Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Empire State Regatta

As I mentioned in my previous post, July 30th was the Empire State Regatta. This was an awesome opportunity to race in my hometown of Fairport!

After the Lake Placid Regatta, I decided to take a short break from kayaking. I do this every year after the season; it provides an opportunity to rest, recover, and regain motivation to get out on the water daily.

The 5k at the Empire State Regatta was my first jaunt on the water since World Championships Team Trials in Lake Placid. Although my lower back didn't appreciate the introduction, it was a really fun course and a great summer race! I really look forward to upcoming editions of this regatta, especially since I see the Rochester kayak racing community growing exponentially right now.

Fem loves winter. THAT MEANS TRAINING IN IT.

A few weeks ago I raced in the Empire State Regatta, which is an updated version of last year's Erie Canal Regatta. It was held in Fairport, right on the canal by the liftbridge rental shop. It was especially exciting to have an opportunity to speak on Wednesday evening on the opening night! I talked about how important the town of Fairport has been in my development as a kayaker. I also stressed that Fairport is a community that supports events like this regatta, and that this support is integral to the past and future development of paddling in Upstate NY. We certainly have a LOT of kayakers in the area, and many of those kayakers are now becoming kayak racers! (It's so exciting!!)

In many some ways, living in a place that has ice instead of water during the winter is a major disadvantage. In the past, I've spent only December and January at home in Fairport. When I head to San Diego in February, it takes me a long time to catch up to the other warm-weather paddlers who never stopped. It's certainly frustrating. However, I choose to structure my season that way because I truly think it's the best way for me to train. An off-season filled with training off the water has been important to my physical and mental strength. In fact, my most successful paddling seasons have come after a winter of cross-country skiing and lifting. (It's the Euro way!) I stay in touch with paddling with sprint workouts several days a week on on my kayak erg, and I focus on building strength in the weight room and endurance on the cross-country ski trails.

I'm looking forward to starting my junior year at college in 6 days (!!!), but even more looking forward to figuring out a system that includes both high-level school and high--level kayaking. Most of all, I'm looking forward to a fall [and winter] in Rochester, because I truly believe in my winter off-the-water training method. I'm sure it wouldn't work for everyone, but it keeps me my program varied and interested while keeping me injury-free and happy!