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Posts Tagged ‘Rowing’

The Greenies Reunite Back North

3.Mar.2019 by Wes Vear

Hello GRP followers! Earlier this week the men’s side of the rowing team wrapped up their first training trip down in Peachtree City, Georgia after a week of some very productive training. They’re now back up in the snowy north and back onto skis. The guys did some great work remembering how to move a single, figuring out how to match up with different people in team boats, and setting down a solid base of blisters to heal up and hopefully turn into callouses for the main training trip in a couple weeks. 

From where we left off in our past blog post, last weekend started out with a variety of team boats work with a nice long doubles steady state workout through the fog which provided for some great photo opportunities, as I’m sure you can imagine. The best part about rowing in the fog (as long as you’re vigilant about keeping an eye out for anything ahead) is the dead calm water that you usually get. Steve made sure to take advantage and have the guys focus on some important technical aspects around the release with bringing the bodies over and keeping them perched as we brought the boat towards us with the hamstrings.

Lucas and Wes venturing off into the great unknown in search of matching body prep and speed.

An easy breezy row that Friday afternoon in the quad helped get the guys ready for their first taste of speed for the following morning workout of 2x(5x(1:00 on, 1:00 off)) starting around a 30 and progressing higher and higher. Considering each row in the quad was the first time in each respective lineup, Saturday’s pieces felt surprisingly relaxed and quick. That morning’s lineup consisted of four of the GRPers with Wes in stroke, Lucas sitting in three, Kevin in two seat, and Andy making the calls from up in bow. Things got a bit rushed and forced once the final open rate piece rolled around, but it was nothing to lose sleep over considering it was everyone’s first time above a 38 in a boat since November.

Following a quick snack refuel to hit that catabolic window, the guys spent a couple hours with the juniors of Peachtree City Rowing Club to talk about all things sculling. The guys regaled stories and lessons they had learned from rowing in college followed up by advice from what they’ve learned in about sculling in the years since graduating. The guys split the juniors up into a couple groups and had each group spend half the time focusing on technical aspects in the boat while the other half was spent talking hitting the large themes surrounding erging, training, nutrition, and the psychology of racing. Obviously all of those topics, both in the boat and out of it, can be discussed for months on end, so the guys tried to hit a few of the key lessons each of them had learned over the years.

PTCRC Juniors learning all sorts of fun stuff about erging and other aspects of rowing off of the water.

Saturday afternoon after talking to the Juniors was spent with a quick and purposeful row in the singles in order to sharpen the guys up for the following morning fun. Steve lined up a 4,000m open-rate piece the Sunday morning’s practice with no set course. The guys were simply to set their speed coaches for 4,000m, start in one corner of the lake, and see how quickly they could cover. As some back story, the buoyed race course on Lake McIntosh covers 2,500m. An S turn near the start of the course can add an additional ~900m or so. Which means you needed to add another ~600m to the piece in some fashion or another. The assumption was that we would all probably divert from the course where the lake opens up and do a long loop around the rough circumference of the lake (all in the traffic pattern, of course) in order to add the necessary 600m to hit 4,000m on our speed coaches. Steve gave the group a start time of 8:15am for the piece. Everyone launched somewhere around 7:30 and everyone headed straight up to the course towards the start and added a couple short loops on the course to lengthen the warmup and kill time until the start. Everyone, that is except Lucas. For whatever reason (to be realized later by everyone else), Lucas went straight towards the finish line and down a small finger of the lake before turning around and heading to the start line. Not thinking anything of it, everyone gathered around the start location as you can see in the map below in the upper left corner. The usual pre-race banter ensued and then Steve sent everyone off on 45″ intervals based on seniority of birth. John Graves, being the most well aged (like a bottle of fine wine, one might say) of the group, started things off. Lucas, being the young gun of the group, started last. As everyone hooked a sharp turn towards starboard into a brutal headwind running from West to East that had picked up before the start of the piece, people’s splits suffered accordingly. It wasn’t until everyone was on the West side of the lake did we realize why Lucas had started his warmup by heading down the end finger of the lake. As he speeded straight down the course as the lake opened up, it was then that we realized he had been figuring out just how long he could stretch the lake in as straight of a line as possible. Everyone else took the red line in the map below, and Lucas made up gobs of time on most of the field by not having to deal with the wall of a headwind everyone else rowed into. Granted, the rest of the group had a semblance of a tailwind as they headed back east, but it was mostly blocked by the trees and land along the west side of the lake. Lucas demolished most of the field, only falling to the always silky smooth JGraveyboat and US 2018 Single Sculler, Kevin Meador. The only thing Lucas hadn’t foreseen was having to dodge people as they finished in front of him well short of the finger he barreled into with reckless abandon. He also hadn’t accounted for Steve’s wake as Steve sped to catch the finish of everyone else. Yet, Lucas’ ingenious plan payed off.

The red course followed by almost the full group. The blue course followed by the ingenious Lucas Bellows.

Everyone milling around engaging in pre-race banter, completely unaware of Lucas’ plan.

After the 4k, the group talked again to the remainder of the Junior program who hadn’t gotten a chance to listen to the GRPers wax poetic about training and the art of sculling. Both groups of high schoolers were great students and seemed to really enjoy hearing the experiences of the Greenies as they look towards the horizon of collegiate rowing.

Bringing one of the Craftsbury specials down to Georgia: the dock talk.

Sunday afternoon after the 4k, Steve gave the group a quick power lift to… power through, before spending most of the evening relaxing as he made his promised Muddy Buddies (Puppy Chow for us midwesterners) and the guys watched the latest adventures of Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledoor in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The rest of the trip unfortunately flew by in a blur of one of the windiest rows that the guys had yet experienced followed immediately by some gorgeous conditions for quad rowing and singles drills. We even got to end everything with some excitement as Lucas flipped Monday evening while doing stationary drills followed by Wes flipping Tuesday morning with the continuation of the same stationary drills.

As the guys headed north Tuesday morning, Steve drove even further south towards Trials I which will be hosted in Sarasota, Florida at the end of April. The full GRP Rowing team will be rejoining the trailer in DeLand, FL on March 19th for their long training trip in preparation for Single Trials. Until then, they’ll be taking full advantage of the pristine skiing conditions at the Center and dreaming about warm sunshine.

The final quad row in some gorgeous conditions.

The trailer, all snug and waiting for the GRP’s return south to DeLand, FL.

Lightweight Update from OKC

2.May.2013 by Kyle Lafferty

The Phil’s and I are still on the loose in OKC. Although we are getting some quality training with a solid group of athletes out here, we are quite jealous of our GRP teammates who have made their way back to Craftsbury and the recently thawed Hosmer. Much respect to the first GRP’er to row on Hosmer this Spring – skier Susan Dunklee! I’m sure she was navigating the last chunks of ice floating around out there. The scenery on the Oklahoma River is quite different as you can see from the video below. In the background, you can see the OKC skyline and the Devon Boathouse where we train everyday.

The training atmosphere out here has been growing more intense as we approach the racing season and selection camps. Official selection for the lightweight men’s four begins with the 2nd National Selection Regatta which is scheduled for May 15-18. All members of the group here will be racing in pairs at this event. We have been doing lots of training in pairs with as many different combinations as possible. The constant switching has made for some great competition. The video below is from one of our training sessions.

Last weekend, the Phil’s and I ventured downtown to attend the OKC Marathon registration where we helped promote the Learn-to-Row programs offered by the OKC Boathouse Foundation. It was great to chat with members of the community and get people excited about rowing. We gave our best sales pitches to convert runners to rowers as they perused the booths scattered throughout the large registration room at the Cox Convention Center.

Recruiting new rowers at OKC Marathon

Recruiting new rowers at OKC Marathon

In my last post, I mentioned that there was no recycling pickup at our apartment complex. While that fact remains, we have been making weekly trips to the recycling center which is located downtown. We’ve had some pretty big hauls!

Loading up to hit the recycling center

Loading up to hit the recycling center

Phil sorting recycling - and looking good!

Phil sorting recycling – and looking good!

So we will be heading to New Jersey on the 9th to prepare to race at NSR #2 with at least some of the GRP coming down from Vermont. We’ll keep you posted as we continue to travel and begin racing.

X-treme Baking

26.Mar.2013 by Emily Dreissigacker

As you may or may not know, one tends to have quite an abundance of free time on training trips. This weekend Becky and I decided to take full advantage of our teammates birthdays’ as an opportunity to waste a little time baking. We did not, however expect it to turn into quite the production that it did. Blame it on too many episodes of cupcake wars or our combined perfectionism but 6 hours, 5 batches of frosting, 2.5 bags of confectioner’s sugar, and an undisclosed amount of butter later we unveiled the finished product, two perfectly frosted cake bricks, complete with GRP rowing themed fondant decorations. What’s a cake brick you might ask? It is a cake that is shaped like a brick. We invented it. Having limited cake pan options in our two rental houses we were forced to improvise somewhat and make one giant sheet cake in a hotel pan and then cut it into 4ths. Two layers might seem like a normal number of layers for a cake to have, but these were not normal layers. Each layer was approximately 2.5” thick, so total cake height was around 5”, yet the cake width was a mere 4.25”. Yes we measured.

About two hours into this undertaking things were moving along smoothly and the end was in sight. That is until John remarked that the leftover cake scraps would make a good boat. As you can imagine things escalated from there and before I knew it I was whipping up a batch of homemade fondant, which I actually don’t know how to make at all. Not to mention the fact that we were missing about half the key ingredients. We ended up with a sugary lump of play-doh that we were able to dye a variety of colors but most importantly empacher yellow for Steve’s boat and green for the GRP cedar leaf logo.

photo-5 photo-6


GRP in California

8.Feb.2013 by phil.henson

Three lightweights from the Craftsbury GRP  (Kyle, Phil, & Phil) left Vermont just before the massive snowfall and flew out to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. It is sandwiched between San Diego and Tijuana, only 10 miles from each, and we have already been warned about potential encounters with border patrol if we go off running by ourselves in the woods. Because it was designed as a distraction-free training site, the OTC has a somewhat isolated feel to it, but it has all the facilities and amenities an elite athlete would ever need. Aside from boats, oars, ergs and bikes, there is a full weight room with video analysis, a dining hall almost as good as the one at Craftsbury, and an athlete lounge with ping-pong, pool, an XBox 360, and Jumbling Tower (a blatant Jenga knockoff).

There are twelve lightweights here for the camp, 6 from the national team training center in Oklahoma City and 6 invited from elsewhere. This morning we did about 15k of steady-state and technique in straight fours, and if the weather holds up we will be back out there this afternoon. The next few days are a sort of a re-introduction to rowing, especially for those of us who haven’t been on the water since November, and next week we’ll get into the fun (race pace) stuff.

Aside from rowing, there are other sports represented here as well including field hockey, track and field, and soccer. We see them around training, in the dining hall, or the athlete lounge, where Kyle coincidentally ran into a girl he went to high school with – she is on the national field hockey team now and went to both the Beijing and London Olympic games.

It’s too bad we have to miss out on all the new snow, but we are definitely excited to be out on the water again and the warm weather is a nice change for now. Thanks for reading, and stay tuned!

– Phil Henson, Kyle Lafferty, and Phil Grisdela

Welcome to Chula Vista!

It feels like a different country after walking around in a T-shirt, sweating, and seeing palm trees line the road.

A view of one of the BMX courses here. Should have brought the staff bikes!

They call these distant mountains “hills” here, so they are fair game for “hill workouts.”