And…We’re Back

photo (3)

Otay Lake at the Olympic Training Center at its best

Hello again.  I’m finishing up the tail end of my first team camp of 2013 down at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista.  I’ve had three weeks with a small group of USA women and men to get back in to organized full time training and readjust to the physical and social demands of camp life.  As always, it has been an absolute pleasure to live and train out of the Training Center, and I am sad to be packing my bags for Princeton today (where I will have a fresh layer of snow and an empty fridge waiting for me).

This camp marked the end of nearly five months of independent training and gallivanting (or whatever) and personally, I was ready to get back in to a routine.  There are always times during an Olympic training cycle that you wish that you had more independence or flexibility with your training, or even just some alone time to escape from the beloved quirks and eccentricities of your teammates.  But after five months of being on my own and dealing with a certain level of loneliness and motivational lulls, I found it refreshing and very enjoyable to be back working with other athletes and to share the daily grind with them again.  After all, rowing is a team sport and though the individual aspect of it is incredibly strong during the winter training months, there is no substitute for the strength I pull from working alongside my teammates of the past seven years.  The good news is that we have a number of strong returning athletes at this camp including two-time Olympic Champions Elle Logan, Susan Francia and Caroline Lind, along with Olympic Gold Medalist Meghan Musnicki, Bronze Medal teammate Adrienne Martelli and Olympian Sara Hendershot.  That’s a lot of firepower.

Training has gone well while we’ve been here.  We’ve focused primarily on getting reacquainted with the small boats –for me that means the single– and on building power and overall fitness in order to continue increasing training volume and intensity over the rest of the winter and spring to be prepared for World Cup I in March, and the start of spring selection in April.  I’ve also got a quick trip up to Boston planned for my first-ever appearance at C.R.A.S.H. B’s, so I’m banking on the training I’m doing now to help me survive (enjoy?) that experience, before packing up to head out for a short training camp at the Team USA headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado and then back to San Diego in March before leaving for Sydney.

It has definitely been a process even during our short camp here this January – to continue to be patient and accept that fitness and strength do not happen all at once and it is still going to take me some time to get back on pace and feel truly healthy and fast again.  Some days I accept it.  Some days it’s harder to do.  But as long as I am continuing to learn, and continuing to make progress–even if it is very small steps–I am doing my job and helping my Team to prepare for a great competitive season in 2013.  Perhaps more important will be my final preparation for a healthy mental and social approach to my reintroduction to the Princeton Training Center, where I will be greeted by about a dozen new faces of women who are just beginning their journeys toward representing Team USA over the next four years.  As I’ve written in the past, my personality and natural leadership style does not always lend itself to making new newcomers feel welcome or accepted right away.  And having taken some time away from the Training Center over the past few months, I am aware that I am likely to have slipped away from some of the work I have done over the past four years to make myself more accessible and less intimidating to new teammates.  It will definitely take effort on my part not to slip too far, and to not be too much of a pain in the ass from the get-go.

Before I sign off – you may have noticed that the site has a new look.  It was my goal to get the new design up and finished before leaving training camp and I’ve gotten it in just under the wire.  It is still a work in progress and I’m sure will be as I continue to find little things here and there to adjust but an initial big thanks to Erik Dresser Photography for supplying me with some new images for all of my social media efforts.  And of course to WordPress.com for being friggin awesome–I absolutely love you guys.

NEW THINGS TO CHECK OUT:
MUSIC 

I’m getting more active on the Hype Machine and on Soundcloud.  Follow me there to keep up with what I’m listening to for training.

PHOTOS

I’m going to continue to add more photo galleries from events past and present.

SCHEDULE

It’s going to be a busy year.  Keep up by checking out my schedule.

I had a blast putting the new look together and am looking forward to sharing the story of 2013 with you all.  See you back on the East Coast.

Long Live the Dream,

–MK

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