The Roller Coaster Ride: A Big Rowing Win And a Down

It’s good that things were going well, because inevitability things start to go bad.

My grandpa ended up with a life-threatening infection after several rounds of surgery. Things looked, and are, grim. Last week I made the decision to come to Florida to visit him and family. As I finally found the time to write this last night, we had a devastating phone call.

I’ve trained exactly once since arriving.

Before I left for Florida, I did squeeze in a 2k test. I hadn’t intended to, even as I started the workout. The plan was to test at the end of the month. But I knew this trip would set back any gains. Five minutes into my warmup, I figured, “why not?”

Based on my training numbers, I had an idea of what I could possibly push. Even being not as mentally prepared, distracted, or well-hydrated, I thought I could still do it.

I kept the same plan as before: 400 meter spilts. Same mental focuses: easy, technique, consistency, consistency, dig in and go. The same screen setting, on watts, but with a new minimum stroke rate of 30spm.

I’ll admit to my mind wandering a bit off the focus at different times, and to my technique not being as clean or on point as I would’ve liked. My music playlist repeated Rob Zombie’s Superbeast twice, which annoyed me. The burn set in around a 600 to go, but I think excelled at staying mentally strong. I kept reminding myself it was temporary, that I was well past halfway, that I could tolerate this. “You can do more than you think you can.”

Around 400 I started up two beats. At 200 all I could think was “go go go!”

The result? A brand new PR, 10 seconds off the last time, and a test that reaches my overall 2k training goal for this cycle.

Of course, now training has hit this speed bump. I don’t know how long I will be here. Rowing is wonderful and it’s brought so much value to my life. I miss my water time constantly in Kentucky. But it’s just a sport. Family must always come first. We can only do what we can, when we can.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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