Friday, August 7, 2009


Ack. The rowing club's competitive crews are racing at Masters' National Championships at the end of next week. It's seemed safely far away for months, and suddenly, it's soon.

I thought it would be fun, till last night, when I read the climactic chapter in Once a Runner, about a (fictional) runner who trains (and trains and trains and trains) to break 4 minutes in the mile. The training chapters were great--I've never been in any danger of being a miler (oddly, a lifetime fastest mile of 7:22 is not quite good enough for that), but the point of training--learning that you can keep going when you're miserable and tired and in pain and someone has taken all the oxygen out of the air--is the same at any speed. Or so we slow people like to tell ourselves.

Anyway, I devoured the book till the last few chapters. But when he was warming up for the pivotal race, I realized that reading about him being nervous was making me nervous. I skimmed the rest of the pages till the race, trying not to understand the words (like watching a scary movie with your eyes partly covered), figuring that reading about the race would dissipate my nerves.

Nope, still nervous. And tapering for next week doesn't help--I hate, hate, hate this part--when I'm exercising less (I haven't biked since Saturday, I'm running less and slower, and the crew's last hard really hard practice was Wednesday), but instead of starting to feeling rested, I feel like I've somehow detrained entirely in 48 hours.


On the positive side, we rowed well in our time trial this morning (it doesn't count as a hard workout because we only did one), and we had one really great set of 20 strokes on the way back to the boathouse... and the duck we ran over (with the boat--it went under the bow and popped back up among the oars) didn't seem at all hurt by the experience.

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