Sunday, June 22, 2008

Rowing, Soccer and Eating

The weekend was one of comfortable routine. A lot of what I did is what I do almost every weekend. While not an exciting lifestyle, it works for me. Saturday morning was rowing practice. It's become clear that our Coach has already split us up into a plus 50 boat and a plus 40 boat (numbers refer to average age of the rowers in the boat). I'm ok with that. In Masters rowing it's important to not necessarily put the fastest 8 rowers into a boat, but the 8 fastest rowers for a particular age group. We've tried the first method and found ourselves rowing in the "Open" category racing against guys fresh out of college and gotten our heads handed to us. Paying more attention to age groups makes a lot more sense. The practice consisted of equal time drill work with race pieces. We rowed down to the race course doing extended warm up drills to work on our timing. First up after the warm up was a 1,500 meter piece at a 24 stroke rate. My boat, the plus 50 boat, won with open water. We spun the boats and worked on a drill intended to extend our reach at the catch. Master Rowers are famous for rowing short, especially as we age and get less flexible. Next race piece was also 1,500 meters at a 28 stroke race. We finshed behind the plus 40 boat by 6 seats. My boat tired in the last 500 meters and we also lost set as they pulled up even with us dipping badly on our port side and that cost us the 6 seat difference at the finish. We did another drill after that race piece to get us to back our oars in at the catch so we're not missing water before beginning our third piece. This piece was at whatever rate worked best for us. I'm not sure what happened, whether we were tired and sloppy or what, but we got waxed by the younger boat by several lengths of open water. It didn't help that our coxswain wandered all over the course. After that we headed back toward our boathouse. When we had about 1 1/4 miles left, our coach decided we had one last race in us. Again it was whatever rate the coxswin and stroke decided was most effective. We jumped out to an early lead, the plus 40 boat caught up with us and we were dead even for the last 500 meters or so. Exhausting, but a very intense two hours on the water. The best part? The competitive women provided breakfast for the club after practice. A nice way to finish up and tasty too.

After practice we did some on line shopping for Daughter#1 whose birthday is this week. Then Ann and I settled down to watch some Euro 2008 with the Netherlands playing Russia. It was a really exciting game, especially the final few moments of regular time and the overtime. I was routing for The Orange, but the Russians had too much speed up front in the end and won 3-1 in overtime. I have to say judging by the crowd shots that the Dutch women are really cute.

After the game, it was time to think about dinner. There is nothing I love to do more during the spring, summer and fall (and sometimes winter), then grilling out on the bbq. Saturday we decided to have some ribs. These were country ribs and boneless.

I had a helper to make sure things were cooked correctly and was more than happy to sample the wares.

The finished product and Mmmmmmm they were tasty.

Sunday was bike ride day. Ann wasn't feeling up for it so I went by myself. It was really muggy as I left home, but by the time I got to the Trail, it was a really nice day. Moderate temperature and humidity. Since I had gotten a later start than ideal, I decided to stick to the basic ride out to Leesburg and back. 41:00 minutes out and 40:35 minutes on the way back. It was fun to just be able to go at my own speed and not have to wait or slow down for Ann. On the other hand I did miss her company. Hopefully she'll be along next weekend.

After Saturady's great soccer game, Ann and I were were really looking forward to Sunday's game that pitted Spain against Italy. Two of the tournament favorites. What a disappointment. As exciting as Saturday's game was, this was pretty boring. Games like this give soccer a bad name. Italy seemed content most of the game to let Spain bring the game to them and play defense. I guess they wanted to force overtime and take their chances in a shoot out. They got their wish, but came out short in the end. Next game is Weds with Germany playing a depleted Turkish squad in the semi-finals.

The Son dropped by for Sunday dinner. We grilled some steaks. In return he fixed one of our computers that was having problems connecting to the Internet via our wireless network. A fair trade. Then we got hit by severe thunderstorms. Again. That routine is getting old.

All said a comfortable weekend and a pleasant one.

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