Monday, March 31, 2008

Back From Bermuda

Man, I wish the whole Bermuda Triangle thing was true. I was only there for a few days, but I jammed everything in to those days. We were there as guests to help kick off the country's big running week, Brooks and I hosted a camp Friday and Saturday, they had a two mile run on Sunday that saw a huge turn out, a half marathon on Monday and it finishes off this weekend with the big track meet for the juniors. They took care of me very well, they had me in a suite at the Fairmont Hotel, I ate very well and met some very insightful people within their athletics governing body.

Saturday, I was up and out of the hotel by 9am and didn't return for any substantial amount of time until around 3am. I did the camp for the kids until noon, came back and got a massage, showered up, ate lunch. Lunch was the last time I had seen Brooks until we left too. He didn't sleep Friday night, and was tapped after the camp Saturday. After lunch, I spent five hours in town where I went and worked on my tan at the beach and went rock climbing. I took some nice pictures from where I was on top of the rock. I had dinner at a very nice Italian spot, we sat in the restaurant for at least three and a half hours, went back to the hotel, showered and hit the club. I told them not to take me to the spots that the tourists go to, I want to go where the local cats hang out, because I was sure it would be far better music. It definitely was poppin' in there! I was hitting this drink called a dark n stormy, I had to bring the mix back to the house. All in all, I had a helluva time and sure didn't feel like coming back here and getting back to reality.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I'm About To Go Work On My Tan!

Tomorrow morning Brooks and I are heading out to the island of Bermuda for a weekend track camp and meet and greet. I've never been to Bermuda, so this will be another new stamp in the passport, those are hard to come by these days. LOL. I'm sure I will have time to work on my tan in between doing what it is that I have to do. If I don't make it back, assume that the whole "Bermuda Triangle" thing is true.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tyler Perry Meet The Browns Movie

I went and caught Tyler Perry's new movie Meet The Browns last night, I especially wanted to see this feature film because one of my best friends Lance Gross has a starring role, playing as Micheal Brown. We were exchanging text messages while I was in the theater, I was giving him grief because his character is an outstanding basketball player and anyone who knows Lance, knows he can't play an ounce of basketball. He can dunk real well though, but all those jumpers they had him making, clearly a pump fake! LOL. But I enjoyed the movie, you should head out and catch it as well. But I suggest attending one of the early showings, because I went at night and the American black sure does know how to disrupt a movie.

Here are some unauthorized images I took with my Blackberry, came out pretty good I think.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Disney Shuttle Hurdles/110 Finals

I woke up this morning feeling a little more fresh today than I was yesterday, that super cold ice bath I took must have helped a lot. JMac came and spent the night over the house last night because nobody wanted to go get him in the morning, we were already leaving the house at 9am, we would have had to be out at least a half hour earlier to get him and I needed every ounce of sleep I could get.

We got to the track and started our warm-up, it was already cloudy and gray when we got there, then it started raining. It wasn't too bad, but it was a steady drizzle all day. The first thought that came to my mind was I'm sure glad I didn't was up the Impala yesterday like I planned on because I would have been hot!

I was the pop off leg, Aub-Rida ran second, Joel was third and JMac was anchor. We ended up running 56.10, I split 13.21. Joel and myself ran with the wind at our backs because we ran from the finish line to the actual 110 start line, Aub and JMac ran into a serious headwind. I was running up so close to the hurdles with that wind at my back. Joel almost fell on the ninth hurdle, his lead leg ankle was bothering him, but he taped it up and helped us out anyway. I can't wait to run the shuttle's again, the next time we are going to line them up is at Florida Relays in a couple of weeks.

The finals of the 110's were about two and a half hours later. I was hoping that the wind would die down so it wouldn't be as tough of a race seeing what Aub and JMac had to deal with in the shuttles, but it didn't, the flag was standing straight up in our faces. I didn't really mind, I prefer to run in to the wind. I ended up stopping the clock in 13.33, Aub came second in 13.83 and JMac ran 14.20. I don't know what the wind reading was on it, but it was most definitely on the negative side. My calf tightened up on me around hurdle eight, I don't think its serious though. Joel didn't run the hurdles, but clocked 21.53 in the 200, into yet another headwind.

I was hoping to run in the 13.1 range this weekend, I felt like I could have outdone the 13.26 (+1.7w) I put on the board last year, but I am happy with the way my three 110 races went given a variety of factors. I haven't had a full week of practice since the week before the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix, I'm still race modeling like it's indoor season, the negative wind factor and Brooks has commented several times that my technique is looking the best he has seen it. I think once I get some more race modeling in, combined with better training shape, I will have a better showing next time I step on the track, which tentatively is scheduled for Florida Relays in two weeks. I'm going to hop on this calf situation immediately.

Friday, March 21, 2008

10 Hurdles......WOW!!

Today was the first time I had seen 10 hurdles at 42'' lined up since my last outdoor meet last season! It went halfway decent, I ran 13.48 (-1.1w) and won my heat. My training partner John McDowell was second in 14.13, I'm happy for him because he had been hurt and training off and on since the middle of October. Aub-Rida and Joel were in the second heat, Aub won with 13.73 (-1.9w), Joel ran 13.95, he hurt his ankle and won't run the finals tomorrow, but he'll suck it up, tape it up and help out the rest of us and run a leg in the shuttle hurdles for us tomorrow morning.

I felt like I hit a wall around the seventh hurdle, Brooks said he was happy with the race because my technique looked excellent and all we have to do is, and I quote, "get my fat ass back in shape." I told him I guess it wasn't like the opener last season, he replied "Well you are three weeks behind in training compared to last year, you didn't have the week before, during and after World Indoors basically off and you were able to train, plus you had an aiding wind."

Tomorrow we get the party started in the shuttle hurdles, it will be me to Rida to Joel to JMac, at 11:15am, then the finals of the 110's at 2:00pm and the 200 at 2:20. I'm not sure if I will still do the 200, I might not have any gas in my tank after the shuttle hurdles, but we will see.

Outdoor Season Starting Up

I know I've been gone for a while, but I'm back. There hasn't been too much of anything going on since I returned home from Valencia. One of my fillings in my tooth came out while I was eating a protein bar last weekend while in the weightroom, so I had to get that taken care of, I don't need a repeat of last summer. Aub-Rida said "Why am I always around when something goes wrong with your teeth?" I responded "You're bad luck, maybe I need to stop hanging out with you."

I have practiced twice since I've been back, and I can tell I have to get back on the ball and back in the routine of training. I was joking the first day back saying the most I'd done since the Birmingham meet was block starts to the first hurdle.

Disney is having its big meet this weekend, and all of us are running in it. I was kinda shocked when I was told I was going to race, but to me that's the best way to see where I am at physically. It's a two day meet and I am going to run the 110 hurdle prelims today, the finals, shuttle hurdles and 200 tomorrow. I am excited to finally get to go over ten hurdles. Last year this meet was my opener and I ran a wind-aided 13.27 in the prelims and a legal 13.26 in the finals, I'm expecting pretty much the same.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Dissapointment Again

Damn. Didn't make it past the semi-final round again, at least last time I was hurt. I got drilled out the hole again, reacted in .275, the bad thing was I actually tried to get out. I ran 7.65, the slowest I have run all season. The thing of it was, I wasn't panicked that I had gotten out so bad, I figured I would catch back up. I started to catch back up, but ran into an unforeseen situation, the German on my left, grabbed my lead arm on my backswing coming off of hurdle four and again coming off of number five! He was very apologetic, apologizing after the race, again getting dressed in the dressing room and back in the warm-up area. I just told him "Hey man, we run the hurdles and that comes with the territory." He was like "But you can't run the finals" I told him "Shit happens."

I got everything I could possibly have gotten out of this indoor season relatively speaking in terms of where the real money's made outdoors. I'm very disappointed though, the most disappointing fact is that I could have run every round like I did the first and got a bronze medal. Seeing times I was running all season winning medals was the only rough part. Luck must play a part in winning medals, I had all my T's crossed and I's dotted, but Murphy's Law took effect. I am happy for Allen, adding yet another medal to his impressive resume.

Track and field is definitely a rollercoaster, you just gotta climb aboard and ride it out. The best thing is that nothing that happens on the track is the end of the world, I'm going to wake up tomorrow (hopefully) and it will be a new day. But until then, I need a break from this track stuff, somebody get me a drink or something.

Off And Running!

I ran my first round race around 11:30am local time. I was in the last heat of five in lane three. I ran a very comfortable 7.59, we had a false start, so I just sat in the blocks, I had a reaction time of .225. I didn't want to be the dummy who false started out of the prelims, when they were taking the top four in each heat.

Allen ran a good opening round as well, a light and easy 7.67, finishing second in his prelim and making an automatic qualifier.

The World Ranked #1 Dayron Robles had a disastrous go of it. I don't know what happened initially, but he believed there was a false start in the field. I didn't hear of it until my post race interview, when I was asked if I heard what happened. All I could say was "Wow". That is a very unfortunate set of circumstances for him. I know he will rebound well though.

I have a tough semi-final, with the World Record holder Liu Xiang in my heat as well as Stanislav Olijars and Yoel Hernandez. We have a three heat semi-final, I am in the last semi-final, lane 4. They are taking the top 2 and the next 2 fastest times back to the final, so I am going to have to crank it up.

I'm back at the hotel now, leaving at 4pm to get ready. Right now, the Sandman is throwing sand in my eyes, so I'm about to tap out.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Valencia Update/Interviews

Not much has been going on here in Valencia, just hanging out and doing some light training. Everything is going good out here and the team is looking very good. The only thing I have found weird at these World Championships compared to last year, is that there are people on the staff that don't know who the athletes are. I had one guy ask me if I ran the 400 after I told him what my name was. Now I might not know who you are based on facial recognition, but after you tell me what your name is, I am going to know who you are and what event you do, but that's just me. Anyway, I've done a couple of interviews and I thought I would post the transcripts here on my site as well.

I talked with Steve McGill, President/Vice-President/CEO/CFO/Manager etc. (LOL) of Hurdles First for a while, discussing all things to do with the event the other day. Here is what he pieced together for the interview, he did a great job putting it together because he would ask me a question and I would go on and on about things that had to do with the topic, but more often than not, drifted from the initial question. Click Here

Here are the excerpts from a teleconference that Mike Rodgers and I did yesterday afternoon on behalf of USA Track and Field. Thanks again Vicki and Jill! Click Here

Monday, March 3, 2008

I've Arrived In Valencia

I made it in to Valencia, Spain after about 24 hours of traveling from the time I left my house until the time I got in my hotel room here in Valencia. I'm glad I got my bags too, because we went through Paris. I had an episode last summer where they lost my bags and I went two weeks in Europe without luggage, I had a small carry on though. This time I packed a nice size carry on just in case. Over half the team we traveled with didn't receive their luggage, so I lucked up on that one.

On the flight from Atlanta to Paris, I swear the lady next to me was trying hard to get your boy sick! She was hacking her lungs out, coughing, for the ENTIRE flight into this rag. I had to hit a couple of those Airborne tablets, she had me shook!

Everything is in order though, we have a long day tomorrow, we have to do credentialing and move in to the athletes village. I'll hit the track for a workout after we get done with all that.