Week 4: Getting Comfortable With Speed

One of my boat mates texted about her on-water training that morning and said, “What’s it, like, 17 days now?”

“16. Get it right,” I answered.


My little reminder.

It’s getting real. I bought this sticker at last year’s Head of the Hooch, when I decided going to the Charles was the goal for 2019. HOCR seemed far away and beyond reach when I taped over my work desk at eye level. It’s been reminding me for eleven months of the objective. Now HOCR is 12 days away.

All this training is coming to a head.

Training Plan Update

This week started on the tail end of a head cold. I had to take it a little easier the first two days. Tuesday’s workout was the epitome of starting the workout feeling crappy and ending channeling a rowing diva. That’s how I knew I’d recovered enough to attack it 100%.

New workouts from Faster Masters for the month! The theme is getting accustomed to speed. Feel the burn. Embrace it. Push through it.

I loved the anaerobic work, which is saying something since usually I struggle. I’ve had this weird dichotomy of being decent at laying down low-rate steady state meters, decent at high-rate sprint work, but sucking at the “middle.” All that AT work seems to finally be showing some results.

My favorite workout had the training note to “pretend you are practicing passing” during one of the burn sections. A lovely visual for the press and shift back to base.

My notes were sprinkled with positivity from Tuesday on. “Powerful.” “Press harder next time.” “Feeling awesome.” All good words to have as the countdown plows through the teens.


Cox cam from “Row It Like You Stole It” HOCR 2016 video. 

For the recovery work, I watched YouTube videos from prior Head of the Charles. This may not have been the smartest choice because as the coxes made moves and the vocal tension swelled, the rate crept up. Whoops.

Still, a fun way to pass the time and “visualize” while getting in precious meters.

Strength training maxed out this week. I finished the build with a 1-rep strength test on Thursday. My shoulder press remains as miserably weak as ever, but the deadlift and squat improved since last assessment three months ago.

Now land training goes on taper. The rowing workouts will follow.


Kettlebell deadlifts.

I can’t believe I’m throwing around “taper.” That makes it even more real.

One rowing friend shared a Head of the Charles memory, calling the regatta “Charlesmas.” Merry Charlesmas everyone!

A tiny vacation in training

I executed only five training sessions this week. I mentioned last week having scheduled travel over the weekend. Our wedding anniversary is Monday after HOCR. Usually we go camping, but I’ll be in Boston. We can’t go the weekend after because the Head of the Hooch is two weekends later, so I’ll be training some more.


Whoa! A cave!

So here’s our camping weekend! Mammoth Cave National Park, one of our Kentucky bucket list items. The river running through the park is too low to safely row with our current drought. The boat stayed home, so I banged out an erg and land session Friday before we left and took two days “off.”  With our hiking and chasing a toddler, it was an active rest period.

I know some hardcore people will probably ding me for taking a “vacation” right before such a big event. Taper’s coming right? Maybe this vacation is a small step towards the taper.

Head of the Hooch

The deadline crept up on me. I’m in an Open Women 4x and a Masters Women 8+, but had nothing on Sunday. I didn’t actively seek anything out, nor did it help that the Open 4x was moved to Saturday. By the time I realized I had two days to deadline, I couldn’t find anyone looking for a rower to fill a seat. Sunday’s schedule isn’t conducive to a lot of racing anyway with two hours of singles.

After consulting with three people, dredging up my courage, I did this. IMG_1789.JPG

First race in the new boat. Right now most of my mental focus is on succeeding at the Head of the Charles, but I’ll be real nervous about this one after October 18.

What’s up this week?

I’m a little concerned the head cold turned into a sinus infection. It seemed okay until our trip this weekend. I’ll be jumping on top of that as I don’t need antibiotics or breathing trouble during the HOCR.

I have another week of pushing the rowing, while strength training is now about maintenance. I’m looking forward to challenging the sessions to see some gains from the first week of the new workout.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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