Breaking in your hands is something that you just get used to and come to expect after you’ve gone through the process several dozen times. It doesn’t get any more fun each time, but learning tricks to avoid prolonging the inevitable as well as accelerating the healing process does make it more bearable. Also rowing better so the damage inflicted isn’t as dramatic goes a long way. My usual pattern is shown here: forgetting to cut off my old calluses so new blisters develop underneath them; the center piece is an unfortunate blood blister that I am hoping will last through tomorrow.

For our last two days of camp, we are undertaking our very own version of the wild and wonderful Heineken Regatta, the multi-distance opener to the Dutch rowing season.  Though we haven’t gone to the Netherlands to participate this year, Tom has organized our schedule to include racing the four distances against each other over the next two days (2500m, 250m, 750m, 5000m).  We kicked off this morning with a 2500 in 4Xs, 8+ and 2-s and will be hitting the 250m piece this afternoon.  The raw time results of each piece are broken down into an average 250m split which is then your “score” for the piece, and then the four scores are added together after all the pieces are completed.  The boat with the lowest “score” is the winner (i.e. this morning’s 2500 was divided by 10 for a 250m avg., tonight’s 250 will be scored on raw time, the 750 time will be divided by 3, etc.).  So as Tom says, this format rewards both endurance and power.  Except, as one of my teammates pointed out… if one boat were to beat another by just 1 second on the 250m piece, that would mean that the losing boat would have to come back and win by a margin of 20 seconds on the 5k to even things out.  Since Ellen and I have been boated in to separate quads, it has been a fun time trash talking who is going to take the two short power pieces!

We’ll see which crew comes out on top after it’s all done tomorrow afternoon.  Until then…

Long Live the Dream,