Artist health

Welcome back!  What’s the Plan?

We talked about planning and progress. And I mentioned failures. As I train to become an instructor you know I’m going to see failures more easily. Now its times to find my own weaknesses. Let’s describe the weakness as holes in my skill set. Now to address the weaknesses and fill the holes in my skillset.


I am letting it all hang out here so to speak. I’m going to tell you when and where I fail. I’m not hiding it. I didn’t hide the fact the first Marathon I tried I lost it half way thru. Well, we are back in the 2018-19 training year now and yes I’ve had several failures recently. I’ve been fighting a painful injury in my shoulder. I was caving with scouts and I slipped and put a lot of my weight on my shoulder.  That was several months ago. I tried working thru it and I made it worse. I finally went to a physical therapy at a  sports medicine doctor. I’m working thru it with the electrical stimulation and stretches with bands.

Its caused a lot of loss of sleep (still is) and a decent amount of continued pain. So I’m going easy on it now. No PBs for a little while. Much as it pained me to be waiting I’ve been fighting it on both ends. By that I just mean I was conflicted with just pushing thru the pain vs waiting entirely to row for a while. For some that would be no issue, but if you row every day then it’s your daily activity and it has been hard not to row as much. Plus the overhead looming goal of a million I just love accomplishing each year now. I plan to accomplish well into my old age!

Treatment of the electric “tens” shocking machine is one of the most awesome physical therapy solutions I’ve ever heard of. I totally dig it. Also, tea tree oil, pure magnesium spray and tiger balm all are very helpful in getting thru an injury comfortably. Do your best to work out in other areas and keep the arm immobilized. To clarify I mean you need to do 3 leg days a week and switch to a cardio method that doesn’t require the arm. That was tough! The elliptical was a good solution. Running wasn’t as good and the bike was especially misleading. I thought biking more would be good. I did a ride with my sons and thought all was well. So we pushed it out to 29 miles and all seemed well. Good work out, but then it just tightened up more.

I figured out I should be stretching that shoulder thru the ride even. It is a finicky injury.


Now I’m almost recovered. It’s about mid-season in my mind and there are 7 months till the Atlanta erg races. So mid-season progress in seeing the shoulder and the pain has not fully gone away. So if I pull for extended times like Marathon what happens? I set up for doing a half marathon last Friday to answer just that question. The pain wasn’t but minimal little twinges if I got too ambitious. So I kept the power a little lower and accomplished the HM in 1:32:7 I am ok with the time and the effort on this one So its a good test. But its also a fail!  Honestly, it’s not the time I want for my first half marathon and knowing I need to beat my marathon time of 3:19 this HM time doesn’t give me enough confidence to relax.

The solution:

The Solution for the shoulder is to stretch more. Then stretch the shoulder 3 times a day. Then make sure I get the rest each night I need. Also eating well is helping.

I plan to do the marathon during the 4th week of the Dogs Day challenge from Concept 2.  The 4th week of the challenge is 40K accumulative. Id likes to just try the marathon tho I think. Now by Wednesday, I’ll know if the pain the arm is better enough to do the marathon. If not then I should have a plan B and I need to be happy with it.

Plan B do several, or all 10K races at a pace I feel is helping not hurting the arm recovery. Do the 40K for the challenge as a build up for the marathon and plan it a week or two after the Dog days challenge.

Next training weakness.

Still revolving around the arm. I need to practice a few long races pulling at 1:59 or below and this will be at 24 strokes per min.  This will set the 10K time as 40:00.0. The goal is to break the 40 min mark. But can I push this for the split? And at that stroke rate. I dunno. Sounds like a lot of watts? I’ll have to do a test today on the 5K.

Last weakness

This last weakness I’m listing is minor, in fact, I think muscle cramping can be solved by good hydration and form during a row. Oh and protein shakes seem to deter any cramping. I mean this as a general statement and not to get an argument going…lol  But seriously I feel like I loaded the water like I normally drink before the recent HM and I stretched before during and after the row. I really had a lot less cramping than earlier times I’ve rowed 20K or 30 or 42+. So I take this as a good sign. But also as the weakness, I did have hip pain in the form or ass cramping. haha. It wasn’t bad but it did hit me and that was at only 20K. So it’s not entirely gone.

Midseason Assessment:

Overall assessment all my PBs for this season is well below my main PBs. And my rowing times have all been slower save for 1 PB I set just as I thought my arm was getting better the first time. (BTW it wasn’t). So looking at my weakness so far this season. I need to carefully rehabilitate when I have an injury. That in itself is a mental weakness. So I won’t fall into that trap next time.

Now does that mean relax and stop working out entirely? No, As I mentioned earlier just focus on other areas, get rest. Focus the rehab work on the injured area and keep moving forward!

Overall my next step is Planning:

• Plan out my lifting better to gain more leg and arm strength.

• Keep putting in meters.

Dog Day Progress

Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
23,116m 22,207m 32,013m 0m


Next time we talk about ….. “Programming the workouts to step up times and hit goals.”

See you soon!


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