Rowing out of Boating in Boston in Newton. In a borrowed boat. An older Peinert Elite, which was a delight to row. Light, responsive, stiff and as near as I can tell, a bit easier to set than my Fluid.
Conditions were cool, drizzly, and completely overcast. There was a light (1-5mph) wind from the ESE, which was a cross head wind going downriver and tail wind coming back up river. The river level was high, but the current seemed pretty weak.
The goal today was to get used to the boat, and work on technique. I tried to respect a HR cap around 155, at the upper end of my endurance zone. I also tried to keep the stroke rate below 20 so I could work on careful recoveries.
The boat was rigged for someone with slightly longer legs than I have, so it was challenging to finish cleanly, I didn’t have much clearance for my hands and I kept bumping into my stomach. The temporary solution is to move the footstretcher one click to the bow. The better, more permanent solution would be to lose 10 pounds!
Actually, I was not unhappy with the setup of the boat. It was good to try to get control of the finishes like this and I also spent a lot of strokes trying to be very careful about blade depth. Overall, it was a good outing and I was happy that I had not regressed further from the long layoff.
More importantly, it was amazing to be back on my stretch of the river. There were two boats from Brandeis out with a launch. The ducks and geese were watching suspiciously and I counted about 5 swans, all at a respectful distance. It really is a beautiful section of the Charles to row on.
From my launch point, I rowed downriver. There is about 1000m of twists and turns, culminating in a cut through an island to the beginning of the “good rowing”. From there, there is a nice wide, straight 1000m section. Then into an S-turn that spans about 300 meters. Then another straight section around 800m long. This one runs in front of the old watch factory in Waltham that is now condos. Past the watch factory, you squeeze through the eastern arch of stone bridge and then 600 or so meters across the basin to the Moody street Dam and Bridge in downtown Waltham. All together it is almost exactly 4000 meters from where I launch to the end.
Today, when I cam back upstream, I followed the same path for about 2500m, and then cut over into a long cove. This cove is always some of the nice rowing. It i s sheltered on 3 sides and very straight. Later in the season it gets weed choked, but in the spring, it is clear water nearly to the end. Today, I rowed until the speedcoach clicked over 7000m.
Then back down stream all the way to the dam, and then a final leg back home. On this leg, coming out of the s-turn, I decided to see how things worked at a little higher rate. It pushed it up to a 24 and focused on trying to keep my finishes clean. It worked out pretty well, but after about 800m or so, my hands were hurting, and when I took a bad stroke, I decided to call it quits there. I rowed with square blades for about 1000m, and then tried to row the last 300m or so to the dock as cleanly as I possibly could. This was entirely for vanity’s sake since I knew the guy who I was borrowing the boat from would be hot seating in after me and I wanted to look my best.
He met me at the dock, we swapped oars, chatted a bit, and then he set out for his row. I’m sure there is no way he can know how grateful I am. Getting back in a single on this peaceful river was so incredibly invigorating.
From there I rushed to the airport, zipped through security and had a quick shower in the American Airlines club and got on my plane. I’m on my way to LA, returning tomorrow evening. But, I have to say, I am feeling happier than I have in weeks.
Total Time : 75:2
Total Distance : 14109 m
Average Pace : 2:39.2
Average HR : 147 Beats/min
Average SPM : 19.5 /min
Max HR : 169 Beats/min
Max SPM : 33.8 /min
Workout Summary – 2016-05-02-0628.CSV
01|14109| 1:15:02 |02:39.1|19.5|147.0|169.0|09.7