Our America's team couldn't pull out any last minute heroics in Split last night to pull out the championship unfortunately. I had been scouting the European team and knew we would need some great performances on day two of the competition to win, we got some, just not enough, as we came up short, losing to Europe 429 to 419.5.
I was extremely disappointed when, by my calculations, we needed Europe to basically DNF in the 4x4 to win and I realized the likelihood of that happening was slim to none.
I really like to win, no matter what it is, but I got over the loss pretty quickly.
As for my personal race, I went out and had a good, technical race. I won with 13.11 (-1.1w) and secured the eight points for the team.
I had an excellent warm-up, short and right to the point. The way I warm-up varies depending on how I am feeling at the time and last night I felt very good. I'm not an athlete that over analyzes or over thinks what is going on, I just go out and rely totally on what I've been trained to do. Since I was feeling good with my starts in the warm-up, I just stopped and sat around and waited to go to the call room.
I was actually kind of nervous because I was thinking I can't go out here and mess something up and lose these eight points. My team is depending on me bringing that home.
I brought it home in style, winning by a good amount, but I wasn't too much concerned with that, my eyes went right to the scoreboard to see where the European runners places. I saw second and fourth and I was like "Damn!"
I went on my victory lap and it took me about 15 to 20 minutes before I finally got back to get dressed. People always laugh at me because it takes me forever to get around the track, but I always tell them, you've got to embrace this and enjoy it because you never know when that carpet will get pulled from right under your feet. So that's exactly what I do and the fans love it!
After my victory lap ended, I went right back into cheerleader mode LOL, I was out on the field waiting to do an on field interview and saw my teammates Nicole Edwards (CAN) and Christin Wuth-Thomas have great performances in the woman's 1500.
After my interviews, photo stuff, press conference and mandatory doping test, I was right back down at the mixed zone watching the races and congratulating my teammates when they came off the track. I even had to learn a bit of Spanish as well.
One of the press people asked me about the importance of being captain and to me it's easy. You can't underestimate the power that a few encouraging words coming from an individual such as myself, spoken to someone who may not be a favorite in an event or may be slightly unsure of what they are bringing to the table, has on them.
When top people in the sport use to come up to me back in the day and say "keep working at it, it'll come" or "good job out there today", I couldn't believe they were even paying attention to what I was doing at the time. I looked at it as a source of inspiration.
Our team had a few inspirational performances as well:
Bernard Lagat ran 8,000 meters over two days, bringing America's home 16 points. He had a pretty good weekend for sure!
Wallace had a great run in the men's 200, he won by probably half a second and was ready to pick up a relay stick for the 4x4 which was not too long after the deuce if they needed him.
Our women and men's 4x4 teams both took home the maximum 15 points in thrilling fashion to close the show! I was out on the track, hollering and everything, reminded me of my days back in college. We definitely went out in style.
In the end though, it wasn't enough as I saw two of my friends, Andreas Thorkildson and hometown super star Blanka Vlasic hoist the championship trophy.
I enjoyed every moment of this competition. It really got the competitive juices flowing and was great for the team aspect of track. I was paying attention non-stop to events I wouldn't turn a blind eye to in the past. I found out a lot about different athletes, athletes I more than likely wouldn't have said more than two words to during the course of the season. You better believe I will be the first one in line to get back on this team next time they have it.
The organization of the meet was top notch! I loved being in Split, it was a great city to host a meet like this. At the post meet dinner, they sent us off in style with a firework display that was off the chart.
Now I'm chilling in Paris, getting ready for the last meet of the season this upcoming weekend. I'm not looking forward to the meet persay, but I flew my mom and step-dad out here from Denver to hang out for the week. They had never been to Europe, so there is no better place to make your first stop than Paris! I've been looking forward to this since before I left Orlando to go to London. I was doing everything I could to make sure nothing happened to me that would preempt us from kicking out in Paris!
While checking out of the hotel, a gentleman came up and gave me this great oil painting of none other than myself. I definitely wasn't expecting that. It's very beautiful work and I greatly appreciate it. Only downside is this thing is gigantic in size and carrying it around the airport was no easy task.
9 months ago