Vollmer's March to Beijing Journal Entry No. 13

June 19, 2008

Berkeley - With the 2008 Olympic Team Trials in Omaha, Neb. 10 days away, America's top swimmers have begun preparing for what could be the biggest and most important meet of their careers. In the days and weeks leading up to the Trials, USA Swimming has asked two athletes - Olympic veteran Dana Vollmer and up-and-coming hopeful Caitlin Leverenz - to share their perspectives as they inch closer to the March to Beijing. In this week's journal, Vollmer shares her new found training methods and what she does on a rare day off.

Dana Vollmer Journal #13 - June 19, 2008

Well, my apologies for missing last week. Time seems to be flying by right now, as we set up the final preparations for Trials. A lot has happened though in the past month. First of all, a couple Fridays ago, (Cal head coach) Teri (McKeever) surprised us with a new way to practice.

The entire team got up early and jumped into their cars and headed off to the Waterworks Park! We put on our caps and goggles and headed off into the giant wave pool. It was incredibly cold, but incredibly fun! We would have to swim IMs out against the waves and race back. The girls all separated into groups of four and Teri developed interesting relay races. The fastest teams were the girls that know how to catch the waves, keep their momentum, and bodylines in the crazy mess of waves. Let me tell you, after racing in a wave pool, the normal pool seems like a breeze! It was a really neat surprise, and a fun change to an everyday workout!

The JEI (Janet Evans Invitational) was probably the next big thing that happened. The whole team headed down to race, and we all got to choose what we wanted to compete in. I was the 200IM and the 50 free on the first day. Then I just did prelims of the 200 free and 100 fly. I wanted to get some racing in the LZR, but ultimately just decided to train and be in Los Angeles with the girls and Teri. We went to the beach a lot and did more ocean swims, also really cold, but extremely fun! After ocean swims in LA we always go to C & O Trattoria. It is AMAZING! They have these garlic balls as appetizers and the team goes through so many! Each of us shared a meal since they are absolutely massive!

Leann (Toomey), a former Cal swimmer who lives in my building, and I are still cooking great meals together and I believe she has finally caught up to me in guitar hero. She even mastered one of the songs that I have not yet mastered. I always seem to miss one!

Last night I had a frozen yogurt (much like Pink Berry) date with Teri. I was able to show her my new apartment finally and then we walked down to this amazing frozen yogurt place! It nice to get to sit and talk just me and her and lay out plans for what's coming next, or just to catch up and talk about what's new in life! I am so thankful that I have a relationship like this with my coach. She helps me with so much more in life than just swimming! She is a coach, parent, and friend all in one person. I think that's really hard to find!

Today is my day off! Leann and I are going to Emeryville to see Kung Fu Panda and do a little shopping. I want to get a memory foam pillow. I hear they are amazing and I want to bring it to Trials. Having Wednesday off in the middle of the week is super nice. It allows me to really push myself on Monday and Tuesday, recover, and then have a much better Thursday thru Saturday than I used to be able to put together! Also during the school year it is a great day to get ahead on weekend reading. I am still going in to see the trainer today to keep up with my strengthening exercises, but besides that it is my day of rest!

I am starting to put everything together for Trials. Taper seems to be starting, so life is good! I can't wait to just be there and get this started! I will finally get to see my family, which I haven't seen in what seems like forever! Things are going really well, and I am ready to go!

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