Now that the last race has been run and everybody has made it back to their respective residences, it is time for my annual review of my season.
I can not draw from a very big sample size due to my well document calf injury a few months ago, but I will not dwell on that. Usually I will get anywhere between 25-30 races in a season (indoor and outdoor).
I feel that I have to give myself a solid B for the season. I feel that it was a little bit above average, but didn't go as well as I would have liked it to go. Even with minimal racing, I still produced top times.
Indoor, I was able to finish with the second fastest time in the world and produced a new personal best along with three of the top five fastest times I have ever run. I lost once in the eight times I stepped in the blocks (4th in Birmingham).
Outdoor, the injury bug hit, but prior to that, I put my feet in the blocks eight times and finished first all eight times (prelims and finals). I got hurt, but more importantly to me, I was able to come back briefly and race again. Although I was racing well below the standard I had come to produce prior to going down, I couldn't have been more happy just to be out doing what I do!
With all that, I still produced the second fastest time in the world and finished '09 as the fastest American in the event for the second year in a row.
Now the offseason has come. It will be a short one for me, I have had more than enough time off. Of course I will just gradually get back in to it, but I like being out at the track no matter what I'm out there doing. The calf feels great and we've taken precautions so make sure that it shouldn't be an issue for the fall.
The biggest thing for me this fall is I am hosting a camp for Denver area kids in a couple of weeks. We have been planning this for a couple of months and everything is coming together nicely, I am really getting excited! I don't have as many resources as some major athletes, but I understand that kids look up to us no matter what and it is important to give back. There will be close to 100 kids there, so we will see how it goes!
The road to recovery will not be as long as I thought it might be going in to the doctors office this morning.
After getting all the scans and imaging done, I am relieved in the fact that there is no structural damage to the calf and tendon that I tore earlier. The issue was the dreaded scar tissue.
The doctor said that I am lucky that I decided to stop out in Brussels instead of seeing if I could push through because I would have been right back at square one with a new injury.
The scar tissue flared up because it was not getting broken down properly with the massages over here in Europe. The cold conditions out in Brussels didn't help either. He believes that that also caused the muscle to remain in a constant state of contraction. I had been given that warning back in July about the problems that scar tissue can cause.
The doc said that I could resume racing next week if I wanted to with prolonged treatment here, but that doesn't make very much sense to me. I'm not running the risk of putting my 2010 behind schedule to run a few more meaningless times this year. Gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.
I am glad that it is not as serious as I thought and I have a massage specialist that will easily be able to break the scar tissue up, sometimes feel like she's breaking my bones as well!
Right now, I'm walking around in a soft cast that the doctor has formulated with some sort of medicine. I can't wait to take this thing off in the morning! The bad part is, I can't take a shower until tomorrow, that is some poor hygiene, I'm going to be walking around here smelling all "European" LMAO!
I will hang around Munich and get treatment for now. Beautiful place, maybe I can get somebody to roll over here with me next time to alleviate some of this boredom. Not very many athletes here this time of year.
A had a first in my career last night, a DNS. Did. Not. Start. The reason being, I popped my calf again. Same calf, same place.
With that said, my 2009 season will come to an unceremonious end.
It happened it the warm-up, doing my third start to the first hurdle before heading to the call room to go to the stadium. I felt great too. Once again, there was no warning signal or anything. On my third step driving out of the blocks I felt it.
Same feeling as I had when it first happened, but not as bad. The first time, I couldn't walk for three or four days, this time, I can walk, it just hurts a little bit.
I couldn't sleep at all last night, probably from a combination of the pain and my mind going a million miles a minute.
Well now it is on to the recovery phase once again. Man this is going to be hell, but I am going all in. At least I have months to make sure I am perfectly fine again instead of trying to comeback mid-season.
I am very thankful that I got to get back out on the track for the three races I was able to compete in. I just get this feeling like this is what I am suppose to be doing. I did all the due diligence I could do on my part and things didn't work out. Such is life.
In the game of life, I'm winning anyway. The sport has afforded me a lot of opportunities and if I have to take this step back to move forward a couple more, then so be it. This is just a minor setback, I will be ok. As long as I continue to inhale and exhale, I'll keep fighting.
Next step for me will be heading back to Munich tomorrow afternoon to spend more time getting treatment. I have already formulated a gameplan in my head about the next steps I will take to make sure I can come back stronger. Hopefully the injury is not as bad this time, I will find out for sure on Monday.
For now, I will sit back and enjoy this opening weekend of college football! I'm excited.
By the way, you see the Oregon kid cold clock that Boise State player?!?! Wow, it must really be real in the streets! But how come he did that with all those Boise St teammates around and they didn't jump on the guy after he did it?!?! Wouldn't have happened back in my playing days at Howard, that's for sure.
The Memorial Van Damme Golden League meeting in Brussels, Belgium is considered the second most prestigious competition on the circuit, behind the Zurich competition.
While Zurich is a sprint based meet, Brussels focus is mainly the distance events.
This is the only competition I have never been to as far as the major meets go. They usually don't host the hurdles unless we are a Golden League event, so I've really only had one previous opportunity.
I went to training yesterday and the facility is top notch! They have placed the same track surface down as we raced on in Beijing. 50,000 fans will be packed in there jamming tonight!
I am racing some the same familiar faces from my last two competitions. I don't have a time goal, I will just try my best to execute better than I have in my previous races. I feel like things get just a tad bit better each and everytime. We will see how the finished product looks in a few hours.
I am competing at 8:05pm local, 2:05 eastern. Universal Sports is having a live webcast of the event, so check it out.
Last night after the race in Zagreb, I was warming down feeling like things are slowly coming together.
My start wasn't that great, I was in the back again, but I was able to get three phases of my race model together. I was able to pick up the other runners, but I'm just missing that burst at the end. I had that patented before! If it was close at 7, I would win 9 out of 10 times. I will have to rely on muscle memory to acquire that ability again.
I ended up in second place in 13.41, the world champion won the race in 13.35. I won a nice, big trophy for my efforts out there. I am a guy who loves getting trophies and prizes. I am not sure how I will get this home, but I will figure something out.
As a high level professional athlete, it is hard to understand the process and tediousness it takes to get back to the level that I once was at before I was hit with the setback. I'm out here running all out to the tune of 13.3-13.4, times that I hadn't had to work hard to run since probably 2005, 2006.
I'm glad that I have a great head on my shoulders and understand fully what it will take. I have moments where I get down, but as soon as that happens, I instantly think back to what I was doing less than a month ago, waking up, hoping that I could do some accelerated grass strides pain free. Now to be back running halfway decent and more importantly, doing what I love to do is all that matters.
I am heading out to Brussels, Belgium tomorrow morning. I am glad that I got the extra day here, that post competition sleep is important and I hate getting up at 5am to go to the airport when more often than not, you're not getting back to the hotel from the meet until 11pm.
I am going to hit the track today to do some race modeling over ten hurdles after I eat lunch. I have found myself looking forward to going to the track to run, no matter what the reason. Brooks has a gameplan and I will follow it the best that I can.