wrong in the intestinal department.

Anyway, the weather was awesome!  Bright and Sunny about 50F with a light wind from the SW.  So, I paddled out to the start of the 2k section, had a drink and went for it.  The training objectives for this session were:

  • Stroke rate: 25-27
  • Target pace 2:15 to 2:20
  • Focus on crisp releases.  Really tap down.
  • With increased fatigue focus on maintaining rate, lighting up pressure and maintaining good form, especially at the release

Gotta say, it was pretty magical!  I had a bit of tail wind behind me on the first interval, so the splits were nice and fast and the strokes felt light.  That really boosted my confidence.  I was extra careful to try to avoid chasing the same split on the upwind interval.  As it worked out I matched my avg power pretty well between upwind and downwind intervals.

Each interval got harder, but I always felt in control.  It was a really good session.  Good physiologically, and mentally to get it done per plan.

        Workout Summary - media/20190507-1405480o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|12258|72:17.0|02:56.9|124.6|23.6|145.3|177.0|07.2
W-|08104|37:30.0|02:18.9|177.1|26.3|164.3|177.0|08.2
R-|04160|34:47.0|04:10.8|068.1|20.7|124.7|177.0|07.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00238|01:04.0|02:14.4|157.6|22.4|139.1|145.0|09.9
02|01985|08:33.7|02:09.4|179.4|25.8|158.2|171.0|09.0
03|01962|09:33.9|02:26.3|181.7|26.2|167.9|177.0|07.8
04|01960|08:33.8|02:11.0|171.6|26.8|164.8|175.0|08.5
05|01958|09:45.2|02:29.4|177.5|26.8|168.7|177.0|07.5

Note: the pace shown here appears to be the GPS based pace, so the downstream intervals are unnaturally fast and the upstream ones are slow.  Calculating pace for them using the excel data yields 2:12.8, 2:17.9, 2:14.5, 2:19.9.

So, I was interested to see if this focus on clean releases has any effect.  So, I compared a 4x2k from the very beginning of the season to today.  My guess is that my aerobic fitness was a bit better and my form more ragged.  First comparison…

Power:  I was 4.5 watts higher power last time.   2.5% lower power today.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174855.325

Now boat speed:  Whoa!  1% faster today, on 2.5% lower power.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174838.721

So, what changed in my stroke.  Since I was working on finishes, let’s look at finish angle.  I was finishing about 4 degrees shorter today.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T175035.690

Was that impacting effective length?

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174914.131

Oh yeah.  I was more than 5 degrees shorter today.

I wonder what was going on with my peak force angle.  I was specifically trying to hold body position and row lightly today.  Would I see any difference with that?

Yep!  My peak force angle move more to stern and was more consistent.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-07T174946.982

Here is a statistical summary for each workout.  The standard deviation for the peak force angle changed from 3.3 deg to 2.6 deg.

So, this certainly taught me a lesson.  The speedcoach is a tool, it doesn’t make sense to just focus singlemindedly on improving one parameter.  In my mind I had equated more length, with more power and therefore more speed.  Today’s results mean that I should have to be very careful to measure the change in boat speed with technique changes iin addition to just using the oarlock to provide data on the stroke mechanics.

 

April 16 to May 4 – Hectic

Tuesday – April 16 – L4 session – Aborted after 20 minutes.

Just not feeling it.  I had an early meeting and not a lot of time, but mostly I was just tired.

Wed – April 12 – 75′ Steady State OTW

I think it was a nice row.  It was a long time ago, so I’m not sure.

        Workout Summary - media/20190418-1830420o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13921|73:53.0|02:39.2|127.8|18.4|151.7|164.0|10.2
W-|12179|62:00.0|02:32.8|136.4|18.0|154.1|163.0|10.9
R-|01751|11:53.0|03:23.8|083.5|20.3|139.1|163.0|10.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00344|01:38.4|02:23.1|141.1|18.2|139.5|145.0|11.5
02|02883|13:44.9|02:23.1|142.2|18.8|152.3|157.0|11.2
03|02848|15:02.3|02:38.4|136.2|17.6|154.3|160.0|10.7
04|02061|10:14.3|02:29.1|137.5|17.4|153.6|159.0|11.6
05|00621|02:55.1|02:20.9|150.0|18.1|156.1|162.0|11.7
06|01413|07:39.1|02:42.5|127.8|17.7|154.7|160.0|10.4
07|01229|06:37.4|02:41.6|127.6|17.6|158.5|160.0|10.5
08|00342|01:50.5|02:41.7|141.5|19.0|154.5|159.0|09.7
09|00438|02:18.8|02:38.3|126.1|19.9|158.8|163.0|09.5

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 9.03.59 PM

Then I was in meetings from 9am to 8pm.

Thursday – April 18 – L3 10K push

I didn’t get a lot of sleep and I had an early meeting.  So, instead of OTW, I setup to do a 10K L3 on the erg in the fitness center at work.  I guess my head is just not in it right now.

I failed at the halfway point and basically took a couple of thousand meters off, then worked hard in the last 2.5K.

        Workout Summary - media/Import_37936047.csv.gz
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|39:31.0|01:58.6|209.5|22.7|153.3|178.0|11.2
W-|10000|39:31.0|01:58.6|209.5|22.7|153.3|178.0|11.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|178.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:59.8|01:59.9|196.6|22.3|122.7|136.0|11.2
01|01000|03:59.8|01:59.9|201.0|21.2|141.7|144.0|11.8
02|01000|03:57.2|01:58.6|207.6|21.6|149.2|154.0|11.7
03|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.8|22.3|156.1|160.0|11.5
04|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.2|22.1|161.0|162.0|11.6
05|01000|04:14.4|02:07.2|178.5|23.3|150.6|164.0|10.1
06|01000|03:59.6|01:59.8|201.4|23.1|154.8|159.0|10.9
07|01000|04:01.6|02:00.8|201.8|22.2|157.7|163.0|11.2
08|01000|03:49.2|01:54.6|229.4|23.8|167.2|172.0|11.0
09|01000|03:41.4|01:50.7|254.1|25.2|174.2|178.0|10.7

Friday – April 19 – No Training

I was out late at a business dinner and had a 8am meeting.  I decided to sleep instead of trying to get up at 5.

Saturday – April 20 – 4 x 20’/2′ L4 on Slides

Still love rowing on slides!  Especially the long slow stuff.  This was a great, relaxing session.  Good way to clear my head after a long week of reviews.  The last 30 minutes or so pushed a bit above the target aerobic zone, but there is zero risk of overtraining right now!

Sunday – April 21 – 10K L3

I was tired of failing on sessions, and I wanted to just pull a good consistent piece without any dropped strokes or other lameness.

Mission accomplished.  Good hard finish too.

        Workout Summary - media/63841bce186c4b73_37970283.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|38:54.0|01:56.7|218.3|25.1|161.0|183.0|10.2
W-|10000|38:54.0|01:56.7|218.3|25.1|161.0|183.0|10.2
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|183.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|04:00.8|02:00.4|205.6|25.8|123.7|145.0|09.7
01|01000|03:54.2|01:57.1|215.6|23.8|148.6|152.0|10.8
02|01000|03:52.7|01:56.4|219.7|24.4|155.2|158.0|10.6
03|01000|03:53.1|01:56.5|218.2|24.1|159.3|161.0|10.7
04|01000|03:52.7|01:56.4|219.8|24.8|163.1|165.0|10.4
05|01000|03:52.9|01:56.5|219.2|25.0|166.1|168.0|10.3
06|01000|03:53.9|01:56.9|216.4|25.1|168.9|170.0|10.2
07|01000|03:53.0|01:56.5|218.7|25.4|172.1|174.0|10.1
08|01000|03:53.5|01:56.7|217.2|25.8|175.0|177.0|10.0
09|01000|03:48.0|01:54.0|233.1|27.4|179.4|183.0|09.6

Monday – April 22 – Steady State

There was a little wind, but I was rowing really well.  Just a great session.  I was working on trying to avoid washing out and taping down cleanly.

        Workout Summary - media/20190427-2356270o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14002|74:56.0|02:40.6|129.8|18.7|142.2|163.0|10.0
W-|12783|63:52.0|02:29.9|139.2|18.2|145.8|162.0|11.0
R-|01228|11:04.0|04:30.5|075.7|21.5|121.3|162.0|10.7
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00137|00:39.5|02:24.3|163.0|18.0|120.0|124.0|11.6
02|00376|01:46.0|02:21.0|135.9|18.7|128.1|139.0|11.4
03|02913|13:57.9|02:23.8|138.2|17.9|143.2|149.0|11.7
04|02841|14:51.6|02:36.9|135.1|17.4|144.2|151.0|11.0
05|02847|13:37.5|02:23.6|140.6|18.1|148.3|155.0|11.5
06|02908|15:09.2|02:36.3|138.8|18.4|149.6|157.0|10.4
07|00346|01:47.2|02:35.0|145.6|20.7|147.5|155.0|09.3
08|00075|00:24.2|02:41.1|115.4|22.4|148.8|151.0|08.3
09|00341|01:39.5|02:26.1|170.9|22.2|154.2|162.0|09.3

Tuesday – April 23 – No training

Slept in.  It was raining like crazy

Wednesday – April 24 – 75′ Steady State OTW

I arrived at the river on Wednesday morning and this is what I saw.

2019-04-24 06.23.442019-04-24 06.23.53

Yep, That’s the dock under water.  I guess it was a lot of rain on Tuesday!  So, I took off my socks, and waded my boat out to the end of the float and went for a row.

There was a ton of debris in the river.  I ran into a submerged branch, but luckily not hard enough to rip off my fin.  I also just avoided a floating stump, and saw lots of other stuff.  My head was on a swivel.

But again, I felt nice and fast at first.  Turns out I had a nice gentle tail wind.  It was a lot slower going upstream.

    Workout Summary - media/20190427-2355420o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14011|76:33.0|02:43.9|128.9|19.9|148.4|171.0|09.2
W-|13090|65:49.0|02:30.9|139.4|19.2|151.7|171.0|10.4
R-|00929|10:43.0|05:46.6|064.3|24.0|128.5|171.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00885|04:12.2|02:22.5|138.2|18.5|131.6|147.0|11.3
02|02830|13:01.9|02:18.1|138.3|19.8|148.2|160.0|11.0
03|02836|15:23.0|02:42.7|137.5|18.3|151.7|162.0|10.1
04|02855|13:20.4|02:20.2|138.7|18.8|155.8|163.0|11.4
05|02904|15:55.1|02:44.4|135.5|18.8|155.2|162.0|09.7
06|00344|01:47.4|02:35.9|157.5|22.3|152.0|165.0|08.6
07|00063|00:21.5|02:49.8|161.8|25.4|160.1|163.0|07.0
08|00371|01:48.1|02:25.6|185.1|25.4|160.7|171.0|08.1

Thursday – April 24 – 75′ Steady State OTW

More wading through the flood.  More steady state, working on balance and the release.  EmPower Oarlock decided to not work.  A bit slower today.  Everything felt a bit heavy.

 

        Workout Summary - media/20190427-2025470o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13938|76:15.0|02:44.1|000.0|18.8|148.5|163.0|09.7
W-|12610|64:13.0|02:32.8|000.0|18.2|152.5|163.0|10.8
R-|01336|12:03.0|04:30.7|000.0|21.9|126.8|163.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00371|01:43.1|02:19.1|000.0|18.0|130.5|137.0|12.0
02|02901|13:31.1|02:19.8|000.0|18.0|146.6|156.0|11.9
03|02792|15:08.3|02:42.7|000.0|17.7|151.8|159.0|10.4
04|02844|13:32.7|02:22.9|000.0|18.4|156.0|163.0|11.4
05|02951|16:11.1|02:44.5|000.0|18.1|157.8|163.0|10.1
06|00342|01:54.8|02:47.6|000.0|18.8|150.3|156.0|09.5
07|00409|02:12.2|02:41.7|000.0|20.8|152.0|161.0|08.9

Friday – 10 x 1’/1′ L1 Static Erg

Another present from our friend Eric Murray.

Started with a Fletcher warmup and really pushed it hard.

Then the main event.

2019-04-26 07.43.042019-04-26 07.43.10

That was remarkably tough.  I was so not recovered in the last three intervals.

Saturday – April 27 – L4 4 x 20′ / 2′ on slides

Hectic weekend, getting ready for a trip out to St Louis.  Had a nice relaxing L4 down in the basement.

Sunday – April 28 – Aborted L3 Session

We were taking off for St. Louis in the afternoon, but I thought I would sneak in a quick 10K.  I made it 500m and gave up.  Then I felt bad and started again.  This time I made it 1500m and gave up.  I just walked away.  I never do that.

Monday – April 29 – 30′ inclined march

In St. Louis for my daughter’s PhD defense.  I bopped down to the fitness center for a quick session before the festivities began.  Nothing special.  Just trying to keep things ticking over.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T220454.260

Heart rate recorded on the apple watch, sent to RunGap, then to strava, then to rowsandall.  Seamless! 😉

The PhD defense was astoundingly good.  I am a very proud father and my daughter is a doctor!

Tuesday – April 30 – 30′ Inclined march

Same deal.  quick session just to break a sweat before our flight home.

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T220841.517

Wednesday – May – 3 x 20′ L4 on slides

I had a dermatologist appointment in  the morning.  I was inspected all over and it appears that I don’t have skin cancer.  I do have a bit of eczema on my face, but that is not a big deal.  After the appointment, I dashed home and did a easy session before heading to the airport.

Then I showered and hit the road.  I flew to Miami and then to Costa Rica.  I was visiting our office down there.  I arrived around 7pm local time and I was dead tired.  I was asleep by 10.

Thursday – May 2 – 30′ minute inclined march

More of the same ticking over.  Lower HR than in St. Louis

bokeh_plot - 2019-05-04T221452.485

Then I headed to the office.  Tours and meetings went from 8:30am to 7pm.  Then we had a reception in the evening for an employee who was one of our first employees in the office, who had decided to move on.  I got to bed around 11 and needed to be up at 4:30am to catch my flight.

Friday – 3 May – No training

I caught a 7am flight out of Costa Rica, and arrived home around 7pm.  My wife and I had some dinner and hopped in the car to drive down to the cape.

Saturday – 4 May – 18K coastal row in Wellfleet.

It was a cool (about 50F) and cloudy day today, but the wind was quite light.  I was excited to do my first coastal row of the season.  I wanted to do a long and easy tour of the harbor.  The first 2/3 was just like that, but the end was a bit tough.

Screen Shot 2019-05-04 at 10.20.16 PM.png

I launched from the loagy bay beach and rowed up to Wellfleet Harbor.  The water was nice and flat and the breeze was behind me.  It was nearly high tide so there wasn’t much current that I noticed.  I rounded the breakwater at the harbor entrance and rowed around the town pier and up into the area of the boat slips.  I stopped for a drink and got ready for part 2.

I rowed back out of the harbor a headed west all the way across to the harbor at the north end of Great Island.  I rowed around the outside edge of the harbor and admired the shore birds.

As I rowed out of the sheltered harbor, I noticed that the wind had picked up a bit and since it was from the east, there was quite a bit of chop.  I headed close to due south and had the chop on my beam.  I had a fair amount of trouble holding the course and my left hand really blistered up as I was using almost constant starboard pressure to keep my bow from getting blow to the west.  I decided to row 2km south and then turn east for home.

The last bit going east was the hardest.  I was rowing straight into the easterly breeze and the tide was flowing out against me.  My splits slowed way down at the same effort I had been putting in all along.  As I approached the island, the chop calmed down quite a bit.  But I was pretty worn out after an hour and forty minutes of reasonably hard rowing.

It was a glorious row!  My hands are destroyed, but that’s OK.  I am so glad to be back out on the ocean.  The time passed so quickly, even when it was tougher rowing.  I just had a blast.

Tomorrow:  Maybe another coastal row, maybe an erg session.  It will depend on the schedule and how my hands feel.

 

 

The Canals of Milan

Tough week to maintain any training momentum.

Tuesday – 4/9 – 8km run

I was staying Cernusco, a suburb of Milan.  On Monday night, I got back to my room around 10pm, and set an alarm for 5:30.  I planned to go to the gym, but discovered it opened at 7, too late for me since I had to be in the office at 8am.

I decided to go for a run, without a lot of research about a route.  I knew that there was a canal nearby to run along, but I wasn’t sure how to get to it.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.09.33 PM.png

My hotel was right near the “C” of “Cernusco”.  So first, ran north and saw that that I was crossing over the canal, but I couldn’t see a path from the overpass down to canal level, so I continued over, then ran around the outside of a park.  I intended to go into the park, but that seemed to be locked up for the night as well (it was still dark).  I turned back south and ran back over the canal, and saw that there were pedestrian stairs down to a train station.  I jogged down the stairs, and along the train tracks to the station.  I had hoped to use the pedestrian bridge over the tracks to get the the canal side, but there were turnstiles going into the station.  I kept running along, and then found an overpass.  That’s the curved path going to the north.  That went right to the side of the canal, and I was home free.

I was running slowly, really slowly, like 10-11 minute mile pace.  But I was really enjoying myself.  Running along the canal was wonderful.  It was cool, the sun was starting to come up.  There were dog walkers and other runners out.  Along the canal were farms, and old houses, and across the canal a huge classic building.  I later found out it was the hospital.  A very classy looking hospital.

I managed to run slowly enough that I was having fun.  I got to a park and across the canal was a sports complex.  Then, I saw the coolest thing.  A stretch of the canal had been outfitted with Olympic white water kayak gates.  They must have the ability to increase the flow in the canal, because there was no impressive whitewater, just the gates.

A little past this, I noticed the time.  I’d been going for a bit more than 30 minutes.  I noticed my shoe was untied, so I stopped, retied it and turned around to go home.

The run home was just as nice.  I ran all the way back to the same overpass, and then continued south on the same road to the main route that would take me back to my hotel.  I was starting to get pretty tired by this point, and I didn’t like running along the morning rush hour, but when I finally got back to my hotel, I was just delighted.  I ran for nearly an hour.  The longest run I’ve done in years and it felt really good.  Almost all of it was good aerobic HR, then at the end, I picked up a bit.

I need to run more often.

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.23.33 PM.png

Then I had some less than happy meetings with our customer, some meetings back at our office, and then we went into Milan for dinner, along the canals.

I didn’t even know that Milan had canals!  Apparently they were covered over in the late 19th century and then uncovered in the late 20th century to beautify the city.

A little background on Milan’s canals

Wednesday – 4/10 – No Training

Up at 5:30am, cab to the airport at 6:15.  Flight from Milan to Frankfurt.  Then Frankfurt to Boston.  Arrived around 4pm.

Thursday – 4/11 – No Training

I was bone tired by the time I got to bed on Wednesday night.  I had a red eye flight on Sunday night, jet lag sleep issues on Monday night and a late bedtime and early start on Wednesday.  I figure I got 12 hours of sleep over the 3 nights.  So, I slept in instead of getting up  to train.

Friday – 4/12 – No Training

I had a doctors appt on Friday morning.  So, no time to train

Saturday – 4/13 – 3 x 20’/2′

Finally, I had a chance to train!  Back to basics.  I felt terrible.  High heart rate.  No rhythm.  But it felt great to work up a sweat.  I felt like a new person after I was done.

Compare this to the same thing a couple weeks ago.  Except that session was a more challenging stroke count!

Amazing how quickly I can lose fitness!

Sunday – 4/14 – 15km OTW 1x

The weather forecast was for partly sunny skies, no wind and temps in the high 50s.  I was very excited to get back on the water.  I headed down to Newton and launched around 8am.

Since I’ve only been on the water twice so far this season, and hadn’t been out since the 28th of March, I felt that the right thing to do today was to just do some r18 steady state rowing and maybe try to focus on technique.  The key things I wanted to work on were:

  • draw my hands in higher on my chest at the release to try to stop washing out.
  • work on getting my blades farther off the water on recovery
  • Work on hinging at my hips and maintaining body position forward during the leg drive.
  • Work on keeping my knees close to each other at the catch.  I think letting my legs splay out at the catch is the primary thing that is irritating my SI joint issues.

So it was a lot to think about and my success level was mixed at best.  But boy was it awesome to be out on the water!

Screen Shot 2019-04-14 at 1.44.36 PM.png

I started off and headed up river to go take a peek at the Lasalle Boathouse.  Looked the same as always.  Then I spun around and headed down river, all the way to the dam.  Then back upriver to turn in the cove.  Back down to the dam again.  By then I had been going for about 70 minutes and I was pretty tired.  I decided to alternate 40 strokes of drills and 40 strokes of steady state for the trip back to the dock.  I did the following drills

  • square blades
  • pause at arms away (This was good practice to work on the whole body position thing
  • half slide
  • slow roll up

While I was on the way back down river, my phone died.  Not sure why it tapped out the battery so quickly this morning, but once it was kaput, I had didn’t have a stroke rate.  (I used the speedcoach for pace, HR, Power and Eff Length.  I use RIM for boat acceleration curves and SPM).  I kind of enjoyed not having the SPM for a while.

       Workout Summary - media/20190414-1705430o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15408|86:19.0|02:48.1|116.5|18.5|144.1|162.0|09.6
W-|12506|63:49.0|02:33.1|128.1|18.2|148.4|162.0|10.8
R-|02917|22:31.0|03:51.7|083.4|19.3|132.1|162.0|05.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|00334|01:51.6|02:46.9|106.7|18.7|128.7|136.0|09.6
02|00927|04:21.4|02:21.0|143.9|18.8|137.9|147.0|11.3
03|00472|02:18.4|02:26.5|121.6|18.2|145.8|149.0|11.3
04|00152|00:46.9|02:34.6|110.2|17.8|132.0|135.0|10.9
05|02646|12:55.0|02:26.4|131.3|17.8|149.8|158.0|11.5
06|02424|13:03.7|02:41.7|123.4|17.3|150.4|156.0|10.7
07|00260|01:19.8|02:33.5|139.5|18.0|150.3|154.0|10.9
08|02775|13:56.1|02:30.6|128.1|17.8|151.4|159.0|11.2
09|00450|02:25.4|02:41.4|122.7|18.5|142.7|152.0|10.0
10|00435|02:13.4|02:33.3|155.6|19.4|151.9|159.0|10.1
11|00815|04:16.6|02:37.5|127.3|19.6|156.3|162.0|09.7
12|00162|00:51.9|02:40.5|095.0|19.6|144.8|150.0|09.5
13|00272|01:28.8|02:43.2|127.3|19.6|141.8|151.0|09.4
14|00381|02:00.4|02:37.9|124.5|22.4|147.1|156.0|08.5

Now my hands are pretty torn up, but I feel great!

 

3/29 – 4/8 : Oh my back!

Friday – 3/29 – 4 x 1500/random rests:

I had a great row on Thursday 3/28.  I was planning on heading out to Lake Quinsigamond to demonstrate Quiske, and hopefully go for a row.

As it turned out, I didn’t get out on the water.  But, I was working at home, so I could try the experiment that I wanted to do on the erg.

I have been corresponding with the developer of PainSled.  I really like the painSled app.  It is simple and generally pretty reliable, but recently, it seems to be dropping strokes.  The app eventually catches up, but the missing strokes mean that summaries and plots look ugly.

The developer thought that the setup that I was using might be causing the problems.

foo

So, I designed an experiment to test the theory.  The experiment had 6 parts.  I would row 1500 meter pieces.

  1. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope enabled
  2. Playing music (spotify streaming using wireless earbuds), stroke scope disabled
  3. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope enabled
  4. No music, earbuds disconnected, stroke scope disabled
  5. ergdata, no music, no earbuds
  6. playing music, BT earbuds

The experiment design was better than the execution.  I had a number of interruptions, but despite that, I got some pretty compelling data.

I reviewed the raw exports from painsled.  Painsled provides a column with stroke count data, so simply by looking for data records where the stroke count increments by more than 1.  Here is a snippet from the spreadsheet which calculates the missing strokes.  Notice the line 3 from the bottom where it missed 14 strokes!

foo.png

The ergdata log file was a bit more challenging to analyze.  It does not log the stroke count.  So, for this one, I used the distance column.  For this workout, my distance per stroke should be between 10 and 15 meters.

foo

You can see all the strokes are in the right range, except for one.  I had an interruption in the middle of this piece.  Notice the time jumps from 89.6 sec to 338 sec.  I needed to go deal with a tradesman who was fixing our garage door.  The fan spun down clicking up some additional meters.  Otherwise, there were no missing strokes.

So, here is the summary of the results.

foo.png

So, I got a good workout, and I think I showed with reasonable certainty that the problems are not related to other stuff connected to the phone.

Before I worked out I noticed that my back was a little stiff.  In the hours after my workout, my back got progressively tighter and sorer.  The symptoms were exactly the same as the late summer of 2017.  I had bilateral pain, very low on my back, and it hurt most when changing positions.  For example, standing up hurt like hell.  It also was impossible to bend over and lift my leg to, say, put on my pants without bracing with one hand.

At that time, I was diagnosed with some minor osteo-arthritis in my SI joints which were exacerbated by some nasty adhesions and imbalances in the muscles of my hips and thighs.

By Friday night, I was hobbling around like 90 year old man.  My amateur treatment plan was.

  • Rest and ibuprofen for a few days
  • Stretching and foam rolling, with light non-rowing aerobic training
  • When I was reasonably pain free, start back rowing, avoiding intense pieces for a week or so.

Saturday – 3/30 – No training

My wife and I went down to the cape and had a nice day just hanging out.  The highlight of the day was making some tasty Fajitas.  Back still mighty sore!

Sunday – 3/31 – No Training

We headed home late in the afternoon.  Back getting a little looser, but it still hurt a lot.

Monday – 4/1 – No Training

One more day of rest.  Improving daily.

Tuesday – 4/2 – 20 minute treadmill, 10 minute bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

10 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Wednesday – 4/3 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minutes bike

stretches, foam rolling, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes stationary bike, level 14, rolling hills

Thursday – 4/4 – No Training

I had to drop my car off at the shop and didn’t have a window to train.

Friday – 4/5 – 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minute row

stretches, foam rollings, ab lifts

20 minutes treadmill: 15% incline, 2.9 mph

20 minutes on the rower.  Heart rate quite high as one might expect.  Back felt fine before and after.

Saturday – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

More experimentation with painsled.  I was wondering if the problem was being caused by the painsled app trying to find a BLE HR monitor and not succeeding.  So I decided to try disabling that.  It didn’t make a difference.  But on the plus side, my back held up great!

Sunday – 4/7 – 3 x 20’/2′ on slides

Same workout as Saturday.  I was a little more tired and that caused a higher heart rate.  The back is still feeling good.

I headed to the airport around 6pm to catch a 8pm flight to Europe.

Monday – 4/8 – No Training

I arrived around noon and was at my hotel at 1pm.  I needed to be in the office by 2:30, no time for a workout.

 

 

3/24 – 3/28: Back on the Water!

Sunday – 3/24 – 3 x 20′ / 2′

On slides, in my basement.  It felt so easy that I ramped up the stroke counts in each section.  Looks like something is behaving badly between PM5 and painsled, there a lot of dropped strokes.

But look at nice low heart rate!

Monday – 3/25 – On the water!  Just rowing

I rowed down to the dam, and then turned around and did the impeller cal so I could switch over the speedcoach to use that.  (The gps data seemed to go a little nutty during that)

Then I rowed back and went way up into the cove.  When I turned around, I saw a guy I know in his back yard chasing away the geese with a homemade slingshot!  I stopped for a chat.  He keeps a bunch of shells in his back yard and last fall, a tree destroyed 3 of them.  Then I rowed about halfway back to the dam.  When I came out of the s-turn, I ran into the headwind.  It wasn’t so bad, but it seemed like a lot of work at the time, so I turned around a rowed home.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 5.48.18 PM

As I expected my form was sloppy and my pace was slow, but I was so happy to be back on the water.

Tuesday – 3/26 – The Murray Sprint workout

I don’t know if anyone is following Eric Murray on YouTube, but I have to say it’s pretty amazing.  He is posting a new workout almost every day and the videos are great!  He describes the workout and then he does the full session on camera.  How often do you get to see a former gold medalist training in his sport!  It’s awesome to see him laying down these incredible splits.  It’s also fantastic to see him in a pretty ruined state at the end of session.  This workout is a great example of both.  It’s a sprinting workout and if I cued it right, you should be right at the end of the last 2 minute race pace interval.  He put a fair amount of work into it!

I was pressed for time on Tuesday, but I wanted to get a hard session in.  I decided to give his workout a try.  The workout as designed was

  • 1′ @ 30 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 30 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 32 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 32 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 34 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 34 / 2′ rest
  • 1′ @ 36 / 1′ rest
  • 2′ @ 36 / 2′ rest

As a feeble old master rower, I scaled back the rate to 32 to match my most likely 2k race rate for the last segments.

I did a quick 2k warm up.

Then I started up with my 26 spm intervals.  I settled on a pace of 1:46ish, then for each interval, I tried to pull down the pace by 2 seconds.  I held on OK until the last interval, but I couldn’t hold the target 1:40 pace and needed to back off a smidge.  I also wasn’t able to keep the rate up at 32.  I kept falling back to 31 or even 30, just because I guess I haven’t practiced these rates much.

I was sweating for 30  minutes after I finished.  This workout was hard!

Wednesday – 3/27 – 3 x 20’/2′

Done at work on a static erg.

Heart rate really high. really tired.  I backed off to the easiest stroke counts and just piled up some slow mo meters.

Thursday – 3/28 – 4 x 2k / 5′ OTW!

It is still cold, about 28F when I launched this morning, but it was clear and sunny.  There was just a little bit of wind and the water was nice a flat.  I have decided to try to stick to a basic training plan on the water alternating hard and easy sessions and following the WP template for three types of hard workouts.  Today, it was time for an L2 and the 4x2k is definitely the classic!

I also set myself up to use Quiske today.  That was really interesting to look at when I was getting tired at the end of each interval and I would start going much deeper at the catch.

I rowed out to the little island at the start of the 2k stretch (with the s-turn in the middle).  I marked on the map below with the green lines.  And set out.  I decided to start at 24 spm, since I’m rusty, and then let the rate rise if I felt inspired to do that later.

Screen Shot 2019-03-28 at 6.16.11 PM.png

That was suitably hard work.  Tomorrow morning I’m heading out to Lake Quinsigamond to show a high school coach how to get Quiske setup.  Hopefully I can get in a row as well.

 

Cherishing routine – 3/10 to 3/12

I got back from California last Tuesday night and since then, I’ve trained every day.  It’s been so nice being able to go to bed at an OK time, drive to work, get my session in and then do my job.  I have to cherish this, because I’m heading out to China, next Monday morning.

Sunday – 3/10 – 15 x 3’/1′ L3 on slides

I worked hard in the waterfall session on Sunday, but I wanted to get in my 3rd “hard” workout of the week.  I felt like I didn’t have the fortitude to hold up in a long continuous piece like a 10K, so I opted for one of my favorite short interval/short rest sessions from the Wolverine Plan.  This workout tends to be bit faster than other L3 workouts, and it gets pretty intense in the last 5 reps, but having the 1 minute breaks makes it pretty manageable.  Even if you blow a rep, you have a chance for redemption coming right up.  So, I think it gives a similar physical training effect, but is a lot less taxing mentally.

I haven’t done enough middle distance work on slide to have a great idea about pacing, but I don’t like it when I do less than 800m per rep (1:52.5), so I used that as my goal.

I fell short of 800m on reps 11, 12, 13 and 14.  Average distance per rep was 806m.  Average pace was 1:51.7.

It was quite a workout.  Over 30 minutes in TR and a nice little touch of red at the end.

Monday – 11 March – 3 x 18’/2′ L4 (static)

My ass was dragging on Monday morning.  But, I was hoping to do a nice long 4 x 18′ session.  I ended up stopping after 3 reps because I was feeling pretty worn out.

       Workout Summary - media/20190311-1235390o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|13861|60:00.0|02:09.9|167.1|17.1|140.0|159.0|13.5
W-|12947|54:00.0|02:05.1|179.6|17.4|140.8|159.0|13.8
R-|00918|06:00.0|03:16.1|054.0|14.9|132.7|159.0|10.5
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01429|06:00.0|02:05.9|177.1|16.5|121.7|134.0|14.4
01|01444|06:00.0|02:04.6|180.9|17.6|136.9|140.0|13.7
02|01427|06:00.0|02:06.1|174.6|17.1|139.7|142.0|13.9
03|01433|06:00.0|02:05.6|180.2|17.2|132.9|146.0|13.9
04|01442|06:00.0|02:04.8|180.6|17.7|144.5|150.0|13.6
05|01442|06:00.0|02:04.8|180.6|17.6|147.8|151.0|13.6
06|01421|06:00.0|02:06.7|173.4|16.7|139.2|147.0|14.2
07|01442|06:00.0|02:04.9|180.0|17.7|148.8|155.0|13.6
08|01465|06:00.0|02:02.8|189.1|18.3|155.2|159.0|13.3

Tuesday – 12 March – Pyramid L1

I felt like I had been hit by a truck this morning when my alarm went off.  I barely dragged myself out of bed.  But today is L1 day and L1 day must be respected!

The schedule called for the pyramid.  Last time, I managed a 1:42 pace, so this time the goal was to try to hold 1:42 until the last two reps and then go faster.  It didn’t end up turning out that way.

I started with a 2k warmup.

I think I need a longer warmup.

Then it was time to program the session into the PM.  It made me think that Concept2 should offer a more expensive, fancier PM that would make this easier.  I would buy one in a heartbeat and get the gym to upgrade.  Actually, if they just added the ability to download programmable workouts from ergdata, that would work too.  It was a lot of button pressing.

Here’s how it went.

  • 250.  (1:41.2 split) Felt good, but I was a bit worried that it started to bite with about 10 strokes left.
  • 500 (1:41.3) Ooo.  That was a bit more work than I had hoped.
  • 750 (1:41.4) I struggled through the last 250.
  • 1000 (1:46.5).  I held a 1:41 split through the first 250m, and when it started to bite, I chickened out.  I wasn’t in distress yet, but my thighs were burning and my breathing was a bit ragged.  I was counting strokes, but I went out too hard and didn’t manage pace very well.  Anyway, I basically stopped rowing for about 2 seconds and then started up again.  By that time, the average split was around 1:55.  I held about a 1:45 pace and watched the average slowly come down.  Then with about 250m left to go I pushed harder.  Not my best work.
  • 750 (1:40.7).  I was kinda mad at myself, I didn’t want to blow another rep.  I rowed this one carefully through the first 500m and then emptied the tanks in the last 250.  I coasted into the last stroke feeling really gassed.
  • 500 (1:38.1).  Now we’re getting into “fun time”.  I consciously tried to rate up and hold the split under 1:40.  This was pretty much OK through 300m, but the last 200 were very close to the edge.
  • 250 (1:33.4).  All out.  I used to do this one well below 1:30.  Sucks to suck.

I need to harden up and stop bailing on reps like this.  It’s a bad habit.

 

Aruba!

I last posted on Feb 13.  That was the day I visited the SDRC and went out in a quad.

Thursday, February 14 – No Training

I flew home on the red eye, and arrived in the early morning.  I went home and slept for a few hours, and then dashed around to get ready for valentines day and my wife’s birthday, which was on Friday the 15th.

Friday, February 15 – 5 x 1500 / 4′ – L2

Despite the travel, I  wanted to maintain some momentum on the training plan, and Friday is L2 day, so I did the scheduled session.

What about pace?  I did the waterfall in 1:52.4 on a static erg.  I did the 4x2K on slides at 1:51.6.  The 1500s are usually a bit quicker than the 2000s, and I’m quicker on static, so I thought a 1:50 pace was doable.

It was.  I started with a 1500 warmup rep.  Then I just tried to stay on or below a 1:50 pace.

        Workout Summary - media/20190215-1255390o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|11995|57:29.0|02:23.8|163.9|20.3|144.6|177.0|10.3
W-|07500|27:22.0|01:49.5|268.2|26.2|162.6|177.0|10.5
R-|04496|26:05.0|02:54.1|058.1|14.3|129.9|177.0|10.4
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
01|01500|05:30.5|01:50.2|265.4|26.0|155.9|168.0|10.5
02|01500|05:28.3|01:49.4|267.1|25.8|161.0|170.0|10.6
03|01500|05:27.9|01:49.3|268.3|26.4|163.4|173.0|10.4
04|01500|05:28.7|01:49.6|268.6|26.5|165.4|175.0|10.3
05|01500|05:26.7|01:48.9|271.5|26.2|167.7|177.0|10.5

On the PM, that’s a 1:49.2.  On rowsandall, a less happy 1:49.5.

Saturday – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4 (on slides)

After years of complaining, I decided to do something about my home erging situation.  I decided to get a model D and set of slides instead of being stuck erging on the dynamic.

Saturday was my maiden voyage.  I set up the erg on slides in the basement on some interlocking foam pad squares.  I was a bit worried when I set them up because they were squishier than I expected.  My concern was that the erg would sink in a bit.  It was a valid concern.  When I was rowing, the erg was drifting to the back end of the slides and would bump every once in a while.  I checked the alignment and it looked ok, so I just kept going.

The workout itself was fine.  HR a little bit high.

        Workout Summary - media/20190217-0145360o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|14953|65:59.0|02:12.4|166.3|18.8|145.0|168.0|12.0
W-|14362|59:53.0|02:05.1|178.8|19.5|146.4|168.0|12.3
R-|00594|06:00.0|05:02.9|043.5|12.5|131.9|168.0|08.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02346|09:43.5|02:04.3|176.8|18.9|131.9|144.0|12.8
01|02424|10:09.7|02:05.7|177.0|19.2|142.6|147.0|12.4
02|02383|10:00.0|02:05.9|175.9|19.2|143.9|149.0|12.4
03|02397|10:00.0|02:05.2|179.2|19.7|152.5|157.0|12.1
04|02394|10:00.0|02:05.3|179.2|19.8|149.9|160.0|12.1
05|02418|10:00.0|02:04.1|184.7|20.1|156.9|168.0|12.0

Even with the banging, it was a lot more pleasant than rowing on the dynamic.

Sunday – No Training – Flying to Aruba

Monday – 5km Barefoot beach run

It was slow.  I was hot.  But it was glorious.  All data collected by my apple watch, and then exported to Strava using RunGap.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 10.06.54 AM

Tuesday – 20 minute treadmill march / 30 minute run on the beach.

Treadmill, 15% grade, 3 mph.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 10.28.02 AM.png

Then out to the beach for another run.  I wanted to go easy, so I walked through the soft sand around the ends of each of the piers.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 10.52.59 AM

We were staying at the ritz, and as you run along the beach, the major milestones are the piers.

First is the fishing pier

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 11.03.48 AM.png

Then comes Pelican Pier

Then Peit’s Pier.

Then finally, the best pier…DePalm Pier.  Home of Bugaloe’s  the best place to drink a Balashi and watch the sun go down.

After DePalm pier, there is a longer stretch of beach until Palm beach terminates at the breakwater at the Divi Resort.

Then you turn around and run home.

Wednesday – The vacation tri. 20 min treadmill. 20 min stationary bike. 20 min swim.

Treadmill – 20 minutes, 15% grade, 3 mph

Stationary bike – 20 minutes, random resistance

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 11.17.50 AM.png

Then I walked out to the beach, set my apple watch to record a swim and went for it.

It turned out that the swimming area at the hotel is a bit too shallow.  My hands would brush the sand or grass on the bottom at times, which was disconcerting.  Since I don’t swim very much, I had issues with technique, style and pacing.  I was OK heading in one direction where I was breathing on the downwind side, the sun was on my non-breathing side and I was able to watch the rope line.  Going the other way was a lot harder.  The wind would blow spray in my face, and I had trouble navigating without seeing the rope line clearly.

None the less it was a blast!  And the apple watch worked great!  One cool feature is that the watch locks itself for swimming, and when you spin the digital crown to unlock, it actually expels water from the speaker.

I am so glad that I went swimming.

Here’s what the RunGap application shows you about a swimming workout.

The apple activity app takes this a step further and tells you what stroke you were using.  I mostly did freestyle and a little bit of breast stroke to keep my bearings.

2019-02-24 11.39.10

Thursday – Outdoor run and swim.

It was our last full day, and I didn’t want to spend any of it in the fitness center.  So, I decided to go for a run, and then a swim.

The run was nice.  I found a comfortable pace and cruised the beach.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 11.37.26 AM.png

And the swim was awesome too.

Screen Shot 2019-02-24 at 11.41.54 AM.png

I did about the same distance, but mixed freestyle and side stroke.  And I found out the the apple watch doesn’t know the difference between sidestroke and breast stroke.

2019-02-24 11.34.37

Friday – No Training – Travel back home

Saturday – 3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

Easy session to get back into rowing.  I decided to test my foam compression theory of why the slides were banging.  I put a piece of 1/2″ plywood under the back end of the back slide.  Problem solved.  The slides stayed very nicely centered.

It makes sense.  With a rower on the erg, more of the weigh is on the back slide than the front.  If the slide is on a surface that is compressible, it will sink more than the front slide.  As soon as the back is lower than the front, then you get a little bit of gravity pulling the whole system to the back end of the slides.

Long term, the solution is a floor surface that doesn’t compress.

The workout was a bit harder than I would have hoped, but I guess for the first erg session in a week, not so bad.

        Workout Summary - media/20190223-1825390o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|15241|66:00.0|02:09.9|166.3|18.8|146.6|167.0|12.3
W-|14403|60:00.0|02:05.0|178.2|19.1|147.5|167.0|12.6
R-|00840|06:00.0|03:34.3|046.7|16.4|137.2|167.0|09.2
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|02389|10:00.0|02:05.6|173.2|18.4|130.4|143.0|13.0
01|02392|10:00.0|02:05.4|177.6|19.1|146.4|151.0|12.5
02|02392|10:00.0|02:05.4|176.5|18.9|146.5|153.0|12.7
03|02398|10:00.0|02:05.1|178.7|19.3|155.4|161.0|12.4
04|02412|10:00.0|02:04.4|180.8|19.3|150.6|159.0|12.5
05|02420|10:00.0|02:04.0|182.6|19.5|156.0|167.0|12.4

So this L4 uses

  • r18/160w
  • r20/180w
  • r22/200w
  • r24/220w

The stroke sequences were 188/192/192/196/196/200.  From the SPM in the summary, you can see I understroked each section.  The power for each section should have been 168/172/172/176/176/180.  So, I was a bit over on power.  I’d like to get this to be more precise.

Today, I will do another L4.

 

Long and fast

Not at the same time.

Sunday:  4 x 20′ / 2′ L4

Down on the Cape.  We went down to see how things were holding up over the winter.  The house looks to be a good shape, but the stairs that I built last spring have taken a serious beating.

The damage is much worse than last winter.  It appears that pack ice must have entrapped the bottom of the stairs and when it broke free, carried the stairs with it.  Next time I go down, I will see what I can salvage and once it warms up, I’ll rebuild.

The workout had a much better outcome.  Sometimes, it just happens.   You do a workout where you feel great.  That’s how I felt on Sunday.  I had pushed really hard on Saturday and for Sunday’s session, I just wanted to bank the meters.  So, I set up to do the same L4 as I have been doing.  But it just felt so easy.  And my HR never really went up.  I’ve been doing 3 x 20s lately, but 4×20 was no problem.

        Workout Summary - media/20190210-1840400o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|20119|87:59.0|02:11.2|167.1|19.2|132.4|151.0|11.9
W-|19165|79:25.0|02:04.3|181.0|19.5|133.6|150.0|12.4
R-|00957|08:00.0|04:10.8|038.9|16.3|122.3|150.0|08.8
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|04761|19:53.2|02:05.3|174.1|19.0|129.2|138.0|12.6
01|04766|19:46.4|02:04.5|179.1|19.2|133.6|144.0|12.5
02|04797|19:51.6|02:04.2|183.5|19.6|134.3|147.0|12.3
03|04842|19:53.9|02:03.3|187.1|20.1|137.0|150.0|12.1

Notice the summary is a bit ragged.  I have seen this before and almost always on the erg down on the Cape.  The reason it looks that way is it is missing lots of strokes.  This is a quick graph to show what I mean.  The captured data includes stroke number.  This is just a graph of the stroke number minus the prior stroke number in the file.  There are 9 times where more than 10 strokes are missing from the data.

foo

The question is why?  There are lots of possible suspects.  The data is communicated from the PM5 to my iphone by bluetooth.  At the same time, my iphone is streaming a podcast over wifi, and using a bluetooth connection to my earphones.  My wifi on the cape is really bad (Thanks directTV!).  It’s possible that the streaming is the cause.  Someday, I might try to sort it out.  Definitely if I am going to do an online challenge or ranked piece.

We headed home around 3 in the afternoon.

Monday – 8 x 500m / 3’30” – L1

I slept badly last night.  It’s a Sunday night tradition.  But I was up at 5:15 and in the office by 6:20.  The planned session was an 8×500, and I was hopeful that I could hold a target pace faster than the 1:42 from the pyramid session last week.

I started with a 2k warmup.  Pick drill, then 20 stroke bursts at target pace.

Then the main event.

        Workout Summary - media/20190211-1315390o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|08603|41:22.0|02:24.3|158.5|22.1|140.0|172.0|09.4
W-|04000|13:20.0|01:40.1|351.3|29.5|146.4|171.0|10.2
R-|04607|28:02.0|03:02.6|066.7|18.5|136.9|171.0|09.6
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|00500|01:39.7|01:39.7|339.7|29.0|130.2|158.0|10.4
01|00500|01:40.5|01:40.5|356.1|29.7|146.5|163.0|10.0
02|00500|01:40.6|01:40.6|342.9|29.1|145.6|163.0|10.2
03|00500|01:40.7|01:40.7|345.5|29.1|148.5|165.0|10.2
04|00500|01:40.3|01:40.3|349.3|29.3|147.3|166.0|10.2
05|00500|01:39.2|01:39.2|354.8|29.5|149.2|168.0|10.3
06|00500|01:40.5|01:40.5|352.0|29.4|150.7|168.0|10.1
07|00500|01:39.3|01:39.3|370.5|31.0|153.3|171.0|09.7

Nailed a 1:40 pace.  Happy with that.

Tomorrow:  3 x 20′ / 2′ L4

Hard 10K and 4 x 2K

Tuesday:

I already posted about my session on Tuesday morning, but on Tuesday night, I did something fun.  My wife’s niece play Hockey for Northeastern.  Northeastern is a legit women’s hockey powerhouse.  They are ranked third in the NCAA division one.  They have an olympian on the team.  Anyway, we went to see her team play in the first round of the Women’s Beanpot, a hockey competition between the 4 powerhouse schools in Boston (BU, BC, Northeastern and Harvard).  They were playing BU and it was an incredible game.  The quality of play was very high and my niece in law played well getting an assist and a ton of shots.  She was very bummed that she didn’t get any goals.  The game ended in a tie and was settled in a shoot out, with BU coming out on top.

Here’s a picture of her right after she scored the winning goal in overtime against BC in a game earlier this year.

mia.png

Wednesday:  No Training

I had scheduled a plumber to come fix a problem with a sink Wed morning and he blew me off.  Supposed to show up at 8:30 and didn’t.  I called to follow up and found out he wouldn’t get to the house until at least 10.  I gave up rescheduled and headed to work.

I hoped to find time during the day to workout, but no luck.

Thursday: Hard 10K – L3

I had limited time because I had an 8 am meeting.  I was scheduled to do the 10K on Wednesday and then an L4 endurance session on Thursday.  With the short window, the 10K fit in better, and is a higher training priority so I did that.

No time for a warmup, so I just settled right in and went for it.  Last time I did a 10K, I fell apart at the end.  The cause was butt pain, lack of fitness and lack of toughness.  On Thursday, I was hoping to address the butt pain and the toughness.  Fitness is what it is.

For the butt pain, I have made an investment.  The Citius Remex.  The world’s most expensive butt pad.  Endorsed by Eskild Ebbesen.  I imagine that elite rowers must treat their behinds with the care that a violinist lavishes upon their hands, or a dancer on their legs.  My wife has heaped ridicule upon me for buying this gold plated butt pad, but it will all be worth it if it solves my problems.

There is actually a theory behind this butt pad and it make some sense to me.  The seat on the C2 rower is basically flat and this puts all the stress on your Iscial Tuberosities (aka your sitz bones).  Other butt pads attempt to mitigate this by either cutting out material where the sitz bones are, or by providing cushioning to spread the pressure over a larger area.  But this has potential problems as well.  The edge of the cutouts can cause pressure points (and they did for me) and this can lead to pain.  And a squishy pad can cause problems with circulation on the back of your thighs.  The Citius Remex has a different shape to it.

2019-02-09 14.44.06.jpg

It is designed to spread the pressure between your perinium and your ITs.  A bike seat basically puts all the pressure on your perinium, and the C2 puts all the pressure on your ITs.  This butt pad basically tries to balance the pressure between the two.  It also has three different insert for the middle part so you can “adjust” the balance between support on your perinium and sitz bones.

Anyway, it felt a bit weird at first, but I sat up straighter, was able to keep my knees down better, and my ass hurt a lot less at the end.  So, I am happy to have bought my gold plated butt pad and recommend it for aging rowers with delicate buttocks.

Back to the 10K.  Last time I averaged 1:57.2, but I was holding around 1:56 before I wimped out.  So I decided to try to target 1:56.  I ended up feeling a bit better at 1:55, so I hung in with that.  Around the 7K mark, I began to feel like that might have been a real problem, but I eased up the pace, counted out the strokes from 7k to 8k and held on.

It was a max effort.  I was above 95% of HRR for almost the last 2000m, about 7:30.  A very long time to be on the ragged edge.  So, I am simultaneously happy with the effort that I put in, and sad that it wasn’t faster.  I finished with 38:25.7, a 1:55.2 pace.  I ranked it and it’s 89th percentile.  Trained, I have the potential for 95th percentile performance.  And it’s a long way off of my best 10K (36:33, 1:49.6 pace).  I guess it’s something to shoot for.

        Workout Summary - media/20190207-1245380o.csv
--|Total|-Total-|--Avg--|-Avg-|Avg-|-Avg-|-Max-|-Avg
--|Dist-|-Time--|-Pace--|-Pwr-|SPM-|-HR--|-HR--|-DPS
--|10000|38:24.0|01:55.2|228.5|24.0|167.5|184.0|10.8
W-|10000|38:24.0|01:55.2|228.5|24.0|167.5|184.0|10.8
R-|00000|00:00.0|00:00.0|000.0|00.0|000.0|184.0|00.0
Workout Details
#-|SDist|-Split-|-SPace-|-Pwr-|SPM-|AvgHR|MaxHR|DPS-
00|01000|03:50.2|01:55.1|226.8|23.7|132.9|151.0|11.0
01|01000|03:49.3|01:54.7|232.0|24.1|154.9|159.0|10.9
02|01000|03:48.6|01:54.3|234.2|24.0|161.6|164.0|10.9
03|01000|03:49.1|01:54.6|232.9|24.0|165.8|169.0|10.9
04|01000|03:49.1|01:54.5|233.0|24.1|171.5|174.0|10.8
05|01000|03:50.0|01:55.0|230.0|24.0|174.2|175.0|10.9
06|01000|03:52.0|01:56.0|224.1|23.8|176.6|177.0|10.8
07|01000|03:53.9|01:57.0|218.9|23.8|177.4|178.0|10.8 - crisis!
08|01000|03:55.0|01:57.5|215.8|23.8|178.9|179.0|10.7
09|01000|03:47.6|01:53.8|237.5|24.8|180.9|184.0|10.6

I logged this as an entry for the rowsandall “Tough Ten” regatta.  And it puts me firmly in ….last place.  bummer.

Friday: No Training

Today was the make up appointment with the Plumber.  He showed up on time, but took my workout window.  I was booked the rest of the day.  In the evening, we headed down to the Cape for the weekend.

Saturday: 4 x 2000m / 5′ on slides – L2

I am trying hard to do the three “hard” workout per week, even if I miss sessions.  Today was the right day to do the L2.  Last week I did the waterfall for an average pace of 1:52.4.  This was on a static erg.  Trying to figure out a target pace, there was a lot to consider.

  • 4 x 2000 is usually a bit faster than waterfall
  • slides are usually a bit slower for me than static
  • I was not feeling super aggressive, but I didn’t want to fail at the workout

So, I decided to start around 1:54 and see what happened.  What happened was that I was able to do a bit better than that.  I did the first 2000 as warmup, then ended up with the first rep coming in right under 7:30 (1:52.3).  I felt pretty good so I pushed the second rep a bit more (1:51.5).  I had a problem in the rest after the second rep.  Somehow I nudged the back of the erg on  the slide and it was scraping.  I only noticed when I started the 3rd rep and the slides were massively misbehaving.  I stopped, worked it out and started up a fresh 2000.  It gave me an extra 1:30 of rest.  The third rep was challenging.  Fatigue was starting to set in, but I wanted to keep it under 7:30, so I pushed hard and finished at 1:51.5 again.  I was worried about the fourth rep.  My legs were feeling a bit empty.  In the first 3 reps, I was aiming at a rate around 27 and trying to pull right on 10 meters per stroke.  I was essentially trying to start the drive right as the distance clicked down to a “0”.  In the last rep, I found that I was having trouble maintaining that and holding the rate around 27.  I struggled through the first 1500m, and then just buckled down to attack the last 500.  I was happy to finish, and even happier that I managed a slight negative split (1:50.9).

I am happy to be back at the wolverine plan.  I just have to keep the targets reasonable and I think this is a good plan to take me into the spring.

Tomorrow:  4 x 20′ / 2′ L4

 

 

 

500m race

New plan for today.  I was a bit short on time, and I honestly didn’t want to do a long interval session either.  So, I decided that it would be a good chance for me to get a result in to the rowsandall racing series “Give it a try 500“.

I am a happy member (and tester) for rowsandall, and one of cool features is the ability to define online races.  This started last summer with OTW races over specific course, but this winter, it has been expanded to support indoor races on ergs.  You can either upload a result from the c2 logbook, painsled or boatcoach, or you can plug in a result manually.  There are already a slew of races defined, and every user has the ability to through down a challenge.

This first race is just for people to get the idea of how it works.  And it works great!

I am a painsled user.  I use it because it captures all the cool metrics that the PM5 provides for later analysis.  I always send my results from painsled to rowsandall by email, which is quick and painless.  To enter my result in the race, I just have to click a button and it’s there.

So, for today’s session, I started with a Fletcher warmup.

Looks like I’m having some issues with the PM talking to my phone.

Then I did the 500m.  I decided to try to rate around 40, and keep the pace around 1:30.  It turns out that this was hard to do.  I was feeling the struggle but halfway and I just closed my eyes and counted out strokes, and it was so many strokes!  At 40 spm, I had time to cram in about 65 strokes.  The last 20 were…were…painful.

The following charts tell the story.  I started at the right stroke rate and immediately slowed down too much.  I am just not used to rating up, even on slides.  With the rate down below 40, I was having trouble holding a sub 1:30 pace.  As I passed the halfway point, I decided to get the rate up where it belonged and the splits obliged by dropping to the right side of the target.  I could feel the power leaking out of my legs, so I just kept pushing the rate up.  With about 50 meters to go, I started to really gasp for air and my legs were starting to cease functioning, but by then I was just counting down the last few strokes.

The end result was a 1:29.4.  That’s a second off of my PB, and on slides to boot.  So, I am not as fast as I was in 2014, but back then I was in tip top sprinting form.  I’m OK with this result.

2018-12-16 13.22.41

This puts me in the lead for the online race so far, but there is still some time for someone to come along and beat me.  One of the cool things about racing on rowsandall is being able to compare racers.  Here’s a little taste.  This is a plot of everyone’s stroke rate through the race.  My line is the minty green one.  You can see how being on slides helped me rate up through the last half of the piece, compared to the static racers.

bokeh_plot (57)