WEST WINDSOR, N.J. - As the IRA National Championships draw near, the Stanford lightweight rowing team is putting the final touches on its race plan for Saturday. In her final blog from IRA training, junior Alicia Kapjian-Pitt covers the finality of training.
Race-Ready in Jersey
by Alicia Kapjian-Pitt
On our way to practice this afternoon, our car’s gas light came on signifying our need to fill-up the tank. It was time to head to the gas station. My naiveté as a Californian was brought to light once again. Pulling in to the gas station, Bailey Yuro told me exactly what I needed to say as New Jersey gas stations aren’t self-service. When the attendant walked up to my window, I panicked and Bailey took the lead. Our trip to the gas station aside, we managed to fit in some rowing too.
With one practice left tomorrow morning, our week of east coast training is coming to a close and we couldn’t be more excited to begin racing. Today was our first day on Lake Mercer and it was our last full day of training. We reached the course and the reality of the situation elevated our excitement levels. The meadow next to the lake was littered with trailers and racing shells, while the athletes warmed up and stretched next to them. Pathways were hazardous as boats moved across them, to and from the docks. After we finished our second practice I felt our taper beginning to work as I had much more energy than I had previously.
During our second row we were waiting for our turn to get on the course and I was able to take some time to reflect on the season and appreciate my teammates just that much more. Apart from all of the jokes and fun we have together, day-in and day-out we have been working side-by-side. Or in our case behind one-another, sweating together, putting ourselves through pain together, all to get ourselves to our common goal. My mind flicked back over all of the hard workouts we completed together. Workouts where I pushed my teammates and they pushed me back. These workouts, the ones where half-way through you are not sure you will be able to finish, are the workouts that give me confidence and faith in my teammates when it comes to race day.
Earlier this week I watched the “I am Stanford” video featured at the Stanny’s. This was another reminder as to why I love my school and my team to such an obscene level. I am, and will always be, proud to wear Stanford on my chest when I race. It reminds me that no matter the results we will yield this weekend, my teammates will be right there beside me all the way until the end.
Oh and by the way, the spandex tan has now expanded to a sock tan too, what we sacrifice for rowing.