So yesterday was another testing day.  This time it was the much more fun and familiar 2k distance that we all know and love so well; and it will serve as the doorway into spring racing and selection over the next several weeks.  And if we’re going to go along with that metaphor, I can safely add that opening this doorway was like turning the knob and staring in to pitch blackness with no idea where the light switch was, or if there was one at all.
For as many 2ks as I’ve pulled in my life, it is always astonishing how easy it is to forget just about everything I know about them.  For instance: how quickly it goes by (especially in relation to say, a 6k or a 10k).  How it’s painful, but it’s really not that bad once it’s over.  And even: how much fun it is (more so on the water, but first things first).  Before yesterday, I felt like I had no bearings on this test, and eventually just accepted I was just going to have to give it my best shot by hurtling headlong into the abyss to find a rhythm, build a cruising speed and hang on.  So I did.
Afterwards, I wondered why I had even been nervous about the test at all.  It’s completely normal for me to feel pre-race anxiety, but the uncertainty surrounding this test was different. With very little speed work under my belt for this season so far, it was anyone’s best guess as to how my body would handle rating above a 30 on the erg for a full 2k.  I wasn’t sure how my lungs would feel.  Or my legs.  But as it turns out, my body hadn’t forgotten how to pull a 2k, and all the training I’ve been doing over the past 10 years has prepared me to perform even in situations where I’m not “up to speed” or “rested” or “possessing any awareness of what my 2k split should be”.
True, I didn’t walk out with a PR yesterday, but I am most definitely within striking distance, and feel that where I ended up is a good starting point for racing season.  Moreover, as we transition in to sprint and speed work on the water, having survived the first 2k of the season via the erg will translate into confidence for me as I take that speed out on to the water and try to apply it in the racing boats.
The spring schedule is starting to shape up like this:

March 15-17: National Selection Regatta I (W2-, M2-, M1X, speed order for LM2-)
March 18: Sweep group returns to Princeton
April 9-12: Non-qualified Olympic Trials (W2X, W1X, M2X, LM2X) + NSR II (LW2X)
April 13: Sculling group returns to Princeton

Currently, the plan for me is to stay in California after the sweep group returns to New Jersey to develop sculling lineups for NQOT.  No decisions have been made about athletes for the 2X vs. the 4X as of yet.  But racing is approaching very quickly, and it won’t be long after these domestic regattas that a group will be selected to attend the first and second World Cups (and potentially the Olympic Qualification Regatta in Lucerne).  Things are heating up… fast!  The fun is about to start!
It should also be noted here that I am starting to generate suspicion in the ranks for my generally elevated mood over the past several days.  I’m not sure if someone is putting something in my Powerade or if it’s just the time of year, but I have not been my normal, crochety self lately, and people are starting to notice.  I will dispel any rumors now about a secret romance or marriage proposal (Natalie’s idea) before it gets too out of hand and simply enjoy it while it lasts.  Even the erg yesterday couldn’t dampen my mood, and I was bouncing off the walls long after I returned from dinner with the girls, much to the annoyance of my training center roommate.  Coupled with doing a cartwheel out of bed this morning at 5:45am and then dancing down to the boathouse, I am actually starting to worry that this mood thing can’t keep up for much longer before I have an epic crash…

And for those wondering about the title–I wore my heart rate monitor for my 2k test yesterday, and ran it only for the duration of the test.  Afterwards, I checked the statistics on the workout to find that my watch told me I had burned a mere 99 calories for my efforts.  Keep that in mind next time you’re sitting on the starting line, or even better–standing aside a door with your hand on the knob, staring in to pitch blackness.

Long Live the Dream,