With an anti-climatic end to the summer racing season, I can only looking forward to an exciting year to come. My racing for 2015 is over,...

Looking Forward

With an anti-climatic end to the summer racing season, I can only looking forward to an exciting year to come.

My racing for 2015 is over, but the World Championships are still to come for Team USA. I will be watching carefully, as this year is the first chance to qualify boats for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Here's how it works:
- Countries can earn a spot at the Olympic games by meeting certain performance standards at this year's World Championships
- Those spots are by country—the athletes can change
- In the lightweight women's double, the Olympic qualification standard is top 11 at the World Championships
- For boats that don't qualify this year, there is another opportunity to qualify next year

With the great performance of the US lightweight double at their most recent international race, I am hopeful that we can meet the Olympic qualification standard this year.

The next major regatta for me is US Olympic Trials, to be held in Sarasota, Florida, from April 18th to 24th. Assuming all goes well at this year's World Championships, a win at that regatta would be a direct path to Rio 2016.

So what happens between now and then?

First, I am taking a much needed break. I've been working my tail off since December of last year, and made some great improvements. And now, I'm pretty tired. My body and mind need a good rest before I gear up for our next huge training block—which lasts until April! I will be spending some time with family in California and Oregon, some of it completely off and some of it cross-training.

Second, I'll be prepping for fall racing season. I'm considering a few different fall races, including Head of the Potomac/Green Mountain Head (same weekend), Head of the Charles, Head of the Fish, and Fall Speed Order. I won't attend all five of those races, but I'd like to fit in at least three.

Third, we'll be heading indoors to get fitter. We usually come off the water in mid-November. I'm a strong believer in getting in at least 8 weeks primarily on the ergs—with maybe a week of either rowing or cross-training sometime in the middle. That will take me through mid-January indoors.

Fourth, we are hoping for an extended trip to Sarasota to row and prep for Trials. Typically, we can't get on the water until early March, sometimes later. That is not enough time to prep for Trials, and 40°F days in New Milford are not productive training for 80°F racing in Florida.

Which brings me to money. At the moment, only two lightweight women receive any financial support from US Rowing, and that is minimal. I have been self-funded (and husband-funded) through this journey. As we come into the home stretch before Olympic trials, it's time to focus on training, not finances.

Over the next month, I will be putting together a budget for training and living expenses through April. Donations through our non-profit foundation (the Northeast High Performance Rowing Foundation) helped me take a three week training trip to Sarasota last spring that made a huge difference in my performance in the important early spring races. If you are able to donate, keep an eye out here for details about how to make a tax-deductible donation!

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