Catching up

It’s been a while, so my memory is a bit hazy.

July 5:  36km Bike Ride

I don’t recollect why I decided to ride my bike instead of rowing.  I think I was a bit worn out from my long row on the day before.  I wanted to scout out a different route for when my daughter visited.

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.35.07 PM

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.36.55 PMScreen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.37.11 PM

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.38.39 PM

July 6 AM:  Another lovely walk

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.41.37 PM.png

July 6 PM: 3 x 20′ with bumps

I guess the weather must not have been too good, so I did an erg session.

          Workout Summary - media/20180706-2035240o.csv
Workout Details

July 7 AM: 3km walk at low tide

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.53.42 PM.png

July 7 PM: Bouncy row up to Wellfleet

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 7.55.21 PM

Something went a bit squirrely with the data, so no cool charts, but it was about 75 minutes of tough rowing in choppy conditions.  I kept the HR below 150.

July 8: Failed 10K push

We headed home on Saturday night and on Sunday, I did a quick row on  the dreaded dynamic.  My go to for this situation  in the 10K push.

It went terribly.  I started slow, but it did no good.  I flamed out at 2:00 pace.

          Workout Summary - media/20180708-2330230o.csv
Workout Details

July 9: Drills on the 5s

Back to normal, at least for a few days.  I was back on the river in my fluid.  I wanted to get comfortable in the boat again, so I went to my new favorite workout.  Drills on the 5s.

A minute of drills and 4 minutes of steady state.  The drills were delayed feather, half slide, pause at body over and open hands on recovery.  The greatest thing about this workout is that I feel like I row so much better at the end than I do at the beginning.

July 10:  4 x 1k

I’m not sure why I did this workout.  After my vacation and all the walking and endurance session, I think I wanted to get a bit of intensity into my training.

That being said.  Despite the splits being no where near where I wanted them to be, I was happy to push a bit harder than normal and I enjoyed session a lot.

I did this as a rate ladder.  r20, r22, r24, r26.  There was a head wind for the 2nd and fourth interval.

          Workout Summary - media/20180710-1931010o.csv
Workout Details

July 11: Drills on the 5s 

An easier session after the 4x1k of the day before.  I pushed the steady state a bit harder because I was doing some side video (i’ll post that next).  The batteries in the oarlock died in the last chunk of the row.  No great loss.

That evening, I headed down to the cape.  My daughter was coming into town for vacation.

July 12:  35km bike ride

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 8.22.23 PM

Nice and easy with my daughter.  I pushed the pace a little at the end because I had a work call that I needed to get back for.

July 13: Rest Day

We were stymied by the tide, so we ended up going kayaking around the island.

July 14: 40km bike ride

We drove up to Truro and then biked up and around the provincelands at the tip of cape cod.  It’s beautiful scenery, but the ride through north Truro is a bit of a slog.  It’s flat but it feels like the wind is in your face no matter what direction it is coming from.

Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 8.53.55 PM

July 15-July 19:  No Training at all

On Sunday, we got everyone back on the ferry and then we had the house to ourselves again.  We just hung out and relaxed for the rest of the day.  We decided to sleep over on Sunday night.

On Monday morning, I had the long drive from the house on the cape to work.  I set out at about 5:15 and I didn’t get to work until about 8:15.  I was all stressed out because this week is our quarterly business reviews.  The business is going well, but there are a lot of specific things that could certainly be going better, and I had a lot of high tension meetings throughout the week that I needed to handle well.  I had no time to train on Monday.  I got home quite late, and didn’t get to sleep until after midnight.

I had meetings starting at 8am on Tuesday, which were scheduled to go straight through until 8pm that night.  Again, no time for training.

Same thing on Wednesday.  Meetings started at 8am and finished at 7pm.

Thursday was basically another intense day of meetings. Still no time to train.

July 20:  Slow 10K

On Friday, I headed into work early so I could do some final prep for meetings with my boss at 9 and 10.  The 10 O’Clock meeting went until 1pm.  After that, I had a couple more meetings, which finally wrapped up around 4:00.  I had a bit of email  to finish up and then I headed down to the gym to finally do a bit of exercise after a 5 day layoff.  I’ve taken less time for injuries and illness than this!

I just dialed up a 10K on a static erg and did a slow and easy row.

Even though it was slow (2:06.6, 172W avg), it was still too intense.  I decided that I need to back of the intensity and rebuild some endurance, so that what I’ll be doing for a little while.

It was good to be back rowing again though.

July 21: 3 x 20’/2′ on the dynamic

After my tough week, I wanted to sleep in.  Late in the afternoon, I jumped on the dreaded dynamic to do a 3×20′ session.  The only guideline was HR limit of 155.

          Workout Summary - media/20180721-2045250o.csv
Workout Details

I stuck to the cap, except for the last 2 minutes.  I really wanted to get the total distance over 15km, so I sped up to do that.

Looks like 165 is a much better power level for me to work right now. (sad really).

July 22: 4 x 20’/2′ on Slides

Basically more of the same.  I dropped my wife off at the airport, she’s visiting some family down in texas.  After that, I continued on to the cape so I could do a bit of cleaning, and hopefully rowing.

When I got there, rowing was definitely not an option.  The wind was blowing about 25mph from the southwest and there was intermittent rain.  Time for an erg session.

I thought I’d be able to hold the 165W from Saturday’s session, but my HR had other ideas.  To stay below the 155 cap, I had to keep slowing down throughout the whole session.

Today, by the end, I was only pulling about 155w.  Well, it is what it is.  I know the drill.  Stick with the HR limit.  Put in the minutes and the power level will slowly rise.  That’s what I need to do for the next few weeks.  Add in one or two threshold sessions per week and there you have it, a basic training plan.



6/17 to 6/30 – Work wins

I had been planning to race on July 8th at the Cromwell Cup.  I’ve decided to scratch.  My training has been too spotty, I’ve not done nearly enough race prep work, and I missed most of last week because of a work commitments and a quick business trip to Europe.

How do I feel about this?  Lousy.  What do I do now?  I’m not sure.

But, I like rowing, and I like working on getting better at it.  I sure like Head Races more than Sprint Races, but I’ve been unsuccessful executing training plans toward any objectives for the past two years.  I’m on vacation now for the next.  I’ll have some time for some nice coastal rowing and plenty of time to figure out what to do.

For now, here’s a recap of the past couple of months.

Sunday – 6/17:

We had not planned to go to the cape, but I remembered a couple of things I needed to do down at the house, so I drove there in the early afternoon.  One the things I wanted to do was go for a row.  It was a lovely day.  Sunny, with light breezes (at least at first), and nice and warm.

I launched straight from my stairs, since I wanted to go south and it was nearly high tide.  I was bummed that I forgot my heart rate monitor back in Hopkinton, so no HR data for the row.  I was planning a 90′ row, so I wanted to keep my HR at a reasonable level throughout.

Here’s the chart of the whole row.  I headed southeast until I got to the eastham shore.  There was one interesting bit, which I will describe below.  Then I turned and hugged the beach going south, and turned at the 45 minute mark.  I stayed close on shore for the row north as well, and continued right across to the salt marshes on the southern coast of the island, then turned and followed the edge of the marsh back around to the steps.

I was very tired by the end and carrying the boat up the stairs was pretty daunting.

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 9.21.17 PM

I had a bit of close call on the first leg down to the Eastham shore.  You might notice that there is a asterisk on the chart, right on my course.  That’s a rock.  At low tide it sits on the sand flats.  At high tide, it’s underwater.  When I was rowing, it was just below water level.  I knew it was out there, but couldn’t see it.  I ended up hitting the top of the rock with my oar.  The is no way I could have navigated well enough to get that close if I tried to.  Here’s my course magnified on the satellite image.  You can see the rock in the image.

Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 9.25.14 PM.png

Monday – June 18: Rest Day

Tuesday – June 19: Starts Practice.


  • Race warm up
  • 5 x 20-stroke starts
    • Rest between: 3’
    • Rating/Pace: SR 36-40 (or your most efficient rating)
    • Notes: Steer straight, clean releases, same sequence as planned for your race
  • 2 x 9’
    • Rest between: 2′ easy rowing
    • Rating/Pace: Cat V: SR 22
    • Notes: Focus on your releases.

Back on the Charles in my Fluid.  A lovely morning.  I did my favorite warmup.  It takes the whole way down river and showed me that I am in pretty lousy shape right now.  But I was certainly warmed up by the time I finished it.

I turned around and started doing my starts.  I felt pretty good.  I decided to practice my shift down to “reasonable” stroke rates, so after 5 strokes, I was trying to get down to a nice r32 for the rest of the 20 stroke burst.

After I did 4 starts, I decided to do 40 strokes for the last one.  The plot shows a hiccup in the middle but I don’t remember what happened.

Then I did the 2 x 9′ pieces.  Hard, but uneventful.

          Workout Summary - media/20180620-1800250o.csv
Workout Details

Here’s the two 9′ pieces


3.4 m/s is a 2:27 pace.  Ughh.

Wednesday – June 20: 4 x (2′ race pace / 1′ paddle / 2′ race pace) / 4′ rest

This is a tough workout, and I had failed miserably last time I attempted it.  Today, I was determined to make it through, so I decided to start conservatively.

I started with a race warmup.  I enjoyed it as much as I did on Tuesday.  It was another perfect morning.

I turned around, had a drink, did a KOM drill, and practiced my first stroke of the start a couple of times.

Then I did my first piece, the start was good, and I shifted my rate down to a 26 immediately for the rest of the first 2′ chunk.  That was hard enough.  After the fleetingly short minute of paddling, I spooled it back up to 28 and counted out the strokes to 56.  Well, that wasn’t so bad?  Actually it was.  Slow and painful.

I paddled around the s-turn and got into position to start my next interval.  Again I had a drink of water, but instead of doing a couple of practice first strokes, I decided to just setup and go.  I got into my start position, said “ready” to myself and squared  the blades and buried them, then as the speedcoach hit an even minute, I started.  Somehow, my starboard blade was funny, and as soon as I started the stroke, I realized I was in trouble.  I tried to abort, but my blade had submarined and I flipped right over on top of it.  It happened in the blink of an eye.

My feet came out fine and I popped up next to the boat.  I got the boat back upright and made sure I had all my stuff.  Then I executed a perfectly ugly re-entry.  I flopped across the seat deck, swung my legs around, got back on the seat and took stock of my situation.

The boat was full of water, I was wet (but not that much wetter than I was before I took the dive), and I was pissed at myself.  What the hell happened?  What the hell should I do now.  Part of me just quit.  Quit the workout.  Quit racing.  Quit rowing altogether.  That seemed a bit dramatic, so I decided that I should finish out the workout.

I splashed as much water out of the boat as I could and got myself psyched up to do another interval.  This start was fine, but I pulled the plug almost immediately.  I’m not sure why.  I set up again and started again and held my rate to 26/27.  I let the rate climb in the second minute.  It was tough work.

I pulled the plug at the start of the third one, and restarted it again.  This one was pretty good.  I did the first half at 28 rising to 30 and the second half between 30 and 32.  That’s a bit closer to what I want to be doing.

The last one, honestly, I was getting tired.  I did a great start and the first 2 minutes were fine.  The minute of paddling was very welcome.  Then I went into the last 2 minutes.  I made a minute, and then I got hit by a gust of headwind and that was it for me.  I decided I was done.

I got my feet out of the shoes and rowed with feet out back to the dock.

          Workout Summary - media/20180620-1801080o.csv
Workout Details
01|00108|00:28.0|02:10.2|181.5|23.5|162.3|165.0|09.8 - wu
02|00144|00:36.8|02:07.8|168.2|26.0|157.7|163.0|09.0 - wu
03|00159|00:38.5|02:01.3|210.9|27.8|155.6|162.0|08.9 - wu
04|00174|00:41.0|01:58.2|204.0|29.3|158.7|166.0|08.7 - wu
05|00143|00:31.5|01:49.8|270.9|34.1|160.8|169.0|08.0 - wu
06|00441|01:53.2|02:08.5|190.2|26.4|159.8|172.0|08.8 - 1
07|00432|01:49.2|02:06.2|184.6|27.4|169.3|176.0|08.7 - 1
08|00424|01:47.6|02:06.9|192.9|26.7|164.6|176.0|08.9 - 2 (after the flip)
09|00548|02:24.4|02:11.8|192.8|27.1|159.7|178.0|08.4 - 2
10|00437|01:49.5|02:05.3|195.5|29.5|160.7|174.0|08.1 - 3
11|00428|01:46.7|02:04.5|205.9|31.0|171.5|178.0|07.8 - 3
12|00415|01:47.5|02:09.4|188.3|27.9|157.7|171.0|08.3 - 4
13|00195|00:49.8|02:07.8|193.4|28.9|165.9|169.0|08.1 - 4 (abort)

So, points for persistence.  But I have to say, it was a pretty discouraging workout.

Thursday – June 21: Drills on the fives.
  • Session: 3 x 25′
    • Rest between: 3’
    • Rating/Pace:  Alternate 4’ @ Cat VI pace; target SR 18-20/ 1’ of drills.
      • Half-slide and Quarter-slide rowing to work on drive suspension.
      • Delayed feather rowing to work on clean release then feather away.
      • Open fingers on the recovery to set posture, weight over the handles.
      • Pause arms/body away for rhythm out of bow and setting full angle.
This was going to be something new for me.  I haven’t done some of these drills in a single before.  After the hard session the day before, I was looking forward to something tame.  Because my river is not 25 minutes long, I just rowed and did the drills every five minutes.
I had a blast!  The drills were a mental and technical challenge.  The half and quarter slide drill was very familiar and easy.  Delayed feather was really good to work on release and balance.  Open hands on recovery was frighteningly hard!  When it worked it was great, but the moment on recovery when you regrip the oars is a moment of great uncertainty.  Sometimes, I would smoothly regrip, square, and catch.  Other times, I would not get a clean regrip and it had a very high pucker factor.  It got easier as I went along.  Finally, pause at body over is exactly the drill I need to do all the time to continually work on getting my posture right on recovery.
Friday – June 22:  More Drills on the 5s
I had such fun with it on Thursday, that I did it again!  I had less time because I had a customer visiting us first thing in the morning.  I couldn’t risk being late for that.
It was just as much fun on the second day.  This workout needs to be part of my weekly rotation all season long.
Saturday – June 23:  2 x 25′ / 5′ On Slides
Down on the cape.  The weather was terrible.  I ended up erging in the basement.
The plan:
  • 2 x 25’
    • Rest: 5’
    • Rating/Pace: Cat VI; target SR 18-20.
    • At every 5-minute mark include an Acceleration 15 raising the stroke rate 2 spm every 5 strokes.
    • For example: 26-28-30, 28-30-32.

          Workout Summary - media/20180623-2140240o.csv
Workout Details
Sunday – June 24:  80′ Coastal Row
The weather was still a bit iffy, but I really wanted to row.  I launched from the north beach and headed up toward wellfleet.  There was a bit of wind (mainly from the West) and I headed a bit toward Great Island to get a bit more shelter and flatter water.
I ended up rowing around Chequesset Pond, which was lovely.  Flat water, nice scenery.  Then I headed over toward the inner harbor.  The chop got worse as I got further away from the shelter of Great Island.
The row from the breakwater back to my launch point was difficult.  The waves were basically on my beam and very irregular.  I had trouble finding a good rhythym and keeping it.  But as I entered the lee of the island, the water smoothed out and I felt reenergized.  I raised the rate to 24 and punched out the last 3 minutes.
Screen Shot 2018-06-30 at 10.40.56 PM.png
Monday – June 25: Rest Day
We left the cape really late and didn’t get home until about 10.  I tried to get up, but felt very tired and went back to bed.
Tuesday – June 26: Rest Day
I was leaving for the Netherlands in the evening, but I hoped to row in the morning.  But I had another late night with work calls, and I ended up sleeping in again.  I brought my workout stuff to work with me, hoping to sneak down to gym for a quick workout before I left, but I had a lot of loose ends to tie up before I left.
Wednesday – June 27: 10K push.
I left Boston at around 8pm.  Arrived in Heathrow around 7am, and Amsterdam around 11:30.  Then we caught the train to Nijmegan, arriving around 1:30.  A quick shower, and then into a prep meeting with my colleagues.  This wrapped up around 5:00 and we decided to meet at 6:30 for dinner in the hotel.
With 90 minutes to burn and feeling pretty tired, I didn’t want to risk falling asleep, so I headed to the hotel gym. Which, as it turned out, was huge, and beautiful, and had 2 Conceot2 Model E rowing machines!
I grabbed a machine and decided to do a 10K push.  I’d start slow and hopefully shave a second per 1000 meters off the pace.
The machines had PM4s, and I didn’t have my cable, so I did these old style.  I used my HR monitor with the wahoo app on my phone and just saved HR.
Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 10.36.57 AM
Sadly, it ended up being just right.  I finished with my HR very close to my HRMax and the highest HR I’ve seen all season.  There’s no way to avoid the truth.  I’m about 5 seconds off the paces that I could do when I was at my fittest.
Thursday – June 28:  Aborted session
I had a meeting at 10AM, so I slept until around 7:30 and went back to the gym.  The place was an oven.  Those big windows that you see in the picture must be facing east because the ergs we in direct sunlight.  It was right in my eyes.  And it was hot as hell.
I was going to do a 3 x 15′ easy session, but I gave up after 15 minutes.  My heart was just not in it.  I think I dug a bit too deep the day before and it was a short turn around time, only about 13 hours between sessions.
Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 10.42.04 AM.png
The meeting went well, and then we rushed to catch the train, and rushed to catch the flight to London.  I did a work call from Heathrow, and then hopped on the flight back to Boston, arriving at 9pm.  I was home by about 10:30.
Friday – June 29: 3 x 15′ /2′
I worked from home on Friday.  My wife and I were heading into Cambridge to have dinner with our boys, and then continuing on to the Cape after that.  I had calls scheduled from 10am to 5pm.
I got up with enough time for a quick erg session on the dreaded dynamic.  The objective was to just clear the cobwebs from all the travel.  So, I tried to keep the HR below 150.
Intervals sliced at a 2:15 pace.
          Workout Summary - media/20180629-1335230o.csv
Workout Details
Saturday – Jun 30: 80′ Coastal Row
We got down to the Cape around 11pm.  I did some errands in the morning and man it was HOT.  Skies were blue and there wasn’t much breeze.  I hung out around the house and relaxed most of the day.
Around 4pm, I decided to go for a row.  The high tide was at 2pm, so I still had a couple of hours before beach access becomes more of a challenge.  I decided to do another row down to Eastham along the shore.
The wind was still light, and what there was of it was coming from the WSW.  The tide was ebbing, so the current was mainly behind me on the way out and I was going into it on the way home.
The chop was nasty at times.  It was a combination of lots of power boat wakes across long distances and a little bit of wind.  It made for very confused waves and challenging technical rowing.
I wanted a good UT1 workout, so I was aiming at HRs in the mid 150s.
Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 11.16.24 AM.png
          Workout Summary - media/20180701-0110230o.csv
Workout Details
I was reasonably tired after that!

Saturday: 4 x (3′ @ 24 + 3′ @ 28) / 6′ on slides

We are down on the cape.  We came down this weekend to get the house ready for next weekend when one of my sons and my daughter will be coming.  My tasks for the weekend were

  • Replace the exterior sensor for my weather station.  The storms this winter wore out the anemometer!
  • Put up shades in the guest rooms.  We have been getting complaints that the early morning sun is a bit bright for our late sleepers
  • Get a start on the repair of the stairs to the beach.  The ice this winter tore the bottom 16 feet of stairs away and pulled out the supports for landing at the top of that flight.

I managed to get through tasks 1 and 2, and replaced the supports for the landing, but then the rain started and I needed to give it up for the day.  I’ll do a bit more tomorrow.

Later in the afternoon, I did my erg session.  This is a tough session.

  • Session: 4 x 6’
  • Rest between: 6’
  • Rating/Pace:
    • 3’ @Cat IV pace: target SR 24
    • 3’ @ Cat III; target SR 28
  • Notes: Work on the rhythm of a strong leg drive combined with relaxation on the recovery. Follow through to the arms/body away position to complete each stroke and to set the body preparation for the next stroke before starting the slide. Hold your posture and head up as you fatigue.

I did it on slides in the basement.  It was really hard!  I was doing stuff like switching laundry during the long rests so the those chunks were really spotty.

I faded a lot more than I would have liked, but I have spent so little time on the erg, I have no idea what target paces would be right.  I spent more time focusing on posture and sequencing on the recovery, but I was still working really hard.

Tomorrow:  80′ of speed play, on the erg since there will be a 25 mph wind out of the SW.


Sunday: More slidery – 4 x 20’/1′ speed play

The weather is awful.  In the thirties and windy.  It is starting to rain.

I am working out in my basement.

The plan:

  • 4 x 20′ / 1′
  • Cat VI – r18-r20, 2:02 – 2:06
  • Every 10′ 20 strokes at r28

Long workout.  Tried to focus on driving my heel down more quickly and hinging at the hips on recovery.  It was ugly and unnatural.  I guess that makes it good practice.

          Workout Summary - media/20180415-1950280o.csv
Workout Details

Tomorrow: Scheduled rest day.  Hopefully I can go for a nice walk before we head back to Hopkinton.


Saturday: 4 x 12′ rate ladders – on slides

Down on the cape.  Still too cold and windy for open water rowing.  So I did this on slides.

It’s a new workout from Marlene.

  • 4 x 12′ / 6′ rest
  • each 12′
    • 6′ Cat VI (r18-r20, 2:02 to 2:06)
    • 4′ Cat IV (r24, 1:52)
    • 2′ Cat III (r28, 1:48)

I had technical issues today.  I managed to bring my OH1 heart rate monitor, but forgot the elastic strap.  I tried to improvised a strap out of an old sock but made it too narrow and it fell out during the first rep.  During the rest I went and cut a wider one from the other sock.  That one works.

But when I got back to the erg, I discovered that I had misprogrammed the rest into the PM and the next interval had started a couple minutes ago.  So, I aborted that one, and re programmed it.  I put in a 5 minute rests just because I was a little pressed for time.

Afterwards, I used rowsandall to glue the two workouts back  together.  It was easier than writing the sentence about doing it.

The workout was very taxing.  Maybe I was a little low energy.  I don’t know, but the last six minutes of each interval were tough!  I dialed back the pace a bit and stuck it out, but I was really struggling.  I also let myself rate up a bit (25 for 24 and 30 for 28) in the last two intervals.

         Workout Summary - media/df_20180414-225155.csv
Workout Details

I felt like I deserved a beer after that.  So, I had two.  We went to dinner at a great restaurant called CShore in Wellfleet.


  • 80 minutes with speed play
  • rest, brief to rehydrate (I’ll stop for a minute every 20 minutes)
  • 20 strokes at r28 every ten minutes.  I’ll do them at 5 and 15.
  • I’ll also aim for the slow end of the cat VI range and focus on hip hinge stuff.





Off to Japan

Friday night, my wife and I decided on the spur of the moment to see if we could organize Easter on the Cape.  We called our sons, who live in Cambridge to find out if they we up for an adventure and they were!  So, my wife and I headed down to the Cape on Friday night.  We arrived pretty late, around 10pm.

Saturday morning, I headed out early (ish) and went to the French Bakery.  I bought all sorts of good stuff for later and headed back to the house.

A bit later, I needed to head out to go pick up my boys.  They were taking the commuter rail about halfway to the house, but I still had about an hour of driving each way to get them.

I also had to contend with the tides.  I left quite a bit early so I didn’t get trapped.  That gave me time to stop at the fish market and supermarket for the rest of our feast.

I was back at the house by around 2pm and we hung out for a while.  Around 5 I decided to go do my scheduled erg session.

The plan was:

  • 3 x 15′ rate ladders / 4′ rest
    • 5′ at r20 (2:04)
    • 4′ at r22 (1:58 to 2:00)
    • 3′ at r24 (1:52 to 1:54)
    • 2′ at r26 (1:48)
    • 1′ at r28 (1:45)

This was done on slides.  I was a bit dubious because this was my 8 straight day working out, but it turned out to be a good session.

         Workout Summary - media/20180331-2220260o.csv
Workout Details

Turned out better than prior attempts.

  • lower HR
  • higher power
  • good drive length on slides

Then it was time for the “Parade of Deliciousness”, all accompanied by prosecco

  • Appetizer: bruscetta with Mac’s Seafood boursin
  • First course: Sauted Maine shrimp and Cape Cod sea scallops with roasted aspargus.
  • Second Course: roast ham with baked sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes
  • Green Salad
  • Assorted desserts

After that I was paralyzed.

Sunday:  We got a reasonably early start for us, we were out of the house by 11:00AM.  We needed to beat the tide, and get my sons to the train before 12:30.  That got us home by about 1:30pm.  The workout for Sunday was 2 hours of yardwork clearing the trees and branches that had come down in the string of 3 Nor-easters that we had in March.  It was reasonably hard work and I didn’t have time for an erg session.

Monday:  9am flight to Chicago, then the long flight to Narita, then a 80 minuute car ride from Narita to Haneda, then a 2 hour flight to Kumamoto, then a 40 minute cab ride to the hotel.  I arrived at the hotel at 9:30pm, Tuesday night (having lost a day to travel) about 26 hours after leaving my house in Hopkinton.  I felt like I had been beaten up by thugs..  So, no training on Monday or Tuesday.

Wednesday:  Up at 5AM, and right into emails.  Off to the office at 7am.  Today, I am helping to dedicate our new building in Kumamoto.  Our old building was destroyed by the earthquakes there in April of 2016.  I just finished participating in the Shinto dedication ceremony.  A remarkable experience that involved a whole lot of bowing.  Now we have a luncheon to thank the architects and construction company, later on we have a big dinner for our local team and a customers.  It’s a pretty big deal for us.   SO no training again.

Thursday:  I have a breakfast meeting with a customer at 7am, then a “coffee meeting” with our local team, and then I’m off to the airport to catch a flight around noon.  The return path is a one stop better…

Hotel  –> Kumamoto –> Haneda –> Narita –> Boston –> Home.

So, no training again.  That’s four days without training.  Arghh.  Just when I was getting in the groove.

Hopefully, I can get a good session in on Friday.




Saturday: 3 x 15′ / 4′ – Rate Ladders

Down on the cape.

It’s been a great day.  I got up around 9, and went out to the bakery.  I got some farmers bread, chocolate croissants, and other pastries and a delicious latte and headed home.

We had some breakfast and then it was time for some work around the house.

The winter has been tough on the exterior of the house.  A couple of stretches of sand fencing were blown down.  So the first task was to replace and resecure the fencing.

2018-03-24 18.24.07

2018-03-24 18.24.41

Then I went and bought some fiberglass screening and replaced the torn screens in three of the storm doors.

Finally, around 5pm, I headed downstairs to do my erg session.  This is the second time at this workout and the first time was tough.

  • 3 x 15′ / 4′ rest
    • 5′ @ Cat VI r20 (2:03-2:08)
    • 4′ @ Cat V r22 (1:58-2:02)
    • 3′ @ Cat IV r24 (1:52-1:56)
    • 2′ @ Cat III r26 (1:48 exactly)
    • 1′ @ Cat II r28 (1:45 or faster)

I actually misremembered the paces and I was aiming at 2:06, 2:02, 1:57: 1:52, 1:47

          Workout Summary - media/20180324-2200360o.csv
Workout Details

Well, I might have aimed slow on pace, but it was a very hard workout.

The heart rate was almost identical to the the first time I did this workout on March 10th.  That time I started a bit faster and slowed down.




  • 2 x 2000m / 2’
    • Rating: Cat V pace; target SR 22 (1:58 – 2:02)
  • 2 x 1000m, rest 3’ easy
    • Rating: Cat IV pace: target SR 24-26 (1:52)
  • 2 x 500m, rest 2’ easy
    • Rating: Cat III pace: target SR 26-28 (1:48)

Back in town for a week.

Tuesday night:  After my afternoon workout, I headed to the office for prep meetings and then to Cardiff by the Sea for a very nice diner at the Pacific Coast Grill.  I got back from dinner around 10pm and by the time I had caught up with email, it was around midnight.

Wednesday – March 21:  Rest Day

I had planned to get up at 5:30 to go to Crossfit near the hotel, but when my alarm went off, I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed.  I slept until around 7:30, showered and headed off to the airport.

I flew up to San Jose. Again I had a prep meeting in our office and then a customer meeting at 3pm.  I was done by  around 5pm and headed to SFO for my flight home, a red eye departing ay 8:45pm.  I wasn’t sure if it would actually depart because another snow storm was forecast in Boston.

As it turned out, we left on time and arrived early, about 4:45am.  I slept maybe an hour on the flight.  I guess it was a “rest day”

Thursday – March 22:  3 x 1500@24 + 3 x 500 @ 28+

Since it was so early, I drove home and crawled into to bed.  I slept from 6:30 to 10:30 and then went to work.  I had a couple of meetings and then headed to the gym.  The plan for today was…

  • 3 x 1500m / 1’
    • Rating: Cat IV pace; target SR 23-24 + (1:52)
  • 3 x 500m / 2’ easy
    • Rating: Cat II pace: target SR 28-30 (1:45)

I had low expectations because of my travels, but the session turned out well.  I added a 1500 @ Cat VI at the beginning as a bit of a warm up.

Compared to the first time I did this workout last week, this was a much better effort.  I blew up in the 3rd 1500 last time and I had no oomph for a sparkly last rep.  You can see the dip in power in the third rep (green was last time), and  the much higher heart rate in the right plot.

Friday – 23 March:  30 minutes with bumps.

Although it feels like the world is conspiring to make it impossible for me to maintain reasonable consistency in training, I realize that it is just a product of the choices that I am making.  The consequence of wanting to remodel the master bathroom in our house is that I had to meet a contractor this morning during my usual workout time.  I thought that meant that wouldn’t get in any kind of a session, but as it turned out, I had a brief window in the evening, once we had come down to Cape Cod.

I popped down to the basement for a quick 30 minutes session.  I decided the main intent was to just work up a sweat and go to bed feeling a bit more relaxed.  So, I invented a session on the spot.

  • 30 minutes
  • 6 x 5′ splits
  • each split 4′ at Cat VI pace, 1′ at Cat II pace.

I was on slides, and I gotta say, with the slides aligned and level, I love rowing this way.  The Steady state stuff was smooth and it was a pleasure to rate up.  I pushed the 3rd bump a bit too hard and took the 4th slow bit a little slower than plan, but overall this was just a really nice little workout.

Workout Summary - media/20180324-0300470o.csv
Workout Details

I did a quick 1000m cooldown after that and now I feel great!

Tomorrow:  Rate ladders!


  • 3 x 15’ / 4’
    • 5’@ Cat VI; SR 20
    • 4’ @ Cat V; SR 22
    • 3’ @ Cat IV; SR 24
    • 2’ @ Cat III; SR 26
    • 1’@ Cat II; SR 28

Back in the Saddle

I arrived home around 10pm on Friday night.  I didn’t sleep at all on the flight so I was quite tired.  I slept from midnight to 11am the next morning.  A fantastic night’s sleep.

Saturday, March 10: 3 x 15’/4′ Rate Ladder

Our internet enable thermostat told us that our house down on the cape was getting colder and colder.  When we are not there, It’s supposed to stay at 55F, but it had dipped all the way down to about 48F.  It seemed as if there was something wrong with the heating system.  So, I headed down there to check it out.  I did all the troubleshooting that I could and it seemed pretty clear that there was a furnace problem.  I put in a call to the furnace people and they told me they’d be over in an hour.  Imagine my shock when they showed up an hour later!  The technician quickly found the problem (a bad igniter), installed a replacement, and we were all set.

I wanted to make sure that the house actually started heating up, so I came down prepared to do an erg session while I waited.  As a bonus, that meat that I could do the session on slides, a most agreeable way to do an erg session.

I was not sure what to expect from the session.  It is my first pass through a new training plan and this is one of the more important weekly sessions.

  • Session: 3 x 15’ / 4’
  • Rating/Pace: Row each 15’ with the following rate changes:
    • 5’@ Cat VI; SR 20 (pace: 2:03 – 2:08)
    • 4’ @ Cat V; SR 22 (pace: 1:58 – 2:02)
    • 3’ @ Cat IV; SR 24 (pace: no faster than 1:52)
    • 2’ @ Cat III; SR 26 (pace: 1:48 or faster)
    • 1’@ Cat II; SR 28 (pace: 1:45 or faster)

I was worried about the last 6 minutes of these intervals, but I figured I could pull it out.

     Workout Summary - media/20180310-2220300o.csv
Workout Details


So, I nailed the first two intervals, and I needed to back off a little bit in the third, but I finished pretty strongly in the last minute.  All in all a good workout after a long trip.

Sunday – March 11: 3 x 20’/3′ Cat VI, Dynamic

The workout plan called for a harder session, but I I had two excuses queued up to avoid it.  First, was adequate recovery with Jet Lag.  Second, was a very strong desire to avoid doing harder sessions on the dynamic, since it sucks.

This was a very pleasant workout.  My HR was nice and low, and I felt good.  I was a second faster on splits compared to the session I did before I left on my trip, so that’s heartening.

    Workout Summary - media/20180311-2255300o.csv
Workout Details

See the blip in the heart rate toward the end of the first interval?  I started thinking about work and my HR just took off.  I guess I might be carrying a bit of work related stress.

Monday – March 12: 2x2k / 2x1k / 2×500

This is another “important” workout.  I did it this morning at work on the static erg after a really terrible nights sleep.  Jet lag sucks.

The detail plan:

  • 2 x 2000m / 2’ easy
    Rating: Cat V pace; target SR 22 (pace: 1:58-2:02)
  • 2 x 1000m / 3’ easy
    Rating: Cat IV pace: target SR 24-26 (pace: 1:52 or slower)
  • 2 x 500m / 2’ easy
    Rating: Cat III pace: target SR 26-28 (pace: 1:48 or faster)

So, this looked a fair bit easier than the Saturday 3×15 rate ladder session.  In the execution, I added another 2K at r18 as a warmup.

       Workout Summary - media/20180312-1230330o.csv
Workout Details

So, that was pretty great.  I hit the paces in every piece and had enough headroom to focus on technique throughout.  All in all, a really fun session.

Tomorrow:  Peak power training….10 x 10″ sprints / 1′ rest + 2 x 20’/3′ Cat VI.  Unfortunately on  the dynamic.

Feeling a bit better: Feb 8 to Feb 15

Last time I posted, I had decided to take a step back and mix up my training a bit to try to get some momentum back.  The good news is that I think it is working, at least I am feeling a bit more relaxed than I was.

Thursday, Feb 8: Strength Training

  • Full PT Suite
  • Front Squats, KB Swings, Pull ups, Deadlifts

Friday, Feb 9: No Training.  Spent my training time working on my project looking at how aging effects rowing performance by mistake.  I was only going to make one little tweak to my “R” code and when I looked up 90 minutes had gone by.

Saturday, Feb 10: 4 x 20′ / 3′ (On Slides)

I bought a pair of slides a couple years ago and they have been in the gym at work.  I have rarely used them because it’s a pain to set them up and break them down after ech session.  I decided to bring them home and use them on my erg down on the cape.

It was awesome!  I loved the feeling of rowing on slides again.  With the technique stuff I’ve been working on the rowing motion felt really fluid.  Add in the fact that this erg has a core perform seat and it felt very much like real rowing.

My goal was just to get some low intensity meters in, and keep my HR below 155.

Workout Summary - media/20180210-1840300o.csv
Workout Details

I found it very natural to row about 1 spm higher on slides, and I was maybe 1 second slower than on a static machine.  The difference between rowing on slides and rowing on the dynamic is night and day.

Sunday, Feb 11: 8 x (4:30 @ 18, 0:30 @ 30+)/30″ (On Slides)

To follow up on that blissful session I wanted to have a bit more fun on slides.  I really like this 8 x 5′ with 30 sec sprint session.  I’ve been doing this kind of sessions more since reading this book.  The One Minute Workout

It was a blast doing it on slides.  I could rate up very easily, which I can’t seem to do on the dynamic machine.

Workout Summary - media/20180211-1530300o.csv
Workout Details

Another delightful session.  The feeling of rowing on slides was so different that I decided to take a quick video to see how my technique looked.  Spoiler alert:  I have work to do.

Despite my best efforts, I am still not getting my body over before breaking my knees on recovery.

Monday, Feb 12: Strength Training plus 40 minutes Cat VI

Full PT suite.

40′ Cat VI row.  A great row.  Felt very easy.  Nice low HR.

Workout Summary - media/20180212-1305260o.csv
Workout Details

Was able to speed up a bit in the second half because my HR was so low.

Then I did a Strength Session

  • KB Swings 3 x 20 with 16kg
  • Front Squats 4 x 8 with 145 lb
  • Trunk rotation with 50 2 sets of 10 each side
  • Pull ups: 5,4,3,3

Tuesday, Feb 13: 10 x 500/2′ @ 22

PT Suite

Enjoyable little workout.

Workout Summary - media/20180213-1340290o.csv
Workout Details

Wednesday, Feb 14: Strength Training only

I was pressed for time.  Distracted by the Aging related decline project again.

Full PT Suite

Strength Session

  • KB Swings – 3 x 20 with 16kg
  • Front squats – 4 x 8 with 145lbs, 1 x 8 with 165lbs
  • trunk rotations – 2 x 2 x 10 with 50 lbs
  • Pull ups – 5, 4, 3, 3
  • Dead lifts – 5 x 8 x 150lbs

Thursday, Feb 15:  No Training.  Rest Day