Women's Rowing Spring Training Blog

Spring Training Trip 2010

This week the Holy Cross women's rowing team is in Cocoa Beach, Fla., to start their spring training sessions. During the week, members of the team will blog about their experiences on GoHolyCross.com. The most recent report comes from junior Sarah Weinstein (Nashua, N.H.) on the final day of training. Sophomore Kate Broderick (West Newbury, Mass.), senior Ashley Fish (Hingham, Mass.), junior Katherine Byrns (Manhasset, N.Y.), sophomore Amanda Woodgate (Duxbury, Mass.), sophomore Jackie Esperti (Charlton, N.Y.), sophomore Simone Blanchard (Springfield, Mass.) and junior Jackie Jankowski (Shrewsbury, Mass.) also each sent in a blog.

March 5, 2010 by Sarah Weinstein

Well, today was our last full day in Cocoa Beach. We started our final training day at 6:30 a.m. where we did three minute pieces against RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology). Both our Varsity and Novice teams beat RIT boats on nearly every piece, leaving us feeling strong and proud of all the work we have accomplished through winter that carried over to Spring Break. Between our winter training and spring break sessions, we are returning to the Hill stronger than ever, and ready to take on the spring season with everything we have. This break really gave us the opportunity to take what we built over the winter and work it out on the water. Leaving Cocoa Beach we are tired and sore, but we're excited to take what we have learned on the Indian River and Banana River back to Lake Quinsig.

March 4, 2010 by Kate Broderick

Today began at 6:45 a.m., 15 minutes earlier than usual. The weather was unfavorable, but the wind had subsided substantially since yesterday! After a significant amount of 250 meter pieces and some blade work, we returned to the hotel for a hot breakfast.

The wind prevented us from getting on the water the past two days; therefore we had a short row today around noon. During this row we focused mostly on technique, but also ended up adding a little variety to the practice with a few high intensity pieces. With two practices down, we returned to the hotel for a short break. After about 40 minutes, we headed back to the water for our last row of the day. Staying nearby the launching site, we concluded our long day with multiple two-minute pieces at maximum pressure.

Back at the hotel, our five seniors got ready for a dinner out with the coaches, leaving us to some team bonding led by the juniors. We decorated ribbons and ate ice cream sandwiches together. After gathering for our nightly team meeting it was off to bed in anticipation of our last early morning practice in Cocoa Beach!

March 3, 2010 by Ashley Fish

It was another windy day in Cocoa Beach, Florida. After a lovely sleep-in, we left at 8:45 a.m. only to see more white caps and rough water. Instead of going to the beach for our traditional "bad weather" workout, we headed towards the basketball courts. Once there, we split up into freshmen/seniors and sophomores/juniors for relays and half court games. The relays comically measured our hand eye coordination, dribbling skills and agility. The half-court games were chaotic 8 vs. 8, instead of the traditional 5 on 5. The old seniors, with the help of three brave freshmen and some questionable reffing coming from senior player, Mary Kate Cullen., somehow came out on top. The slightly younger juniors also came out on top, aided by a few choice sophomores. We returned to the hotel hungry and laughing.

At 3:00 p.m., rested and fed, we returned to the river with high hopes to finally conquer that wind! After a brief pep talk, we set off with two eights and made our way up to the canal for some sprint work. The sun made a wonderful appearance, almost making up for the conditions, which seemed to improve during practice. We returned to the hotel for dinner pleased with ourselves for successfully braving the wind. Well fed, we are all relaxing (ex. my roommate, Sarah Weinstein, is playing snood) and preparing for another day in sunny (hopefully?!) Florida.  

March 2, 2010 by Katherine Byrns

Mother Nature gave us a run for our money today as we left for the water at 7:00 a.m. with heavy winds, rain and storms on the way. We got to the river and after stretching, the water conditions were not safe to row in and there were lightning sightings, so we decided to try again at 9:30 a.m. After our breakfast, we headed back to the water a second time. We were eager to row, but the winds were again too strong, so the whole team got our sneakers on, jump ropes out and did our routine warm up workout. We were tempted to try again in the afternoon, but unfortunately the weather conditions did not improve, if anything the wind gusts increased in speed. 

Around 2:30 p.m., the team headed down to the beach for our traditional "bad weather" workout: running relays into and out of the ocean. The water was a bit chilly, so the first few steps in were brutal, but the adrenaline from sprinting takes your mind off of the fact that your legs are completely numb. We were getting a good workout in, until one of the girls hurt her ankle, and since that was our last spare rower, we had to end the workout early to prevent any further injuries. Since there really weren't any alternative workouts, we unfortunately had to call it a day. After being frustrated that we couldn't row all day, our coaches were gracious enough to take us all to go see a movie. The team saw The Blind Side, which was a fantastic and inspirational movie that left us all raving about it. When we got back to the hotel, everyone prepared their dinners, relaxed and would get together later for our nightly meeting.

March 1, 2010 by Amanda Woodgate

We just finished our third day of rowing here in Florida. For a coxswain, rowing on the Banana River presents a particular challenge. I always have tons of athletic tape, Advil, band-aids and tissues with me in case one of the rowers needs something. I always look forward to our training trips to Florida because they provide a chance for us to bond as a team and get some intense rowing in.

Feb. 28, 2010 by Jackie Esperti

Today was such a nice day! Took some pairs out this morning in addition to two eights and did some longer pieces. This afternoon was full of 750-1000 meter pieces, 11 of them!! After team dinner at the hotel we had a birthday cake for one of the girls on the team! Following our team dinner we watched video from today and even compared our strokes to our winter trip rowing. We analyzed our handle heights and shoulders and really zeroed in on what we need to focus on this trip; cutting out the vertical motion. Looking forward to the rest of the week!

Feb. 27, 2010 by Simone Blanchard

"Ten more minutes, wake me up in 10 more minutes," I mumbled, face down in my pillow. That was at 7:30 a.m. I, like many of the girls, was exhausted, having finally settled into our rooms at the hotel at 1:00 a.m. that same morning, after a long flight and several hours spent aboard buses. Twenty minutes later, I decided it might be beneficial that I get out of bed and ready for our practice at 8:00 a.m.  To my own surprise, I was able to meet the deadline and snag some breakfast for the ride to Banana River. I didn't go to the winter trip and didn't really know what to expect except what I had heard from other girls on my team. When I asked, some responded, "It was hard," while others would let out a small chuckle, looking at me head tilted, eyebrow raised, with a look that said "You just wait and see."

It was a short commute to the river from our hotel and I was a bit antsy. My fears were soon assuaged after being reminded that we had to rig all of the boats before we could actually row in them. "Phew!" I exclaimed and a look of relief swept my face. And rig we did. All girls were working together to assemble the boats as swiftly as possible to get in out of the rain. Oh yes, it was raining and pretty chilly, but thankfully we have an efficient team J. After we assembled everything we headed back to the hotel for brunch and naptime before our practice in the afternoon.

At 2:00 p.m. the girls and I journeyed back to our spot on the river. After receiving our lineups, each eight walked their boats into the cold water. It was the first time I touched an oar in several months. It was not pretty, but I was also just thankful to be back on the water and off of the ergs in the middle of the congested main hallway of the Hart Center. Practice was very intense to start, which included five one thousand meter pieces that took a lot of out me. The girls and I toughed it out though, making it back to our hotel in relatively one piece.  We were soaked, sore and blistered.  Most of all, we were thankful to get back to relax, recuperate and prepare to do it all over again the next morning.

Feb. 26, 2010 by Jackie Jankowski

After a stressful couple of weeks filled with midterms, papers, and increasingly tough indoor workouts we are finally headed to Cocoa Beach for Spring Break.  It's not supposed to be too warm down in Florida, but at least there will be some sun and the practices will be on the water. I wonder how many manatees and dolphins we'll run into while rowing. I hope everyone has maintained their jump-roping skills since winter trip because we're definitely going to need them.

Well boarding is about to begin so we have to get going, maybe I'll have a decent tan by the next time you hear from us!