Hey Great to have you back! Come share in my journey thru failures and hopefully we get to some success!
Continuing where I left off I was working on building up to a Marathon distance on the Concept 2 rower.
Building up to the marathon is all about each achievement. Rowing 8-10 10K rows in a matter of 2 months was a goal. Hit it and Success! Then came the 20K a monumental step up of twice as far as Id ever gone before. I stuck to the planned times and i accomplished the first 20K and didn’t much care if it was a good time or not. I was more concerned with even completing it and I did wonder if I could die or just give out and quit. In the end it was a mental game and I completed it. Another success and I was thrilled. By the way, during this, i was becoming more fit, but i didn’t lose any weight and i wasn’t so overly obese that it was easy to shed tons of weight in case your not sure from my initial description. Let’s just lay it all out and cover it now. I had love handles, belly fat, arms and leg fat in distributed areas. The belly was the main focus in my case. Everyone is different. During the 2nd month I could really tell I was breathing better. Oh and did I mention asthmatic type problems before, well this high endurance working out was reducing that quickly. In fact it eventually just went away. No real worries with just walking up stairs and running out of breath. And I went down 3 belt pant sizes, but like I said I carried the weight in my belly so I didn’t think it was noticeable enough. But feeling better and seeing those successes of the 10 and 20K’s were driving me forwards. The rowing practice kept up until I accomplished another 20K and kept hitting the 3 -4 rows a week just to keep up with the schedule. There might have been some weeks of 5 days rowing and some with only 3 days in a week. The more I hit the rower the better I felt and missing more than 2 days started feeling like it was counterproductive. So that made it easier to see if i rowed and didn’t miss days my times were better and I was happier with that. Then came the 30K row. That was hard! I did begin getting some cramps in my legs and that made me look at what I was eating. Essentially my body started failing me on the 30K row. And I only had my nutrition to blame. I prepared by eating some pasta and proteins and I’m pretty regular on a protein shake in the morning ever since. And in the evening if I’ve worked out another. During harder workout times I’ve gone to even more of them a day. But we will focus on the protein info coming up soon.
The day I planned the marathon I knew i needed at least 3 hours plus some to do the row and prepare and everything. And since the rower I use is at work I waited till I had a vacation day all planned two days before Thanksgiving. After all if your going to push yourself you want to finish the push and enjoy Turkey day right? The day I planned came and I had several water bottles staged by me and one had extra carbs in the drink. Failing came at about 20 kilometers or halfway into the row. I found that the rowing machine gives an amount of time I could get off the rower and stretch for 1 minute. My plan was to stretch at 10 k and then at 20k. At the 20 k mark I stretched and the machine reset. I guess I was off of it resting and stretching just a moment too long. Now this was that devastating moment where I asked myself “am I done”. I quit for the day and thought things over during the holiday. I enjoyed the festivities and I ate, but I stayed a little reserved. I got back into the office and decided to plan out the next attempt over Christmas break. Id use the same plan and take off the two days of the weekend and the Monday of vacation then Tuesday Id be rested and mentally prepared.
december 19th 2016 I went into the office said hello to everyone and went in to perform my 26 mile row. Now after the last incident I was afraid to get off the rower and stretch. I still haven’t seen a good way to time this so the machine doesn’t reset. So I plowed thru and i never got off the rower and about 2 hours and 40 minutes into the race I could see I was going to make it in good time. That’s always when things go a little sideways right?! lol Well I started getting pretty bad leg cramps, charlie horses some people call them I think. I began getting the leg cramps with only about 3000meters left. I was so afraid to get off the rower I never left it I just unhooked one foot went slower and kicked the crazy leg in the air to the right of the machine trying to stretch it out and get it to quit hurting. Eventually both legs were doing it and while rowing i hooked in both legs and just tried to finish it. It took 19 minutes longer than I was projecting just 30 minutes before in the race. I finished at 3 hours and 19 minutes!
Finishing a marathon for the first time I was distraught with the feeling of success and failure all at once. I was on track to finish at about 3 hours and 4 minutes and I was planning this great sprint at the end to try and push below the 3-hour mark. I was sure I could do it. But that plan will need to wait for the next attempt. And I had to accept the success of the time I received and the fact I could do it and I finished!
That brings us up to December 2016. I hope you’re enjoying this as much as I have been in reliving the success and failures of starting to row. Look for the next post about the Atlanta Erg Sprints. And I promise to talk nutrition in here, but timeline wise I hadn’t figured anything out yet except that I wasn’t properly fueled to get thru that Marathon without it causing some pain!
See you soon!