You Run a Half Marathon, I’ll Row One.

Today, my good friends took part in The Perkins Great Eastern Run, a half marathon (13.1 mile) road race.

Having come from an obstacle course and running background, I had originally planned to join them, however, I decided a few weeks ago this could be detrimental to my rowing training. So instead, I planned to row a half marathon on my rowing machine instead.

Sunday morning.
It occurred to me I was wasting time, finding meaningless chores to do around the house and then laying on the bed scrolling through social media. I’d told my team the night before I was going to do this half marathon, so there was no escaping it.

I had no excuses. It was time to row 21,098m.
This distance is nothing in the grand scheme of things to come. In fact, it’s only 0.38% of the distance we will be rowing across the Atlantic next year! Ouch!

Thinking of my friends, and all the hard work and training they’d done, gave me enough motivation to head to the unit where my trusty companion, the rowing machine, was.

To encourage me through the workout, I enlisted the guidance of Ben Fogle and James Cracknell’s audiobook – The Crossing. I’ve listened to this before but figured listening to it again and the tough times they went through would make my half marathon row seem a doddle.

I often get asked if I get bored of training for hours on my rowing machine. The answer is of course I do. Going backwards and forwards for hours, as my backside and hands get sore isn’t ideal, but 3 Men & A Little Lady will be rowing for a World Record next year and I want dedicate my time to doing the best I can for my ‘3 Men.’

I feel mean saying it, but was pleased to hear Ben Fogle admit that he struggled with each hour of training on his rowing machine. I was struggling after only an hour and it made the way I felt acceptable.

My best friend Karina was running in the half marathon today for a personal best of a sub 1 hour 45 minute, so I decided I would try and match her time.  I knew she would be giving it everything she had so couldn’t slack off and let my effort slip.

I completed my half marathon row in 1 hour 43 minutes 59 seconds. 1 minute and 1 second within my goal. Phew!

My fingers are blistered and my hips are aching. Every time I pulled hard, I watched the clock as it didn’t seem to move, but listening to Ben and James’ story put my very cushty situation into perspective. There are certainly going to be worse days than this ahead!

When we are at sea, each pair will take it in turns to row in 2-hour shifts for the entire 3,000 miles. My half marathon today came nowhere close to that! There are more audiobooks and more time on my rowing machine needed methinks.