The first head race of our season is this weekend. At this crucial milestone, I have to admit feeling behind in my rowing training.
The Hooch is looming, and while my boat is wait listed and still lacking a confirmed fourth rower, I know I need to train like it’s happening. But those triple ginger snaps from Trader Joe’s are so tempting, as is sleeping in. And who wants to run buckets of sweat across the floor erging for an hour?
Add in the stabbing pain rippling through my left rib cage, and now the entire head season is off track. I took a 1x out last week before the juniors practice and nearly broke down in tears, frustrated that I couldn’t row full power at an 18 without intense pain.
But I’m trying to right this shell back on course. I have, with best intentions, a plan. I’m tracking my calories again to make me accountable for dropping the happy weight. El Capitan strapped some kinesio tape to the ribs and they’re feeling better. This morning’s 2k was much less painful, even at full pressure as I tried to beat the lightening back to shore.
I know I have high-performance practice on weekends, to keep us accountable with training. El Capitan and I are discussing afternoon erg sessions. The training plan for the next month is written, loaded with coaching jargon. All that is left is the mental part: pushing through the alarm and saying, “NO, I will get up today and row regardless, or erg regardless,” or, “NO, I will not vacuum up all the (Insert: ginger snaps, trail mix, yogurt-covered fruit) in one day.”
Rowing is an awesome sport that can be enjoyed at all levels, but to excel at competitive events is an all-consuming challenge that isn’t just tiring physically. It’s not like we can strap on a pair of shoes and head out the door for a 5k (although we can for cross-training). An injury anywhere screeches rowing practice to a halt–back, arm, wrist, ankle, leg–you name an afflicted body part and we use it rowing. Competitive masters rowers have to arrange their entire lives around water time and access, while still finding time for lives and cross-training. Diet is crucial. Weight transfer to power or to drag. Everything matters–and it can be mentally and emotionally draining. After all–sometimes, you just want a chocolate cupcake. Is that too much to ask?