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Racing Begins... **UPDATE**

posted August 13, 2008 @ 7:40 AM  |  Elite Level Competition category

Read previous entries regarding this series and see some photos:

Entry: I'm here! and Entry: Racing begins in one week...

~By Jen Kaido - Saturday, August 9, 2008

Family and Friends,

It is the eve before racing. We (the quad) just had a boat meeting with our coach, Matt Madigan. We went over some logistics, such as what bus to catch to the race course, how much time we need for warm up, what time we meet with Matt before launching and when we launch. And once we launch, there's another 45 minutes of warm up on the water. All this for a six and a half minute race! We usually get to the race course 2 hours before a race. It allows time to warm up (about 20 minutes), stretch, chill, pee (multiple times), and nervously fidget for awhile. I like to just lay down for 5-10 minutes listening to music that will pump me up for the race.

So here's what the racing looks like on Sunday:

Go time - 4:40PM (4:40AM east coast standard time)

The Line up - Germany, Great Britian, USA, Australia

There are 2 heats of 4 boats; the winner advances directly to the final (Sunday, Aug. 17); the remaining boats head to a repachage on Tuesday, Aug. 12. Our goal is to win this race. We have beaten these countries before. It's not going to be easy, but if we are aggressive the whole way down the course while maintaining all the fundamentals we've been working on this summer, we could do it. Here are where you can find the results:

live race viewer

World Rowing results page

NBC results

I will also try to send out a quick email to let you all know how the racing turned out.

My family made it to Beijing! Well, 6 of them at least. Last I knew, the other 3 were coming in today but no word on their arrival. My support staff includes: Dad, Mom, Justin, Matthew (brothers), Choci's Janet, Patrice, Carole and Elaine (Dad's sisters, my aunts) and my cousin, Mitchell (Carole's son). I'm so happy they're here and even though it is a very different country from America, I hope they have a good time and enjoy the sites of China!

Surprisingly, I'm not nervous (yet). I'm just anxious to race and excited to see what we can do. It's just one 2k (2000meters). We did multiple races during selection and I made it through that. Why should I be afraid of one race? We did one 2k last week, so my body knows what to expect and hasn't forgotten how to race. I have heard from multiple people that the heat and humidity is a big factor during the race. Everyone goes out at normal speeds and then half way through, their bodies almost shut down or freak out because of the heat. And I did notice that during our 2k last week. Things were fine and normal in the first half, and then during the second half, I felt really horrible, as if I couldn't sustain the pace and rhythm. My mind started to take over and I kept hearing "This hurts so much, this hurts so much." in my head. I have been able to control that during racing this summer (something I've been working on for awhile). I think I was just surprised by the heat and humidity and how it affected my body during a race. But now I know what to expect and I will work through that monster in my head tomorrow.

Until next time,

Jen

See some earlier photos at Row2K.com

UPDATE:

Tuesday, August 12

Family and Friends,

Sorry for the delay. There has been some internet problems in the hotel. I keep being redirected to Google Mail or the Apple website when I check my email.

So we came in third in our heat on Sunday. It wasn't a great race, but it wasn't a horrible race. We talked about what we need to do differently for the rep, such as a faster start and attacking the middle thousand meters. We raced kind of timid and not aggressive enough. In the last 500 meters, we didn't want to come in last place, so we brought it up a notch and walked past Australia. We should have been racing and fighting like that earlier in the race. So that is our plan for today's race - go really freakin' hard off the start and just keep attacking the whole way down the course. It's just one rep of six boats; the top 4 finishers will move onto the A Final, the remaining two will go to the B Final. WE ARE NOT A B FINAL BOAT! We are going to be racing for our lives but I know we can do it. Race time today (Aug. 12, Tuesday) is 4:50PM.

Great Britian won our heat in a time of 6:13.70, followed by Germany with a 6:15.26. We clocked at 6:19.89 and Australia finished behind us with a 6:20.95. In the other heat, China won with a time of 6:11.83, followed by Ukraine 6:17.84, Canada 6:23.27 and Russia 6:26.21.

Following the Men's Quad's races, they cancelled the remaining races (Women's and Men's eights) due to thunder and lightning and heavy rains. The sky got pretty dark during our race and the winds picked up (it was a tailwind for our race). It started sprinkling during our cool down. The temperature was cooler than it has been, so there was no need to worry about racing in the heat and humidity. Today may be different though. I was able to see my family afterwards for a brief moment, then it was time for a flush of the legs with the trainer, a shower, dinner, followed by an ice bath.

Just so everyone knows, I was not in the opening ceremonies. I have been asked many times about it. You couldn't find me because I wasn't there :-) It is the day before our racing begins, and you're standing/walking around for 8-10 hours....not good before racing. So I was in the hotel watching it on TV....sitting or laying down.

Time for practice! We are doing a short 20 minute row this morning, then relaxing in the hotel before our race.

Until next time,

Jen

UPDATE:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Family and Friends,

I MADE MY FIRST OLYMPIC FINAL!!!

We came in second place in our repachage on Tuesday, which places us in the A Final on Sunday, August 17 at 4:30PM.

We raced Australia, Germany, Ukraine, Canada, and Russia. Our goal for the race was to have a faster start and a solid, aggressive middle 1000 meters (second and third 500 meters of the race). We came off the line in third and according to our splits for each 500 meters, we had the second fastest middle thousand (second and third 500's). Overall I think it was a great race and if we keep learning from the previous race, executing our goals and attacking all the way down the course, I really believe it could get us on the podium. It's going to be the hardest race of our lives....but why not us? As Herb Brooks said (1980 US Men's Olympic Hockey coach), "Great moments come from great opportunities." We have an opportunity in front of us, and now it's up to us to take advantage of it. We will be racing Australia, Germany, Great Britian, China and Ukraine.

The next couple days we will continue to train (about 8-12km each row) and rest in the hotel room. Today we practiced once, tomorrow and Friday will be twice a day. I have been watching alot of Olympic events on TV or movies on my laptop. I'm currently watching 'Bull Durham'.

Thanks to everyone for your support! It is much appreciated and I'm beginning to realize this is much bigger than I thought. Right now, this is just another race and regatta (with MANY more distractions) but in the months to come, it will hit me how awesome this experience was and what it meant to alot of people.

Until next time,

Jen

See a a pic from our race

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