Friday, December 2, 2011

Welcome to Olympic Training

In our first training week back since winning the Pan Am Games, we got a little taste of what is in store for next few months leading up to the Olympics. Our coaches took no time to ease us back into things, as we hit the ground running, literally.

First and foremost, I must mention and welcome our newest addition to the team: Nick Conway! He was most recently the head coach of the Men's National Team and has now taken on the role of our Assistant Coach. We are excited to have him on board with our program! He brings a lot of knowledge and enthusiasm for the game of hockey, so it should be a great addition for us.

Monday morning we stepped onto the field and got a few of the cobwebs off our sticks. The first day back always has to be focused on the basics just to get everything running smoothly again. Monday afternoon we hit the weight room, or rather, it hit us!

Tuesday morning we laced up our tennis shoes and meet at the track. After running around in circles for 8 laps, we had completed our first timed 2-mile test. I can't say it is one of my favorites, but after finished just over 13 minutes, I was pretty pleased with my time. We wasted no time recovering and headed down to the field for a little corner practice. We can always do more corners!

Although it was a tough morning, there is no rest for the weary! We started the afternoon session with agility testing. In short, dripping through cone mazes as fast as you can. Don't worry, we were still feeling the effects of the morning run...

Wednesday we had another run, but with the day off from practice, it almost felt like a day off. I personally had a very busy day though. I had to take care of a lot of errands, send a few e-mails, fill out a few forms... but at the days end, I felt very productive and was ready for bed by 8 o'clock!

Thursday morning came early, with more fitness testing awaiting our participation. This time: the Beep Test! For those of you unfamiliar with this test, basically you run 20m back and forth between cones, you have to make it to each cone before the beep, the beeps get faster, and when you miss 2 beeps in a row, you are out. It is more a sprint repeatability test then straight endurance, but it definitely tests your ability to push yourself when you think you can't run anymore. It's a fight of one more, just getting one more. And repeat. I do have to give a big shout out to Katie Reinprecht for beating the beep test. She finished the test and ran out of beeps. Not only did she complete it, but she made it look easy, just jogging through the last level. I swear she can run forever!

We headed back into the weight room Thursday afternoon for another good lift. At this point in the week, our muscles were really feeling sore, tight, and heavy. Maren, her husband Ryan (who is in town visiting), and I made our way down to the soccer field for a bit and supported the Men's Paralympic Soccer team against Canada. They often train at the OTC, but have never played matches there, so this was the first time we got to see them in action! Although they lost 4-2, they put in a valiant effort and it was a very exciting game to watch!

Finally, we made it to Friday! This happens to be my favorite day of the week because we get to play soccer for warm-up! Such a great sport! :) Anyways, we knocked out some corners before ending the day with some sprints. Yes, more running. But it was a breeze compared to the rest of the week, and I thought it was refreshing to actually extend and stride it out.

Now that we weekend has a arrived, there are so many options to keep me busy! From relaxation and movie time to Christmas parades and going away parties, I'm sure there will be lots to get into.

Happy December! I love this time of year!

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