Metal Fatigue?

I had a work-from-home week. On Monday Romana wasn’t better and I worked from home to nurse her. She was feeling pain all over her body and was clearly feverish. I was still very jetlagged.

On Tuesday Lenka’s school called me to pick her up. She looked like having a mild fever, so she has been at home since Tuesday. Not very sick though. Romana was very very miserable and spent most of the day either sleeping or throwing up and complaining. I bought chicken and made a big amount my own home made chicken broth (all natural ingredients). This usually helps to recover and also to prevent.

On Wednesday we decided to keep Robin at home as well, as he had elevated temperatures. Romana seemed to have sweated out the worst. She is clearly recovering, but we all know that you spend about 2 weeks recovering from this year’s flu.

Today Robin is clearly sick. Romana is better, able to sit and read.

In between I managed to get in a 10k at snail pace on Tuesday morning, and I did all my work from home. Long live the connected employee.

Today’s training

Today I was asked to go rowing at 4pm, and take care of Romana’s only healthy pupil, who will be racing next week.

The plan was to row next to her for the first 2 km and give her technical instruction. Then I would do a hard 3km, turn around, row back to her and continue to coach.

The first part was ok. After the warming up and coaching, I turned around and set off for my hard 3km. All going well. I was rowing 26-27spm and working hard in the headwind.

I was about to start winding up the stroke rate for the last km when I had the feeling that I couldn’t keep my left blade at the right depth. Damn, what’s going on, I am too deep on the left?

Well, I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.

Just two strokes, to be precise:


Immediately I noticed the big tear in my wing rigger. Here you can see my position on our lake when this happened (the end of the red part of my trajectory):

I was a few hundred meters from the shore and from our rowing club. I stopped rowing. I put back on another layer of cloting, thinking there would be a high probability that I would go swimming. This would be quite an unpleasant place to be thrown in to our March temperatures water, 300m or so from the nearest shore.

I didn’t dare to check how strong the left part of my wing was still attached to the rest, fearing I might break it and then I would either go in or have to wait for Pavlina to catch up with me, and then get help, while I would be balancing with just my right scull attached to the boat.

I waited for Pavlina to catch up. She was doing her 26spm interval. I shouted at her to continue without me, row to the finish line and then get back to the dock.

Then I started to slowly and gently pull, hands only. Of course my left scull was going deep, so I couldn’t use much force anyway.

I landed safely and took a few pictures of the damage:

I removed the rigger and put it in the car, collecting the admiration of club members regarding my strength. I am now the rigger splitter. :S :S

(Honestly I think it is a mistake made by the boat manufacturer, a wrong weld or something else.)

Here’s my training effort up to that point.

|Dist_|Time_|_Pace__|_SPM___|avg HR|max HR|DPS|Remarks
|02398|16:38|03:28.1| 17.4  | 124  | 149  |08.3|Warming up
|01829|08:14|02:15.0| 25.6  | 171  | 177  |08.7|headwind

So that’s not enough. We went to the erg room. First I did some coaching, correcting some of Pavlina’s technical flaws. Then I told her to row another 1km at head race pace. I was doing 28spm beside her to motivate her a bit. That was an unmeasured 1200m at roughly 1:51 pace.

Then I set off to a 2km/1.5km/1km/500m with 3 minutes rest, at head race pace:

Pretty happy with that. The first 2km at under 1:50 pace didn’t feel all too hard. Perhaps it was the rigger splitter adrenalin. 😡

So 1800m + 1200m + 2km + 1500m + 1km + 500m = 8km at head race pace. I think good training effort.

I called the boat manufacturer and he’s coming to the club tomorrow to check if one of the wings he has in stock will fit. He checked my boat parameters and has good hope. He also told me he changed supplier of all the welded stuff after problems with the wing riggers he used around 2010. If the wing fits, I will be back in my boat on Sunday. That would be great, because I am racing in 8 days.

Plan B is to borrow another single but the only one that is available is for 85kg. I will be too light for that boat. Anyway, tomorrow I will do a test row in that one to see if it is a viable alternative.