Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fully Operational Battle Station

Last night I received the line-ups from my coach for Head of the Charles. And not only did I make the boat, I'm stroking (sitting furthest to the stern, setting rhythm, pace, strategy). Which is my ideal, on some levels, and not my ideal on others. It seems some of the best talent for this race has been syphoned off into our 4+ entry, and others who didn't make the 4+ seem uninterested in the 8+, which kind of miffs me. So it's great to be leading the crew, but I'd rather have more talent and be left rowing 2 seat. That said, I know the river and am perhaps best qualified to make judgements about pace and rate, given how the crew feels and how much we have to go.

Our first practice as a crew was this morning, and it went largely well. Strong winds from the south meant waves moving perfectly perpendicular to the boats. So in the first 15 minutes of practice, we all got soaked to the bone, and the boat took on about 6" of water throughout.

We rowed rather well. It was very stable, though with the water ballast, it's possible that it wasn't just talent. We do have a tendency to shorten up and to rush, which comes from some of the personnel in the boat who prefer to row that way. It's inefficient, and when I could get us to settle down a bit and stay long, we moved rather well.

Our goal will be to make the time standard for the automatic re-entry for next year, which means we must come within 5% of the winning time. Last year the winner of the 40+ 8+ was only 2 seconds slower than the winner of the club 8+. So we'll need to be fast.

To that end, I've continued my training on the erg, and last night cranked out an hour at 1:54.5 splits (15715m), which is probably a personal best. It's faster than any 60 min piece I have on my log card, and I can't recall going faster than that in the past. It's just not a PR number I've really tracked over the years, so we'll call it a PR.

My knee still isn't at 100%. My left quad is still smaller and weaker than my right, but it's clearly coming along such that I can put up some good numbers. I feel like the Death Star in episode 6: not fully built, but working up to task.

We'll have our first race on Oct 15. If we're going to make the time standard at the Charles, we'll need to win on the 15th.