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It was not easy to get up and out to the boathouse this morning. But yesterday I e-mailed the usual suspects to tell them I'd be there, so I couldn't exactly weasel my way out.

When I got to the boathouse, I was relieved to find I wasn't the only one who was dragging a bit. On top of that, the other woman 1x sculler was happy to make good on her promise to row in the 2x with me. I'm going to nickname her Pan Am because she raced in the lightweight 1x in the Pan Am Games a while back.

Anyway, what a wonderful opportunity, to get to row with a phenomenally skilled rower. Pan Am was gracious, and we had a pretty good time, all things considered. She also told me a story about getting to row with Chris Ernst, her hero. Eventually Chris had to tell her to relax because one's nerves do start to affect the boat feel and keep the boat from flowing along. I could relate, but PA also said she was very grateful that at least I had good boat feel.

She and the Serious Double are hitting the stage where training for the Head of the Charles starts to get pretty hardcore, although at least this week is a taper week. So we did 27 minutes of interval work at stroke ratings ranging from a 26 to 32. Not bad for a post-marathon recovery row.

My upcoming rowing homework assignments:

Core work: I haven't been keeping up with core fitness in the gym, and that really started to show towards the end of the marathon. Time to get back on that horse. Good core posture is essential for good body control on the recovery. (Further evidence: see my posture in one of the photos accompanying this article. That was clearly towards the very end, when my butt really hurt, but I'd like to be able to maintain good posture all the way through a marathon).

Staying relaxed + efficient as I start to get tired. PA noted that I can often stay ahead of her in the 1x during the early interval pieces, but she can catch me during the later ones because when I get tired I start to just hammer away and my efficiency drops. It's that whole "finesse" aspect of sculling.

Slide control: When she pointed it out, I could manage to smooth out and control that last top inch of the slide, but whenever the going gets tough my slide control tends to go out the window. PA was way better than M in terms of supporting the correction (M and I seem to just get in a bad feedback loop), but I still have to take the lead on smoothing it out.

After the interval pieces, we worked our way through a series of 10-10-10's, where she would row for 10 strokes, then I'd row for 10 strokes, then we'd row together to get a feel for how to match up our power application. Those drills made it clear that there's even more potential speed to be gained if we can work on better coordination. There, again, I think I need to keep thinking about finesse and not hammering the drive. Old habits from sweep rowing can take a long time to die.

Overall, fun times, and it was fantastic to break from the routine of the 1x. Rowing in the 1x is fine, but it's easy to fall into a very deep rut, especially because we don't have any coaching.

*Apparently J nicknamed PA's 2x "The Loveboat" because PA got it so she could start rowing a mixed 2x with one of the older master's men. Ha!

This entry was originally posted at http://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1177318.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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