The adventure continues!
National Selection Regatta #2-
This was the main selection race of the spring, where the top-5 pairs merit an invitation to the 8+ Selection Camp, and the top two finishers earn a trip to the first World Cup Race in Munich. The US pairs are especially competitive this year, and it was definitely going to be a tight race for those two top positions.
I’m paired with Kady Glessner, a super-strong fellow Washingtonian and stroke seat of the 2009 and 2010 World Champion 8+. We’ve been developing a lot of speed the last few weeks, and we were both super psyched to see how it would play out during Saturday’s Final. We laid down an aggressive rhythm for the first 3/4 of the race, and held our own in the fast field. Unfortunately, due to a midrace miscommunication, we couldn’t execute the blistering sprint we had been banking on. Aargh, lesson learned! But these sorts of last-500m strategic mistakes are the easiest to fix (as opposed to problems with fitness or rowing technique). Moral of the story: a disappointing finish, but our teammates better be looking out for the Jamie-Kady duo during the next race! We *definitely* have something to prove. Check out the results here.
Even though on-water performance is crucial, erg-testing is still used as an important measure of our fitness and improvement. I can’t give away any team secrets, but suffice it to say that Team USA is *FAST*. This morning was especially exciting: the mile-run equivalent of rowing– the 2k!! In this sport, we wear our 2k PR’s like a badge of honor; a second advantage over a competitor (which may be negligible on the water) still amounts to a significant psychological edge. So imagine how stoked I was to set another big PR this morning: 2 seconds faster! I’m currently typing this blog entry in Starbucks as I sip on my congratulatory frappuccino. Yum… I have to milk this endorphin high for all it’s worth!
The last week has seen a lot of changes for Team USA. Former Olympians are coming out of retirement, and a few college all-stars are preparing to join us after NCAAs next weekend. We also just saw the first big round of cuts to the US Training Center group, so it’s been a tearful and emotional weekend as we said goodbye to many of our teammates. The Olympic journey isn’t over for them– they will still have opportunities this fall to try out for Pan-Ams or to rejoin the US Training Center group– but it was still a gut-wrenching reality check to the remaining athletes.
As crazy as this spring is, it’s only the beginning of a crazier summer of selection and racing. Ultimately, it’s all out of my hands, so I just have to approach each practice with a positive attitude and relentless intensity. Thank you all for the positive messages– I can’t tell you how much it supports me to know I have a cheering section at home!
On a lighter note: check out “Feeding the Dream”, Susan Francia’s new video blog for the USOC website!