Training for the Charles in Cotuit

I remembered yesterday that the deadline for entering the Head of the Charles Regatta is coming up soon, so I logged into the HOCR.org site and filed an application for one of the precious slots in the Grand Master Singles scull event. I was lucky enough to score an entry in 2003, pulling a dismal 23’03” and finishing second-from last in a field of 39 senior masters. I had my excuses — it was my first Head alone, sculling (I’ve always participated in a team boat with at least four rowers), and I had a torn intercostal muscle in my right rib-cage, necessitating a massive overdose of Advil on the dock.

Update 8.3.11: Entry wasn’t accepted by the HOCR Gods so no Head of the Chuck this year for me. I did enter the Green Mountain Head in Putney, Vermont though. Better scenery.

Excuses, excuses and hope springs eternal. So once more I am crossing my fingers and hoping for an entry in this fall’s regatta, arguably the greatest rowing event in the world.

Application filed, I woke up this solstice morning to bluebird skies and zero wind. I set out the trash cans, drank a cup of coffee, and ten minutes later was backing away from the beach at the foot of Old Shore Road in my old Empacher. I set out around Grand Island in a counter-clockwise direction, rowing a slow stroke rate with firm power, cranking along on a mirror-like surface completely pleased to be able to do such a graceful thing on a whim on what I parochially consider the best rowing water I’ve ever rowed on. 8,000 meters and 43 minutes later, and I was pleased to see my average pace at at the same level it was eight years ago in 2003, a good harbinger I hope of some fall regatta success.

Funny, but in the back of my mind looms February and the 2012 CRASH-B sprints, the world championships of indoor rowing. Every pull-up, every overhead power snatch, kettlebell swing and burpee I’ve done this spring has been with that ugly six and a half minutes of agony in mind. To see them payoff on the water is very rewarding, but for some reason the boat is far more arbitrary a gauge than the merciless ergometer.

Training for the Head of the Charles is a matter of working towards a 5 km distance. Funny how the presence of 100,000 cheering spectators seems to shave a minute or two off the time — but to give you and idea of what I’m up against. Here’s the course on the Charles River as mapped in the g-map pedometer:

And here’s the same distance mapped on Cotuit Bay:

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

3 thoughts on “Training for the Charles in Cotuit”

  1. Inspiring David! I hope you get in. The daily physical & psychological self examimation that rowing this event requires will turn you into a beach minotaur this summah’!

  2. Nice going. Hope to see you there, if I get in.
    Your pedometer / map looks cool.
    This morning, I tried out Speed Coach Mobile (iPhone version of Speed Coach). It uses gps and accelerometer to give speed and check measurement.

    I was mainly out to verify the calibration of my impeller driven Speed Coach Gold. I found that the river current added a nine sec/ 500m “drag” upstream, and a nine sec/500m “push” down stream.

    Nice.

    Good Rowing, David!

  3. Same to you Tom and good luck on your entry. I’ve never calibrated my speed coach … I just figure it’s all relative. Tomorrow I’m going to try for 5×1000 meters with 4 min paddle in between at close to a race pace. Ought to be ugly. It always is.

Leave a Reply to Tom Friel Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,864 other subscribers
Exit mobile version
%%footer%%