YAME: 3:01:58.4

Screenshot_20231208-191731 Every now and again I do a marathon on the erg, though I don't usually blog it. In fact I think I've done four over the years; the first was Ergathon in 2009, 3:20:58 (others: in early 2020, just before lockdown, on the Saturday of Lents was Wattmaggedon in 3:04:39; and also in 2020 I did one at home during lockdown, 3:16:45).

But the urge came upon me again, perhaps in order to dstract myself from my uncompetitiveness at 2k. And I noticed that the C2 ranking were a little soft this year. So with 1:28, 1:27 and 1:26 in the half-bag, and an abortive 2h a few days ago when my spirit broke in the yawning voids of about 1:45, I set off on Friday knowing I didn't quite need to hit 3 hours to get the coveted spot amongst the 55-59 lightweights.

Strava is interesting for my HR trace; mostly I was in the low 140's, with a bit of a peak just before half way; and then a spike at the end as I went down to 1:50 to get under :02 minutes. Compare that with a half, where I'm at 157 for much of the second half; though my split there is significantly lower. My peak HR, which I can only hit by really hurting and so generally don't, is in the low 170's.

Compared to what I said in 2009, I think I survived better this time. With my trusty gel seat-pad backed up by the cut-to-shape carrymat I have taped to the erg, my bum was fine. For most of the second half I backed off the arms / finish and tried to drive from the legs, since experience tells me that the arms, and whatever muscles drive the shoulder blades together, don't survive the distance if fully used. My calluses are bedded in and didn't suffer. I drank a small glass of orange juice at 1h and half way, and would have liked one at 2h and 2:30 too, though they eat up 30 seconds.

Having done a few halves, getting to half way was not too bad. From there to two hours is pretty grim, there's still so far to go, and there aren't any good markers. Past two hours I start to believe, partly by lying to myself about how my splits aren't going to decline too badly. Once the counter drops below 10k into four digits it's just a matter of grinding it out; again I lied to myself that my target was 3h, so I could pretend to be 2 mins closer than I really was. To get under 3h, apart from bringing myself to do it all again, I need to not decay so much in the second half; more bravery required.

Here's a link to the C2 rankings (arch). If I was a heavyweight (I'm 68 kg) I'd be #8. Next year I'll be 60, and the ranks are even less competitive. If it was the 2023 season, I'd be 7th (curiously, there's a huge gap from 2:58 to 3:09). If I was female... I'd have more than four minutes margin, irrespective of age and weight, in 2024. I'd be 4th in 2023. I'm currently 8th for the half; last year I was 14th.

Update: 2024/01: well, I'm no longer #1, I'm #3, behind a Kraut and a Frog. I might pull back #2 if I try again but I don't see any way to get to 2:54 so #1 is out of reach. At least, until I'm 60 in a few months time.


* 2024/01: new world record by Joel Naukkarinen @rowingfinn is a 1:39.6 split. I can't get close to that for 2k; or, indeed, 500m.


Spotify like fuckwits make you jump through hoops to get a copy of your playlists. Mine was:

* Highway to Hell / AC/DC
* World Shut Your Mouth / Julian Cope
* Unbelievable / EMF
* Geno - 2000 Remaster / Dexys Midnight Runners
* Monster / The Automatic
* Rocks / Primal Scream
* Girls & Boys / Blur
* Relax / Frankie Goes To Hollywood
* Nemesis / Shriekback
* Temptation / Heaven 17
* Gay Bar / Electric Six
* Antmusic - Remastered / Adam & The Ants
* Sheriff Fatman / Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine
* Mama Said Knock You Out / LL COOL J
* Bat Out of Hell / Meat Loaf
* Down At McDonaldz / Electric Six
* Street Fighting Man - 50th Anniversary Edition / The Rolling Stones
* Girls on Film - 2010 Remaster / Duran Duran
* From a Buick 6 / Bob Dylan
* Virginia Plain / Roxy Music
* Our Lips Are Sealed - Single Version / The Go-Go's
* Livin' On A Prayer / Bon Jovi
* Born to Run / Bruce Springsteen
* Rio - 2009 Remaster / Duran Duran
* I Have The Touch / Peter Gabriel
* Like A Rolling Stone - Live / Remastered 2009 / The Rolling Stones
* Seven Seas Of Rhye - Remastered 2011 / Queen
* Start Me Up - Remastered 2009 / The Rolling Stones
* The Struggle / Scroobius Pip
* When Love Comes To Town / U2
* Walk This Way / Aerosmith
* Slippery People - Live / Talking Heads
* 2-4-6-8 Motorway / Tom Robinson Band
* Thou Shalt Always Kill / Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip
* Everything Is AWESOME!!! (feat. The Lonely Island) / Tegan and Sara
* Eye of the Tiger / Survivor
* Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake - 2018 Remaster / Kate Bush
* Life During Wartime - Live / Talking Heads
* Born in the U.S.A. / Bruce Springsteen
* Joan Crawford / Blue Ö?yster Cult
* New Moon on Monday - 2010 Remaster / Duran Duran
* Mr. Blue Sky / Electric Light Orchestra
* Pretty in Pink / The Psychedelic Furs


Tom said...

No pictures?

William M. Connolley said...

I would have spared you the horror but the usual post-erg pic is available via Strava.