I don’t know why, but this week went by really fast. It was wonderful for me to see that I am already making a lot of progress after only a bit more than one week of serious training. More importantly, however, I am astonished that I am really enjoying even the most intense and brutal workouts. When I was a junior, I always dreaded intervals and intense workout sessions in general, so I am extremely glad rowing has once again become an activity I am really passionate about, instead of a chore I have to do. I am convinced that I will be able to achieve so much more than I did when I was younger, simply because I feel so much joy being able to work out and spend time in the boat now. Apart from my daily workout sessions, I was able to create quite a few recipes this week, some of which I will share with you in due course, and enjoy the occasional afternoon nap with my two furry boys.
On Monday, I had the pleasure of spending 100 minutes on my stationary bike. Thank god I was able to watch a few podcasts on our computer to keep myself entertained because 100 minutes is such a long time to spend in the same spot. I really enjoy going on bike rides outside with my husband, but he was on a business trip and usually doesn’t like me riding by myself because he thinks I am a bit careless on the road. At least I didn’t have to do intervals on the bike this week because it is too hot in my office. Even at a leisurely pace, I got so sweaty that I had to get a towel to save our hardwood floor. Unfortunately, my Garmin decided to sync with the computer while I was gone even though my workout was still in progress. I must confess that I was very upset, but worse things can happen than having to start another session. I finished the workout session with a few core exercises. After such a long workout, I was starving, of course, so I was very glad to have some left-over pumpkin and carrot greens risotto, which, if I remember correctly, I ate for two days (three or four meals) when my husband was away.
On Tuesday, I got up (as) early (as possible) and did 8x500m intervals in the single scull. It was challenging, of course, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Occasionally, I was slowed down by a conglomerate of algae wrapped around my cucumber-shaped carbon fin, but I was able to do most 500m intervals in 2:15. I got quite a few new blisters, including a double blister on top of an older blister, but, thankfully, they healed in time for Thursday’s workout. After a very stressful day, I was craving comfort food, so I made myself two vegan reuben sandwiches (with smoked tofu and a Russian dressing based on cashew butter) and a kale caesar salad. My husband came home from his business trip that night and kindly did the dishes that my blisters had prevented me from doing. At night, I watched the UEFA Super Cup game between FC Barcelona und Sevilla FC, but fell asleep right before the start of extra time. Intense workouts do make me tired.
On Wednesday, my husband, whose name is Herbert, by the way, and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. After returning from the dentist at around noon, I spent most of the afternoon in the kitchen. Since we are trying to save money, we decided to enjoy a romantic evening at home. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in a crossfit session in the late afternoon. It was definitely one of the easier sessions this week, probably because I don’t have any heavy weights at home. Burpees, of which I had to do quite a few, however, are almost always a challenge for me, but I am definitely getting better. Dinner probably wasn’t as healthy as it could have been, but it is important to treat yourself once in a while. As a starter, I made a beet carpaccio with sautéed spinach and roasted rosemary mushrooms. Afterwards, we had a seitan brisket with roasted carrots, shallots, and turnips (from this cookbook). Finally, we enjoyed a typical Austrian desert, Buchteln with vanilla sauce (you can find the German-language recipe in this cookbook). We usually don’t drink a lot of wine, or alcohol in general, but since I needed a little bit of red wine for the brisket, we “had” to finish the bottle of Stellar Organics Merlot from South Africa, which was vegan, organic, and fair trade certified. We had to let the wine breathe a little bit, as is recommended for red wine anyway, but really liked it. South African wines always remind me of the wonderful time spent with our friends (one of my father’s friends from school and his partner) in Johannesburg this spring.
During my morning workout in the single scull on Thursday, I realized I’d probably had a little bit too much wine (my tolerance has decreased significantly since moving back to Austria). Thankfully, it was a fairly relaxed session without intervals. Those are also very enjoyable once in a while. Haha. I did a few technique “drills,” square blade rowing, for example, to keep myself entertained and thoroughly enjoyed the session, minus all the algae caught in my fin. For lunch, I had leftovers from the day before, and for dinner, I made whole-grain pasta with a spicy ratatouille sauce.
Yesterday, I once again trained in the morning, this time in the double scull though. Before my workout, I ate my delicious overnight oats for athletes. They were so delicious that I overate a little bit, but after the warm-up, I didn’t feel too full any more and was well-prepared for our long moderate- to high intensity intervals. Once again, we were severely handicapped by the algae caught in our fin, and even had to stop a few times to remove them because we felt like we were pushing against a wall. After the workout on the water, we were rewarded with three rounds of core-strength tabata. Since I lack(ed) muscle strength in my lower back, the focus of my strength routine is on back- and abdominal exercises. I am happy to report that I already feel so much stronger in the boat, as my legs connect to my back and arms much better. I also don’t have as much lower back pain any more. In the evening, I did one round of flexibility exercises and BLACKROLL® self-massage. I also took a very nice mid-afternoon nap. Since it was around 37 degrees celsius yesterday, we decided to eat bread with different spreads and raw vegetables (including sauerkraut to feed my healthy gut bacteria… I know, it sounds disgusting).
Today, we had the “pleasure” of doing the most challenging workout of the week, 500m sprints on the erg combined with strength exercises, including many torturous burpees. I managed to do most sprints under 2:15 (why aren’t my sprints on the erg significantly faster than the ones I do in the boat?), and the last one under 2:10, thanks to Tina’s encouragement. I almost fell off the erg though, but was very happy to have fought hard. Additionally, I did three rounds of core exercises, “bug” and “superman.” Finally, Herbert persuaded me to row a few kilometers with him. He really enjoyed trying out our “Schweinehund,” but almost bit my head off when I “turtured” him with square blade rowing. What can I say, I have to prepare him for his first session in the single scull, perhaps as early as next week. In conclusion, I am looking forward to my rest day tomorrow because I can sleep in. Temperatures are supposed to drop next week, but I will only believe it when I “see” it, or rather feel it. Haha. Today, it rained for almost 10 minutes, which is a good start in any case. Have a good weekend, readers!