rowing shell


Sunday recovery runs are the best. I feel great today after yesterday’s 20 miler. We did just 4 easy miles, all in Zones 1 and 2, and my legs feel fresh. The gal with me is one of my best buddies and ran all 20 with me yesterday. 

I can’t believe my half iron is only 16 weeks away! I don’t have any time goals for this 70.3. I put it on the schedule so that I would make sure to fit biking and swimming into my schedule in a structured way. Every time I have done a 70.3 previously, I’ve been either training for an Ironman or training with the 70.3 as my main race. I won’t be having that type of focus for this race, but I’m still excited about racing and training. 

The rest of the day is going to be spent helping our rowing crew transport their boats out of storage and to our lakeside location. Of course it’s supposed to thunderstorm. Hope the lightning stays away when I’m walking with a 30 foot rowing shell over my head!


Photography: “Portrait of a young Kalash woman with plaited hair, wearing beaded necklaces and a hat decorated with many rows of shells.”

Barir valley, Pakistan
August - October 1952 

From  Wilfred Thesiger’s notes: “The Black Kafirs, who called themselves the Kalash Gum, lived in the three valleys of Brumboret, Rambor and Barir. People there still worshipped the old gods, grew grapes for wine, and set up carved wooden figures where they buried their dead. Their kinsmen across the border had been forcibly converted to Islam by Abd er Rahman, Amir of Afghanistan, at the end of the last century, and their land, once known as Kafiristan, was now called Nuristan, ‘Land of Light’. Many of the Muslims living in Chitral were descendants of Red Kafir refugees who had fled from Kafiristan in 1897. Some  years later I was to travel through Nuristan, but I am glad that I saw the people here as they once had been throughout Kafiristan. […] We stopped at Batrik where there were about a dozen well-built Black Kafir houses in a side valley. The men dressed like Muslims, but the Kafir women and small girls wore a distinctive head-dress ornamented by tiny shells. All the women and girls wore a dark-brown, loose garment girdled in round the waist”.
Wilfred Thesiger, “Among the Mountains”, “Travels through Asia” (London, 1998), pages 31-33.

Nobody trains for second place. Especially when it come to rowing. Justify yourselves, rowers- You spend your spring break up at 6 am and spend every afternoon exhausting yourself. It all comes down to a six minute race. Are you going to prove yourself? If you’re not willing to give everything you’ve got, then go home!
—  A wise person who is yet anonymous

You can’t take fear in the boat with you. It’s heavy and you don’t want to swamp. There’s no good place to put it so it’ll roll around in the hull and make loud thunks. Or it’ll get in the way of your stroke. Fear will cling to you and make it hard to breath, hard to even move. Fear is too big to ride along in a rowing shell. It will only slow you down. You’ve got to dump it overboard like extra water before a sprint race. The only way to go fast is to forget about your fear, focus on doing what you know how to do, push through the pain, and lay your heart out there every stoke.

Leave your fear on the dock with your smelly shoes. One of these days you might just be able to abandon it in the boathouse lost and found.