Friday, February 5, 2010

paddling: ... where you lead...

miles: 9.93
time: 1:34

Thursday night I did an OC2 workout with DougM. That should pretty well sum it up!

This was my first OC2 workout, so I was nervous on account of that. We'd tried on several other occasions and I either misunderstood the details, or was sick. The Thursday before, we ended up w/ enough paddlers to take an OC6 out, and we made it to the I-90 bridge and back, a good paddle for a Thursday evening. But that was with 5 paddlers. This time I was on my own (DougN was not paddling). So I was especially nervous.

I don't know DougM well, but I know him well enough to know he's a strong and experienced paddler, and is in great shape. And I'm .... well, me. In other words, there was good potential for embarrassing myself.

A part of me figured that he probably didn't know just how lame I was going to be on the water and in a few short minutes after starting out he'd be wishing I'd called in sick. But another part of me wanted to do it, both for the workout and to see how bad it (and I) would be. I mean, what's the worst that could happen? Season-ending injury? February dark-of-night huli? Both?

So, I got to the beach and helped him rig his canoe and we launched.

He sat up front, where he usually sits when paddling with Sabine. That meant:
  1. I didn't have to worry about setting the pace, and
  2. I didn't have to worry about steering
  3. I could lounge behind him, taking in the sights, while he worked his okole off
Mild relief.

We started south down the east edge of Lake Union and warmed up until we reached the south tip of the lake. He set a pretty fast pace, but it felt manageable to me, so when he asked how it was, I said "good."

The workout:
  • 1 minute off
  • 4 minutes on (hard)
We started north. The water was smooth for the most part, and we had the lake to ourselves.

4 minutes isn't so long that I imagined I was going to die. I made it through the first set, and the second. I was apparently in good enough shape to paddle hard for 4 minutes. Whew!

We kept at it, and there were times when I felt out of sync and was certain he was in front of me thinking "what the hell is going on back there and why am I doing this with this clod?!?" and there were times when it seemed like we were right in rhythm. (Note: As the following paddler, any out-of-sync issues come down to me. Bummer.)

We moved down to and into the ship canal, paddling hard for 4 minutes then resting for a minute at a time, and it was actually a nice tempo of work/rest, just enough time to catch my breath a bit and try to stretch out my muscles. I was pleased to note that I wasn't feeling too crazy-bad. It was hard work, don't get me wrong, but I felt like it was hard work my body was up for, and that was good.

Doug seemed to be feeling ok about our progress as well, mentioning once or twice that he thought we were doing between 7 and 7.5mph, and that this "would be real good."

Here's our track:

And our stats:

To make the story shorter, the workout seemed to go fairly well, and ultimately I felt pretty good about the evening.

What's worth noting about the sets is that our speed/output didn't drop precipitously. The 4 min splits go from .48miles (6 times) to .47miles (6 times) to .46 (3 times). So while not exactly even, it was a slow drop and fairly even. Speed went from 7.1/7.2 down to 6.9 for the last 4 minute set.
Disclaimer: I don't really know enough to truly analyze this stuff, but Doug expected a drop in speed going back east in the canal due to current and the slight wind. He said if we were at 6.5mph he'd be pretty pleased.

So overall I was happy to have not only survived, but have acquitted myself decently. I think we did a good workout, and I don't believe I messed too much. I feel it today, but not in a bad way. And not in a way that's going to stick with me long.

Now that I'm over the hurdle of the first OC2 workout, I'm looking forward to more of them!

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