US Rowing Masters Nationals, Day 2 Recap

So much happens in a day, I take notes as it goes along.

It’s 5am and I’m awake

Its 5 and I can’t sleep.

Literally. I know I got some at some point, because I had a dream, but maybe an hour. And that’s with a sleeping pill.

Ugh. And now I have to go all day on little sleep and adrenaline.

Killing time

A whole lot of Masters is laying around waiting for the next burst of energy.

Fog delayed the start of racing an hour, so m already late heat (2:46) bumped to 3:46, with the final moving to 7:27.

We went to an outlet mall to kill some time in the morning. I walked around stiff and dazed. Bought some clearance snow boots. Winter is coming.

Ate lunch at the campsite. Alan dropped me off so he could get Caelan back for naptime.

I finally walked around vendor village. Some funny shirts. Grace Lutz loved my “Bourbon Country Rowing Club” shirt. The USRowing guy standing next to her was dropping puns like Randy Higel. “I bet you barrel over the competition.” He said a few other winners I don’t remember now.

I went back to Fluidesign trailer and laid on the grass for a while. The reps are awesome. So friendly and willing to crack jokes with us. And I picked Sam’s brain about my boat. Sean found four new wheels to sell me. Yay!

Women’s Open A 2x: the Heats

I checked the weather before my partner came. It was forecasting storms at 7:45. Awfully close to the final. I brought up possibly rowing for time, knowing Vesper in heat 3 would be wicked fast. If a final is cancelled, the officials award medals by heat times.

That was turned down. It will be what it will be.

The wind did come up, a head/cross wind that created a light chop across the water.

We had a plan. Executed the beginning. By 350-400 it was abundantly clear we had this race, with open water established. We cruised it in at a 25.

Unfortunately in the chop, it was not a clean 25. I was not pleased with my rowing. Lots of blade bouncing and sticking.

A break

A little over three hours to kill. I watched the races. For finals today they added a drone to the livestream. That was cool.

Our quad from the day before finally picked up our medals and snapped pics.

I met up with a rower for my composites on Sunday.

The skies clouded over. Right when I met Alan and Caelan at the food truck fair, it rained.

I couldn’t stay long. About 20 minutes, then back to the trailer for 2x time.

I knew it was going to be a challenging race. Expect the unexpected.

Womens Open A 2x: Final

Right before we picked up the boat to launch-and I mean right before, as in holding my oars while standing next to the boat-a huge wave of exhaustion bowled me over. All that lack of sleep, walking, pushing hard finally caught up to me. And my pre-race drink had a little caffeine in it, so you know I was just done.

I told my partner. She rummaged through her bag and found a fruit pack. It was disgustingly sweet, but it pepped me up a little.

The water had looked clear but it kicked back up for our final.

The head wind was hot and heavy.

Our start was fine, but I shifted too early. We ended up in 5th by 200.

It was tight for a while between us boats battling for 3rd, with us slightly behind. The headwind was creating a slow roller wake, as it was pushing against the current. It was also creating lighter chop on top of that. Again, I was struggling. Gusty crosses kicked up. I had to ride hard on port.

Then around 600 my oar didn’t clear out of the water and it slipped. I cussed up a storm. It didn’t stop us full, but jarred momentum. Now we were back further.

I kept looking, trying to decide if we had enough left to make a push to third. We were stuck in 5th, moving at the same pace as a boat from Texas to our port. We were in the last 750. Still rowing less than desirable, feeling awful about my performance. I peeked left and found we’d snuck up near level on a boat with three buoys to go. A quick choice: fourth is better than fifth. Pushed hard, passed them up by a deck.

I apologized profusely after. I still feel bad. And then after it’s a bunch of “what-ifs.” What if I hadn’t caught a crab? Would we have been in a better place to challenge for third? What if I demanded movement at the 750? Or called for a kick right after I got it back together?

I end with a lot of regret on this one. But at least I was able to row and lose than to not row the final at all.

After the final

Rowing finals this late absolutely sucks. My body is winding down at 7:30 at night, not revving up to perform.

I came off the water too tired to know what I wanted. I wanted everything and nothing. A cider? Yes and no. A treat? Dinner? Maybe. Shower and good night sleep? Definitely.

I sorted my oars and gear, left to find my boys.

We went back to the food truck fair where I eventually decided on this quesadilla that was the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in days.

Caelan was so adorable. As we walked back to the car he pointed out the boats and kept saying, “Mommy rowing boat.”

Then he stuck up one little finger, waggled, and said, “Mommy no more rowing.”

Huh? And he repeated it.

Followed by a super tight and long hug. Adorable.

We got him to repeat no more rowing again, but never as cute as the first one.

It’s actually Day 3 as I type. I had a good night’s sleep, and a little lie-in. Today I have no races. It’s about Daddy and Caelan. We’re going to do something fun for them in Grand Rapids. I have two races Sunday, both heats, but the weather forecast is not looking promising. Fingers crossed.

About camckenna

I write; I row.
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