Happy Monday! I hope everyone is adjusting back to the work week well. I wanted to provide a short weekend recap on my adventures the past two days 🙂
My Saturday morning started with a 4am alarm. One of the earliest alarms I have ever set! I was up, showered, and out of the house (after feeding and watering the dogs) by 4:30am to get down to Grey’s Lake for the Iowa Games Regatta! It was my first race with the Des Moines Rowing Club and I was so excited to be racing in two boats (actually, I thought I had three but one ended up getting scratched last minute). Spring races are sprints and due to limitations of the lake, our course was only about 850 meters. Super short! It was a floating start, which means that all the coxswains were crossing their fingers for no wind to mess with our line-up at the starting line.
The Des Moines Rowing Club had about 70 participants and multiple entries in many events. It was a full day for the whole club and everyone was amped up to begin. We had to get there as soon as the park opened at 5am to help rig all the boats. Rigging is where we put the “arms” on the rowing shells that hold the oars. They have to be taken off to transport from the river (our normal rowing location) to the lake for the race.
The team was so efficient that we were all set and ready to row by 6:30am, and the coaches and coxswains meeting wasn’t even until 7am! Better early than late though. Nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute (which still happened a couple times during the course of the day).
Can you tell that I was enamored by the sunrise?? So beautiful with the lake and Des Moines skyline in the background.
We had one dock to use all day, so there was a lot of necessary coordination to get boats safely and quickly on and off the water. It all went very smoothly, in no small part due to the volunteers on the dock who helped navigate the traffic.
I cox most frequently for a group of amazingly competitive women who owned the regatta in every race they entered! I watched them compete in the 8+ from near the finish line and they blew the competition out of the water! So proud of these women.
I had some time to stop and smell the roses… walk the park… look at bees…reapply sunscreen… etc.
As the day waned on, I was getting more worked up about my upcoming races. Despite getting there at 5am, my first race was at 12:33 and second was at 2:45! I had a lot of time to think over the race plan and prepare but also to get pretty anxious. I love coxing but I put so much pressure on myself to keep everyone cool and collected but warm as we get to the start. Making the lineup at the start and the calls all clean, organized, and sharp. Get everyone jazzed but not too hyped up so they can perform well. And then of course stay to the course, provide encouragement and correction as needed, and call the final sprint with good timing. By the time I launched, I was SUPER prepared and ready to go!
Meanwhile, back in Ankeny, Adam was preparing to come the park with Rooster to cheer me on! It was his first regatta and I was excited for him to hear me and see what I do when I am off “coxing”. He was impressed by how well everyone listened to me and how loud I was!
I think Rooster was the most popular cheerleader of the Des Moines Rowing Club! He was so good and calm despite all the noises and people. Definitely gave me confidence to bring him to future races.
The pictures of my boats are credited to Adam from near the finish line. Our Mixed 8+ race went really well but we only had one other boat in the race and they unfortunately had equipment problems and had to stop a couple times so it was not too exciting to watch. But I was happy we did well! The Women’s 4+ race was my favorite though! We were named the “B-boat” and expected to get silver to the “A-boat”, with both boats being composed of my normal women’s group. It was such a close race! We had a better start than the other boat but they caught up and we were neck to neck for most of the race. They gained a little in the last 250 meters but we pulled ahead at the end and won by 1.1 seconds! SUCH a good feeling. Both to win but also that our two boats soundly defeated the other two boats in our heat (they didn’t even make the picture below!). We have worked hard and it showed during this race.
After racing Adam and Rooster went home and I helped pack up the boats and transfer them back to the river and prepare them for Monday. This all took a few more hours in the sun and I ended up leaving the boathouse at 5:50pm! As soon as I got home I had to shower and pack for a day in Moline. Adam and I decided last minute to meet up with his sister and boyfriend in the Quad Cities for the John Deere Classic. It meant a 3 hour drive that night but Adam promised to drive and I picked up Chipotle on the way to refuel after a long day in the sun. We made good time and went straight to meet up with his sister and her boyfriend in downtown Moline to listen to some live music.
The venue we met up at was between the River House and another bar. It was a great space and completely packed! The live band was great and played a lot of very popular cover songs. We stayed for about an hour then went to Bent River Brewing for a drink before heading to the hotel room where I promptly crashed after a long day and night!
But first, I took a quick picture of my medal for the family (proof of success!) before sleep. #priorities
The next morning we slept in and then headed off to the John Deere Classic. The weather was perfect: overcast and high 70s. I was not expecting so many hills! Definitely got some steps in and put my flats to work following the golfers around. I learned a lot about golf and was amused by the “QUIET” signs. So strange to be at a sporting event where they make you be quiet and stop moving!
I did learn one thing, golf courses are very photogenic. Their landscaping efforts did not go unnoticed!
We had a great time hanging out with Adam’s sister and her boyfriend. Despite only being 5 hours away, we don’t see them often and this was a great excuse to spend the day in a casual atmosphere getting to know each other better! I am so glad we went even if it made for a jam-packed weekend!
We left Moline around 5pm and made it home in time to get groceries for the week and watch the Game of Thrones premiere. Pretty much the best way to end the weekend!
Thoughts from you:
- How was your weekend?
- Have you been to a gold tournament and did you find the atmosphere totally different from every other sport?
- What are your plans for the week?