Saturday, May 29, 2010

California Invitational Relays

My week in Sacramento has come to an end.

I had a good time out here, starting with a few media ops earlier in the week as well as getting together with Sacramento High School track team and doing some light training with their hurdler, Tori Mason, before competing at the State meet. She ended up finishing fifth in the 100m hurdles and this is her first year competing in the event. She is a real talent.

The weather had been so off and on while I was out here, but on competition day, it was a very beautiful California spring day. Temperature was in the high 70s/low 80s and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, unfortunately for us runners, the winds were blowing in our faces at a strong clip.

I wasn't going to concern myself with what the wind was doing, I went and approached this race the same way I always do. Objective number one is always to win. I knew that running a fast time such as 13.0 was pretty impossible given the conditions, but winning is never impossible. This is why I am never in the business of chasing a time because depending on the conditions, you will be severely disappointed with what comes up on that scoreboard.

We had a pretty good field out there, Dexter Faulk and Aires Merritt, both of whom were ranked in the top 10 in the World in '09 as well, were in the race as well as former UCLA All-American Kevin Craddock.

I was crunk because when I check in, my bib number was 303, the area code for Denver, so I was reppin'! Those of you whole really know me, knows it doesn't take too much to get me fired up!

The gun went off and I ended up winning the race in 13.52 into a -3.6 headwind. Faulk was second and Craddock third, running 13.89 and 13.98.

That was the toughest race that I can remember running. The effort I had to put into that race is probably the equivalent to a race when I run 13.1. There is no such thing as coasting in a hurdle race, no matter how far in front of the competition you are because whether it is a -3.6 or +3.6 wind, the hurdle distance still stays the same. If you relent for a split second or lose focus, you may be watching the rest of the race from your back and up under a hurdle after you fall.

Personally, I'd rather run into a 3.6 than have it turned around and be a tail wind of 3.6. It is much more difficult for me in a race with that much tail wind. I feel that at the Olympic Trails when I ran 12.89 with a 3.2 tailwind, that was the most impressive race that I've run in my career. Given the fact that I was being pushed so close up on the hurdles, if I would have made the slightest mistake, I may not have finished that race. Being a bigger hurdler, I had to be so quick and technically sound and could not have afforded floating a hurdle or sliding my clip step in. Given that wind, 13.2 guys were still running 13.2 and 13.3 guys were still running 13.3 in that race.

If you look at my 13.52 performance in a vacuum, it's not very impressive, but given all the circumstances, I could not be disappointed with what came up on the results. After watching the race video, I am even more impressed with how I kept my technique tight because when we are running into headwinds, more often than not, people are getting splayed out over the hurdles and all wide because we have to work so much harder than normal.

After the race, I got to see my step brother Tre (Harold's son), who lives out in Sacramento, he just finished up college out in Philly, so I finally got to congratulate him on that. I hung out in the stands and took pictures, signed autographs and did interviews for TV and Track and Field News.

I would like to personally thank Greg Miller for all of his hospitality while I was out here, he took very good care of me and made sure that anything I needed, I had. I really had fun out here and I can't wait to be in attendance next season!


California Invitational Relays Race Video

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Changed Over to the Dark Side...

I thought that I would never make the switch from a PC to a Mac, but as I type this post up, I am writing it on my new MacBook Pro.

Due to the issues I was running in to with my faithful Toshiba computer over in Asia this past trip, I figured it was time for a change.

My boy Kenta Bell and I are posted up in Sacramento in preparations for the California Relays this weekend, so the first stop I made was to the local Best Buy to check out computers. The first question I asked the guy was "what is the best computer you guys carry that is 13 inches or under?" His instant response was "MacBook Pro". To me, his response was too quick, so I went and asked another associate working in the camera area and she said the same thing. So I went back and engaged in about a half hour conversation with the first guy because I had tons of questions. I figured if I was going to make a switch this drastic (lol), I needed to be pretty thorough with this information. After conversing with him, I was convinced this was the right move.

To my pleasant surprise, the adjustment to this machine wasn't as difficult as I initially thought and I am loving the fact that the time it takes this computer to turn on in about 30 seconds, not all that loading up time with a PC. I'm loving how the computer works like an Ipod touch as well, you can operate everything from the trackpad.

I can't wait to figure out the ins and outs of the MacBook as well as other nuances of the computer. I'm happy now with my decision, I hope it stays that way. Now I have to cross my fingers for my slingbox action to be set up properly when I get home, if that doesn't work, this thing is going right back to the store!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shanghai Diamond League Race Video

1 David Oliver USA 12.99 WL, MR
2 Dongpeng Shi CHN 13.39
3 Xiang Liu CHN 13.40
4 Wenjun Xie CHN 13.58
5 Allen Johnson USA 13.65
6 Dwight Thomas JAM 13.75
7 Jing Yin CHN 13.95
8 Mike van Kruchten NED 14.01
- Ryan Brathwaite BAR DNF

Sub 13 Action Again!

Shanghai, China, 9:40PM, I added my name in the books as the 42nd sub 13 performance in the history of the 110 hurdle event. Only 12 individuals have accounted for all of those performances and I've personally added my name three times.

I stopped the clock in 12.99 (-0.4w), winning the first Diamond League race for the 110 hurdles this season. In the process I broke the stadium record of 13.01 set by Dayron Robles back in 2007.

So far in my last three races, I have run seasons bests as well as broken the stadium records, all of which got exponentially harder to do. 13.34 in Puerto Rico, 13.14 in Korea and 13.01 in Shanghai.

The conditions at the meet weren't ideal, but I come from a school of thought that it doesn't matter how you feel, when your name is called, you have to perform.

Stepping out on that track Sunday night was amazing. Having Liu back in action in his hometown and hearing the crowd reaction to that as well as the introductions had me super crunk! The energy was crazy! I don't think people understand that we feed off that energy from the crowd and it fuels our performances. Maybe it doesn't for everybody, but I definitely feel it and that's why I think that meets like Shanghai, Zurich and New York in the sprints and Eugene and Brussels in the distance events generally produce great times. The crowds are ALL the way into the events.

When it came to the race though, once the crowd settled down, it was time to focus up. The gun went off and I got a better start than I had the other day in Korea and I felt like I had the race won by the time we got to hurdle three. I had a great warm up and I was able to carry that over to the race, sometimes you'll see people leave the race right over at the warm up stadium.

I felt like I faltered a bit coming off the tenth hurdle, like I rushed it trying to hurry to the finish line. I collapsed and was digging to the finish instead of driving thru the tape. As soon as i crossed I took a peak at the clock and it read 13.01 and my first thought was "Damn!" Being so close to sub 13 and equaling the record was good, but being so close was a quick disappointment.

That quickly changed by the time I received the flowers and looked at the main scoreboard and it read 1 David Oliver USA 12.99 -0.4 and I thought "Yes!!" To me it is light years between being one of many 13.0's to being one of so few 12.9's even if the difference may be only 12.99 to 13.01.

Chinese hurdlers Shi Dongpeng and Liu Xiang rounded out the podium, running 13.39 and 13.40 respectively. It was good seeing Liu back out there and competing well after a set back from injury. I have no doubt in my mind that whenever the next time I see him at a race, he will be ready to roll to something in the 13.1 range at least.

This morning in China, this picture was on the cover of every newspaper I saw. Even on the newspapers they have on plane had the picture gracing the cover, it definitely made for an interesting flight.
After a great Asian swing, I have now headed out to Sacramento for the California Relays that will be held this upcoming weekend.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shanghai Diamond League

The first stop for the 110 hurdles in the newly formed IAAF Diamond League takes us to Shanghai, China. I am pretty interested in how this first season will turn out, some positives I can see already is that this "League" is more inclusive of all the events and gives minor events a chance to shine and participate in competitions. They have an equal opportunity to make money just as some of your more marquee events.

I'm not sure how many of these Diamond League races I will be in, the next stop is in Rome June 10th and I'm 90% sure I won't compete there.
I enjoy being out here in Shanghai, even though I can not access the websites that I like to go on out here, the people here take such good care of you that you can overlook those minor speed bumps.

Allen Johnson and myself came in on the same flight from Korea and it was a mad house at the airport. The 110 hurdles is by far the most popular event in China for obvious reasons. I was joking that since at World Indoor Championships I was in the lane next to Liu Xiang, I was in several photos with him, so that made my celebrity in China go through the roof! But the fans here knew who I was long before that race in March. I was shocked at my first time in Shanghai in 2006, shooting a commercial for Nike with Liu, that they knew who I was. That was just my second season as a pro and I hadn't really accomplished very much at the time.

Back in 2008, my first year actually competing at this event, I was able to get the win, capping an outstanding season. Now in 2010, since this is my third major outing of the season, I am hoping this race will be the spring board, catapulting me to having a better season than the one I experienced in 2008.

When I first got out here, my first stop was the custom tailor boutique in the hotel lobby. I got myself four suits and eight button downs tailor made. I love the quality and exact fit of their products. In the States it takes a five week turnaround, but here, three days tops!

I also had a press conference with fellow hurdler Ryan Brathwaite, javelin champion Andreas Thorkildson, pole vault champion Steven Hooker, 100 meter champion Shelly Ann Fraser and the second fastest woman ever in the 100 meters, Carmelita Jeter. I think I lost 1,000 calories with all of the laughing we were doing in there. I had a great time.

I have been taught the Chinese phrase: who ma I, tau way which means: We love David Oliver. The locals have made me gifts as well.

For the race tonight, it of course will be a tough battle like always. I will face former world record holder and Olympic champion Liu Xiang, World champion Ryan Brathwaite, World Championship finalists Dwight Thomas of Jamiaca, Shi Dongpeng and Wei Ji both of China and the immortal Allen Johnson.

In the hurdle event, you rarely get the proverbial "day off" where you can just have a nice, relaxing race without putting out maximum effort to get the job done. This is why I take time off from racing after a tough stretch, I have to find time to re-charge my batteries. I learned that I will either take rest voluntarily or my body will make me take a break involuntarily. Staying healthy is the most important thing for me to do. I feel that when I am healthy I have the ability to contend for the win in every single race I step on the line for.

You can catch the meet on starting at 8am eastern time. I run at 9:40, check it out! Hope to have something good to talk about next time I update!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Colorful Daegu Post-Meet...Finally

Due to my computer being on the fritz Wednesday night after the meet, I couldn't update the blog with the post race review, now that I am in China, I am encountering issues due to the inability to access various websites including my blog, I'm sure it's probably because of government restrictions.

Now I have taken the circuitous route in updating the blog, thanks to the services of the Sub 13 Enterprises technical director McLean Cromer.

Wednesday night was a good night on the track for me, as I won the competition, defeating a pretty good field and ran a new world leading time of 13.11 (-0.2w). That time was also good enough to better Liu Xiang's previous meet record of 13.14 set in 2006. Any time you can take his name down off of a meet record, things are looking good.

Although the race was good from the standpoint of getting the win and running a decent time, it left a few things to be desired. I came out of the blocks squatting and not with my hips up, that in turn threw my first two to three hurdles off. That is a mistake that I make from time to time and I have really been trying to get that corrected, but I'll just spend a bit more time being conscious of it when I'm at practice.

On the flip side, I was impressed with my ability to break up the race and accelerated at the predetermined gear change zones. My last half was good. I never pressed during the competition either, which is easy to do when you know the caliber of the guys you are running against. It is very important to have supreme confidence in what you are doing and always feel that if you do your "stuff" the way you've been trained to, you'll always be in a position to have a shot at winning.

My training partner Dwight Thomas found himself on the podium again, finishing a strong third. That epitomizes what the basics of having a training partner is. When you come to a meet, the two of you should always finish on the podium baring something disastrous. So far at the three meets we have been at, we've finished 1-2, twice and 1-3 the third time. It's hard to finish 1-2 when you've got the world record holder and Olympic champ sandwiched between you, but I'm sure Brooks will be fine with the performances.

110m Hurdles Final
19 May 2010 20:25 Wind : -0.2m/s
1 David OLIVER USA 13.11 CR
2 Dayron ROBLES CUB 13.26
3 Dwight THOMAS JAM 13.40
4 David PAYNE USA 13.52
5 Tae-Kyoung PARK KOR 13.67
7 Allen JOHNSON USA 13.81
8 Hyeon-Woo LEE KOR 14.38

I have now traveled to Shanghai, China for a race this upcoming Sunday. I will shoot an update before the meet if I can!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Colorful Daegu Pre Championships Meet

It was a very long 26 plus hours worth of traveling that took me from Orlando, Florida at 6am Sunday to San Fransisco to Seoul, Korea and finally arriving at my hotel in Daegu, Korea at 9:30pm Monday evening.

I am competing tonight out here at the site that will host our World Championships in 2011. It hasn't been the most pleasant of weather out here, as it has been overcast and raining non stop since I got here.

Mr. Sandman has been on me so tough since I arrived. I think I might have been up for all of eight hours on Tuesday, I slept that entire day away. When you think about it, all of our sleep patterns are off a bit. Saturday night, didn't sleep because with flights leaving at 6am, you had to be up and moving my about 3am and Sunday, whatever sleep you caught on the plane was what you got for that night.

The hurdle race out here is going to be super hot!

Dayron Robles, Cuba- World Record holder, Olympic and World Indoor Champion will be opening his season.

Ryan Brathwaite, Barbados- 2009 World Champion from Berlin

Allen Johnson, USA- Arguably the greatest 110 hurdler of all time

David Payne, USA- 2008 Olympic silver medalist,

Dwight Thomas, Jamaica- Duel threat, 4x1 relay medalist and has run 13.16

and of course:

No one is going to have the rest overlay on anyone else in the race honestly. We all were on the same flight to Daegu, so whoever travels the best and maximized their recovery will do well.

I don't have a particular time goal in mind, I'm going out to get the win straight up. Although we aren't all as fit as we will be in the next coming months, this will still be one of the best fields assembled this season hands down. Terrence Trammel was suppose to run, if that happened, you would have had every global medalist from the last three majors ('08. '09, '10) in the field.

Hit yall with an update after the competition.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Photo's From Ponce Meet

I figured I would update a few pics from this past weekend in Puerto Rico.

Press conference action

Jeremy Wariner and I with a local fan, they really showed us a lot of love!

Last hurdle of the race action
Me and Dwight shutting down the engines

Feeling pretty good about the performance
The Central Florida Posse...100m hurdlers Damu Cherry and Kellie Wells, they look really small and I don't even have on my shoes LOL

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ponce Post Race

I set my sights on breaking the track record although I didn't know what it was. Turns out the record was 13.35, set last season by my good friend David Payne. Last night though, I obliterated that record by running 13.12 (0.0w)

It was a very humid night out there, compounded by the fact that it decided it wanted to start raining. The air was so thick, you could cut it with a knife! You would never assume I trained in Florida, but this was something very different. While warming up, I had to take several breaks and time outs, I didn't know what was going on. You could wring the sweat out of my clothing! Now that I'm back home, I am afraid to even open that plastic bag I put those clothes in. I might not pass go or collect $200 dollars and go right to the incinerator and break out a new competition wardrobe!

I had a great warm-up and I knew I was ready. The time I posted is a very good time for me seeing that this was my third meet. In past years, I've had my third meet on the board by the first weekend in April. So things are progressing about how they should. Right now, I have the top four fastest times in the World.

Brooks was happy with the performance, my training partner Dwight Thomas got second in 13.41. I was slightly disappointed because toward the end of the race I made two technical mistakes that cost me time, one over the seventh hurdle and one over nine. The hurdles were coming up very fast and at this stage, I don't have the race callousness the be in total control, but that will come with more races.

I'm happy that I came out of the meet unscathed and healthy so I can work on what I need to get done this week at practice. It was great getting a chance to chill and converse with David Payne and Ryan Wilson, a guy I hadn't seen since September 2008.

Event 122  Men 110 Meter Hurdles
WORLD: @ 12.87 6/12/2008 Dayron Robles, Ostrava
Ponce GP: % 13.35 5/16/2009 David Payne, UNITED STATES
National: * 13.61 7/5/2008 HECTOR COTTO, CALI,COLOMBIA
Name Finals Wind
1 David Oliver 13.12% +0.0
2 Dwight Thomas 13.41 +0.0
3 David Payne 13.42 +0.0
4 Ryan Wilson 13.57 +0.0
5 Hector Cotto 13.88 +0.0
6 Andres Amador 14.23 +0.0
7 Favio Vaz Dos Santos 14.64 +0.0
8 Adalberto Amador 15.27 +0.0

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Keeping With The Theme...

Keeping with the theme of changing up the color way on the blog to match the current year's Nike competition uniforms, I have made the update for this year.

This year we've got purple, an electric yellow and black. Interesting I must say, but it's cool, whatever floats their boat up there in Beaverton, Oregon.

Ponce Grand Prix Preview

Tonight, I am making my first appearance in a competition here in Ponce, Puerto Rico. I have never been down here before, whether it was for business or pleasure, and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time down here. Most of the training group has come down to the competition, Brooks, Xavier, Dwight Thomas, Moushami Robinson and myself all made the trip. It's fun when you have a lot of your training partners and coach at the competition.

I've been here since early Thursday, haven't done very much actually. Had a great training session Thursday, I've been enjoying the local cuisine also. I had a press conference yesterday with local hero, 400 hurdler Javier Culson and 400 meter runner Jeremy Wariner along with the local meet organizers.

You know I have ADHD, so I have a hard time paying constant attention in these press conferences especially when they aren't speaking English! Thank god for the blackberry lol...

After the presser, a group of us hit the mall, it didn't have very much to offer, but you know I was able to find something to swipe my card for. Then we hit the beach, it is very lovely out here, I definitely will find my way back down here for some leisure time for sure.

I don't run until around 10pm tonight. Pretty late I must say, so I will find a way to take a little nap this afternoon for sure. It should be a good race, David Payne is running as well as Dwight and Dexter Faulk. Training has been going great lately, I don't have a time goal in mind, but whatever the meet record is, I have set my goal to destroy it. I guess I better find out what it is because if it's something like 13 flat, I don't know about destroying that LOL.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Golden Birthday!

Today, my adorable nephew Khamari turned 5 years old! His birthday is 05/05/05, so it's his golden birthday. Man how time is flying. I miss him and my family a lot, being around maybe seven days out of the year is tough, especially times like birthdays and Mothers Day. They will have a big party for him this weekend probably over at Gramma Joyce's house, them kids will be tearing something up for sure!

Happy Birthday Mari!!