Thursday, January 31, 2008

101st Millrose Games

I'm heading out to New York this afternoon to race at the historic Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden. This is the third time I have run at this meet, one as a collegian and one as a professional. The first time I ran it was in 2004 and I finished second in the college section behind Josh Walker who was at U of Florida at the time, last year, in a disastrous near fall at the fourth hurdle, I of course finished last in 8 seconds.

The field this year is a strong one, with the likes of Aries Merritt, Anwar Moore, Antwon Hicks in the field. The fun thing with this meet this year is that Joel and Aub are running too, so both of my training partners will be amongst the competitors.

This week, I'm looking to improve upon my performance from last week, I had a few technique mishaps that I need to fix. You can catch the meet on Friday at 7pm on ESPN2.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Glasgow Post-Audit

I'm back now in Orlando, happy to get out of the weather over in Glasgow! That rain and wind was crucial over there!

I won the 60 meter hurdles in the meet in a time of 7.60, which is the fifth fastest time I have ever run. I was hoping to run a little faster than that, but as far as an opener goes and with all of the traveling that was involved, I am happy with the certain positives I am taking with me out of the race. It feels good to get '08 off and poppin'!

I think our race put the meet behind schedule at least 10 minutes. It was crazy, if took us FIVE starts to actually get going! I think we used all of the starters blanks in his pistol.

1st Start: Schwarzer false starts
2nd Start: Schwarzer raises his hand
3rd Start: Schwarzer false starts out
4th Start: Scott flase starts out
5th Start: FINALLY get a legal one

I was alone in the middle of the track with no one in either of the lanes due to all of the false starts. I felt like I ran the race like I do the time trials I run at practice alone. I had never seen anything like that before in my life. One of the main positives I took out of the race was my ability to be able to focus and re-focus with everything going on. Brooks is a big proponent of obtaining "Calendar PR's", so from that aspect, at this time last season my personal best was 7.61, so I obtained a calendar PR by running 7.60, so that's another plus.

I had a great time out in Glasgow, the only down part was we lost the meet to Great Britain by one point and we tied for second with Germany. I was really hoping to get the team win out there.

The meet organizers were really great out there, I had a wonderful time at dinner with Ian Hodge and Katherine Merry, the conversations we were having were classic, everyone at the table lost track of time, it seemed like we were down there for hours laughing it up!

My next meet is going to be The 101st Millrose Games in New York this Friday. It's a short turn around, I'll just rest up in Orlando and knock a little of this past travel off before getting after it again.

Friday, January 25, 2008


I meant to mention this in my post earlier. It's a two part story.

The cats over at USADA hit me for another drug test the night before I was about to roll out to Glasgow. It was funny too. I was in my car about to pull off from the house, when they swooped in Hawaii 5-0 style in front of me! They hopped out the car and started asking for me. I didn't know if I should put my hands where they could see them or get out of the car and walk over to them. I got out and walked over to them, I recognized the guy who always does my tests. I swear they were just at my house not too long ago. Good thing I didn't use that cream the doctor tried to give me last week. I just thought it was funny how they came and got your boy.

I went to the track last night for a little shake out to knock some of that flight off my legs. I have a Blackberry, so I hear my alert go off stating that I have a new BBM (BlackBerry Message). It was from Kenta', he tells me that I have a UPS package from USADA. I hit him back and said "Isn't that what they send you when you mess up?" He said "Yeah, this is exactly what mine came in last year." I was thinking "What the hell? I just got the letter from my last test saying I was negative, what the hell is this?". He asked me if I wanted him to open it and I told him yes. I wasn't anything but an official letter from that missed test I received last summer when I was in Europe. I was visible shook at the track. People were like "What's wrong with you? Your demeanor just changed." I told them what happened and we were sharing stories about instances like that happening involving everyone else. I wonder how that feels when you get that letter and you REALLY were doing something. You must be sick!!!

Indoor Season Is About To Officially Start!

I'm in Glasgow, U.K. right now, preparing for the Norwich Union Five Nations Meeting.
The travel here was not the best of course. It took me almost five hours to get from Orlando to Newark with all of the delays. While leaving Newark to head to Glasgow, we sat on the runway for two hours because of some sort of radar outage in Boston. When we got in, it was raining hard, then it snowed, then it started to hail, then it was raining again. It's about a 45 degree drop off from home for me, needless to say I don't plan on spending too much time outside of this Crown Plaza Hotel.

But upon arrival, the staff here for the competition has been nothing but helpful. If you need anything, they will find a way to get it for you. My boy Doc Patton is my roommate here, he's running the 60 and the 200. I came over here all out of pocket too, I left my Skype headsets, my outlet adapter and my shaker bottle for my protein shakes! I'm over here acting like I have never traveled to Europe before. Like I told Doc, you have to condition yourself for this travel too just like you condition yourself on the track. That flight had my ankles swollen, my back out of wack, I'm feeling all jacked up, but you have to get back in the swing of things as far as getting use to all the traveling again too.

As far as the meet goes, I'm going to be going up against a strong field here. The current World Leader Alan Scott (7.52, Great Britian) along with Robert Kronberg (Sweden), Richard Phillips (Jamaica), Helge Schwarzer (Germany), Chris Ballie (Commonwealth Select) and myself. I'm feeling pretty good and I know I'm ready to run fast, all it comes down to now is execution.

I might get an update in after the race, they are hitting us over the head on this internet charge, 16 Pounds (35 US Dollars) for 24 consecutive hours. I took my per-diem and spent it on the internet, mainly so I can watch my Slingbox, but we will see if I suck it up and take that charge again, we might just have to wait until I get back to the house.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Aren't We Glad The Past Few Days Are Over!

The fellas here at 4700 House have been going through a lot off the track the past two to three days. Here's the list:

1. I take The Impala aka The Storm Trooper aka The Block Beater for a simple oil change and end up dropping nearly two stacks ($2000 usd, for those who don't know) on several different things that need to be fixed.

2. Shortly after taking my car in, I'm back at home and have to have Aub take me to the doctor's office because I was experiencing some pain. Turned out to be nothing major, but I got a prescription.

3. I get the prescription filled, take it home and I am about to use it, then I think to myself, "I better call this in to USADA before I run in to some problems down the road. Come to find out, it was some type of synthetic steroidal cream and I told the gentleman I spoke to on the hotline "Well, you can cancel Christmas on this one, this is going in the trash right now!", he told me it was legal in out of competition testing but illegal in competition. I was like, doesn't matter, I'm not even running the risk, that's how they got Kenta messed up last season. I do applaud how accessible USADA makes information accessible if you want to know something.

4. While I was taking Joel to the airport, Aub's in a trailing car, going to Wal-Mart to get some new tires, and gets pulled over by the cops. Come to find out, the cop pulled his gun out and wanted Aub to step out of the car! He told me he instantly hit the record button on his phone because he knew he didn't do anything wrong. It was all because a few months ago, Aub reported his license plates as stolen and when he got them back, he told the authorities, but I guess they didn't update their system. The cop said by law, they are suppose to get you out of the car at gunpoint because the vehicle is considered stolen.

5. We go to Wal-Mart to get the tires, and they just sold out of them and will be out of stock for at least another week.

6. While getting Aub's VIN number, the woman at Wal-Mart breaks his drive side door and it wouldn't close. They had to keep the truck and finally got the door back in to working order.

7. My computer then broke down on me. It wouldn't cut on, something was wrong with my battery pack. I took it to Best Buy's Geek Squad and they said I needed to get another charger. I then bought another charger even though my computer is still under warranty because I didn't want to wait for them to send me another one, with me going out of town next week and all. As I'm on the phone with Toshiba, he told me to plug the charger in and all of a sudden it started working again. What a schizophrenic computer part. Now I'm out an additional $100.

Needless to say, we at 4700 have been going through it. But everybody's doing fine and everything's going good, the only thing is that Aub won't have his tires for at least another week, hopefully he won't have to get cussed out by his mom again to get it done! LOL

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oscar Pistorius

As I'm sure all of you know that Oscar Pistorius aka "Blade Runner" is trying his best to run against "able body" athletes at this year's upcoming Beijing Olympic Games. He's the Paralympic World Record holder at 100, 200 and 400 meters. Yesterday the IAAF ruled that he is ineligible for this years 29th Olympiad as well as any other sanction able body events.

Here in the "4700 House", I was the only one who thought he should be able to run the 400 at the Olympics if he qualified for it. I'm not arguing the fact that his "Cheetah" prosthetic legs may give him an unfair advantage, I was arguing the fact that he should be able to compete based solely on the fact that the Olympic Creed states:

"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

his only dream is that to compete in this year's Olympics, then based on the Creed, they should let him. I don't think that he poses a great threat to the Jeremy Wariner's and LaShawn Merritt's of the world, I don't even think he would make it past the first round with his personal record being 46.56 (in the 2004 Athens Olympics, 45.88 was the slowest time to make it out of the first round), but in the actual spirit of the Olympics, he should at least get a shot.

He realistically doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell competing, for the simple fact that if the IAAF/IOC let him compete, then that would open a Pandora's Box of situations that no one really wants to deal with. I think his prosthetics do give him an advantage by not experiencing fatigue in his legs and he uses 30% less energy and all that, but I hope he does exhaust all of his avenue's in order to realize his dream this summer.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

4700 Cookout!

Yesterday, us here at "4700 House" had what we thought was going to be about 8-9 people come over to the house to enjoy a little grilling we were doing. Our massage therapist Mona called after the "competition" we had Friday to see about coming to the house Saturday and massaging whomever wanted to be seen. We were thinking that the four of us in the house (Joel, Aub, Kenta, myself) plus three to four other people we train with and our strength coach Randy would come through and eat, watch the game and get worked on. We had steaks, hot dogs, burgers, salmon, jerk chicken, corn and chicken breasts we threw on the grill. That $20 grill I bought from Wal-Mart the other day definitely put in some major work.

All I know is when I came down from getting worked on for about an hour and a half, there were 22 people in the house! Robby Hughes, Josh Norman and a couple people they train with drove down from Gainesville, Lashinda Demus, Beau Walker and 3-4 of their friends came down from Clermont where they're training for a couple weeks, Fred Townsend and a couple of his training partners came by too. My first thought to Aub was "Man, I hope we have enough food!", I really didn't feel like making another run to Wal-Mart. We watched the play-off games, ate, talked and had an all-around good time. It was REALLY unexpected, but I'm glad everyone came by. I had never entertained people at a house of mine like that before, but I guess it's a time for everything.

People were on the back patio getting haircuts.

We had a "Perfect Push-up" competition too. It was "4700 House" (Aub, Joel, myself) versus the "Gainesville Crew" (Young Hughes, J. Norman, Andre Sturvidant). You know we went on ahead and tapped them out 113 to 110. Joel hit them with 51 pushups, Aub 33, me 29. Hughes put up 35, Josh 50 and Dre 25.We had practice this morning at 10am and I was pretty sore from those pushups, I have to call Hughes and see how he feels because I know he's hurting. He did about five sets throughout the evening. We definitely have to have another get together again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

I Opened Up Today...........Sort Of

I kind of opened up today, I guess we will call it the preseason because it really doesn't count for much, at Disney. We ran outdoor, but at indoor distances for the sprints. The University of South Carolina along with a couple of other colleges came down this week and were training at the complex and I guess the NCAA mandates that they have to have some sort of meet or something. So the Disney Complex obliged and broke out some new hurdles, blocks and brought out the timing system.

I started the day out running a 200, I ran 21.52, it was about 45 minutes before we ran the hurdles. Then I went out and won the 60m hurdles in 7.43, Joel came second in 7.57, Aub was third in 7.63 and Jason Richardson from South Carolina was fourth I believe (we had a slight trailing wind). Brooks was happy with the performance, I used it as an indicator workout, it felt good to get a bit of adrenaline going. Seeing all the lanes filled with hurdles and hurdlers was a nice feeling. About an hour after that I ran in the 300 and ran 34.74 and came butt naked last in my heat. Joel and John Capel took it out and both ran sub 33.20, two of S. Carolina's 4x4 guys were in there with me and scraped me up too. I had no business being in that heat, I should have dropped back a heat or two. All the times we were running were on the F.A.T. system. After that, I had to hit the weightroom for a workout too. I spent over 6 hours out there today, I'm totally exhausted, but I had a very fun time out there.

After running this meet, I have a feeling of what I should expect come time for me to perform for real.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Buck-eye Stops here! (Again)

Earlier today, I was trying to get Joel to bet me $1,000 on the BCS Championship game, but he balked at the proposal. I think he knew deep down inside that they didn't stand a chance. Now they go back to Columbus hanging their heads once again (see photo above).

I have had a dislike for the Buckeye's ever since they won that faulty National Championship against Miami back in '02 on a phantom pass interference call and now living with Joel, I dislike them even more.

Allen Johnson and Fred Townsend stopped by the house and caught a little of the game before rolling out, during that time, we got the customary screaming and yelling from Joel in the first quarter when they were up 10-0 (just like last year), but soon got the church mouth come the fourth quarter (just like last year).

I knew they didn't have a chance to win unless they gave Chris Wells the rock at least 30 times to keep the score low. OSU's defense was ranked #1 (allegedly, Jim Rome style) but I knew that was the product of a very poor strength of schedule, LSU CLEARLY has the #1 defense in the nation, their offense only put up 175 yards passing and 125 rushing. Working with a short field is always nice. Joel blames the quarterback, the same one who got them to where they are, be it in a VERY overrated Big 10 (with 11 schools), I blame them being too slow at wide receiver. If your receivers can't create separation, then the opposing defense can just blitz all game, which is exactly what LSU did. It's simple barnyard science.

Hopefully my Miami Dolphins will make the smart choice with the first overall pick in the draft and select LSU's Glenn Dorsey, he's a defensive BEAST!

And to finish off the night, Joel of course turned the discussion in to customary "How many championships has Howard won?" I thought we were just talking X's and O's about a Championship game we just watched, I didn't know it was a personal attack.

I wish Division 1 college football had a play-off system, because I really believe that USC and Georgia are probably the two best teams in college football right now.

Congrats to LSU, you guys made my WEEK, just like Florida did in football and basketball last season. Boy I definitely didn't want to hear Joel for the rest of the month. But I guess since Howard hasn't won any football national titles, I have no say in this conversation. LOL!!!!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Opening Soon!

My 2008 season campaign will kick-off at the Norwich Union Five Nations Match Meet on January 27th over in the U.K. I will be representing Team USA in the 60m hurdles. I'm not too sure what my full indoor schedule will be as of right now, I know I will compete in the Match Meet, a meet in Birmingham, England in February and USA Indoor Championships. I'll keep you posted on any updates.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008