Gevvie’s Winter Training Update

Gevvie rowing in Sevillle

Gevvie rowing in Sevillle

I spent most of the winter (there is still snow in the forecast!) in Austin, Texas with a competitive group from Vesper boat club under the coaching of John Parker. Ladybird Lake is a great place to train with 9k of water dam to dam, and a relatively straight 2k stretch available for side by side competitive pieces. It was good for me to be with a group of rowers training hard every day to earn their seats in the Vesper boats headed to Olympic Trials, and their ferocity certainly rubbed off on me. Hard workouts are easier (and more fun!) with company. Off the water, we were fortunate to have the local YMCA available for weight lifting and the UT boathouse for erging. I also enjoyed going for road bike rides exploring the periphery of the Austin area, and I got some good miles in on my bike. I lived with a fabulous “host mom”, and I certainly got spoiled by having my own bathroom. All time totaled (minus the two weeks in Spain), I was in Texas for about two and a half months, and I think it was the best option for my winter training in this Olympic year. On the Vesper program, I did a lot of volume, I think I made some good technical changes, and I loved having elite rowing teammates around with whom to train and to explore the Austin food options.

The two weeks in Seville, Spain with the Irish team were a highlight of the winter. The Irish group is a perpetually cheerful and hardworking group, and their coach Don has a great eye and a fabulous enthusiasm. Plus, my dad and my mom got to join me for the first week of the trip–it was good to see them both and great to check in with my dad on the rowing. It was two weeks of high intensity, quality work–much of it side by side with Sanita, the Irish single sculler. At the end of the trip, we raced 2k, which was a good speed check and ended up reassuring me that winter training seemed to be going well up to that point. The only unfortunate part of the trip was the food in the dining hall. By the end of two weeks, I was craving vegetables! (Sidenote: there is a decent amount of quality ice-cream in Seville. Thank goodness!)

One week ago I returned to Boston with its early spring weather, and I came to the conclusion that I would take 40 degrees over 90 degrees any day. I am thrilled to be home on the Charles River! Even despite all the recent weather frustrations. I think that returning home for a three week block of training leading up to trials was a great idea. It is wonderfully reassuring to be back in a familiar routine with a training plan designed for me and with my teammates by my side. I am doing workouts that I have done in previous years while gearing up for selection regattas, and I think that is the best way for me to prepare for Olympic Trials. That being said, if someone could magically eliminate all wind over 15mph, I wouldn’t complain.

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