Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I've been doing on my summer vacation...

Once again I realize it has been a long time since my last post here.  And lest my C2TweetCrew friends think I have totally abandoned the erg for other pursuits, I thought I'd update my running total.   I have been doing some rowing, though all of it has been at CrossFit workouts.  And rather than list them all individually, I thought I'd just tally them up and post the running total from my online log book.  Over the last couple months I have managed to get in 45,000 meters (kind of funny that with all the rowing WODs I've done over the last two months, the total ended up being a nice, round number!)

As August rapidly approaches, I hope to get more time on the rower and start finishing up my challenge for the year.  I have a feeling that September and October are gonna be pretty busy...

because I will be opening my very own CrossFit gym in September!   If all goes as planned Flower City CrossFit will be opening its doors around September 15th, 2010!  I will certainly be posting more about that in the weeks to come... so stay tuned.   The web site will be live in early August!

Total Meters
Misc CrossFit Rowing
Meters to go

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm still here!

I realize it has been a loooong time since my last post!  And my rowing meters have been suspiciously stagnant for the last couple months.   So I thought I would check in and let folks know what I have been up to.

As typically happens in the late spring, most of my attention gets pulled into triathlon training and CrossFit.   This year is no different.  Though I did branch out a bit and ran the Segahunda trail marathon relay race with some CrossFit friends. 

 Our marathon team the "Power Snatchers"

I ran the final leg of the marathon - in Inov8 trail shoes, not VFFs this time.

That was a great experience!   The course was challenging and running a relay marathon was lots of fun -- I've never run a race with a team before.   Our co-ed team placed second amongst the co-ed teams, so I felt pretty good about that.One of the credos of CrossFit is to "try a new sport" regularly.  For me, the trail marathon fulfilled that requirement for me.  And now I have at least two other trail races planned for the summer/fall, including the Northeast Warrior Dash.

I've also been moving my CrossFit Endurance focus from the rower to running.  We've been running CFE running classes three nights a week at CrossFit Rochester.  Teaching the classes has really had me working on my running technique, and I've been spending a lot of time running in my Vibram Five Fingers  (including a great new pair of Bikilas I got!!)   I really feel like my transition to a more "barefoot" running style has made huge strides thanks to the CFE classes and the Vibram shoes.  I really can't recommend them highly enough!

Vibram Five Finger Bikilas!!!

But with all this going on, fear not!  I have not forgotten my quest for a million meters this year.  I plan on getting in a few rowing workouts over the summer - though not at the March Madness pace I set earlier in the year.   With a little over 300,000 meters to go, I am certain I will be able to get the rest of them in once the summer begins to wind down.  Even if it means some "Fall Madness".  I'll be up for it!!

My apologies for being silent (I haven't even been on twitter lately!!!) and for seeming to fall off the face of the blogosphere (does the blogosphere have a face?)  I'm still here - keeping busy and working out like a maniac.  I'll be back on the erg before you know it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Video from the Row For The Red Cross

Here is a video from the Row For The Red Cross event that I did back in April.   Props to Laura for doing a great job on the editing (and most of the filming)!  All I had to do was row!

2010 Row For The Red Cross from Jeff Rice on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

May 1st marked the official start of the 2010 Concept2 rowing season.   As one who is relatively new to this whole indoor rowing thing, it was a bit of a surprise to me to find out that the rowing season runs May-April each year.  Who knew?

My new year seems to be off to a bit of a slower start than my prior season ended.   I'm still struggling with fitting everything into a hectic schedule.   Hopefully I will be able to settle in to 30-50K a week soon.   As the weather is improving here in the Northeast US, I am finding more reasons to be outside, and more things I need to do that take me out of the house.   Not conducive to logging lots of meters on the rower...  But that was somewhat expected, and part of the reason I wanted to get a good head start on my million meters in the first quarter of the (calendar) year.

So, to all my rowing friends (especially those on the C2TweetCrew!)... Happy New Year!   Spring and Summer may have me contributing at a somewhat slower pace to any challenges, but rest assured I am here, and at the very least will be cheering you all on!

Results from Tuesday:

Total Meters
Total for Day
Meters to go

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Life's little sub-plots

Boy,  just when I think I am getting back in the groove, I encounter another minor bump in the road.

Sunday afternoon I was all set to hop on the rower for a 10K row.  About 1000m in, my digestive system forced me to abort the row in favor of an extended visit to the porcelain throne.... Ughhhh.   Seems I got hit with a bit of food poisoning.   Sunday and Monday were spent largely in bed and in the bathroom.   I'm feeling much better today and might even venture a go at the erg this evening.

My little battle with food poisoning is what I like to refer to as one of life's little sub-plots.   It's a metaphor that was suggested to me by one of my best friends from my first job out of college.   It has stuck with me through many years.

We all have a vision of what we want to do in life.  That may be a long-term goal of where we want to be in 5 years, or when we retire.  It may be a shorter term goal of the 5 things I want to accomplish this week.  Or even the one thing I want to accomplish today (like my 10K row on Sunday).  These things are the main plot of our lives - our lives as we have scripted them. 

But the reality of life - at least as I have experienced it - is that much of life is actually lived in a of a bunch of unscripted sub-plots.  Sometimes these sub-plots will advance the main plot of your life -- a friend offers to take your kids to the park for the afternoon and you suddenly find yourself with a couple hours of free time to tackle one of those 5 things you wanted to get to this week.    Sometimes they seem to derail your plans and keep you from accomplishing what you want to do -- a fender-bender on the way to work forces you to "waste" hours of time getting your car fixed, contacting insurance companies for estimates, arranging for transportation, etc.

More often than not, we have no control or influence over the sub-plots that land in our path.  Life just deals the cards and we have to work with the hand we are dealt.   It is easy to get frustrated when the sub-plot you find yourself in seems to completely derail your intentions.  But sometimes these detours may be just what you needed, giving you minor corrections to your long-term plans, or perhaps giving you insight (or battle scars) that will help you with the next sub-plot you find yourself starring in.

At times when I find myself buried in one of these sub-plots, I like to remind myself of a quote by Teddy Roosevelt:

"Do the best you can, with what you have, where you are."   

Wishing that I am not sick won't get me more time on the rower - that is not "where I am".   Where I am may be sick in bed.  Being resentful that someone else may have more free time to do something I would like to be doing doesn't advance my situation - extra free time is not "what I have".   What I need to focus on is doing my very best to accomplish the tasks at hand and, if possible, return to the main plot.  "Doing my best" means using every asset at my disposal, in the current situation I find myself in.

I try not to get too hung up about sub-plots.   Ultimately, they are a big part of the story line.   I just hope there are not too many more food poisoning sub-plots in my future!  But if there are, I just hope to do the best I can, with what I have, where I am.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I'm baaaack...

So I have been conspicuously absent recently.  There has been a lot in life that has conspired to keep me off the erg lately.

First, once I completed the marathon for the Red Cross, I felt like I needed a bit of a break.  The Concept2 March madness challenge, followed by the marathon, forced me to put in a lot of meters in a month and a half.   By the time I finished the marathon I was starting to feel a little bit of burnout.   I was just not feeling excited about getting back on the rower.   That, to me, is a sure sign that a short break was needed.

Last weekend, I traveled with Laura to Dallas Texas for a CrossFit Level 1 certification class.   I have been doing CrossFit for over 2 years now and have been wanting to get my teaching certification for about a year now.   It was a long time coming, but in one regard I am glad I waited.  The certification process is more formal now and includes a graded test at the end.  This was formally introduced 4 weeks ago.  Anyone who took the certification class in the past, needs to go back and take the test to be officially certified.  So, I am glad I don't have to do that!    The great news is that I passed the test and now am officially certified to teach CrossFit!   Can't wait to start putting that to action!

It has also taken me a while to get into a good routine with my new dog, Kira.   She's a great dog, but is still a bit of a handful - as puppies are prone to being.  My past routine of waking up and rolling onto the rower for a 10K has become, rolling out of bed, letting the dogs out, running a mile with Kira, feeding the dogs, and THEN rowing 10K.   Still working out the kinks in that schedule to find a reliable way of logging the meters on the rower.    I'm sure I'll figure it all out.

I did manage to get a quick 1,500 meters in as part of a warmup at CrossFit earlier in the week.  I have to pull that data off my log card and record it here.  In the mean time, my 10K row from this morning is recorded below.  Feeling like my technique is off a bit after the 2-week hiatus.  Kept the pace pretty easy and tried to focus on that...

Finally, I just wanted to say one more time - THANK YOU!!! to everyone that donated, rowed, or provided support to the Row For The Red Cross!   We are going to try to roll it out on a much bigger scale next year.   I sincerely support all the encouragement from friends, and particularly from the online rowing community.    (Speaking of which, if you happen to stumble upon my blog and are a rower, check out the rapidly growing community of rowers at www.c2tweetcrew.com Charles Anderson - the creator of the site and the founder of the Concept2 virtual rowing team "tweetcrew" - has done an amazing job with the site.  Some awesome features there.  Check it out!)

Total Meters
Total for Day
Meters to go

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Ok, that title might be a bit over-dramatic.  But there were elements of all three things in my row today.  It was my first full-marathon, and was part of the Row For The Red Cross event that I started with Bethany of CrossFit Geneseo.   So much to talk about... lots of pictures to share (thanks to my girlfriend Laura, and to my friend Randy for taking all the GREAT pictures!!)... let me break it down.

The Good

Really almost every aspect of the day was good.   Actually "great" would be more accurate.   First, and perhaps foremost is that I completed my first full marathon!  42,195 meters of (basically) uninterrupted rowing on a Concept2 rower.  My time is posted below.  I managed to keep it under 3 hours and 30 minutes, which was my primary goal for the day.  I'm tired, but not too battered from the effort.

But really, the thing that is more important to me is that the event was a huge success!   We had a great turn-out at CrossFit Rochester, with about 13 people coming out to row.  And several more came out to cheer the rowers on.  And just about everyone hung around to the very end when I finished.   I just can't put into words how much that meant to me.
CrossFit Rochester
 Laura rowing beside me at around 20K to go...

One of my fellow CrossFitters, Darren, jumped in to do his 5K when I had about 15K to go.   He hammered out a sub-20 minute 5K (by a good margin!) and then, after a short pause, hopped back on the erg to row next to me to help me finish it out!  What a HUGE mental help that was!   Darren is officially on my "I owe him a beer" list!  Thanks Darren!!!!

Darren helping me bring it home!

Thanks to the Red Cross, we also got some local media coverage.  Local CBS, FOX, NBC, and Time Warner Cable affiliates came by to video and talk to me about rowing, CrossFit, and raising money for the Red Cross. That was fun!
Proof that I can talk and row at the same time!

Again, it was HUGE success, thanks to all my great CrossFit friends, the great people at the local Red Cross Chapter, and especially to all the generous people that donated money to sponsor rowers.  We have raised over $3,400 for the Red Cross.

Oh, and I broke 600,000 meters on my way to a million this week!   With a bad back even!!!

The Bad

Really only one "bad" thing to report.  With about 5K to go, my laptop which was running RowPro went into sleep mode!  This caused RowPro to lock up!  So I was unable to save my marathon digitally!  FAIL!   And, of course, this was the one time I did not have my log-card inserted into the monitor.  ARRRGGGHHH!   Fortunately, I have lots of witnesses. :-)
RowPro, locked up with 5,591 to go!
See, I really did do it!
The Ugly
The one thing that I would potentially characterize as "ugly" is that 1/2 - 3/4 distance 10K.  When I hit about 20,000 meters I was thinking "Great! Almost half way there and I am feeling great!"   The next 10K seemed to take about 2 hours... Ughhh.   My pace stayed pretty constant, but mentally the clock just seemed to sloooooow dooooown.   I need to be mentally prepared for that next time I try this.

Next time???  Did I just say that?

Heck yeah!   We are planning on making the Row For The Red Cross a much bigger event next year.  We are hoping to even take it nation-wide!  Gonna have to get going on that.... But for now, I think I have earned an evening's rest.   And maybe a beer to replenish my electrolytes.  There are electrolytes in beer, right?  :-)

Total Meters
Does my back still work? (Thur)
Easy 5K (Fri)
Marathon (Sun)
Total for Day
Meters to go