Wheels Down in Portugal

Hello from Albufeira, Portugal! After landing in Lisbon on Saturday morning, we took a three-hour bus ride to the hotel. I remember about 15 minutes of the ride before it was impossible to keep my eyes open any longer. It was hard to wake up myself enough to even get off the bus and venture into the hotel lobby, but as I walked through the doors of the resort/spa where we’re staying, I was already amazed. It was not so much the resort that I was in awe of — although it is very nice — but the absolutely beautiful view of the ocean.

Lori Lindsey (my roommate) and I unfortunately do not have a room facing out onto the water, but every time we go to pick up our training gear from the equipment room across the hallway, we stop to look out. It’s been raining off and on, and as we heading out to training yesterday, some people mentioned the “cold” weather. I laughed with Jill Loyden, because compared to New Jersey, we were excited to be training in the warmth.

Today began with our routine (as of last camp) urine test to check our hydration levels. Every morning we have to report to Dawn Scott before breakfast, cup of stuff in hand, so she can test our urine and we can fill out an assessment of how we’re feeling. We record our weight, heart rate and how we feel physically and emotionally, in addition to what types of recovery (proper cool down, stretching, ice bath, massage, foam rolling, etc.) we did the day before.

Various strategies have been discussed among the team on how to do well on the urine test. Some claim that if they chug a bottle of water right before bed, they’ll be hydrated in the morning. Originally, I wasn’t part of this group of “cheaters,” and thought that if I just drank enough during the day I’d be fine. It seems, however, that after some experimentation, they may be right. Obviously we all know that it’s best to hydrate consistently throughout the day, but for scoring well on Dawn’s test, the chug before bedtime is a must.

This morning, half the group did strength training with Dawn, while the other half trained at the field, and then we switched. Nine serious athletes doing strength training and plyos in a spa fitness room is quite an amusing scene. I don’t think the woman working at the reception area of the spa was too happy about it. We just finished lunch and have some time to relax before our second session today. Seeing as my eyes are slowly closing as I write this, I think it’s time for my nap. More to follow. … We have a closed door scrimmage against China on Sunday.