Happy Halloween from New Zealand!
With racing just around the corner, it doesn’t look like we have too much trick-or-treating on the schedule. Instead, Team USA is doing our best to stick to our pre-competition routine: breakfast, forty-minute bus ride to the course, row #1, lunch at the course (AMAZING food!), row #2, then back to the hotel for nap, stretching, and PT before dinner.
These practices are shorter and more focused than the epically-long row of the summer months; instead of building our aerobic base, these pre-race rows are designed to sharpen our fast-twitch muscles, solidify our rhythm, and fine-tune our race plan. Every day we’re making improvements, and every day we become more antsy to race!
The weather has been absolutely beautiful this past week– sunny skies, warm temperatures, flat water– so when a blustery tailwind started billowing yesterday, we all cringed at Mother Nature’s capricious irony. However, rowers are experts at waiting out weather-related delays. We stretch, we nap, we play cards, we read… everyone has their favorite way to fend off boredom as we wait for the wind to die down. When officials announced that indeed yes, the course will remain closed for the rest of the afternoon (thus eliminating the possibility of another row), Team USA didn’t miss a beat.
In a planning session this summer, US Rowing decided to send ten rowing machines to New Zealand, in the event that the NZ springtime weather proves temperamental. So even if we can’t go out on the water this afternoon, rest assured that Team USA is maintaining fitness… albeit in the hotel parking lot.
Lucky for us, the wind is supposed to lessen throughout the week, so hopefully flat water will greet us for the Sunday finals. But if not, no worries! We’ve trained in worse, and Team USA is prepared to race in whatever Mother Nature has in store!
Our preliminary heat is scheduled for TOMORROW (!!) at noon –> that’s 4pm on Monday afternoon in Washington. Racing will be broadcast live on universalsports.com and worldrowing.com, and I’ve heard rumors that Universal Sports will actually be covering rowing on the television (fingers crossed!). Cheer loud for us! Go USA!