Friday & Saturday – Storm


I had to drive to Prague for a few meetings (and a business lunch). The Friday traffic was so bad that I lost an hour on the way back. Also, I had a dinner appointment. Life is hard.

So I just did a 6k in the double. The lake was a bit choppy. It was a very sunny and windy spring day. Temperature around 22 degrees. Trees are starting to blossom.

I saw this guy in the office park in Prague. One of the highlights of the day


The plan was to do a 6k on the water. The clever guys of our club did that at 8am, before the wind starts.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make that. I was quite tired after a week of travel, and wanted to sleep in a bit. Also, Iva, one of Romana’s girls who has a chance of rowing a good result next week, had a party on Friday evening, and didn’t want to row early.

The plan was that we do a 2x3km (a 6k with a quick turn). Iva would start 2 minutes ahead of me. I would row 2 minutes behind her and try to catch up.

All kinds of things went wrong:

  1. Having traveled, my heart rate meters and running watches are in the wrong bags. On Friday I rowed without a strap, because I couldn’t get the SpeedCoach to sync with the Tickr. Today, I rowed with the Tickr (the sync problem was just me not getting the English of the SpeedCoach user interface – with more blame to me than to the SpeedCoach) but it was misbehaving, getting stuck on constant values – or perhaps it’s the Tickr/SpeedCoach combo.
  2. There was a strong wind. I set out on my single to check the waves, leaving Iva at the dock. I actually returned and advised her not to row. I didn’t want to be responsible for her rowing in these high waves, and it definitely wouldn’t be a good race prep.
  3. There is a lot of debris in the lake. Branches and pieces of wood taken by the melting snow in the Czech/Moravian highlands.

Sometimes, I don’t take my own advice, so I set out in the single, struggled through the part of the lake with the highest waves, and sailed on a tailwind to behind the castle. By the time I arrived there I had a few cm of water in the boat.

I also had this annoying problem where the Empower Oarlock magnet was slowly rotating. About 10 degrees per 5km. Enough to be visible. (After the row I discovered that the entire pin was rotating. It wasn’t tightened enough. So that was easy to fix.)

At the 6k point I turned around and got ready to row at least the 4k river part at head race pace.

The first 1k was extremely hard headwind. The kind that feels like you row into a wall. Every time I squared my blades, the wind pushed very hard.

After a bit more than 1km, the SpeedCoach lost contact with the Oarlock. It was still showing the oarlock icon to indicate there was a connection, but the power, effective length and work per stroke fields were not updating.

I stopped and reset the SpeedCoach, then continued. After a minute or so of battling into the head wind, the SpeedCoach stopped updating the data from the Oarlock again. This time I decided that I was going to get some training effect and not fuzz around with electronics, so I just continued to row.

There was a point where my cap blew off, so I had to return and grab it from the water.

It wasn’t really a head race preparation row. I couldn’t get above 24spm in the head wind. At some of the points 22spm was the max.

I stopped for a drink just before leaving the gorge and going on the open lake.

During the headwind struggle through the north part of the lake I had a few waves that reached until half way my back. I was completely soaked. The water in my single was up to the top of the seat reals. On every stroke I managed to get some water floating out of the boat, but then a few strokes later a massive wave would go over me and I would be swamped again. As the boat was low in the water with all the extra water, I had even more difficulty rowing. Luckily, a single cannot sink, so I struggled and struggled and just kept going slowly, at 15-17spm, until I reached the dock. The wind was now so strong that I asked help to carry the single back to the boat house.


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