I was wondering if after all these months you'd like to hear how it's going, everything. They say that bloggers like to write but ...

I was wondering if after all these months you'd like to hear
how it's going, everything.
They say that bloggers like to write but I ain't done much writing.

Hello from the other side.
I must have worked out a thousand times.
I'll tell you I'm sorry for the radio silence.
But it don't matter, it clearly hasn't torn us apart!

Ok, enough Adele-inspired poetry. It's been a while. What have I been up to?

Last you heard from me, I was building back from an August break. I may have been overly ambitious about how quickly that would happen. Life seemed to have other plans. We'll get back to rowing in a moment, but let's talk about life outside of rowing for a bit!

First things first, Dan and I just moved into our own condo! That's right, we bought a condo. We knew our housing situation would disappear at some point in 2017, so we started looking in September/October, and put in an offer on a place in late November.

It was a short sale, and the previous owner's bank didn't get around to approving our offer until late February. In the meantime, we had to move into a temporary place for two months, not knowing if we would even get this place. It was.. stressful.

In order to afford the place, I've also upped my hours at work. I've been working 15-20 hours/week. I feel so lucky to have such a flexible job that pays well enough to save money with so few hours.  It doesn't sound like a lot, but every hour I spend at work is 100% on mentally, which can be exhausting. I'll have to continue with the higher hours to rebuild my savings.

And talking about biting off more than I can chew: I'm also working on an MBA right now. Dan and I were both accepted into the Smartly MBA program. Despite the cheesy name, the coursework has been remarkably helpful. It's way less time than a traditional MBA, but another thing on my plate.

Have I mentioned the election yet? Yea. There was terrible awful day in November when I felt like the world was crashing down around me, after a month of hope and optimism. The emotional toll from the election was greater than anticipated, and I'm only now beginning to feel like I've recovered enough to help do something. The work done by activists already has kept me sane and given me joy, but I'm still constantly wary of government in a way I'd never had to be before. I cannot thank my Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and Representative Esty enough for having good sense and judgement so I don't have to call their offices every day.

So that all has been pretty tough. And when I put it all down in writing, I'm damn proud of what I've accomplished as an athlete through all of that. So let's talk about training.

Over the course of last year, all of the other elite athletes at GMS left, either leaving the sport altogether or heading off to a new club. I knew training alone would be hard, so I tried to set myself up for success.

In October, I joined the Oiselle Volée. I needed people who would cheer me on, and people who could inspire me, and I got just that. It's a running team, and so I felt my heart pulled more and more towards running.

That's not my goal, so I found another team, too: the junior athletes here at GMS. I worked with Guenter to adjust my training schedule, decreasing my weekly minutes in recognition of my crazy non-training life, and matching my training up to the junior squad.

I now lift with the girls on Mondays and do the hardest sessions on Wednesday and Saturday with the group. I also often have company for my afternoon steady state on Tuesdays and Fridays. I still have to get through a lot of easy minutes on my own, but it's no longer everything.

So where has that left me?

My base is the bomb. I'm running a half marathon next weekend, and looking to PR by 5+ minutes. My long steady state work is consistently faster than it's ever been. And my head is really screwed on straight about this stuff: I know when to take it seriously and when to back off.

Unfortunately, my speed is still missing. I PR'ed on my lactate threshold test. (This measures the point at which you start to accumulate lactate in your muscles while working out. The more watts you can produce without accumulating lactate, the harder you can go for longer.) Everything above lactate threshold is still missing. My 6k is getting close to PR territory, but still not there (and my PR is still way slower than my competitors). Let's not talk about my 2k.

We're also still not back on the water. The company that puts our docks in missed their appointment to put them in, and then we got 18" of snow, and now the river is drained, and then it's going to windy and... it just keeps going.

I've accepted that I will be underprepared for the first race of the season, NSR1, coming up on April 18th. It's important that I do well, but it's more important that I prepare myself for the rest of the season, and the rest of the quadrennial.

I've had to re-write my goals for NSR 1 countless times over the last 4 months. From top four, to "hope for the best", they've now become "just see what happens". I feel an immense sense of calm about that. Things never work out the way I plan anyways, so all I can do is keep preparing, and trusting my coach, and just see what happens. And with such an amorphous goal, I've set myself up to be brave and maybe even a little stupid, something I definitely need to get better at.

So that's my life right now. If you've made it through, thanks for sticking with me. No pictures, because those take time, and life is busy. There are some on Instagram.

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