Cal Women's Swimming Hawaii Journal: Days 1-3

Jan. 8, 2009

Honolulu, HI - The California women's swimming team is spending the holiday break in Hawaii (Jan. 5-15) for training and exercising purposes, while enjoying the sights, weather and beauty of Honolulu.

Head coach Teri McKeever has broken down the trip into morning training sessions in the ocean, afternoon sessions focusing on techniques in small groups and competition, as the Bears will have a short meet with the Hawaii Swimming Club.

Helping keep their fans abreast of the team's progress are guest bloggers Madison Kennedy and Lauren Boyle of the swimming team. The journals will be broken into three sections, days 1-3, days 4-6 and days 7-10.

Day 1-3'We arrived a little after lunch time on Monday and spent the day settling into our hotel and becoming acquainted with the area surrounding us. Waikiki is a resort area and there is a strip lined with high-end shopping and lots of nice restaurants. The beach is right across the street!

There are paddle boards and surf boards for hire and instructors to help too. The weather has been perfect so far, a great change from chilly Berkeley. Today we had lots of sunshine and clear skies with a couple of `pineapple showers` which is when is sunny out, but is drizzling a little. We saw a perfect full rainbow and now we know why Hawaii is called the land of rainbows and have rainbows on their license plates!

On our second day we swam in the best pool in Hawaii, called Veterans Memorial Pool, which was about a twenty minute drive from the hotel and about forty minutes drive from the North Shore of Hawaii. We had two tough workouts in the pool and in between we took a drive to the North Shore to see the infamous Pipeline. The waves were a bit intimidating to see but it was great to see `real` surfers in action.

That evening we could all choose our own place to have dinner. Sushi was the choice of Madison and Natalie (Coughlin). They had sushi on the strip. The fish was fresh from the coast and tasted fantastic.Nat joined us to help out with coaching, driving and entertainment. She is a huge asset to our team here, not only in the pool but also in everyday activities. She has lots of experience in the ocean too.

On day three, Milt Nelms arrived. He helps us a lot with out technical aspects of our swimming strokes and visits us on random occasions in California. We all met him on the beach at 7 in the morning to kick off the days training and had our first introduction to ocean swimming on this trip.

As we swam out into the ocean and back to shore Teri, Kristen, Milt, Dave and Natalie offered advice and encouragement. Towards the end of the workout Teri joined us in the ocean to help coach us through her own experiences in the water. Our training is extremely dynamic in that we use unusual methods to train in the ocean; the pool and the land help us improve our robustness and athleticism.

After the first workout the team was divided into six stoke and event specific groups. Three had the afternoon off to explore Hawaii and relax while the other three groups had stroke and technique work with Milt at the pool. We worked on translating our strength from dry land into the pool and details like starts and turns. We also practiced jump rope which has become an unusual and integral part of our training here at Cal. We finished up the last part of the work out with a challenging swimming set which included IM, distance free and some race-relevant work from the blocks.

The other half of the team went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay and saw lots of pretty fish, the coral reef and sea turtles. The bay and the walk down to it were scenic and everything you would imagine Hawaii would look like. The surf at the beach nearby was good too. The waves were about four feet `Hawaiian` meaning about eight feet in standard measurements. Over here they 'half' the surf height, maybe to make it seem less intimidating! We haven't figured out the real reason yet!

This evening we are going out for dinner in small groups again, probably along the strip. We will also be preparing for the morning ocean workout. We start at 7 a.m. and get to watch a beautiful sun rise before getting to work. Tomorrow the other half of the team will have an afternoon off for exploring.

So far Hawaiian life is great. Everyone is having a great time getting tanned and taking a break away from busy school life. The locals are always smiling and welcoming to our team.'

Photo Gallery will be uploaded later.

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