Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Bad News Is The Good News

Today I rowed my very hardest at the Erg Monster indoor rowing race. The bad news: I didn't meet my goal. No 7:30 2k row this year. The good news?
  • Time, 7:39.1!
  • Personal best!
  • Age group, men's and open winner!

Now for some more bad news: I hardly got any erg workouts in. The good news?
  • I got as far as I did with mostly Crossfit and skiing.
  • I didn't get sick as much this year.
  • So far, recovery feels better. I didn't collapse on the floor this time.
  • I've been able to do a lot more xc skiing this Winter.
That doesn't mean I don't need to row to do well at rowing. On the contrary, I think I would have been much closer to reaching my goal had I gotten more erg workouts in. During the race, I could tell that my form was not as good as when it's dailed in. Rowing takes practice. This year, the skiing needed more practice than the rowing. That's what Winter is for up here, anyway. I don't plan on roller skiing during rowing season. I do plan on being in good condition for the season, though!

The Race
Kirsten chose not to race, but to coach me instead. We drew up a race plan to meet the 7:30 goal on a 3 x 5 card. After thinking about it, we made a plan 'B' on the other side for 7:40.
The Plan was drawn up into 500 meter quarters, like this:
28 1:52
28 1:52
29 1:53
30 1:53
with power 10s at the beginning of each 500, and an increased stroke rate at 250 to go. The number refer to stroke rate, then 500m split.

Everything started out fine for the first 500. I did notice that my quads started to burn by the end. The second 500 held well, but got tough. The train fell of the tracks during the third 500. Any extraordinary effort here and you die on the last 500. Splits came up to 1:59. The last 500 I had a hard time getting the stroke rate to stay up. Splits were around 2:00. Legs were good (I couldn't feel them) but Kirsten noticed my arms not coming completely away. At the last 250 Kirsten said to go for it. I picked up the rate, maybe back to 30. The splits fell too, down around 1:56. We didn't need the plan 'B.' We started off of the goal pace, just in case I could do it. As keeping to the plan became impossible, Kirsten just coached off of what I seemed able to do. Many thanks to Kirsten for making it so that all I had to do was work. She Who Must Be Obeyed, indeed!

On The Shoulders Of Giants

A lot of people have helped to keep my bumbling around sports and fitness to a minimum. Thanks to great coaching:
Rowing; Terry Smythe got us started.
The folks at Craftsbury gave us a good grounding in technique.
Dennis & Deb Kamrad coached our technique and workouts.
Crossfit; Scott Machalk & Bill Houghton of Crossfit Marquette got us started with proper form.
Theresa Rosenquist of Crossfit Appleton kept us on the straight and narrow and brought our intensity up a notch.
All the folks at the Level 1 Cert in Tampa showed us the complete package, acknowledged our accomplishments, corrected our faults and encouraged us onward.
Most of all, Kirsten supported and encouraged my efforts, even joining in, much to my surprise. I imagine that she is hoping that my efforts will pay off and one day I'll look good naked.

As for my win today, I especially want to thank Bob Sharkey, Jeff Massey, Nick Shimondle, Kristen Schuster and George Eakin for not showing up and beating me! You, perhaps more than anyone made this possible!

Now, on to the skiing!



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