Thursday, September 27, 2007

2007 Season Review

Well I've been at home for a bit, just relaxing and still doing some light training. I was suppose to run in the meets over in Asia, but Brooks pulled the plug on the season and I was pretty much in favor of the move as well. I want to give a big shout out to Dayron Robles on finally getting a sub 13 second race in at World Athletic Final. I saw it coming first hand, seeing I raced him three times after Worlds.

If I had to grade my overall 2007 season, I would rate it at a B+. The minuses of the season were: 1) My body started to fail me soon after arriving to Europe for the summer season, teeth, hamstring twice and 2) I didn't run 13.0 something, I thought that I had displayed the form early that indicated I should be in that range. Other than that the season was filled with pluses, from running 7.5 three times indoor, finishing third at USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships to making the World Championship team to running past my '06 PB three times. To think that at my first USA Trials I attended in 2004, I was the last qualifier at number 32 out of 32 entrants and three years later finish 3rd out of 32 entrants, I must say that I have come a long way.

I am excited for the 2008 season. I probably won't start any real training for at least a few weeks. I will have some well established training partners coming down to train with me in the likes of Aubrey Herring and Joel Brown as well as my pre-existing training partner Jacoby Dubose. Practices will be very competitive next season and I can't wait, I love competition.

I don't have much planned for my time off, just finding a new place to live and I'm going on vacation! I will definitly continue updating my blog throughout the fall just like I've been doing, it just won't be filled with much track stuff. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 21, 2007

World Athletic Final, AKA: The Pump Fake Of The Year!

World Athletic Final in Stuttgart, Germany will be a no go for me this year. I came here under the impression that I would be competing in the meet. I finished #9 in the point standings, and as we all know the rules, that put me out of the running for an automatic bid and I initially had to wait for a "wild card" spot. I was obviously not good enough to run the Brussles or Berlin races to help improve my positioning at the end of the year, so I had to play the waiting game.

Good news started happening for your boy though. The German hurdler Blaschek, who got the wild card last year based soley on the fact he was German, was not running, and Aries and Liu Xiang pulled out of the race. They were both ahead of me, so I was lead to believe that that in fact elevated me from #9 to the #7 spot and the all important automatic berth.

So I'm feeling good, getting my mind in competition mode and maping out what my plans are going to be for the next couple of days as far as training and warm-up routine etc., then I get on the internet and saw that the IAAF has produced start lists without me in the meet, instead they invited Demedyuk from the Ukraine and Ladji Doucoure from France.

I'm HOT when I see this because according to their selection procedures, they clearly state that the IAAF reserves the right to invite a MAXIMUM of one athlete per event.
Obviously that wasn't the case as TWO were invited by the IAAF, Darold Williamson is experiencing the same confusion right now that I am.

I can't argue the selection of Demedyuk for the meet, he did something I didn't do, made the finals at Worlds and he's run a decent PR this season. Their explanation for Doucoure's selection was he got in because he was the '05 World Champion. That's great and all, but this is 2007 and his credintials THIS season are a little lower than mine. I've beaten him more times this season, my season's best is a tenth of a second faster and I scored more points on the tour than he did. They want us to do all the meets to score points but at the end that wasn't really the deciding factor. What it basically boiled down to was that there were already five Americans in the race and they didn't want another.

I did have the ball in my court to not even have it come to this. I was in four Golden Leagues and like I stated back at Oslo, if I didn't make it to WAF, falling there would be the reason why, and it was. If I would have settled for 3rd place, I would have boosted my score to 66 points and would have been in automatically, but settling for 3rd isn't even a thought to a real athlete.

This is another case of confusion that needs to be clerified to all of the parties involved. I really wanted to run here and it sucks because it always seems like in situations like this, I always get the short end of the stick dating back to high school. To work so hard all season to build up a nice body of work and to have everything nullified by one person is crazy. Needless to say I'm getting out of here first thing in the morning.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Pedro's Cup, Warsaw, Poland

This was my first time ever coming to Poland. I don't even have to tell you what the weather was like up here, all you have to do is read the weather report in all my updates post-Osaka. My warm-up stunk and I proceeded to run the slowest final I've run all season, 13.61 and ended up second. Demidyuk won the race in 13.49 and Robby was third with 13.71. I was happy I came out un-injured in the process. I had never in my life ran a meet on a 10 lane track before, this was a first, that straightaway looked about 150 meters instead of 110. I'm off next to Stuttgart, I still don't know anything yet on the race, but we'll see what happens.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Right Back Like I Left Something!

It's been a little while since I have been on my site, but everything is still everything. I have been in Slovakia since the Linz meeting. This is the same meet that I set my personal best in 2006 with a time of 13.20. Ron Bramlett, Robby Hughes, Miguel Pate, Rickey Harris and myself had all been here for about four days, so it wasn't too bad of a trip, we've just been kicking it around the city and hotel. Young Hughes was my roommate and he had the Slingbox set up, so I spent most of the time catching up with what was on ESPN and watching college football and the NFL games last night.

For a while I was here hoping that maybe I would be able to get in to either the Brussels or Berlin Golden League meets at the last minute, but the more I was here, the more happy I was to be competing here. It feels good to be at a meet that is excited to have you come more than anything else. The meeting director Alphons made sure that we were taken care of very well. I did a "Training With The Stars" program with Jamie Nieto, Resse Hoffa, Pate, Bramlett, Koji Murofushi and others for local kids in town the day before comptition and it was a blast. The kids were so happy to see us and be around us, they had a great time and that was the most important thing, so my mission was accomplished.

Now to the race. It didn't go as well as it did for me last year. I ended up running 13.37 and coming second to Robles who killed us with a time of 13.07! It was very cold out too, not like in Linz, but more like Lausanne from earlier this seaason. Andy Turner, my part-time training partner this spring from Great Britian was third in 13.42. Robles time was impressive, but listen to what he did: He didn't get to the track until we were about to run! We all thought he had scratched out of the race. The announcer was conducting lane introductions and was on Robles' lane as he walked out on the track. He still had pillow marks and cold in his eyes! That really messed me up. I looked at Hughes and he was dying laughing! In my head I was thinking "I know he's not about to get out here and run without a warm-up", but yes he did and he smoked the field. He didn't set his blocks he just hopped in the settings that the last person to use the blocks left them in. After the race, he told me he overslept for the race. Maybe I am going about these races the wrong way. But now that performance moves into my #1 spot just ahead of Robles' Linz performance and Allen's 2006 GP Final race.

I'm off to Poland next, I'm still in the running to make it to GP Final this year, I missed out on a lot of points in the past month and a half, missing London and Stockholm because of the tooth issue and not running Brussles or Berlin, but lets just hope that it still works out positive for me in the end.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Linz Post-Race

Ran 13.40 and got third. It was pouring down rain on us out there, but Robles was able to put together the most impressive performance I've seen. He ran 13.05 in the rain and cold, into a -1.2 wind!! That would have easily been 12.90 something. He passed Allen's performance from Grand Prix Final last season and moved in to the #1 slot on my list. I was two lanes over from him and saw his back going in to the first hurdle. I got out pretty slow, Demyiduk and Wignall were on my left and right, they floored me out of the blocks. I ran a clean race and closed the gap down all the while trying to keep the wood splinters that were being kicked up from the other runners out of my eyes. It was a pretty tough race out there. The top five results were:

1: Robles 13.05
2: Demyiduk 13.32
3: D.O. 13.40
4: Payne 13.51
5: Wignall 13.54

I don't know where I am off to next, but when I know, you'll know.

Post Zurich/ Linz Intersport Gugl-Meeting

Well Zurich didnt go as good as I would have liked it to go. I was doing well until I came off the last hurdle, took my second step and started to stumble from that point thru the finish line. I ran an okay time but Im mainly happy about the fact that I made it thru the race with very few symptoms involving my hamstring. The Weltklasse Zurich meeting was already one of the best meets on the circuit, now with all of the changes they have made, it has elevated to arguably the best.

I have now been in Linz, Austria for a few days now for one of my favorite meets. Its a smaller meet, but the people here treat you like royalty. This meet and Zurich are the two places I have been ever since I turned pro in 2005. The hotel is very nice and the meet is great. We run tonight at 7:45pm, the lane draws areƖ

1: Damian Zlatnar (SLO)
2: Elmar Litnegger (AUT)
3: Dayron Robles (CUB)
4: David Payne (USA)
5: Serghi Demyduk (UKR)
6: D.O.
7: Maurice Wignall (JAM)
8: Ron Bramlett (USA)

This might be the first meet I have been to all season that has had this few Americans in the field. It is raining pretty heavy right now and its pretty cold as well, but I still think it will be a great race.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Media Take-Out Website "New Couple Alert" + Zurich Update

I was on the internet and I was sent this link:

It's of one of my bestfriends and current "House Of Pain" tv star Lance Gross who seems to now be dating former "Top Model" Eva Pigford. Talk about an upgrade! I gotta call him and catch up, I guess I've been gone from the house for a long time. Way to go homeboy! It's funny because we use to talk about her while she was on the show all the time at Howard. Who knows it may be true it may be not.

Anyway, I'm running at 8:45 tonight. I drew lane 2 which is fine, I won the Berlin Golden League last season out of lane 2, so I just need another repeat performance. The lanes are

1: Andreas Kundert (SUI)
2: D.O.T.K.
3: Anwar Moore (USA)
4: Dayron Robles (CUB)
5: Terrrence Trammell (USA)
6: David Payne (USA)
7: Allen Johnson (USA)
8: Aries Merritt (USA)
9: Ryan Wilson (USA)

Hot race right? What else is new.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Weltklasse Zurich Golden League

I arrived in Zurich the night of the 3rd, it was a pretty long flight from Osaka, but not unbearable. I had a good training session yesterday and I will go out later today for another one. The leg is doing good, I'm feeling more confident in it as well. It's freezing out here, at least a 50 degree drop-off from the temperature in Osaka. We were all complaining that it was way too hot and humid, but I know we'd much rather take that now.