I ran a windy 12.89 in the Olympic Trials in '08 and I ran it legally tonight here in Paris.
My coach always says that. The first time I remember him saying that was in '06 when I ran a windy 13.24 and 13.26. He said "Don't worry, you stay the course, you'll run it legal down the road". I finished the season surpassing those times on a few occasions. In '08 I ran windy 13.10 at Florida Relays and only had to wait to weeks before doing it legal. This time, it took two years.
People make a big deal out of wind, but I am a firm believer that in the men's hurdles, for most of us it's not that big of a help. There is a reason why there have only been a handful of windy sub 13 performances and only one guy has run it windy and not done it legally, but he just did it a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, that's going off on a tangent, back to the race LOL.
I knew something special was going to happen when I finished my warm up. When I came across the finish line and saw the time of 12.88, I was super excited. I then thought "I've been pretty good with getting these times rounded down this year, so maybe it'll say 12.87". Instead it was rounded up to 12.89 (+0.5w).
I remember telling a reporter at the US Championships that running 12.90's are great, but we've seen the clock stop at 12.9 about 41 times, but if you can run 80 something, then you're kind of exclusive.
Well, I made it into that exclusive area tonight, only two other people have run 12.8 (Robles 12.87, Liu 12.88) ever.
I am in a great groove right now and I can't really pinpoint what set it off. For those hurdle aficionados, you know that when you are in a groove, whether it's a good one or a bad one, it is hard to get out of it. Whatever groove I'm in, I hope I never come out of it!
Once again, I had an outstanding warm-up. Everything was clicking. Dwight and Joel had it going on as well. They both went out and ran well too, Dwight set a season's best and Joel finished fourth, .01 off his season's best. I always tell people that nobody does it on their own, I'm no exception. I am in the best training environment probably ever seen. You've got 12.89, 13.16, 13.18 and 13.30 guys all training together. If a person who knew nothing about individual hurdlers, came to a hurdle workout and was told to pick out who the best guy is, nine time out of ten they wouldn't pick me. It's just something about when that gun goes off, I have always been hyper competitive and that's something that you can't coach, no matter who you are.
When the gun went off, I felt that I had a great transition phase going in to the first hurdle. Although its not as good as Terrence's or Robles', I have to admit that it is better than it ever has been for me this year.
I was out there chopping a lot of wood (hitting hurdles) today, but I never felt like I was in trouble. The only time in the race where I got scared was when I came off of hurdle six and my hips dropped, causing me to hit the seventh hurdle. I was scared because when something like that happens that late in a race, your momentum seems to carry you down to the ground and more often than not, you see guys come up underneath the next hurdle with their lead legs trying to make up for the mistake. I have done it at practice several times.
I don't have a problem with my hips dropping, I don't know what happened either. I've only seen the race briefly during an interview so I'll have to watch it and see what was going on. I think I need to focus down better on each individual barrier.
To me, there is much more room for improvement in certain areas of my race. The learning process never ends and just because I'm running well now doesn't mean everything is where it needs to be.
I am VERY happy to be winning races. I really want to be the Diamond League champion and be the number one hurdler. I just keep my eyes on the prize, try to do the right things on and off the track and perfect my craft. A lot of fellow athletes don't realize that what we're doing is a finite time frame, it doesn't last forever. I refuse to be a guy that will look back on what could have been, I will do all I can to maximize my talents right now.
I try not to bring up when I was injured, but that gave me an awful lot of time to think about things. I tried my best to always think positively but I really didn't want to be one of those guys who showed promise but lost it all because of injury and couldn't come back. The Monday Brooks came back from World Athletic Final last year was myself and Xavier's first day of practice. You talk about a slow, arduous process! It started with walking laps around a baseball field, then progressed to walking on my toes, to being able to skip.
This went on for six or seven weeks while everybody was off vacationing after having a great season. It was very frustrating, even more so when I couldn't continue these easy workouts because my calf was too weak. I didn't touch a hurdle until eight days before my first indoor race in Glasgow, that's why after winning a medal at World Indoors, I knew I would do something special outdoors as long as I stayed healthy.
I had to come back and come back like I never left. I know how this sport is, they will sweep you under the rug very quick. It wasn't about to be me getting swept away either! Like my sponsor's slogan is "Just Do It", down at ESPN Wide World of Sports with the "Train Gang" we have our own slogan, "Just Do It, Now!"
I am staying out here in Paris for a few more days before rolling down to Monaco. I will go out and do some sightseeing tomorrow, that is if I ever get out of this bed!
I will post the race video as soon as I get some footage.
3 weeks ago