For some reason out here in London, the internet had been down for four days! I've never heard of a situation like this, you can only imagine the agony I was going through. No Slingbox to watch, no internet to surf, couldn't update the blog, I was going through it!!
Although I was without the most important thing I have during my European travels, I was kept plenty busy.
I arrived in London last Tuesday. I flew over on U.S. Airways, remind me to tell my manager never to book me on them again for international travel.
Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty chill days for me. Just eat, catch up on sleep, did some interviews and had a couple of training sessions. I wanted to go out on Wednesday, but the weather had not been good at all, lots of rain and cold of course.
Thursday came around and I finally . Myself, Tyson Gay and European hurdle champion Andy Turner caught a classic English bus to the press conference activities in central London.
The cool thing about the bus we rode on was it had our pictures on the side of it promoting the competition.
We rode around on that bus for quite a while, but it was cool, you know I don't mind doing interviews and taking pictures LOL. We made a quick stop by the 2012 Olympic Stadium and it looks awesome, they are doing a great job on it. Hopefully I'll be in able to compete in there for the Games when they roll around.
After my day out on the town, of course I had my last training prep before competition. Now it was time to kick my feet up and chill until I took the track.
The London Diamond League is a very unique competition. It is the only invitational that hosts every track and field event, but it's also spread over two days. When I saw everyone heading to the track Friday, I was very glad I wasn't competing that day. It was pretty cold and the rain looked like it wasn't going to let up. I just caught a ride to a local laundry mat and washed clothes.
Saturday morning rolled around and I had to do something the night before that I NEVER do for my European competitions and that was set an alarm. Had to be on the shuttle to the stadium at 11:30am. Most of the time I'm not competing until 9 at night.
The London Diamond League is also unique in that it is the only major invitational that I've been to where I had to run a preliminary race and then I final. I like the set up, I use the first round as an extended part of my warm up anyway.
This was a big set of races for me because if I won this meet, I would lock up the Diamond League championship for 2010, I really wanted to handle that business here and not put it to chance out in Zurich next week.
My first round went off, nothing unexpected happened and I ran a wind aided 13.02 to win my heat. My training partners Joel Brown and Dwight Thomas finished second and third. It feels good when you look up and see your teammates finishing right in order, I think that is what is suppose to happen when you're training with top level performers.
Between the prelim and final, there wasn't much time before we had to report back to the call room. Just enough time to get stretched, talk to my coach and catch my breath.
In the finals, I was pretty much unpressed from the start, so I tried to focus on staying in attack mode for all ten hurdles. The last thing I wanted to do was relent or take my foot off the gas thinking I had the win already because in the hurdles, it's never a definite until you cross that tape! I crossed in 13.06 (-0.4w) which was the meet record. Dwight finished second and Joel ran into some issues but was able to finish fifth.
When I finished, I was under-impressed with some technical aspects of my run, but that quickly subsided when I breathed a big sigh of relief, realizing I clinched the top spot as the number one hurdler in the world undoubtedly. Accomplishing goals is so important in life because it's a quantifiable measure of improvement. Whether you're an athlete or work a 9 to 5 job, we all have goals we want to check off the list short term and long term and I love when I can draw a line right through one more thing on my list for 2010.
I spent an extra day in London and I was looking forward to this day from the time I found out I would be here another day after competition.
I got the chance to catch a Premier League soccer match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Anfield Road, one of the most hallowed grounds of European football. The Gunners of Arsenal are my favorite English football team and to get a chance to catch a game, I was all for it.
Arsenal hooked me up with some fresh gear too! A personalized jersey was one of the items, but I dare not wear that to Liverpool's home grounds LOL. The game was great, ended in a 1-1 draw as Arsenal pulled even in the latter moments of the game. My favorite Gunner, Cesc Fabregas didn't play today so that was unfortunate, but I saw Van Persie and Abou Diaby get it in.
This was the best sporting event I have ever been too. The fans are SO passionate about their team and their players. They had songs for every one of their star players! It was loud and rocking for the entire 90 minutes. I thought I was a die hard fan, but I'm not even close and neither is any other American I know when it comes to supporting their team. We have a long way to go!
A big thanks goes out to Zarah, she works with the UK Athletics and she looked after me while I was here and made sure we sorted the game out smoothly, I'll put my vote in to get here a raise!
Now I'm off to Zurich, the last stop in the Diamond League for 110 hurdles. Since I've clinched, I can just relax and have a good time out there like I normally do. Sorry for the length of this post, but I've got to blame the internet here because this should have been three different one's if I had the chance, but thanks for taking time out to read it as usual, I appreciate it!
3 weeks ago