Peter Turcan
     

Kayak Training Blog

La Conner Sound Rowers race



Feb 3rd

Get to La Conner on time, but its raining and overcast. Enter the race in Mens HPK, get my boat ready, and do a short jog to warm up. Plenty of entries, strong competition in HPK - Don, Kevin, Holm, and others I dont know. Warm up a fair bit, but at a low pace, waiting a bit too long for our start. Kayakers/Outriggers starting 2 mins or so behind the rowers.

I feel fit and loose and convince myself I can do well at this race. Lots of entries, 16 Mens HPK. Wind light, light or no rain.

Line up beside Don, and Tracy and Heather in a fast womens HPK2. Blast off the start and hold the WHPK2 wash when no-one else does, Don on my tail wash. We go hard down the river, keeping to the edge as there is a slight flood. Kid in a green boat (Jonathan, I found out later) is going very fast too, though we barge ahead when the groups merge. I hold the wash well but I can tell I am close to red-lining. I fall back onto Don's wash, and he holds the double.

Soon after though they pull ahead and its me with Jon on my wash. I quite like both my boat (light and fast) and my stroke - keeping up a good sprinters rythym, though I know others must be very close behind. As we round the bend Don and the WHPK2 pull away, but dont take the best line - too shallow. I am on Jon's wash, struggling now and then, but take the lead when he grounds. I move left to the deep water channel. With a lot of intense effort things stay this way all the way out to the turn buoy, and the small ocean swells are not scary but do make for some odd angles and push the boat around a little.

Don, about 1 minute ahead, loses the WHPK2 wash and we close a bit on him coming up to the turn. I take a characteristicly very tight turn on the buoy, and pull after Don following the deep water channel. Change leads a bit with Jon. Then Don makes a mistake and pulls too far left into the shallow water, and we gain some more. I do most of the leading at this stage and pull up to within 5 boatlengths or so. Then I see another boat on our wash - a father and daughter double going very smoothly (Steve and Abby). They take the lead and again I struggle just to keep up on the stern wash.

We head up the channel, I stay on the stern wash though know this is the worst place to be for a sprint finish. Don is to the right of the double, Jonand myself to the left. Following closely the bank of the river. Then I sprint a bit and up onto Jon's side-wash - I am tired but at least in the right position for the finish. Then I make my stupid mistake of the race, the bridge looks closer than it is. I sprint super hard - over the washes and take the lead by a boatlength over Don and Jon. I am blasting full out - anaerobic sprint. I hold this lead for quite a bit but then the reality of how far the bridge is away dawns, and I realise I cannot hold it - I bail and sink back to third position, just ahead of the mixed double, as Don and Jon keep sprinting and finish in that order. Doh!. If I had just waited a few seconds more I might have taken it, or perhaps backed off to an aerobic sprint. Timing is everything though.

Good race for me: good fitness, speed and decisions, except for the last one! So close.

Congrats to Evan/Tyler for overall first, Tracy/Heather for first kayak, Don for first HPK, and Jon, Steve and Abby for going so well.

Training week Monday 29th Jan - Friday Feb 2nd

Monday

Gym. Run 16 mins on mill, then usual weights.


Tuesday

Try yoga again after taking a years break. Try the Be Luminous studio near Amazon. Supposed to be "warm" room but actually it is hot. I sweat like a pig, and the session is too busy, more about intensity than quality, and of little value to me.

Need to find another class.






Wednesday

Kayaking. Only Steve Small joins. 12 Km fast in the dark with a south breeze, enough to make north end of Green Lake sloppy. Resort to horseshoeing after a dodgy second lap. Average speed for me: 11.1 kph.
Thursday

Gym. Rowing erg, 16 minutes, average 500m time is  2.00.2. Usual weights/machines.

Training week Monday Jan 22nd - Sunday Jan 28th

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

R&R after ski race.


Thursday

Gym. Guns still sore from all that poling at the ski race.





Friday

Kayaking. With Egor,  do a 12 Km fast. Average around 11.0 kph. Cold, dark after first lap.

Sunday

Kayaking. 12 Km, but not great, speed slows with each lap. Feeling tight and need to find some yoga to loosen up again.


Mazama to Winthrop Skate Ski race


Jan 20th

Poor quality snow hardened by cold temps. Expecting icy, fast on straights and downhills, slippy uphills. 120+ skiers at the start line, 39 in our category (one day citizens skate race). Quite a few kids without numbers skating as a tour.

At the self-positioning start I position myself near the back. As it turns out, not near the back enough - overtaken by 10 or so in the first few kilometers. My skating is decent - V2s (pushing on both skate moves) on the flat, V1s (pushing on one side, stepping on the other) up the hills. Most racers disappear out of sight of me pretty quickly though. One of the kids overtook me near the first steep downhill, he crashes and splays over the track, tries to get up, no luck, I run over his skis, anguished cries heard, but I stay upright on the hairpin. A high point of the race for me.

Get to the first feeding station (10Km in) and guzz down some warm Gatorade. Continue into the hilly section, very low hills at first. Going downhill in the icy conditions bit intimidating. I manage to V1 up all the hills without taking any breaks, though I do stumble to a near halt 3 times. I am way behind everyone in front, and no-one on my tail. Time-trialing really. V1 up the hills, then double-polling to recover my breath before the next.

Finally up the last big uphill. Then comes the very steep downhill, with two or more serious hairpins. I go into snow plough position but still scream down (reach 32.2 kph on this descent) screaming round the gouged out corners just staying upright. Phew. No falls this year.

On the final flatter 10Km I am still on my own, and race both V2 then as this gets too tiring a faster V1 - my right shoulder is complaining of all the pushing. I keep up closer to my goal of 15 kph. I can feel the wax losing on the left ski (my push ski in V1) but not so much in the right ski.

Skate all the way to the finish - not double polling in the tracks as I have done in the past as I have been so pooped.
Skated quite well (for me) but my time is still well below my goal of 2 hours (it is 2 hours 7 minutes) - not great.

I finished 22nd of the 39 - not too shabby but my average speed of 14.0 kph is still well short of the 15.0 kph to get a time under 2 hours in a 30 Km race.

December 2017/January 2018 training

Decide, with Juraj's encouragement, to keep kayaking through the coldest and darkest days of the year. Tough to go out alone in the dark, but works OK with two on Green Lake. Disorientating at first, but get used to it after a couple of Km.
Kayaking

Going out once or twice per week. Usually with Juraj, doing 12/14 km distance pieces. Average speeds usually no faster than 11.2 kph, fastest is 11.4 kph.
Skate Skiing

Skiing one day at the weekends. Iron Horse trail - for work on V2 skating along the flats, or Cabin Creek for V1 skating up all those hills.
Cross training

Some time in the gym. Some cycling to work (10 miles each way) but thinking of bailing on this - raining and dark makes a collision with a car all too possible - this would end everything so need to bail, or change my cycle route to work to be along trails.

Sound Rowers AGM 2017

December 2, 2017

Sound Rowers agrees to a small amount of sponsorship for my efforts to race in the 60 year old events at World Sprint Masters.

Training plan

December 1, 2017

I race one or two skate ski cross-country events in the winter. I suck at it, but it is very aerobic and great cross training, not to mention the fun of being out in the sun and the snow.
The plan is to train with the young (?) studs at Seattle Canoe and Kayak Club - including Juraj Osusky - a very talented and natural kayak sprinter, Egor - a russian with only 2 speeds (blast and pooped), Don Kiesling and Jason Cross  when they are in town.

First step is to look the part. Hair coloring plays a key role in this. And some cool training gear and weight training to keep those guns in shape.

2018 Objective

Sound Rowers

Racing K1s in the open water events run by Sound Rowers was exciting, but I am bringing this to an end - too exposed water for such narrow boats. Under pressure from my training buddy Don, I have purchased a second hand surf ski. Never really liked them before but I do like the lightness and speed of the Allwave.

This is me in 2016 racing K1 at Elk river, in a light chop.

World Sprint Masters 2018

The World Sprints for both open and masters are in Portugal in 2018. Seems like a nice place to visit, and as i have just turned 60, seems like the best chance I am likely to have of getting a decent result.  

As a young man, my best results all came from 500m sprinting. 200m had not been introduced then, and I could not maintain my speed for 1000m. Back in the day when K1s had minimum width restrictions, and paddles were not wings, my best 500m K1 time was 1minute 56 seconds. Times were 10 seconds slower than they are now, the Olympics were won in that period in 1 minute 46 seconds. Not until sprint boats got narrower and wing paddles widely used did winning sprint times drop below 1 minute 40 seconds.

I am not even sure what distances 60 year olds race at Worlds, though mabye 200m, 500m, 1000m.

2017

I did not race much in 2017. Just the Guano Rocks race near Wenatche in October. i did canoe down the Green River in Utah, a solo 6 day canoe-camping trip through the remote and hot Canyonlands.



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