2014 Winter Training Blog: Abbey Lozenski

TAMPA – Temperatures on the Kansas River can make preseason training a challenge, so the Kansas rowing team uses the opportunity to travel to warmer climates to get the Jayhawks ready to race in the spring. This year’s trip finds the team in Tampa, Fla., for 10 days of training. Throughout the week, KUAthletics.com and members of the rowing team will catalog the trip. The fourth of five winter training trip blogs features senior Abbey Lozenski.

Jan. 20, 2014 – Abbey Lozenski

“Winter training 2014 has convened. A mere ten days ago it seemed out of reach, but now that we did it, it seemed to have flown by. The 211.25 miles, 340,000 meters, nine days, 16 practices, a day at the beach and a hockey game all went by too fast. In my four years, this has been the best winter training trip, yet. Most people would assume it has been the best because, as a senior it is my last, but that is not the case at all. It has been the best for so many other reasons. In the past week and a half, we have covered more distance as a team than any other winter training I have been a part of, and not by a small margin either. As a team, we reached top speeds that we do not usually see until later in the spring season. The workouts we completed are ones that coach does not normally pull out until April.”
“Tampa’s weather has been beautiful for us. It has been that perfect temperature that is not too hot, not too cold to workout in. Not to mention the sunshine in Tampa brought a little color to all of our faces and pulled us out of the winter slump. We even had a few dolphin sightings! Our photographer, Jeff Jacobsen, and trainer, Patricia Dietz, were even able to make a little trip down south to visit us. All of these are reasons that helped to make it the best winter training trip, but the majority of the credit goes to my fellow teammates for making it great.”
“Every single teammate has helped make this training trip a great one. I have been blown away by how positive and upbeat the mindset of the team has been. We have not skipped a beat since the day we got here. Blisters, wind and wakes did not keep us from having great practices every single day. There was not a single practice that I left the water disappointed with our team or our performance. Every day I finished more excited for our first race, and I know I am not alone when I say that. If there is one thing that has become clear this trip, it is that, top to bottom, we have a fast team and I don’t say that lightly. The depth of our team will be a strong advantage for us during the spring season.”
“I will miss this Florida sunshine and the endless amount of water to row on, but what I will miss the most is the time spent with my teammates, every single one of them. Winter training is full of quality bonding time that is often hard to come by with our busy schedules. There is no daily hustle and bustle, no homework, no classes and no other distractions. All attention is on the team and practice. I will miss the chats on the way to practice and the cafeteria twice a day, as well as the card games at night and sharing our silly jokes that only rowers would get.”
“It took until my senior year to realize just how surreal winter training is. There will be very few times in my life where the only thing I have to think about is practice and nothing else. My advice to the freshman is to enjoy every minute of it; every meal, every chat and every hard practice that never seems to end because it flies by faster than you would think.”
“When we step foot on Kansas soil tomorrow, it might appear as if we are coming back empty-handed. There are no medals to signify the accomplishments of winter training; our coaches did give us a pat on the back for making the trip successful. That is more than enough though because come March, April and May, all the hard work put in these last ten days will be obvious when we cross that finish line.”

Stay tuned for the final post from the 2014 Winter Training Blog in Tampa, featuring assistant coach LeAnna Kemp.
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