May 12, 2003

what Rudder does

Monday, and back on the four-days-on-the-water / one-at-the-gym schedule for
another week before I begin tapering down for my race. They've been more intense
workouts too: I've done 200 and 300-meter pieces today, and will do 500m pieces
tomorrow, steady state Thursday, 1K race pieces Friday, just like href="">last week. Normally, I do
try to exercise this many days a week, but Mondays and Fridays I do 5K on the erg
instead of ten or twelve on the water.

But last week href="">Marn wrote, "I don't know how you're keeping
up that kind of schedule. If I was one of those ducks on that lake, I'd be
freakin' amazed." So it's True Confession time, diary readers. Here's the thing I
haven't been mentioning. I had to read Marn's note to Rudder, and he got quite a
kick out of it because ... you see ... Rudder does this every week. He's kept up
the 5 days at 4AM schedule since the beginning of this year. Even scarier, most
days he does three laps, or about 18K, and a higher proportion of that distance is
at a race pace. One or two days he rows a double with She-Hulk -- usually I find
the distance a bit easier in a double, but since he's actually faster in the
single, I'd guess that for him the added drag outweighs the added propulsion.
(This is no reflection on She-Hulk; they'll be racing other mixed doubles, and
she's probably the best choice for that double of all the women here. She's got
the strength and the attitude, she's not lagre but is at least much bigger than
me, and she thinks Rudder is the Oracle of Delphi and listens to every word he
says.) All that pain has paid off; he's currently about the fastest of the 80 or
100 people who row here regularly. Last race he even beat a recent lightweight
nationals champion, though the latter was admittedly not in training. (But still
upset with himself, nonetheless.)

I don't know quite how Rudder does
it, especially while working a demanding and responsible job. My leading theory is
that it's a combination of natural endurance and mental toughness, rather than all
either one. I have none of the first, myself, and a bit less than he has of the
second. (Then again, he doesn't have to put up with small stature, contact lenses,
menstruation, or MEN. Maybe mine is just scattered around more.) Still, it's
impressive. It's also makes it damned hard (but never impossible) for me to whine
about doing for two weeks what he's done for five months.

Posted by dichroic at May 12, 2003 11:32 AM
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