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29.Aug.2013 by John Graves

Stormy day here in Chungju. Race officials moved racing to earlier in the day today due to severe wind and rain coming in this afternoon. As far as I know, they were successful in getting all of the scheduled racing in today. Because of the inclement weather, Ben and I practiced early this morning and will probably be staying indoors for the rest of the day. We race in the A/B Semifinal tomorrow afternoon at 1.30 pm Korean time, so 12.30 am eastern time. So far today has been a good opportunity to relax and continue to recoup from yesterday’s race and make sure that we are brimming with exuberance tomorrow for our race. Yesterday’s rep, while highly successful in placing us in the top 12, was extremely difficult. I think we probably made the classic mistake of launching too early for our race given the hot and humid conditions. We ended up baking in the sun for a little too long and by the time the race came, we seemed cooked. Luckily we were able to put together a good enough race to advance. That won’t be good enough tomorrow though. Tomorrow we will be up against the best doubles in the world and will need every trick we have to hang with the field. After our race yesterday, we were fortunate enough to get some good treatment from the trainers and a nice ice bath to jumpstart the recovery. Honestly, I have never been so happy hopping in a pool of 50 degree water.

Ready to begin

23.Aug.2013 by John Graves

Good morning from Korea. Believe it or not, racing starts tomorrow. The opening ceremonies and heat draw are tonight. So after about a week of acclimating we are feeling ready to get this thing started. Steve starts racing on Sunday and Ben and I begin on Monday.
There are few things we needed to do today to get our boats ready for racing, i.e. STICKERS! It’s always pretty cool slapping the stickers on the boat, definitely makes them look a lot cooler. And this time, thanks to Steve and Becky Donald, the GRP is going to standout amongst the other US crews with our Craftsbury decals!




Pics from this afternoon’s practice( phot

20.Aug.2013 by John Graves





Reporting from the future: Tuesday in Chungju

19.Aug.2013 by John Graves

Tuesday afternoon here in Chungju. Hope everyone had a meatless monday!

We woke up to much cooler temperatures and less humidity; a welcomed change. I am sure it won’t last long, but for now its exciting to go out for a row and lose less than 5kg of sweat! We have had no choice but to be very meticulous about hydration before, during, and after rows. If we let our hydration slip, the performance losses are very noticeable on the water. While its very important to be tuning in our equipment, technique, and race strategy; if we don’t show up on race day with our bodies feeling great we will have a tough time keeping up. I am sure everyone is struggling with the heat in some capacity, so we see it as an opportunity to get a leg up on our competition. Be better at the little things. Those details matter and they add up on race day. We got here nice and early so that we could sort out all of these things.

It also occurred to me on the flight over from the US , that as East coasters, we have the largest time change gradient out of anyone in the World Championships. That being the case, getting our sleep patterns sorted is also huge. Last night was the first night of normal sleep for me. Ben and I were trying to stay up to at least 9 to ensure a continuous sleep. Instead, neither of us could take it any longer. We turned off the lights at 7.50 pm and slept continuously until 6 am. Felt great.

As far as the rowing goes, it has been a surprisingly smooth transition to a new boat and new body of water. Our rhythm is getting better and better. Practice at the World Champion ships is nothing like practice on the Hosmer, well at least superficially. There are hundreds of boats out there going up and down the course. The are tons of boat wakes. Let me reiterate…TONS OF BOAT WAKES. It’s something that luckily I think both of us were expecting and prepared for so we haven’t sweat over it too much. Performing well on this level requires an athlete to be able to find peace amidst the chaos and move the boat in uncertain water. The best rowers in the world can go fast in any condition. So we will too.

The food so far has exceeded expectations by leaps and bounds but it has dawned on me recently that I have eaten the exact same thing for every meal. We are completely spoiled with the food at Craftsbury, thats for sure.

Over the next few days we will be doing some race prep pieces against some other US crews. Ben and I are looking to form a rivalry with the US women’s 4x. We are supposed to be faster than them but should be a good sparring partner, especially because they are probably a medalist crew. So we can compare times with them and see how we stack up. I think Steve will probably do some pieces with Andrew Campbell, the lightweight 1x, who is likely a medalist in the LM1x.

Over and out from Chungju for the day!