9/22/2011-9/26/2011 3:40 pm Alcobendas
Today was a normal day, lift in the morning which is getting harder and heavier everyday. Running some mornings feels like a drag and other mornings feels like I am flying. So strange. I think this morning felt like a drag because we didn't have practice the night before and I was still semi-full from the food at Lily and Fabians house. Anyways after lift came back and had the usual protein shake and then made some egg whites which have become somewhat of an addiction for me. I love making them with some peppers, tomatoes and these little prepackaged chopped turkey and ham. So yummy and filling yet low in calories. My goal is when I leave here to be ready for beach season and in shape for the summer to play. We shall see how that goes. Anyways practice at night was not very hard we did some rotations preparation for passing and scoring points off serve receive which as I learned in college is very important. I like hitting but get annoyed when Paolo says that I am not jumping very high and smashing hard. I dont need to max jump or hit hard to score so why waste my legs. If it scoring still and the ball is hitting the court on the other side of the net then I don't think there is much of a difference. I dont hit every ball in the games so why hit every ball in practice. I like being well rounded. Anyways the best news of the day was the fact that Paolo forgot we had to do conditioning after practice. We were all semi-dead from lift and practice that conditioning would have been a joke afterwards. Audra is staying with us from now until monday when her hubby returns from his basketball games out of town this weekend. Should be an interesting time to get to know her better and have a third roommate for a few days. Well we are going back to make some food then I am going to crash, a little bit exhausted right now after a long day. Buenos noches!
Paolo told us last night that today at practice we would not be doing very much at all because he did not want us tired for the games this weekend. So we legitimately did our rotations of serve receive after a long long long warm up. We had to get 4 perfect 6 positive (perfect counts as positive, but positive does not count as perfect) before getting 2 negative or 1 ace. Basically its kind of like 3 out of 5 at penn state except doubled. And Paolo I have come to realize is the worst counter of game scores ever. We dont use a scorecard Paolo just says that he will keep points whenever we do games of any sort where the points matter. So I have started keeping score in any game that matters because I dont want to get cheated out of winning when I know that the score he has is wrong. I casually announce the score every point so that he knows I have it in my head also. Haha. Anyways we went through rotations and did some serving after we made it through all of our passing rotations. Then Paolo told Audra Angela and I that we were done while the spanish girls did some attacking, serving and passing. We stretched off to the side and cheered them on. It was a semi casual practice, similar to a game-day practice at Penn State. After practice all of us returned home and we just hung out and chatted about college volleyball and our programs, the differences. It was cool to hear about Audra's experience at Wisconsin since that is a team I had the chance to play 8 times in my career. We went to bed pretty early although none of us fell asleep that early at all. For some reason none of us could really sleep at all. Audra fell asleep at 5, Ang around 330 and me around 4 (all a.m. times). Luckily for me I have NO trouble sleeping in at all. I slept until 1:30pm so still got plenty of sleep before our game.
GAMEDAYYYYY!!! I was so excited because it was our first match in our gym and there was a "cup" on the line for the best team in Madrid. Today we play the team that we played last weekend Leganes who is in the league below ours. I made some egg whites with the usual and some toast for some carbs and then two cups of coffee (which was a terrible idea). I had the worst stomach ache for the rest of the day and felt so weak for our match because coffee is a natural laxative if you get the picture (sorry). Warm-ups felt like it was 6am and no one was awake but when the match started it was great. I think that I hit .675 with 30 kills in a 3-1 win over the team we played the past weekend. It was fun hitting again and just feeling like the old school Nummy that got me recruited to play at Penn State in the first place. After the match there was some discontent with players not getting enough sets etc which was something I havent had to deal with since high school. Reminded me of the days when my mother coached me and had to explain the team wanted to win regardless of who played what roles the goal is winning as a team. Not having individual stats. Similar concept that is misunderstood here due to age I think but also the coaches philosophy for the match was to not show our whole hand. Since our match sunday was against a team in our league and of a little higher caliber he did not want us running a lo of plays or hitting back row attacks etc which is NOT a new concept to me. However, since this was our gameplan and our passing was not so great with the switch in the rotation we had to set a lot of outside balls. Its simple mattter of fact and well known that when you dont pass well you cant run much of an offense even if it was the gameplan in the first place. Anyways we win, who cares night over. We went home made some food and tried to crash early since we had a match the next morning at noon against the other team from Madrid. So goodnight
GAMMMMEEEDAYYY numero dos! This gameday felt a little bit more amped up since it was against the other team in Superliga dos from Madrid. There is obviously the in-city rivalry as to which team represents Madrid in the league the best. Last season we placed two places below them so there was a bit of an anxious spirit about the team when we met in the morning. Paolo gave the pregame speech and mentioned, well-knowing of last nights events, that we are a team and we win as a team lose as a team. He also stated that the team is highest priority and that individual is lowest. He knows his stuff :) but it went over well and we were all on the same page. He ended his speech with today we prove who is the team of Madrid and that we "Alcobendas" are that team. It was inspiring in dorky, weird translation sort of way. Well anyways game started and we absolutely crushed them. We won something like 15, 18, and 10 as game scores. I did not have as many kills because we used our middles, passed much better and dispersed the offense much more. Felt great to not have to swing 3-4 times every rally. After the game we got presented with the "cup" trophy for the tournament of Madrid. It was a big deal for everyone on our team, parents, sponsors, etc because it was a start to a season that we all think could be something special. I was exhausted after the match and went home, had a protein shake then hit mi cama for a siesta before the nights activities. Our plan for the night was to grab some drinks with Audra and her husband then go to his "athlete" bar in Madrid where apparently all the basketball players go and is a fun night club on sunday nights. Well Audra ditched us because her hubby got tired and did not want to come back out. So we were there with Leti (a teammate that is 18 which is legal to drink and go to the clubs here in Spain). We did not last very long because we were exhausted so at about 230 we decided to leave and come home by taxi (sooo expensive). We need to get on the Spanish boat of starting our nights at 2am rather than ending them at 2 am. We are definitely off on that account of spanish culture still. It was still a semi-fun night even though we spent a lot of money or not such a long time in the club. My wonder is if the night life is so late here why does the metro close at 130am? Wouldnt they leave it open so that less people drink and drive after being out so late? Even the bus system ends at 130 am. So strange to me. So if you go out taxi is the only way back before 6am. I dont think that I can make it until 6am. I am not that type at ALL. Well anyways we made it back safe and sound after spending 12 euros on cover for Serrano (the bar) and then 22 euros on the cab ride back Ang and I had a vent session. Love having a roommate that I can vent to and she understands/throws it right back at me. We are in the same boat on the same page here and I love it.
OFF DAY! Yippie. Slept in super late as usual. Woke up and Ang went to the market and then made the best foreign french toast I have ever had. It was same bread and eggs etc but maple syrup here is so expensive so instead we had this carmel topping that was eerily similar to syrup. Anyways still delicious and we feasted to the point where I did not eat for another 6 hours. It was just too delicious to turn down on our off day. I went for a run then did an in home leg workout with our tile floor as a slide board, did some push-up circuit and then a few different abs before going shopping for groceries for the week. I am getting more brave and daring with groceries as I got some small salt potatoes that I am going to make baked in the oven with olive oil and basil/oregano (yep I found all that in the spanish markets). Then I got some more eggs since I use the egg whites for breakfast and I hard boil the eggs also for my salads. I got some small tomatoes and salad with some cucumbers fun stuff. I love shopping for bargains here its great. Anyways the day was cut short by my going to bed early after reading some of my book. I have read two books since being here and am starting to enjoy reading and writing more again now that I have time to do so. Before I simply did not have the time to do it and now that I do I really enjoy the relaxation it gives me. It takes me to someone else's world and makes me forget about missing home sometimes. I just love it. Well anyways besides movies, books and music...I play volleyball eat and sleep which is the life I always dreamed of! Spoiled really is the way that I look at it to have this opportunity. Well goodnight for now lift early tomorrow morning. Loving it so much here but obviously missing my family and everyone else back at home. Btw my Penn State girls beat Iowa to even their Big Ten record at 1-1. Skyping with them all soon I hope and then I have a skype date with Katy Poole and some other special people coming up this week. My sister too I think if I am correct! Miss and Love you all!