Holiday Half

Still on my “meters by day” challenge. Yesterday, Dec 21, I knocked out the half marathon: 21,097.

Strangely, I was looking forward to it even though the two 10ks the day before sucked.

Caelan woke up not feeling well. The original plan was to Half at the YMCA and take him swimming after, but I decided to keep him away from other kids. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do the half at all. His nap typically lasts 1-1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, and when he’s feeling poor he often sleeps less. I took the chance anyway.

He slept the whole time plus 10 minutes. Phew!

My final time is decent. After looking at all the various Concept 2 subgroups, (female, female & 30-39, female & 30-39 & USA), I would say it’s “strong” but not great. I seem to fall between 60-70th percentile depending on the sort. I’m okay with that.

Kneeling down hurts.

When I’ve attempted the 21k I’ve always had to come to a dead stop at some point. For water and fuel. I took a different strategy this time. I wanted a slightly slower base pace of 22spm with the end goal of 1:40:00 or a 2:22 average spilt.

The first 5k was “easy,” establishing a base. The very first 3k was flat-out warming up, but full strokes rowing. Lots of up and down. Base at 18, building up to a 22, with some higher work thrown in.

Starting at 16k to go, I rowed at 22, aiming for a wattage minimum of 125. Each 1k I’d bring it up to 24-26spm for 10. Shift back for 10, and then grab fuel without stopping. One k big swing of water, next one k more water, and next one k pineapple juice, and repeat. Occasionally grabbing a veggie potato chip for salt. All the goodies were open and lined up on a table next to me. I was back on target watts and pace within seven strokes, usually less. Unfortunately half the water ended up down my shirt and on the floor. It’s very hard to row and drink.

At 11k to go, I rowed 500m at a 24.

At 6k to go, I changed to 20 strokes at 24-26.

At 3k to go I alternated every 500m between 22 and 24.

At 1k, I rowed 24 for 500, then 26 and 28 for 250m.

The screen mostly stayed on watts with some checking at key moments. 16k, 10500, 5k, 1k.

I did skip some water refuels. But I think hydrating often and early staved off crashing full speed into the wall.

Around 8k to go I started feeling tired.

Around 4K to go the struggle began for real. The watts started to waver down. Power application slipped. Real effort was required.

Several times I wanted to turn up the TV, but Caelan was sleeping. I had to stick to subtitles for motivation.

My back was a little tweaks at times, but I refocused on how I was engaging and driving.

I’m happy I did it. Next time I’ll try to drop another half second, maybe up the rate more often, and refuel slightly fewer times.

Today, Dec 22, ended up being an off day. Too much to do. I also swapped the 19th for a bike session. I ran out of time to make the meters for the Holiday Challenge (21.3 miles versus 23.75). These long meter days are killer. The back and bum needed a rest and I needed a change up. I’ll probably do it again next week.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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