Since we went through the heat directly into the semifinal, Ellen and I are waiting around until Thursday for our next race. Though it might seem nice to have a few days to relax and regroup after a race, the novelty of rest has worn off at this point, and now I’m just bored. I can only do so much laundry, and check my Facebook so many times, and torture Ellen with bad 80s music for so long before it all gets a little tiresome and I’m looking for other ways to entertain myself.
And, inevitably sitting around thinking about an impending 2k against the other fastest athletes in the world doesn’t exactly feel great. Doing it is one thing, but obsessing over it is another. I generally don’t get very nervous for racing until it’s right up to race time, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of things for me to analyze and over-analyze in the meantime in a way that probably isn’t productive to racing.
The Track and Field World Championships that were keeping us so entertained and providing us with some sort of competitive stress outlet in the evenings all of last week are now over, leaving us only with Little League Championships and women’s soccer on TV to take the edge off the boredom. And not to take anything away from the female footballers and 11 year old baseball players, but they’re not nearly as fun to look at as the track and field athletes. I am fairly certain that I fell hopelessly in love a least a few different times last week–mainly with the male decathletes, and with Croatian High Jump athlete, Blanka Vlasic. I’m not generally one to go for the ladies, but watching her do what she does best I think I definitely developed a crush.
Despite being the right make and model to hack it as a female rower, it’s probably a good thing that Blanka stuck with the high jump, because if she were walking around Malta Lake in addition to the rest of the men who are in contention for spots on the 2009 “List” I would never get anything done when I’m there. As it turns out, the post-Olympic year is going to be more competitive than anyone realized, both on and off the water. Woo hoo!
My compulsive people watching habits have yielded some other interesting observations while down at the course, not related to The List as well. Maybe my favorite to this point: a Portuguese athlete having a smoke while walking up to the bus the other afternoon. I have no idea on that one. Another favorite: the FISA or Malta official rolling through the race course with fire engine red hair, matching lipstick, poly-vinyl leopard purse and silver snakeskin shoes. I can only hope that I will remain that fabulous when I make the transition from athlete to official! Really flashy, really fun–she looked great.
Just a few more hours until I’m going to load myself back on to the bus and head back down to the course and think about doing a little speed work this afternoon to keep things lively during all this down time. Though the first one is always the hardest when it comes to a regatta as spread out as this one, the excess down time doesn’t necessarily make the second race all that much better==as opposed to one-a-day racing for three days like you might have at a World Cup during which time you don’t really have time to come down, just go go go! And the way a taper works on my body, even though I feel like I want to do more training in order to regulate my sleep/appetite/moods etc., doing anything more than 12k at a time at this point seems like a great and heroic stretch of the imagination… so far away. It’s a vicious type of existence, life on a taper in the middle of racing. I think I’d like very much for the week to get going so we can work on accomplishing the next step in the process. Repechages today will determine the remaining boats that we will see in the semis. Looking forward to semi draws.

Off to find something productive to do in the meantime…

Long Live the Dream,