Friday, July 25, 2008

fri -DAY

Its Friday morning, and you know what that means, almost the weekend. We finished up Thursday with an intense conditioning practice (but our last round of shuttles for a while) and intersquad scrimmage. The scrimmage witnessed moments of brilliance in the level of play, but overall, it was difficult to maintain such a level because of fatigue.

After training we had special visitors join us on the Turf. The kids from Jesse, Kasold, OD's, and Falgo's neighborhood dropped by to take a picture with the team. They also brought cards for each team member. My card had a great quote on it:

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And Today? Today is a gift! That's why we call it the the present." - B. Olatunji

On tap for today is a morning training run immediately followed by a session in the heat chamber. Besides a run on Saturday, we have the entire weekend off. I am looking forward to relaxing, perhaps hitting up the beach or Balboa Park.

Unfortunately, my sister Sarah (who is also my roommate and teammate) and I need to begin our preparations for moving out of our apartment (which is a task I am NOT looking forward to). I am not the best planner in terms of moving and I just cannot believe that our 8 month stay here is coming to close. Sarah plans to play hockey in Belgium over the latter part of 08 -09, while my plans are TBD!!!

I have included in this post pictures from the OTC in Chula Vista. I hope you enjoy the beautiful sights of our California home. It is pretty picture-esque!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Our New Ice Vests

As we continue our heat training, we are beginning to develop cooling strategies that will help us stabilize our body temp. These strategies include ice baths immediately following training and ice vests. In this short clip, Carrie Lingo shows off our brand new Ice Vests - called the V2 - after a trainer at the OTC, Vinny. video

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday Morning

Good Morning!!! Its Monday morning and I am sitting at my kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee, enjoying a bagel with pb, and gearing up for our last full week of training in Chula Vista. We have a pretty full day ahead of us - a morning training run, a couple of meetings, and then a rendez-vous in the heat chamber. Now the heat chamber is not nearly as sinister as it sounds. It is a tent that is heated and humidified - its purpose is to acclimatize our bodies to the temperture and humidity of Beijing. We perform a 48 minute lifting circuit in the chamber and measure our heartrates during the workout to ensure that our bodies are adapting. Although it isn't always the most enjoyable or comfortable activity, I trust that it will help us once we arrive in Beijing.

Well, I hope everyone has a great start to their weeks - and if not, just remember, its just another maniac monday!!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Its been a while...

So we concluded our European tour with a 2-2 draw with the #1 side in the world, Holland. I was happy the tour ended on a more optimistic note than it got off to in Germany. The tour marked a difficult training phase in our preparation but one that the coaches assure us is pivotal to our performance at the Games.

After the tour, we returned to our home base in sunny San Diego. We train at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. We surely missed the awesome amenities of the OTC - the great food, awesome training facilities, and not to mention the incredible weather.

In other exciting news, I went to the ESPY Award Show in LA a couple of days ago. The experience was a whirlwind - I have never seen a larger congregation of acclaimed athletes and celebrities in my life. I took my Mom as my guest and we had a wonderful time enjoying the event. Fellow Tar Heel Tyler Hansbrough was also in attendance and I enjoyed having the chance to catch up with him about the happenings in the Hill.

Even though the event was amazing (I mean I saw Jerry Rice, TO, Becks, and JT), I was relieved when it finally came time to return to Chula Vista and to focus on what is most important right now, training for the Olympic Games. It is this hard training, the challenging phases and the persistence through difficulty that makes the journey worthwhile - and it is the journey that is at the very heart of sport.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

European Tour Continued. . .

So we concluded our three game tournament in Germany and have changed our residence to Germany's neighbor, Holland. The German tour did not go exactly as planned - we failed to get a victory as we had a few difficult matches which highlighted areas of our game we need to improve before we head to Beijing. For more information on the matches you can check out usfieldhockey.com. We have a long (yet short in time) road ahead of us. But we have an incredible opportunity this week to play against the #1 team in the world. Holland and Germany play a very similar style so it will be a could opportunity to implement some of the lessons we learned from Holland.

We are staying in Den Haag, Holland. Our hotel is right on the beach - unfortunately summer weather here isn't quite like summer in San Diego! It has been terribly stormy and windy here. Yesterday, we had to go on a 40 minute run on the boardwalk - for 20 minutes we ran dead against the wind and rain and it felt like it was hailing on us!!! Jesse Gey and I had to duck our heads to create a breaker against the wind. I think it was more of resistance training than a recovery!!!

I am totally pumped to be in Holland because two of my best friends from college live here in the Den Haag, and I got to see them last night! It is always fun to catch up with old friends and have a good laugh!!!

Well off to training!!! Take Care and have a splendid day!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

And the games begin. . . tomorrow

So after many days of training in Germany, we will finally start our matches tomorrow. HOORAY. Training has been pretty intense as of late since we are in the final build up phase to the Olympic Games. But enough about Hockey. . . let me tell you about what we have been doing while here in Germany. . . Our hotel is pretty cool because it doubles as a Horse Track and Golf Club. There has yet to be a horse race since we have been here, but I imagine it is pretty amazing. We have been training at a German Club right near our hotel. The club is beautiful - quaint and picturesque. It has clay tennis courts, a pool, an 18 hole golf course, a hockey pitch, a sprawling grassy area and a workout facility. It has many other features including a restaurant and indoor hockey gym - but I am sure we haven't even explored most of the club yet. Yesterday, after lifting, as part of our recovery, we had a pool session. The water was immaculately clean and refreshing. The lining of the pool was actually made of a tin or tin-like material which I had never seen before. Later in the day after our training session, a few of us returned to the pool (we had an hour to veg before eating dinner). The scene was a lot less serene - the pool was crawling with young, boisterous kids who were horsing around. There was no lifeguard on duty and we could not get over how chaotic and wild the scene was. The kids were dunking one another, running around the pool, pushing each other in, and doing crazy dives into crowded areas. It looked like a child's paradise and a mothers nightmare. But I can't lie, I was dying to get in on the game of diving catch !!!

So in my last blog, I tried to post a video of the Cafe we created at the end of the hallway; unfortunately the internet has been a little slow, and the video refuses to properly upload. Drip, Drop, Fizz is the hallway hangout during our downtime. Keli Smith, Kelly Doton and I are the primary coffee drinkers while Sara Silvetti is a constant fixture on the internet scene. Amy Tran is a supplier of gummy sweets while K. Smitty supplies the goods for our chocolate fix. It is a pretty happening spot as many people stop by for a laugh, a chat, or just to say hello. Haha. . .I am actually writing this blog from the Cafe. . .Ok, now back to my coffee. .. .

Oh Yeah, Happy Fourth of JULY - its America's Birthday!!!!!! We will be celebrating abroad, but be sure to think of us as you watch the fireworks because its pretty likely we won't be seeing any. Maybe we ought start some fireworks in our match. . .

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drip, Drop, Fizz - The Hallway Cafe

Welcome to the Hallway Cafe - DRIP,DROP, FIZZ (trademarked by Kate "Tiki" Barber). This cafe is the "hot" spot in our hotel. It is team-owned and operated - if you happen to be in Bremen drop by and enjoy the fizz. We also offer free wireless internet.