It’s been a full week in California so far, and not surprisingly… eventful.

First–what a great response to the 2011 Winter Training Video!  I have heard through the grapevine that it has been circulated in the highest rowing circles (I’m looking at you Wellesley Women and Navy Men). It’s just shy of 3,000 views on YouTube, which isn’t too bad for a bunch of women in spandex acting like idiots.  You keep watching, I will keep updating you on the progress of your 2011 Women when I can.
I think most everyone has been enjoying our rest week schedule, reducing volume and intensity in order to let our bodies prepare for the coming storm over the next two weeks which will include (I think) more intense sessions in the single, as well as erg testing before part of the camp departs for a hiatus in Oklahoma City.  Training cycles are necessary so our bodies don’t wear out completely while we continue to train six or seven days a week for years at a time… some people respond to them better than others.  I, for one, am happy to take some of the extra time to spend it reading, napping, drinking coffee, or knitting (what a life).  But others get restless with the extra down time and can be found guiltily sneaking in jogs and extra ergs during off afternoons.  It just goes to show that not everyone wants or needs the same amount of recovery in order to feel that their bodies are getting stronger or fitter.  Or just that some of us are more neurotic than others!  In any case, we are now established here at the Training Center, rowing our singles and quads, back in to our weightlifting routine, and rediscovering our standard jogging routes around the OTC.
As other products of this particularly restful week:

I finished my first book in my Appalachian Trail education (A Walk in the Woods) and have moved on to Roland Mueser’s Long Distance Hiking. The former was entertaining and definitely got me visualizing some of the realities of undertaking a thru-hike (in case you haven’t read my USRowing bio, hiking the AT is a life goal… hopefully soon).  But I lost a lot of interest in the book and the story when the author decided halfway through the text to quit his thru hike and continue as a section hiker.  Boo.  This next text is written by a scientist who also thru hiked the AT, and so is written almost entirely based on a survey sample that he himself collected from over 130 thru hikers in the late 90s.  So almost all of the topics include tables or charts showing trends in hikers’ attitudes, goals, and gear preference and performance.  I am not sure how dated everything is going to end up being since we are now almost a full 15 years out from the publication of the book.  But It’s a short book, so I am pressing on.  And find myself daydreaming about the Trail all the time.

I finished knitting my first-ever pair of mittens!  I am no longer limited to scarves and other shapeless things.  This is a major event in my growth as a Team Granny.

I got my new travel mug in the mail–a 160z. Thermos Sipp.  My last travel mug (“given” to me because I was constantly spilling coffee on a certain roommate’s car seats and she preferred that I use something spillproof) has served me well but is now enjoying retirement in Arizona where I left it mistakenly over the holidays.  In the mean time, there is a new kid in town… and it keeps my coffee HOT for hours so I can go do an erg practice, come back, and still have hot coffee in the locker room.  One of the great small things in life, the value of which should not be underestimated.

Also not to be underestimated:  the healing powers of live music performed by those with true gifts.

Bertko, Tomek, Kalmoe & Walsh at Amos Lee

Four of us headed downtown to the San Diego House of Blues last night to catch Amos Lee and Vusi Mahlasela in concert.  I was positively giddy–I love concerts–and I have seen Amos in concert once before when he came to Princeton’s McCarter Theater in Princeton.  It was an amazing, small, intimate show.  This was not like that.  As incredible as he is live, the people who also bought tickets to the concert yesterday were rude, obnoxious and completely immature.  As one of my granny cohorts noted “It was just like being a gross bar”.  Amos is a folk/blues/gospel/soul singer, and so you wouldn’t think that his show would generate that type of atmosphere, but… During the show, he even commented (twice) that it was distracting that people in the audience were being so loud and talking the entire time (and ignoring him)… to no avail.  The show was still great, but it was too bad to see him so disappointed in the venue.
Amos’ new album, Mission Bell, is number one on iTunes this week.  Check it out.

Practice this afternoon, but lots of nothing to do before then.  Starting with coffee!

Long Live the Dream,




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