Fierce Steady State and a Tickle Story

Tickle Story

Sunday I did no training. The rowing club was closed because of long distance swimming championships, so we decided to make it a relax day.

Just a relax day, huh? Romana and I went to the spa resort that is close to the rowing club, and while driving there we were talking a bit about back pain and the back injury I had a few weeks ago. I have got feedback from different people that my back muscles are too tight and I should do something about it. Romana goes to massage regularly so she suggested I sign up for a massage session and see what that does.

OK.

Sounds like a good idea. I have been thinking about this already for a long time. Problem is, I am extremely ticklish. Always been. The other problem is that I have a pretty wide intimate space and always feel uncomfortable about unknown people entering it:

But it is time to bite the bullet. I am a fan of getting out of your comfort zone and I guess the only way to get over it is to learn how to deal with it when getting a back massage. I also imagined that if a sturdy masseur would work on my back it would rather hurt than tickle. I can handle pain.

So when we arrived I ordered that massage, and spent the time until my appointment by taking a sauna, then having a light lunch.

All relaxed and open to new experiences, I waited for the masseur to pick me up. Turns out the masseur was a she, a nice lady about half my age. I should have known. About all the staff in this resort is female and twenty-something.

This was a bit more out of my comfort zone than I expected.

Now I am normally not very prudish, but this was starting to get scary. Not to a normal person, but to me.

The lady asked me what I wanted to have massaged. I told her that I sometimes have problems with my back and would like to a massage. “OK,” she said. “Take off your sheet and lay down here.”

Again, I am normally not very prudish, but this also caught me by surprise. But after A, you have to be ready to say B. Right? So I did what she said. Slightly terrified now. And starting to sweat.

I am not an expert, but I have the feeling the massage was done well. She worked the muscles of my back thoroughly and I had the feeling I could relax and relieve the strain on those muscles. But of course there were moments where I would get a slight tickle response.

To me it was extremely controlled. Being my normal self, I would jump off the massage table, arms flailing and hysterically screaming. None of that. But of course I would not be relaxed.

The masseuse noticed of course. She “solved” it by saying “relax” in a soft voice, quite close to my ear. Right in that “intimate space” that I talked about above.

Anyway, probably much ado about nothing for normal people but it was quite an experience for me!

Still have to say that I did enjoy the massage and I do think I need to start seeing a masseur more regularly, but it will take time to get used to it and be comfortable with it.

Of course I told the whole story to Romana who just laughed.

Fierce steady state

Arriving at the lake this morning, the day starting at a chilly and humid 11C, I noticed that my temporary double partner Jiri was also launching. Usually, he starts his row when I am already cooling down, but today he had a lot of things to do and decided to start early.

We discussed a bit and discovered that both of us were doing steady state. Great. I like rowing next to somebody.

I knew there was a big risk that I would push too hard, but that I accepted that, and was actually looking forward to it. There has to be some fun in training as well, right?

Warming up and technique drills. Then off into a headwind for the first part of the steady state.

We were rowing next to each other and of course I was pushing a bit harder than normal. He’s 6:30 erg man, 82 kg heavy, so he should be fast. He gained half a length on my doing what I estimate to be 20spm. I was alternating 18/20/22spm in two minute intervals. He gained during the 18spm, but I gained back what I lost during the 22spm. Splits were faster than normal.

Turn at Sirka and same story back. He crabbed during the first 100m so he was rowing 30m behind me, but doing a 22spm he gained that back. At one point I looked at my phone and noticed I was doing 2:06 pace at 21spm!!

This continued all the way to Rokle where he finished one length ahead of me.

Silence for a minute or so. I took a glance at him and noticed he was breathing heavily, trying to disguise that. I was in a similar situation.

We commented that we had rowed 3km in a faster pace than on our 2km race of last weekend, at much much lower stroke rate. RIM Metrics look OK, I think.

| Dist_ | Time_ | _Pace__ | _SPM_ | avg HR | max HR | DPS | Remarks
| 02247 | 11:32 | 02:34.0 | 16.5 | 129 | 141 | 11.8 | WU
| 00064 | 01:27 | 11:19.9 | 19.4 | 105 | 124 | 02.3 | headwind part starts
| 00420 | 02:01 | 02:23.9 | 18.8 | 138 | 151 | 11.1 |
| 00420 | 02:00 | 02:22.9 | 19.6 | 154 | 157 | 10.7 |
| 00431 | 02:00 | 02:19.1 | 20.9 | 161 | 166 | 10.3 |
| 00414 | 01:59 | 02:23.7 | 18.6 | 160 | 164 | 11.2 |
| 00430 | 02:01 | 02:20.7 | 19.7 | 160 | 162 | 10.8 |
| 00444 | 02:00 | 02:15.2 | 21.5 | 165 | 169 | 10.3 |
| 00419 | 02:00 | 02:23.1 | 18.7 | 163 | 169 | 11.2 |
| 00038 | 00:10 | 02:11.5 | 20.3 | 157 | 158 | 11.3 |
| 00062 | 00:48 | 06:28.7 | 19.2 | 151 | 157 | 04.0 | turn
| 00386 | 02:02 | 02:37.9 | 19.1 | 139 | 153 | 10.0 | tailwind part starts
| 00450 | 02:00 | 02:13.5 | 20.7 | 161 | 166 | 10.8 |
| 00440 | 02:00 | 02:16.4 | 20.7 | 166 | 169 | 10.6 |
| 00453 | 02:00 | 02:12.3 | 20.4 | 165 | 168 | 11.1 |
| 00471 | 02:00 | 02:07.3 | 22.4 | 171 | 174 | 10.5 |
| 00450 | 02:00 | 02:13.3 | 19.9 | 170 | 173 | 11.3 |
| 00433 | 02:00 | 02:18.7 | 21.8 | 169 | 170 | 09.9 |
| 00183 | 03:00 | 08:11.2 | 19.1 | 134 | 166 | 03.2 | turn
| 02047 | 10:04 | 02:27.5 | 19.1 | 154 | 164 | 10.7 | CD

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