Monday, March 2, 2015

CRASH and SMASH: World Indoor Rowing Championships (3/1/15)

Race: CRASH-B Sprints, World Indoor Rowing Championships
Distance: 2K
Location: Agganis Arena, Boston University
Goal Time: 6:45
Actual Time: 6:44.4

I looked up at the computer and it said I had 1124 meters to go.  Oh crap, I might not finish this race.  I don't know if anyone has ever DNFed a rowing machine race before....

Two months ago, I hadn't thought of doing the CRASH-B or any rowing indoor rowing race.  A couple of years ago, Kelsea had tried to convince me to try rowing since I had the size and running back ground.  But it took Barbara registering for CRASH-B. It seemed like something fun and a short training period; so, I registered too.  (Don't get confused about CRASH, it has nothing to do with crashing rowboats.  However it does give me an excuse to post this video:)

They covered the ice of Agganis with boards and placed - in the competition area - 96 ergs (that's rowerspeak for what the rest of us call: "Rowing Machines").

Each age group went in different heats.  40 - 49 year old heavyweight men all went in the same heat. There were 91 registered and 78 raced (or at least 78 finished - maybe somebody did DNF).  I milled around for a while after getting into the Agganis (checking out the BU Hockey History) and eventually made it to the floor for about 5 minutes of warm-ups.

Warm up area

In line for the race

Once I got to my erg, I was "ready."  Ready was a relative term.  I had no idea what to do.  Fortunately my volunteer coxswain was very helpful.  He told me exactly when to grab the handle.  Maybe if I had been more prepared, I would have been nervous.  But my total lack of preparation required me to wing it on the most basic stuff.  The heat was in three sections.  Each section had 32 ergs that were interconnected and the computer screen was set so that you could see how you and the leaders of your section were doing.  

My erg - #49

On start, I started pulling as hard as I could.  I felt really good: (You can watch the computer graphic of the section here).  As we went through the first 200, I was in fourth in my section of the heat.  I hit the 500 meter mark in a blazing fast 1:34.1 (6:16 pace)! But I definitely wasn't excited about how well I was doing. Instead I realized it was like running the mile and I had just gone two fast.

At 800 meters, I had taken over second in my heat; at 875 meters, I considered DNFing.  Needless to say, my second 500 - which had me 2nd in my section - had slowed considerably.  I dropped 5 seconds slower to 1:39.6.  Then I had to dig deep.

With 1000 meters to go, I just told myself to keep going. I told myself the worst that could happen is that this would suck for 3 and a half minutes.  And it did.  At 1400, I dropped back down into third in my section.

With 500 meters to go, I was spent.  The third split had been 1:45.4 (11 seconds slower than the first one).  This is where I was glad I had the information about my placement right in front of me.  I told myslef: Don't quit, don't quit! Stay in third! I hammered everything I had left to keep up some sort of pace.  The last 500 was 1:45.3...

I finished 30th out of 78 in my age group!  Pretty good I think for someone with no crew background.

Scenes from Agganis

3 of the 4 Terriers on the Miracle Team:
"Mike Eruzione, Winthrop, MA"

Jim Craig, the 4th Terrier

Zamboni parking!

One From the Vault
That time I rowed a real boat - Plitvicka Jezera National Park, Croatia, 2009

Took a lotta right turns since I had problems putting both oars in the water at once

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