The Prodigal Returns

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gregsmith01748
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The Prodigal Returns

Post by gregsmith01748 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:20 pm

Hi,

It's been a while. Although I have been regularly lurking on the forum, I haven't been posting much.

My life has gotten quite hectic over the past couple of years for generally happy reasons. I was promoted at work and my wife and I bought a nice little vacation house near the beach. I like my new job, but it has more travel and a bit longer hours. Learnig how to manage two places has been a bit of a challenge, but being on Cape Cod makes me incredibly happy.

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These changes have disrupted my routines, reduced the amount of time I have to train, and made it harder to prepare for competitive rowing in the methodical way that I had. I suspect that the chaos led to some bad training and that resulted in injuries.

Some of you might recall that I started doing some open water rowing last year and planned to enter a 20 mile open water race this past July. Well, it turned out that a business trip to Shanghai conflicted with the event and I ended up scratching. It was a big disappointment because I had done about 6 months of training focused on longer distances and I thought I was ready to go. After that, I started to try to shift my training to get ready for head races (4-6km OTW rowing events), but more travel, and then a lower back injury basically interrupted training for 5 weeks from mid-August to mid-September. You can see what happened to my fitness from this cool tracker on Strava.

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May-June: Good regular workouts, getting ready for open water race
July: Heavy work travel
August: doing OK, getting back into head racing shape. Injury 8/29.
September: injured, just a little cross training until 9/17. First rowing session back. Decided to NOT scratch from the Head of the Charles.
9/17 to 9/22: Training for HOCR. On 9/22, the rigger of my boat broke. :evil:
9/22 - 10/6: Mostly erg based training. Borrowed someone boat twice to try to get some OTW time.
10/6 to 10/20: Boat is finally repaired. Final training for HOCR. 14 days to work on rowing my boat at head race pace and rate.
10/21: HOCR. I was disappointed in how I did, but not surprised. I was much slower than I was in 2015. This was a big blow to my fragile male ego. It's taken me a few weeks to get my head around it.

Since the 21st, some good things have happened.
1. I finally got to see the Physical Therapist I wanted to see. This is someone who works with all the rowing clubs down on the Charles River and understands exactly how to treat master age group rowers. My back is still nagging at me, and he has already helped me out. I have imbalances in glute strength that were twisting my pelvis and causing weird stuff to happen at the catch. He gave me specific exercises and stretches to try to correct this stuff.

2. I got a coach. I'm going to work with Marlene Royle, who provides remote coaching services. I've read her books and I like her point of view. She's done great work with other masters rowers. I'm hoping she can help me work on my on the water technique.

3. I did a set of fitness assessments so now I now exactly where I am. This will let me plan out how to go forward.

So, anyway, if anyone is still reading by this point...thanks. I look forward to sharing how things go from this point forward.
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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Training blog: https://quantifiedrowing.wordpress.com/

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Tako
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by Tako » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:25 pm

Thanks for sharing!
Welcome back and good luck with your fitness. Working with a qualified physio and a coach sounds like a perfect way forward.
Rowing for fitness & health!
Without others and competition I wouldn't, so thanks to all of you in the community for keeping me going! :fssmile:

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gregsmith01748
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by gregsmith01748 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:34 pm

Thanks. I have high hopes for it.
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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Training blog: https://quantifiedrowing.wordpress.com/

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CamiCrew
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by CamiCrew » Sat Nov 11, 2017 6:32 am

Great to see you post Greg. I was curious how the open water event would go, but understandable you had to scratch. Agree the PT and Marlene are a good way to build back up. Enjoy the vacation house, looks fantastic. Cheers!
-barbara

F Hwt 52 yrs 5'10"

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Grobi
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by Grobi » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:12 pm

Hi Greg,

good to see you back here! I'm sorry about the health problems you had and are still having, but it seems getting a physio involved was the right call.

Re that otw technique issue, I remember we had a brief discussion after you posted an otw video of yourself (maybe three years ago). At that time you had developed a habit of leaning towards one side (can't remember if it was starboard or portside) which was caused by a boat constantly turning to one side. Have you got rid of that boat yet? Would be a shame investing so much energy in technique training and than having it ruined by a crappy boat.

I do like the ocenview from your vacation home by the way. Congrats on the purchase!
Athletes row, others just play games

Peter

51y, 1,89m, 84kg

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gregsmith01748
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by gregsmith01748 » Sat Nov 11, 2017 2:57 pm

Thanks Barbara and Peter.

I'm hoping to enter a shorter open water event next spring to get a taste for open water racing.
Yes, I got rid of my crappy boat (2004 win tech with a crooked fin) and I have a 2014 fluid which rows beautifully. In general, my stroke is symmetrical, but suffered from lack of time in the boat this year. Here's a video of my HOCR race this year, you can tell
Me what need problems I've developed.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/NGE-tF2SFYo[/youtube]
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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Training blog: https://quantifiedrowing.wordpress.com/

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Paul Victory
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by Paul Victory » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:28 pm

Great to hear from you Greg. Sounds like you've been pretty busy and I know all about lower back pain. Hopefully the exercises the PT gave you will solve the problem.

The beach house looks fantastic! I'm not sure however that I would include the word "little" when describing it!
M 65 6'1" 124kg (May05), 92kg (Feb06), 122kg (Aug10), 95kg (Sep11), 117kg (Jun13), now 92kg
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strider77
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Re: The Prodigal Returns

Post by strider77 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:21 am

Greg, its great to have our prodigal son back and I am sorry to hear of your problems and fitness issues.

Great house by the way :wink:

You may recall I started training with you for the Open race and was inputting on your SS but noticed after a few months that you sort of disappeared so I suspected something was up!

Let us know how the remote training goes.

I have noticed quite a lot of our Masters here have had injury issues, including my good friend Paul Victory.

It could be technique as Peter pointed out, I have some personal experience to throw some light on it.

I started erging just about 10 years ago to the day and I had a boditrax session 2 weeks ago which measures muscle, fat and water and metabolic age using impedance.

It showed that I have 7% more muscle in my right leg than my left leg whilst my arms are about the same.

Several people have commented that I tend to lift my left arm when under stress when rowing so this imbalance has probably been caused by poor technique for 10 years!

So I am doing one legged squats on my left leg and generally trying to beef it up to the muscle % of the right leg.

Good luck with your training and let us know how its going.

Best wishes

Alan
66 5ft 10ins tall, 13 stone 11lbs, proud to be a Free Spirit
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