Making it Through the Days

This is truly the endless summer.
With Lucerne behind us, it’s a strange feeling looking toward Worlds selection and realizing we still have months to go until the Team will depart for pre-Worlds camp in San Diego, and then for New Zealand.  We haven’t pulled a 2k test yet this year.  We haven’t done much (or any) big boat selection pieces.  We are still in only the early stages of selection and it’s almost August.  We still have another NSR to race, for God’s sake.  But there’s nothing to do but take it one day at a time.  Make it through each day as it comes.
I’ve been holding a pretty packed schedule over the past few weeks in order to make the most out of my time this summer (literally).  Where most summers’ intense training and racing schedules prevent me from having the time and energy to work, this summer’s long, steady training routine allows me some more flexibility with my time which I have spent logging hours at the Princeton YMCA.
So how do I make it through the days?

The day begins at 5:15–just before it starts to get light.  Since Ellen is on her own schedule now, I have the house to myself for an hour in the morning while I eat breakfast and get everything ready for the rest of the day.
Breakfast is whole grain cereal and skim milk, sometimes with fresh fruit, as well as a glass of natural no-sugar-added juice.  Sometimes I have to take my whole grain toast with me in the car if I fall behind schedule.
I take 10 minutes to eat and check email, Facebook, Row2k and the other social evils on my laptop before heading back in to the kitchen to put together lunch, snacks, fluids and everything else I need to get me through three practices and 4-7 hours at work.  Of course I bring Gatorade and GU with me every day, plus all of this comes with me in the morning:

Second Breakfast (between AM practices)

  • 1 small carton of organic lowfat yogurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 homemade egg, ham and cheese sandwich on whole grain bread

Lunch (at work)

  • Leftovers if we have them.  If not, it’s a ham/turkey sandwich
  • 2 servings of fresh fruit (grapes, apples, oranges, peaches, plums)
  • 1 serving of fresh vegetables (carrots, celery, pea pods, zucchini, cucumbers)
  • 2-3 servings of low fat carbohydrates (usually pretzels)
  • 1 quart of liquid (homemade lemonade, iced tea, cucumber water or iced coffee)
  • 1 can of sparkling water

Usually this gets me through to the third practice of the day which starts at 5:00.  But not always!  My two most important things I pack are my egg sandwich (a hugely satisfying reward after practice #1) and my quart of fluids (a treat to drink something else besides water all day long).  As if the 90+ degree temps outside weren’t bad enough, the office temperature at the YMCA leaves something to be desired so hydrating constantly during my shifts is critical.
I should also add that since we are not allowed to leave anything at the boathouse during the day (shower stuff, towels, workout gear, shoes, etc.) I also get to pack enough gear for three workouts, in addition to hauling shoes for the dock, the erg, and for running, plus an outfit for work, plus all the other gadgets and sundries I need to make it through.  After all this, my bag starts to get pretty heavy.

Then it’s back to the boathouse for workout #3 which usually takes from 60-90 minutes, putting me back at the 4401 by about 7:00 every night.  Since I leave the house by 6:20 every morning, this has me pulling pretty long days–at least as long, if not longer than, my days as an undergrad.  But somehow, it works.
I haven’t reached the point where I feel like work interferes with training, or eating interferes with work, or anything else.  It’s an incredibly full day, but the balance I’ve found for now keeps me focused and moving all day.  Of course, I don’t make it past about 9:30 on any given night, and the hardest part of the day is trying to find energy for little things around the house like doing dishes, unloading the dishwasher, or folding or putting away laundry.  I’ve spent more partial nights on the couch in the past month after falling asleep there than I have in the past several years… but it’s all part of the process.  Part of the journey.  I’m in no hurry to commit to a lifestyle where I have time for things like dishes and laundry.

Onward.

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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