Me and B were ready. Maybe too ready. We had Goo. Nuun. Coconut water. Water water. Large coffee. RX Bars. Eggs. And 2 packs of frozen, sugar-and-nitrate-free bacon in the gym fridge (Note: one of these items was not intended for marathon consumption).
Walking into RowFit we found all the ergs arranged, a screen set up to handle leaderboard duties, and team signs handmade by our coaches:
Training time was over. Team At Risk Adults was ready to tackle our first 42, 195 meter marathon— the equivalent of 26.2 miles.
Breaking It Down
Chatting with others before the race, everyone had their own strategy for handling the meters. Some brave souls were rowing the entire thing solo. Some teams were going to row their biggest pieces up front and whittle away from there, others planned on a series of mid-range pieces. We fell into the latter camp. We figured 3ks would be sizable enough without the off-erg teammate cooling down too much waiting their turn.
I went second and surprised myself by clocking in 5 seconds under my planned split. Not bad. B, who pulls harder than me, had the same success so off the bat our combined split was healthy.
The next 3k went down just as smooth, if not a little more grueling mentally:
First 1000m: Don’t look at the monitor. Dude, don’t look. Hey, what’s that on the wall over there? Just stare at it.
1500: Ok. Now you can look. Power 10!
2500: Form. Focus on form. Sit up straight. Lean forward. You’re totally not tired. That’s in your head.
2700: Bring this one home. Just count to 14… three more times.
3000: Get me off this thing!
After five 3ks apiece our endurance was waning. We dropped down to 2ks and a 1k to close it out. I so wanted the reduced distance to make everything feel easier but no dice. After a few hours of rowing it was all just a long slog.
No matter. I don’t know if it was the energy or the stream of Nuun and caffeine I fed myself, but I was able to finish each piece strong. And with B being a powerhouse, our final results were:
AT RISK ADULTS
Bethany F & Erin SW
Definition of success: walking away with a better than anticipated split, and being cheered on by great people.
Everyone who participated did something amazing — especially the solo rowers and the winning team, who finished in just 2:47:48 (that’s a crazy 1:59.3 split!). And we got it done all before brunch.