Lost week – Taiwan

I left on Sunday morning to catch an early afternoon flight to Taiwan.  I dropped my boat off in Newton on the way to the airport.

I was flying from Boston to Tokyo, then connecting to Taipei.  I arrived around 8:30PM Monday night.  I slept some on the two flights, but I was stiff and tired by the time I got to the airport.

Tuesday morning:

I got up around 5am and discovered that I had left my HR monitor at home.  SO much for documented evidence of working out!  Sad to say, it badly effected my motivation.

I headed to the gym.  I set up the treadmill to do a 30 minute HIIT session.  so, 4:20 sec of fast walk (3mph) on 15% grade.  Then 40 seconds at 7mph on the same grade.  repeat 6 times.  By the last two sprints, I was nauseous at the end of the 40 seconds.  I guess that meant I was doing it right.

The rest of the day was a blur of meetings, all of them internal with our team in Taiwan.  I had dinner with a few of the folks that I travelled with and got back to the hotel around 9pm.

Wednesday:

Up at 5 again, and back in the gym.  Today, it was 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the stationary bike.  In both cases, I used the built in HR monitor to try to keep my HR in the 137 to 155 range.

Then I was off to the customer site for 3 different meetings.  Then we had a dinner for the full team supporting this major customer.  They’ve been working night and day for years making it successful, so it was a good idea for us to say thank you.

I made it back to the hotel just in time for my 8:30 conference call.  Unfortunately, that exactly when jet lag decided to strike and strike hard.  I was having trouble holding my head up, and I kept hoping for the meeting to wrap up.  I can remember looking at the clock around 8:50pm.  The next thing I know, it’s five minutes after nine, my head is on the desk and there’s no one left on the call!  I fell dead asleep.  I reached out by email to apologize to the other folks that were on the call.  I was pretty embarrassed.

Thursday:

I slept in until 6 because I had nothing on my agenda until my ride to the airport at 10am.  I headed down to the gym without a specific plan.  I did my full PT suite of exercises.  I have been neglecting them lately and that’s a bad thing.  I have to find a way to fit them in with OTW rowing.  I don’t feel comfortable doing them on the ground at the docks where I keep my boat and I am always rushed when I get to work afterwards.  I think I might start doing them on my way out of work at night.

Anyway, I did the PT exercises.  Then I did a little bit of strength training.

I did a 3 circuits of

  • 20 squats with 2 25lb dumbells
  • 12 pull downs on a machine designed to mimic pull ups

The squats felt easy at the time, but it’s 3 days later and I’m still feeling sore.

Then I headed over to the treadmills and did 30 minutes of fast walking on a 15% grade.

After that, I headed to the airport for the long trip home.  I got home around 8:00pm on Thursday night, thanks to time zones.

Friday:  80′ of OTW speedplay.

I slept surprisingly well on Thursday night, but not very long.  The alarm woke me at 5:15am and I rolled out of bed.  It was a beautiful morning, so I wanted to get back on the water.  I headed to Newton and launched.

The plan:

  • 80′ of speedplay
  • 4 sessions of KOM

The instructions for the speedplay sessions are to do it continuous, but I really want to work on balance.  I find that if I do KOM for more than a couple minutes at a time, I get all tight.  So I decided to do a quick set each time I needed to turn the boat around.

The weather was lovely.  Very little wind.  There still a bit of current which make the splits all crazy and makes rowing a bit squirrelly in a couple of places, mainly where the river narrows down or splits and rejoins.  It feel like the boat is wiggling underneath you or you are going around a corner on ice.  As long as you are expecting it, it’s kind of fun, but it can be disconcerting if it takes you by surprise.

I started with about 5 sets of KOM, then headed down river.  I’ve got my routine for the speed play workouts.  I row steady state until I get to middle of the straight 1K.  Then I do my power twenty.  Then I continue to the middle of straight section in front of the watch factory and do another.  I do the reverse on the way up river.  It ends up with a bit more time between the twenties with the turn in there.

4-27.png

I am trying to keep the power above 300W on the power twenties and to keep the stroke rate between 28 and 30.

To get a better idea of the effect of the rigging changes, I wanted to look at the change in my catch, finish and length.  These charts isolate just the r28 portions of four speed play rows.  I made the adjustments in 3 steps.  The first is the original settings.  The next is with oars down one spacer, inboard shortened by 2cm, and footplate moved 1 cm.  The third is another 2cm shorter inboard.  Then the last is with the footplate moved the additional cm to stern.

  • Finish angle is about 2 degrees bigger.
  • Catch angle is about 3 degrees bigger
  • drive length is 3.5 degrees bigger
  • Effective length is about 2 degrees bigger.

Not much change.  It feels a lot different though.

Saturday:  I intended to go rowing, but i felt like crap all day long.  I just sat around and did crossword puzzles.  I did get up the motivation to do laundry and get groceries, but that was about all I was good for,

Sunday;  Again, I was thinking about going rowing, but its raining and I’m lazy.  I intend to do an easy session on the dynamic later just to keep things going.

 

Taipei / Shanghai – Ticking Along

After the race on Saturday, we had lunch in Cambridge, and then headed home.  I had some organizing to do since I was heading off to Taiwan.  My flight was scheduled  to depart at 1:45AM Sunday morning, and my wife and I had a nice afternoon and evening.

I headed off to the airport around 11pm, and got on the plane, and waited.  We taxied out from the gate, and then the pilot came on and said that there was a problem with one of the engines so he was heading back to gate to wait for maintenance to come deal with it.  After about an hour parked at the gate, the call came over the PA asking if there was a doctor on board.  Apparently, someone on board had had a heart attack.  Now it seemed to me that the engine trouble was a real blessing for both the heart attack victim and the rest of us on the plane.  He was wisked off the plane within minutes.  If we had been in flight, they would have had to divert the flight and that would have taken a lot more time.  And I bet it would have delayed the rest a lot too.

We didn’t get going until after 4AM.  Then it was fifteen hours and 30 minutes of flight time to Hong Kong.  Then a quick shuffle through the airport to catch the next flight to Taipei.  I was in Taiwan by 11am on Monday morning, and at the hotel by 12:30.  I made it just in time to shower and change before the event I was going to.  I slept pretty well on the flight, getting maybe 8 hours of sleep total, but in short segments.

The work event lasted from 1:30 until 10:30PM.  I crashed hard as soon as I got back to my room.

So, I guess that means:

Sunday:  Travel Day – No training.

Monday: Rest day?

Tuesday: 

I had a flight Shanghai in the early afternoon so I planned to sleep in, but I woke up around 5am, and couldn’t get back to sleep.  Eventually, I made my way down to the fitness center.  I had plenty of time, so I did a long fitness center triathlon.

  • 30 minutes: Treadmill death march, 15% grade, 5km/h
  • 30 minutes: Elliptical, level 14, random
  • 30 minutes: Stationary bike, level 14, “Hills”

It was sweaty.  It was boring.

10-24a

10-24b

Then I headed to the airport and flew off to Shanghai.  I had a customer dinner in the evening and some conference calls after that.  I got to bed around 1AM.

Wednesday:

I got up at 6 and headed straight to the fitness center.  I was staying at the Kerry Hotel in Pudong, which has the one of the finest fitness centers I’ve ever seen.  They have two Model D ergs.  Mechanically they are both fine, but one of them has a display problem so you can’t see the time remaining.  The good rower was being used, so I grabbed the one with the display issue.

Plan:

  • 3 x 20′ / 1′
  • rate: ~20
  • power: 175W
  • HR limit: 145/150/155

10-25a

10-25b

I noticed that my heart rate took off like a rocket from the start and by the time I got through the first 20 minutes, I knew I had to ease up.  Even then, I was really struggling.

After 40 minutes, the other erg was free so I swapped over to continue.  I basically gave up after 3 minutes in the last piece and just paddled the rest of it out.

Lack of fitness?  Lack of Sleep?  Who knows.  Anyway, time to reset my power target lower for the next session.

After my workout, I headed to the office for some internal meetings, a customer lunch, more meetings, and a customer dinner.  I got back to the hotel around 10, and had a beer with a colleague.  I was in bed by 11.

Thursday:

I was up at 5:30 to fit in my workout.  Back to the fitness center for some more rowing.

Plan:

  • 3 x 20′ / 2′ (longer rest to allow stretching between piecese
    • rate: 20
    • power: 165
    • HR limit: 145/150/155
  • 2 x 1′ / 1′ (I see Paul Buchanan doing these at the end of aerobic sessions and I’ve read that it’s has a beneficial training effect.  It’s also an energizing way to finish the workout – In theory)
    • rate: >32
    • power: >360W

10-26a

This was much better.  Based on my HR, the power was pretty close to right on for base training.  I could probably push a couple more watts, but not much.  My HR plateaued nicely right around 149 and stuck there for most of the second and third interval.

And the 1′ sprints were a blast.  I think I will make them a regular part of my routine.

And I left a nice sweat pattern on the floor.

2017-10-26 07.23.48

After that, I packed up, had a work breakfast, then headed to the airport.  I’m now in Narita in transit back to Boston.  I will get home around 7:30pm Thursday night.

I’ve decided to start working with a coach, Marlene Royle.  Next week I have a bunch of erg tests to do. I may start them this weekend, but only if I am not having jetlag issues.

 

 

Late night in the fitness center

Wednesday:  No time to work out in the morning.  I was finally able to get to the gym very late Wednesday night, actually just into Thursday morning.

  • 20 minutes treadmill (15% grade, 3.3 mph)
  • 20 minutes elliptical (level 17, hill profile)
  • 20 minutes stationary bike (level 16, random profile)

All were slightly harder than  the day before, my HR response was correspondingly a bit higher too.

10-12a

10-12b

Thursday: I finished around 1:15am, then made a couple of calls.  I got to be at about 2:30am and needed to get up at 4:30am.  I had a 7:25am departure from Munich to Lyon.  So, walk to the ostbanhof train station, catch the 5:24am train to the airport, arrive at around 6:00.  Plenty of time.

I slept a bit on the flight from Munich to Lyon, and a bit more in the 90 minute cab ride from Lyon to Grenoble.  Then I had an internal meeting, business lunch, two customer meetings, and a business dinner.  I got back  to my room around 10:15pm and immediately crashed.

Friday: My alarm was set for 5:30.  We were out on the road to Milan by 6:00.  We got to Milan around 10:30, and straight to a customer meeting at 11.  This wrapped up after 12.  Then a lunch with my colleagues, and straight to the airport.  My flight was at 3:50pm to London, and then 6:50 departure to Boston.  I landed around 8:30 local time, was home by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30.  I slept for nearly 11 hours.

Not the way I wanted to spend the last real prep week before the HOCR, but needs must.

Fitness Center Triathlon

Last night I flew from Boston to Stuttgart via Amsterdam, arriving at 9:15AM.  I got maybe 3 hours of fitful sleep on the plane.

I had a meeting from 11-12 and the lunch with the customer.  Then we drove back to Munich, well I rode and Martin drove.  I fell asleep in the car for about an hour of the trip.  Honestly, it was better sleep than what I got on the plane.

Back in Munich, I hung out at our office for an hour or so and caught up on emails.  Then I walked to my hotel, which has a small but serviceable fitness center.  I put on my workout clothes and headed down.

The plan was to do 60 to 80 minutes of low intensity aerobic work.  And that’s what I did.

  • 20′ treadmill death march: 15% grade, 3.2 mph
  • 30′ elliptical trainer, random profile avg level 16/25
  • 30′ stationary bike, hill profile, avg level 15
  • HR limit: 150

I was happy with the nice low HR, and especially that my HR was dropping fast with lower loads.  Not exactly what I want to be doing 12 days before the HOCR, but you do what you need to do.

Tomorrow:  Morning workout, then meetings all day.  Probably something a bit more challenging and shorter than this.   Maybe treadmill intervals.

Thursday: 2 x 30’/2′ – easy fitness center session

The plan called for:

M3 2 x 30′ / 3′ MP or slower 75.0% (140)

Today, I started with 30 minutes on the treadmill at maximum incline (15%).  I adjusted the speed to slowly get me into the UT2 zone and keep me there.

Then I moved over to the stationary bike and did the same thing.  I fiddled with the resistance to keep my HR right around the boundary between UT2 and UT1.

6-29a

6-29b

Now I am at the airport in Incheon waiting for my flight.  I fly to Dallas, and then connect to Boston, getting in at 11pm local time.

I will try to squeeze in a short row, either open water, or on the erg on Friday, but we have house guests so I’m not sure if it will happen.

 

Long, slow burn in the fitness center

Still in Seoul.  At the JW Marriott (the fitness center with the mechanical horsey, but no rower)

I had time to kill this morning.  I woke up around 5:30AM, and I didn’t need to leave for the airport until 10:30.  So, I did some email, did a crossword, surfed the web, and around 7, I decided to head to the gym.

The plan for today

  • 4 x 20′ endurance
  • 20 minutes max incline treadmill
  • 20 minutes flat incline treadmill jog
  • 20 minutes elliptical (intervals, level 15)
  • 20 minutes stationary bike (rolling hills, level 8)

Holy hell it was boring.

4-26a.png

4-26b

Now I’m at the airport waiting to get on my flight.  I’m connecting through Hong Kong and getting back to Boston around 10:30PM.  Ugh.

I just sync’ed up StravastiX.  I’m certainly not putting a challenging load on myself these days.  I think I need to ramp up the volume AND the intensity if I want to make much progress.  It says that my fitness is improving, but I think it is deceived by the fact that I only started logging after my return from my knee operation.  It had my fitness starting from zero, but it was actually pretty good prior to my layoff.  I bet that I would be hovering versus slowing improving if that was the case.  I think I need to get a good 6 months of activity recorded before I really trust the trends.

It’s almost time to restart the marathon plan.   Except this time on the water!

Sunday: Fitness Center 2 x 30′ easy

Saturday was a travel day.  No Training.

In Korea.  At the Sheraton.  A really beautiful hotel.

Plan for today was to just work out the kinks from the flight and get adjusted to my new time zone.

30 minutes inclined march (15% grade, 3mph)

30 minutes stationary bike (rolling hills, level 14 of 25)

Heart rate cap at 150.  I ended up up lower than that.

2-5a

2-5b

Tomorrow:  I will try to do a version of the 5kp,mp step down workout.

  • 4 x 15′ / 4′ rest
  • 6′ at 5KP / 9′ at MP

I think I will try to do this on a treadmill with 15% grade.  The 6′ at 4.5mph and the 9′ at 3mph.  I will see how my HR responds to that and adjust so that the 6′ blocks are pushing HRs in the high 160s by the end and the 9′ blocks bring it down into the low 150s.

 

Thursday: 2×30′ fitness center

Wednesday:  First teleconference at 7am. Then another at 8.  Then off to the airport to fly to LAX, then more meetings and dinner with the team from our facility there.  No time to train.

Thursday:  It was going to be another long day.  First teleconference at 6am, which lasted until 8.  I had a bit of time before I needed to drive to San Diego, so I went to the hotel gym.  This session was more about stress management than training.  I just wanted to do something.

I did 30 minutes on the stationary bike (rollings hills, level 15).  Then 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer (rolling hills, level 15).  It turns out that rolling hills are easier on the elliptical.

1-26a.png

1-26b

After that, I showered, hopped in my car and drove down to San Diego.  Straight in to a prep meeting for 3 hours, then a meeting with our customer from 6pm until 8:30.  That left me just enough time to drive to the airport and catch the redeye home.  Well not quite home, I am now in Charlotte waiting for my connection and writing a journal entry.

After I get home, I think I’ll take a nap, and maybe do an easy erg session.

Wednesday:2 x 30′ spin

I feel like I’m falling apart.  Maybe it’s psychosomatic.  My knee is clicking away, over the past few weeks I’ve been bothered by some kind of a pinched nerve in my neck that hurts when I try to twist my head around (like to back up a car), and when I sleep.  My most recent complaint is my lower back.  I must have tweaked it when I did my “bumps” workout.  It was a little sore yesterday morning and I ignored it and rowed anyway.  Big mistake.  The rest of the day, I had a constant lower back ache, and if I twisted or leaned wrong, I’d get a sharper jolt of pain.

Anyway, it hurt enough that I had trouble sleeping.  Rolling over was pretty painful.  And I have a lot on my mind. So, I felt pretty lousy at 5:15 this morning when I got up.

I decided that rowing was a bad idea.  So, it would be the tedium of the stationary bike this morning.

The plan:

  • 2 x 30′
  • a couple minutes of stretching between
  • easy pace: UT2 / UT1

The first 30 minutes, I just set the machine to manual and pedaled at level 14.  The second 30 minutes, I did “rolling hills”, which was less scenic than the name implied.

Mission accomplished.

Tomorrow:  Knee Surgery.  Guess we’ll call that a rest day.