The combination of Jonquil’s and Orbitalmechanic’s entries reminds me that I haven’t written much about rowing lately. The thing is, it’s going really well; I had been on the water so little in the last few years, and I’d slacked off a bit on distance pretty much ever since the last Holiday Challenge ended (“slacked off” = 20-30 km per week). The best thing for motivation was when some of the women I row with here asked me to race in a quad with them this fall. They’re very good rowers, all bigger and stronger than I am, and two of them have been racing almost every other weekend in a double, training hard and doing well in the races. So I feel honor-bound now to get back in shape, building up technique, endurance and strength so that I can pull my share of the boat.

I guess the erging I’ve been doing over the past few years, the marathon training and the Holiday Challenges and all, did a pretty good job of building an endurance base because it’s been coming back to me fast. Every time I go out I row farther than the time before and I feel like I row better. I do some speed work too. (I don’t have a Strokecoach in this boat, so can’t compare times.) My calluses are coming back – on my first few rows the hands were the limiting factor. Today I rowed about 11.4 km; I was doing 12 routinely when I was here before. The climate here is so much easier to row in, too – I don’t know if I ever did manage more than 8km in Taiwan, because the humidity made it feel like rowing through molasses even when it wasn’t all that hot. (And of course, it mostly *was* all that hot.) And in that 11.4km, I did 6 interval sets of 200m hard, 200 easy, and 600 medium pressure. What I really need to do now (and kind of hate to do) is longer intervals – 1km, 3km, whatever. Our fall races are usually around 6km, so I not only need to row for a long time but to row hard for a long time.