Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last week

So this past week was our last full week of training before the team departs! Kind of crazy how close it's getting! It was a hard week. We did a lot of scrimmaging and continued with our running workouts and heat chamber sessions. Thursdays running, in my opinion, was one of the hardest of the entire year. No doubt our team will be in shape and ready for these games. Our last Friday practice consisted of our end of the week soccer warm-up which we love because it's not only different and fun, but also because even though a lot of us used to play soccer, we still make a fool of ourselves and it's a good laugh at the end of the week! It was a tough week that took a toll on our bodies, and with the heat chamber getting up to 100 degrees (not including the humidity), surviving that should hopefully make Beijing and the games feel at least a little more comfortable!

This was also the last weekend in California as the team is set to leave on Friday. I really enjoyed it because I got to spend Saturday at my cousin Billy's all day. He lives a half hour away with his wife Rachel and 4-year old daughter Makeala. It was really nice having family out here in California when most of my family and friends are all back on the east coast. It's definitely going to be hard to not see them for a while, but that's how life can be sometimes when you're an athlete.

Anyways, Sunday topped off the weekend when my roommates (3 of my teammates: Jesse Gey, Katelyn Falgowski, and Katie O'Donnell) and I went to the water park here in Chula Vista (Knott's Soak City) with our neighbors and their little boys! It was a lot of fun and a great way to spend one of our last days here.

As the rest of this week should pan out, we are scrimmaging/playing full inter-squad games in the final preparation for the games! Should be some good competition!! More updates to come pre-Olympic departure!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Meeting Arnold

What a busy, exciting week! Thursday afternoon came quickly and proved quite challenging as we ran 6 300-yard shuttles before practice. After, we scrimmaged for two 15 minutes. We didn't play long so that we could keep our intensity high, especially after just running. Overall, it went pretty well, and everyone was beginning to connect again. The final score was 1-1, with the white team (our opposing team) scoring in the final minute! Even though practice was a bit shorter than normal, we just as tired, if not more from it's intensity.

You could feel the excitement upon arrival to practice Friday morning. We got to sleep in a little bit and started our warm up 45 minutes later than usual (8:45 instead of 8). Although we all knew we had a session in the heat chamber directly following the conclusion of practice, all of our minds were elsewhere. We were all anticipating the arrival of the GOVERNOR- that's right, Arnold Schwarzenegger! He came to the training center to meet our team, as well as the other Olympic athletes that train in Chula Vista at the OTC. It was very exciting for us all!! A few even got him to sign some old movies! Needless to say he was very nice and wished us well at the games. Check out the picture of him with our team!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Supporting Team USA

So finally, the whole team is back together. Everyone was back in California on Sunday, and we had a light lift of Monday as a recovery. Tuesday morning we had off from our normal training session, but we got back into Tuesday afternoon with a little running and practice. It was obvious that the those who returned from Europe were still a little jet lagged and finding their legs. Overall, practice went pretty well considering everything that has been going on lately.

Today was pretty exciting because we got to test out our heat chamber. From now until the team leaves for the games, we are doing all of our lifting sessions in the heat chamber. Since there are 24 of us still training, it is a pretty tight area for a workout. With a few modifications and the heat level + humidity making it feel around 95 degrees, it got pretty hot in there. Needless to say we were all DRENCHED by the time we got done our approximately 45 minute workout. The whole point of this "heat chamber" is to help us practice acclimatization to the very hot temperatures we will have to play in while in China. So far (day one) we did pretty well!

One of the most exciting parts of today came later though. We have the priviledge of working with Colleen Hacker, a sports psychologist who also works frequently with the US Women's National Soccer Team. Tonight they were playing a game in San Diego verse Brazil- always a great matchup! Colleen was very generous and hooked us up with tickets. Our team was lucky enough to be able to sit (stand rather) down on the side of the field for the game. We all had a great time cheering on our fellow Americans and Olympians. It was great to see the US come out with a 1-0 victory as well, off of a spectacular goal by Natasha Kai. We all wish their team the best of luck as they finish up their training and head off to Beijing!

We were missing one today though. Rachel Dawson, also a blogger (make sure you check out her site if you haven't already!) headed up to LA to attend the ESPY's today! It will not be aired until Sunday at 9pm, but make sure you turn it on and watch for her! She is up for Best Female College Athlete! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Staying Busy

Well, it's been another week out here in California. We had training and lifting on Monday, running and training on Tuesday, lifting on Wednesday, running and training on Thursday, and ended the week on a practice a lifting Friday. It was a pretty intense week despite our limited numbers. Trainings consisted of some competitive flow through drills and numbers up compitions, along with small games. Small games always seem to bring out our true competitive sides, but we always manage a few good laughs along the way. The week actually proved to be a lot tougher physically then I had imagined it to be, but a mid-week massage eased some of the tension my body was feeling.

My roommate, Katie O'Donnell and I had been waiting for Friday to come all week long. Not only because it would be the start of the weekend, but because we had tickets to a Toby Keith concert!! We got ticket vouchers through the training center last week and we couldn't wait! So, last night, we had dinner with our neighbors and a few of their friends (who also all had tickets to the concert) and then headed over to the Ampitheatre. This was my roommates first real concert and we had a BLAST! Montgomery Gentry opened for Toby Keith, and both of them great!! I'm posting a video from the concert- check it out!

The rest of the team returns to Chula Vista tomorrow and on Monday we begin our final preparation for the Olympics.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

4th of July Weekend

Heyyy all! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating the birth of our country! :) After training, lifting, and running this past week, my roommate, Katie O'Donnell, and I had a pretty relaxing weekend. We were going to head up to Los Angeles to check out all that it has to offer, but we decided it would be better enjoyed when it wasn't a holiday weekend. Instead we just stayed in Chula Vista, lounged at the pool, hung out with our neighbors, and made a beautiful cake to celebrate the 4th! We even went to the training center for their low-scale, but still entertaining set of FIREWORKS!! We meet a few of the archers who happened to still be on site for the weekend and enjoyed spending time with fellow athletes.

Tomorrow, we get back into training. It's our last week before the team returns from their tests matches in Europe! GO US!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Back in Cali

For those of us on the National Squad that did not make the Olympic team, we are now back in Chula Vista, California beginning our training again. This afternoon we have running and practice with a few of the players from the men's team. Their coach, Nick Conway, generously gives his time to us as well during this time when the rest of our team is away. It should be an interesting first day back with a lot of mixed emotions still going around. We all know that it is important for us to stay in shape and continue to work hard because we need to keep the whole team's competition high, and we never know if one of us might be pulled up and we need to prepared for anything.