HOCR weekend – woo! Just an FYI, if you email me this weekend (or emailed me yesterday) about anything not related to HOCR there is absolutely no chance that you’ll get a reply before Tuesday. The next couple days are going to be in-credibly busy and I’m not planning on spending any time on my laptop, let alone reading emails.
I’m still waiting to hear when my 4+ is going to be practicing next week so you’ve still got time to let me know if you want to come on a tour of the river with me on either Thursday or Friday. All you’ve gotta do is fill out this Google Doc and let me know what day works best for you and if you know what times (you think) you’ll be available. Once I hear back about when I’m practicing I’ll post something on here with final times, meeting places, etc. Feel free to share that Google Doc with friends, teammates, etc. who might be interested or send me an email sometime this weekend. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone!
Head of the Charles is in two weeks. Even though I’ve been emailing with people about it for probably a month now and we talk about it nearly every day at practice, it just hit me a few minutes ago that it’s October and head racing season has arrived. On that note, I’d like to try and get a preliminary count of who’d be interested in walking the course with me on Thursday or Friday afternoon. I did it last year with a group of college and high school coxswains and basically we met near BU, walked along the course, and discussed just about anything that came to mind in relation to the race. I pointed out all the landmarks, explained how to enter/exit the turns and bridges, talked about some of the rules, etc. There is no official coxswain meeting for HOCR and the only thing they really offer in terms of addressing the rules is Yaz Farooq’s clinic (which I wrote all about in this post), which usually costs $15 or so.
So, if you’re interested in possibly going on a tour of the course with me and will be around either Thursday or Friday, please fill out this Google Doc with your name, availability, etc. I don’t know what time this will be at yet because I’m still waiting to hear what time the four I’m coxing is planning to practice but once I know that I’ll figure out a time that will hopefully work with everyone’s schedule. I’ll be around both days though and will most likely be able to go out anytime during the day so if you’re only free in the morning or something, it shouldn’t be a problem. Anyways, if you could fill this out and submit it I’d appreciate it. Feel free to share it with friends/teammates that you think might be interested in coming too. Like I said, there is no official coxswain meeting for HOCR so if you haven’t raced here before, are kinda new to coxing, etc. I’d definitely recommend considering coming on a tour. I promise, I have lots of helpful tips to share. Plus, it’s free so there’s that. (Although donations are never a bad thing. ;-) )
Also, Wednesday was the blog’s second birthday (woo!) and we set a new record for hits in one day which is great. Finally cracked the 2k mark after sitting at 1,954 for nearly a year.
Last thing – I’ve been getting a ton of emails lately (probably set a new record for emails received in the last month, to be honest) so if you email and don’t hear back right away, just be patient. I’ve kinda gotten to the point where I try to go through them every 2-3 days (unless they’re super short and don’t require a detailed reply) because otherwise, if I answered every email as it came in like I used to, I would be spending an inordinate amount of time on Gmail most days of the week. Most of the emails that I get are pretty long and I just want to make sure that I have time to sit down, read it thoroughly, and put together a proper response.
That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend and if you’re coming to Boston for HOCR, make sure you fill out that Google Doc!
This week has been way too long and way too busy. TGIF…
Now that the season is starting to pick up the questions are beginning to roll in – if you haven’t yet, check out the five or six I’ve already posted this week and keep an eye out later for the few I still need to post. Also coxswains, make sure you check out the post I did on race plans on Tuesday. It’s a twist on your typical race plan and is aimed more at the longer pieces you’re doing during practice.
And finally *drum roll* last night “Ready all, row…” passed 500,000 hits. That was the goal I was shooting for before the blog turned two so I’m really excited to hit it a week early. Obviously that wouldn’t have happened without you guys stopping by to read everything, sharing the stuff you like with friends, teammates, etc., and promoting the links across social media so thank you for helping me hit the 500k mark! :-)
The Weather Channel is telling me it’s 45 degrees with a high of 57 today…*sigh*. I guess it’s time to admit that summer is really over and figure out what suitcase I packed all my cold-weather gear in. Which actually brings me to an important question for all my fellow coxswains who have small feet like me … as in “I can (and most of the time do) wear size 2 from the kids department” small feet. What boots do you guys wear when it’s cold out? I am in desperate need of finding a pair that aren’t super expensive that I can wear on days like this when it’s chilly but not wet enough to warrant wearing my Hunter rain boots. Bean Boots don’t fit me otherwise I would have bought a pair like, three and a half years ago after I moved to New England. Any ideas? I’ve gotten two or three similar questions this week from other people so I’m appealing to you guys for some crowd sourced fashion advice.
Back to the topic of coxing…did you check out the recordings I posted on Tuesday and the interview I posted with Pete Cipollone yesterday? If not, go do that!! The interview with Pete was something that I had the idea for after getting to read a soon-to-be-published book by a 2012 Olympian earlier in the summer and I couldn’t be more happy with how it turned out. He has some great advice for coxswains (and an important reminder for coaches!) so when you’ve got time, spend a few minutes reading that and sharing it with the other coxswains on your team.
The recordings from Tuesday included two from Marist’s varsity men’s coxswain Chris Leonard and as I said in the post, they’re another great example of what that “coxswain voice” is and what it sounds like. Chris coxed the men’s 8+ that traveled to Russia for the University Games last summer so he’s got a good amount of experience that really comes across in his coxing. The next recordings post will be all head race recordings and if I have enough stockpiled, I’ll try to do an extra post with all HOCR recordings. If anyone has any they’d like to share on the blog feel free to send me an mp3 of your audio and I’ll post it on YouTube.
OK so I’ve got a question for all my fellow coxswains. On Wednesday morning my eight did a practice HOCR piece and at the end of it my thumb on the hand I use to steer with (my left) was in an excruciating amount of pain. This was the best picture I could find to explain where the pain was but in the spot that’s highlighted there, it was like someone was stabbing my palm and just twisting the knife repeatedly. I’m not sure if it’s because of the position my thumb was in, if I just had a lot of tension in my hand, or what but it’s never hurt like that coming off the water before. It was, not kidding, probably around 5pm before it stopped hurting and I could actually stretch it out without wincing (and we got off the water at 7am). I’ve steered like this for years and was starting to wonder if maybe it was something tendonitis related. Has anyone else ever experienced anything like that? If so, did you ever determine what the cause was? Any advice you guys have got would be much appreciated.
I’ve gotten a lot of emails lately and seen tons of stuff online about how everyone’s first 5ks/6ks are coming up soon so this week’s playlist is a mostly-heavy rock inspired one to help keep you going while you’re prepping for those. Remember, have a plan, let your coxswain know if you want to be coxed, and focus on staying consistent throughout the whole piece. Flying and dying never worked for anyone!
The last week and a half since I moved back to Boston has been nuts. Getting used to waking up at 4:15am again to go cox is gonna take some getting used to but at least I’m getting on the water … can’t complain about that. It’s tough though because I actually have to weigh coxing vs. coaching and decide if I can do both at the same time. Obviously I want to do both but I don’t want to miss practices with the team either. Plus, sleep. I think the fall is gonna be a trial run to see how it goes and then I’ll reevaluate for the spring but right now I’m just focused on getting in a boat for HOCR. I’ll talk more about that weekend in a few weeks but just a heads up – if anyone is gonna be around that weekend and wants to walk the course with me, I’ll be doing that again, hopefully in a more organized manner this time around since the idea didn’t occur to me until the last minute last year.
Getting back to coaching, yes, I am coaching. There was a solid six month period or so where I didn’t think I wanted to (borderline definitely didn’t want to) followed by another month or two where I entertained the idea enough to at least glance at the row2k classifieds. Mid-summer though I saw maybe two positions open up in Boston (there was like, nothing posted for here this year…) so I applied to those and now I’m coaching with MIT’s men’s heavyweight team. Practices started earlier this week and everything has been great so far. It’s been nice actually having something to do and, as we’ve said before when it comes to coxswains, not feeling like part of the furniture. Plus, I’m obsessed with the view of the city from the boathouse so that’s a pretty great perk.
So … yea. In addition to moving, trying to get settled, etc. that’s what I’ve been up to for the last week and a half (and why some of your emails still say “unread”…). I imagine a lot of you have been equally as busy, if not more so, so this week’s playlist is a little more chill than normal. Think of it as one to listen to when you need just enough of a kick to get you started and keep you going but not so much that it drains all your energy just listening to it. It’s probably not the best playlist if you’re trying to do speed work or something but if you’re trying to get in a long, easy run in the mornings or evenings, I think it’d be perfect for that.