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Archive for February, 2019

Day 4: SUN!!!!!!

9.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes
Written by: Alex Spaulding

Day 4 of our trip gave us our first real dose of sunshine! It also was the first day that we started to feel like normal again. Days 1-3 were filled with some pretty energetic mornings and overly-tired afternoons. The first rows of the trip were a bit foggy-headed and lacked sharpness, but the group felt that this morning was a big change and all crews said they had some really solid rows!

The sunshine also helped. It was 60 and sunny during our morning row and we were quick to strip off our long trou and splash jackets in an attempt to soak up as much Vitamin D as we could. We must have looked pretty ridiculous (wearing only our unis) to the Californians who remained bundled up for the entirety of the row. But sunshine wasn’t the only highlight of the morning session. Mickey and I rowed a 2x together and were able to enjoy some flat water as well as the company of the resident 2x (Maggie & Julia) to keep our steady state engaged and productive. We took advantage of the flat water and rowed all the way out to the OPEN OCEAN! We rowed about 50 meters beyond the opening of the canal and took a look around at the open Pacific Ocean. While the water was relatively calm, there are still some pretty big swells on the open water. Mickey was having a blast, splashing her hands in the water and rocking the boat. Whereas I was “respecting the power of the mighty Pacific”– gripping my handles more tightly with each rock. But, I relaxed a bit when a playful seal started jumping and diving in the water around our boat!

After a long AM sesh (20k for the 2x and 17k for Bridgey in the 1x), we headed back to the apartment for the usual lunch and nap. Steve and Jen hit the road on the beach cruisers and visited a local chiropractor while Bridgey, Mick and I enjoyed some late morning siestas.

The PM sesh was another solid workout. Thanks to a resident athlete stepping in to row with us, we were able to take out three 2x’s for a few laps around Lido Island! Once again we enjoyed the sunshine and relatively calm water. However, day 4 has been the breaking point for most of our hands…. That’s right, the blisters are opening up. And. It. Is. ROUGH. Showers are becoming more and more painful, athletic tape is going faster than toilet paper, and rather than dealing with the pain of gripping, I rode my bike home with just my fists on the handlebars.

All that to say, Day 4 was a great one and it was capped off with a wonderful dinner, as Bridget fired up the grill for the first time and pumped out some DELICIOUS burgers!!

Till next time, y’all

Alex (Spaulds) Spaulding

Third day was a charm!

9.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes
Written by: Mickey Fili

Getting the third day on liquid water under our belts had us feeling pretty good as we finally started to find a solid rhythm during the morning row. Alex, Bridget and I got to row with Bill, a master’s rower at the Newport Sea Base Rowing club. Bill had the honor of toe-steering the quad from stroke seat, which allowed the rest of us to relax a bit and focus more on our technique, and less on setting a rhythm. We had some fun bumping the rate by doing three 2500m pieces at a 22, 24 and 26 stroke rating against Maggie and Julia’s double. Each piece had good improvements as we worked on matching and ratio at pace, trying to maintain a quick and light rhythm.

The next stage of practice was a solid Strength and Power lift. Steve gave us time to refuel and recover a bit after our row before hitting the weights for the next hour or so. Bridget pumped the tunes while we all pumped iron, including Steve! Overall, a solid training session. 


After our morning session, we biked home, had our “second breakfast” of the day and took our mid-afternoon nap. Around 2:00pm we all went for a run with Steve around Balboa island. Our run was beautiful and relaxing with sunshine and blue skies. The island has a true topical paradise vibe as yachts, pleasure boats, and sailboats cruise around all day in the sparkling blue-green water. We even ran by a wild Balboian velociraptor hiding in the tall grasses along the shore! Pretty amazing place if you ask me! 


After our run, the gang split up and explored the island for a bit, discovering quirky shops and yummy treats! Alex and I decided to take the $1 ferry across the canal onto the Balboa peninsula to walk along the pier into the ocean. Along the way Alex was able to get peculiarly close to a local seagull perched on top a pair of sightseeing binoculars! Pretty exciting stuff. Then, we decided to head down to the beach for a nice walk along the water during the “golden hour” of the day. We even dipped our toes into the chilly water for a thorough beach experience! To top off our relaxing evening, we stopped by a local food vendor where we bought fresh corndogs that were absolutely delicious! We considered it our “appetite ruining” snack if you will but, if you know us at all, that’s really not possible. As always we finished the day with a nice family meal. This time we decided to watch a movie while we ate. Steve picked out one of his favorites, Crazy, Stupid Love with lots of laughs, sadness and warm fuzzy feelings before another early bedtime to reboot for practice tomorrow!


Day three in Newport was yet another successful step in the right direction on our road to success!

BLEED GREEN!

7.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes

Day 2 in Newport!

Written by: Bridget Schodorf

After traveling on Monday and getting into the swing of things yesterday, today was our first full day of training in sunny SoCal. We had an earlier start this morning, rolling out a little after 6 a.m. and getting to the boathouse around 6:30. (It was a surprisingly chilly bike ride. Thankfully socks are effective replacements for gloves.) Following a quick warm-up, we were off. Mickey, Alex, and I rowed a quad with Maggie, enjoying a long steady state and technique- focused row. No dolphin sightings, but a beautiful, quintessential Cali morning. We all agreed it was a nice row, and we’re starting to brush off the spider webs after a few months away from the water.


We headed back to our apartment after the row to enjoy breakfast #2 and chill for a few hours, which included chat, naps, and a smoothie bowl run, @steve-whelpley. We then headed out for our second practice at 1 p.m. Spirits were high, as the sun was out and the bike ride warmer. The wind had picked up quite a bit, but we took it in stride since Mickey, Jen, Alex and I were about to have a row in the quad. Conditions weren’t great, but we were on the water, and we got in a short row. Practice ended with Steve leading a core circuit on the boathouse balcony.

Post practice, everyone headed back to Balboa, where Mickey and I stopped at a nail salon and treated ourselves to a mani-pedi—great decision! Back at the apartment, Chef Alex was busy preparing a nutritious family dinner, which we all appreciated and enjoyed.

Day 2 in Newport was a good step forward, and we can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds.

Go GRP!

A “Tidal” Day One

6.Feb.2019 by Jen Forbes
Written by: Alex Spaulding

Alright alright alriggghhhhttttt. The women’s Newport Winter Training Trip is officially underway! Day one had its share of ups and downs, but overall we were able to successfully handle the curveballs that travel delirium sent our way!

After a late-night arrival, the gang woke up bright-eyed, bushy tailed and ready to attack the day. The first high of the day came when coach Steve “scavenged” up some first-world treats from the Starbucks that is just a few blocks from our apartment. Once we were successfully buzzed up on caffeine and consumer products, we headed out to put the G in GRP. Since we are only a little less than three miles from the boathouse, we decided cut down our trip’s carbon footprint and rent bikes for the week. We headed to the bike shop, expecting to be fitted for standard road bikes, but were PLEASANTLY surprised when the shop was filled with BEACH CRUISERS!!!! Needless to say, the posse rolled out of SportsRents lookin’ realllllll cool.

Next, we headed to the Newport Sea Base which is the boathouse that we will are rowing out of during the trip. And as we checked off some logistical responsibilities: unpackage/set oars, fit boats, find shoes, etc. our “morning high” was slowly wearing off. We then went out for a quick 30 minute row to get our bearings with the waterway – which brings us to our first “crash” of the day. “I knew we weren’t in a good place when Mickey got into the boat, scrunched up her face and said ‘I’m hungry, Steve!” After the row, Steve hurried us out of the boathouse and to a nearby deli for some delicious sandwich pick-me-ups. *Queue glycemic high #2 for the day… which was quickly followed by a sleepy full-tummy-induced low* Our walks were a bit rainy, but we did our best to have some fun with it.

We kicked off our PM session with a core/weights circuit that aimed to reactivate our gluts and lengthen our hip flexors after a long day of travel. Then we headed out for another quick re-acclimating row, where we quickly hit our third high of the day: WE SAW DOLPHINS! The majestic creatures put on a little show for us just off the dock and they, paired with the breaking sunlight, were exactly what we needed to bring some enthusiasm to our last workout of the day. However, as you can imagine, our high was not sustainable and we left the boathouse in yet another state of delirium.

We pit-stopped at the apartment to shower-up and set out for our final task of the day: family grocery trip! We hit up a team (mostly Steve) favorite: Trader Joes. Going to Trader Joes with Steve is an experience that I hope everyone has at some point in their lives. The 6’4″ man turns into a hyper little boy who enthusiastically reads aloud the labels of all of the Trader Joes novelty items he puts into his cart. As a group we were proud of our grocery planning and were able to come in under well under our budget. Additionally, we each had our own piles with special “treat-yourself-items” that we paid for separately, and for the most part we kept it pretty tame…. however we aren’t sure how much of Steve’s life savings perished after his separate checkout.

We made it back to the apartment around dinner time, had a little team meeting and ate a modest dinner (mostly because we each ate a meals-worth of TJs treats in the car ride home). And by 8pm Cali-time these tired pups were ready for bed!

Day 1 may have had its ups and downs, but we definitely got a lot done and are feeling excited to rest up and really attack the rest of this training trip!

Till next time….

Alex (Spaulds) Spaulding