Yesterday was a BIG day. I think I was hopped up on adrenaline for 12 hours straight. Paying for it dearly today as the adrenaline has seeped out of my body leaving that achy residue of exhaustion, but the hangover is worth the party.
My training partner Brian, and his wife Pam train out of the GMS Rowing Center in New Milford, CT and had invited me to try it out. Brian had spoken with the head coach/trainer Guenther (better known as “GMan”), and gotten me the “in” to come down for a training weekend and 6K Test. GMan works primarily with lightweight men and women and several U23 National Team rowers. Several of his rowers have competed internationally and been members of the U.S. National Team. I’m considered an openweight woman but I knew I needed an elite group of athletes to train with and learn from. Perhaps if I had been rowing for years, I could continue to do the independent thing, but I need a legit program and coach to take me to the next level. This was the best option.
I rocked the 6K Test. Absolutely killed it. And I generally don’t say that about any personal performance but it was one of those moments where you are literally jumping out of your skin because you know you just kicked some ass. And the ass you kicked was your own. A week ago I had put up a 22:49 (minutes) which was a personal best; 4 seconds better than the 22:53 I had submitted for the USRowing ID Camp in early November. My goal going into yesterday’s test had been to at least keep it around 22:50. I had put in some serious mileage all week–no doubt my body was tired–and I was feeling a little sick toward the end of the week so wasn’t sure what kind of number I may pull. 3,000 meters into the test I knew I was golden. I was feeling strong and solid and holding a great split, on par to finish below my 22:50 goal. When I finished (in pain), and saw the 22:32 on the screen, it took all of me not to jump off the erg and run over to give Brian (my training partner) a huge hug and high-five. I mouthed the time to Pam across the room which was received by a lipped “oh my god” and thumbs up. I was ecstatic. A solid 17 seconds shaved off my standing personal best was serious improvement, and the best part of it all was that I knew I wasn’t even close to being in a “well-trained” condition. To put it into perspective, as my training partner so eloquently stated: “Get under 22:00 and you’re really in the mix with the folks who are currently making teams (National Team)… under 21:30 and you are physiologically playing in the deep end of the pool which is uber cool.”
I’m ready to dive in head first. Next goal = sub 22:00.