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I have started trying to take the hilly route home as often as I can. Cranking up the hill is somewhat cathartic, plus there are only two traffic lights at the very end instead of the 10 or so along the flat route. It takes me about 20 minutes to go up, and about 5 or 6 minutes to go back down, so the total time is also comparable to the flat route. And it just seemed like a good way to squeeze in a bit more consistent exercise.

Last week I took the hilly route 4 out of 5 days. I'm on track for 4 of 5 days this week, too.

View from the cemetery on the downhill section:
Sunset Cemetery view

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Part of the motivation is getting ready in earnest for the head racing season. M and I are arranging things to row together twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays, starting this morning. We're going to do a half-marathon race over Labor Day weekend in Petaluma (maybe next year I'll do the full?), then possibly the Tail of the Lake in Seattle in early October, then the Head of the Charles because M is going to be in Boston anyway, then hopefully the Head of the Lake in Seattle again in early November. That's a satisfyingly full docket, although it will be a lot to stay on top of while keeping afloat with experiments and job applications. This morning's workout made it clear that the two of us will be able to keep the boat going at a decent clip over a head racing distance, which is reassuring. There are a lot of things to suss out when rowing with someone new, but I'm continuing to think that rowing with M will help make me a better rower overall, and we're reasonably compatible.

As we got off the water, with respect to regatta plans, J said, "So, some people view races as a stick. Other people view them as a carrot - a reward to aim for. As for me, I like to think of them as a donut."

Having events lined up keeps me motivated to get out and practice consistently, which makes me more emotionally balanced and satisfied in the long run. I continue to be grateful to have such a good gang of rowers to hang out with at the BPRC.

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