Friday, August 08, 2008

Thank God this is almost over

Next week I'm racing at US Masters National championships, in Long Beach. It's been held on the East coast more often than the West. Last time it was here (Sacramento) was 2003, and I came away with a gold and a silver.

Those medals came in the club races: All members of the crew must be from the same club. The "lettered" races have only an age restriction, but no affiliation restriction. So people are free to assemble any crew they want. And people will: ex-elites from around the country will come together and enter the races.

The big question this year for my team was: Go after the club events, or go after the lettered events? We've got no real ringers. Everyone here is a legit member of the club. And we have some crews that would be nearly unstoppable in the club events. But our goals are to be damn fast, period. So our fastest boats are going after the lettered events.

I'm in a few of them. The guys on the team look at the line ups for a few of my boats and shake their head at the obscene level of boat moving ability assembled. I love rowing in these boats: Everyone knows what they're doing, and the high grace/ high power balance makes for a tremendously gratifying experience.

I'm also torn. I'd really like to win something. And while our odds are decent in the lettered races, they're much better in the club events, which we could legitimately race, as well. I suppose it's better to go up against the best.

I'm also getting burnt out. I've been training non-stop since I got back from England, and my body is very very ready for a taper. Training for sprints racing is just painful, and the cumulative burn from day after day of full power, full speed work is beginning to make me crack a bit. I know this is exactly where I wanted to be right now, and I know that, once I taper down, I'll feel great and will feel fresh and unnaturally powerful on race day. But after this, I'll be so glad to get into head race season. Not to have to sprint again until March 2009 is just fine with me.