Sunday, July 25, 2010

My 13.01 In Monaco Race Video

After watching the race video, I'm loving my lead leg mechanics! I was just watching my first international competition on youtube, the 2005 Reebok Grand Prix and I've come a very long way!

On another note, I was pretty disappointed in the commentators outlook on Robles' injury. They have no idea what he's going through, but I understand it's their job and when that red light comes on that says "record", they've got to say something attention grabbing. I'm just not a fan of people that make assumptions based on hearsay instead of true facts.

Enjoy the video!

video

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Monaco Post Race Interview

The guys at Flotrack do an amazing job with coverage of track and field. They cover he angles you don't get to see outside of the actual race telecast. From the traveling across the world to post race interviews. I enjoy doing interviews with them, they are definitely dedicated to the sport.

video

More of their coverage from the Monaco Diamond League Here

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm Sitting On Top Of The World...

It's a beautiful night to live my beautiful life!

I keep on the winning track. I mean, during my '08 season I won 18 of my 23 races, including indoors, so it's not as if winning is foreign to me, it's just the fact that every competition I go to, I treat it like a celebration. I celebrate the fact that I am in these competitions and doing what I love to do. I remember 365 days ago what I was doing and I know it is not my birthright to be doing this. I am so thankful for my talent, my health and what I have going on between my left and right earlobes (well 95% of the time because I do my share of dumb things too).

I went out tonight, probably ran the worse first couple of hurdles of the season, but was able to stay focused and come out on top with another win, this time running a stadium record of 13.01 (+1.0w)

It is very hard for me to get my usual groove in my warm-up here in Monaco. It's not a facility with an actual warm-up track, so for us hurdlers, we've got to try to get creative with our warm-up. My warm-up is a gameplan that I have been developing this entire season, tweaking a few things here and there, but I think I have found the recipe that works for me, but here, it pretty much goes out of the window.

My start is still sort of erratic, so I really try to focus on doing multiple starts over multiple hurdles when I'm getting ready. Today, I was relegated to one start over one and it showed in the race that I didn't have my stuff grooved in. I wasn't fully set to react to the gun either and my hips were not up in a good position to attack the first hurdle. I don't think any of us were really ready for that gun looking at the reaction times.

I've said on this site time and again that one of the keys to being a profession athlete is having the ability to make changes on the fly and that no one really cares how you feel, when your name is called on to perform, you perform.

Although I feel that my first few hurdles weren't up to par, I feel that in my middle set of hurdles that I ran them as well if not better than in my races where I was running under 13 seconds. Then I sort of lost it again towards the end. I was having trouble with this surface too. With it being so new, it is really responsive. If you put a lot of power in to it, it will give it back to you and I felt as if I was being thrown into the next hurdle. I really noticed it at practice yesterday. I just tried to stay focused and aggressive and get the job done and that I did.

I hit probably half the hurdles in the race in one way or the other, completely taking out about three. My saving grace is that I NEVER hit hurdles with any part of my trail leg (knee, ankle, foot etc). I always hit them with my lead foot or hamstring. It comes with the territory, when I'm trying to step down off the hurdle and get back on the ground, that happens.

There is a reason why when you look at the IAAF Biomechanical Study from our 60m hurdle final at World Indoors this year that I am the hurdler that spends the least amount of time in the air out of the best of the best. I am .32 over the first and .30 for the remaining four hurdles, while other greats like Robles and Trammell are between .02 to .04 slower than me. That isn't a great deal of time and I'm not on their level as far as indoor hurdling, but you've got to start somewhere.

Hey if a few hurdles have to pay the price, then so be it. In one of Allen's fastest races ever, he hit about nine hurdles, but you can't make up any time in the air. When you start hitting hurdles with your trail leg, then you start running in to problems. You lose balance and run a great risk of not finishing the race at all, one thing I know for sure is my trail leg knee stays clean. Now if we take it back a few years, then that wouldn't be the case for sure LOL, got a lot of war wounds on that left knee.
So I come out of the Monaco Diamond League meeting with four more points, a total of 16 for me this season, with two more 110 hurdle competitions in the League to go. I set a goal to be the champion of the Diamond League and I'm inching closer to achieving that goal.

Now I'm heading back home and I'm excited. I can get this dental procedure done so I can get rid of this painful toothache I've been dealing with since Prefontaine and I am in dire need of a haircut!! I hate walking around without a fresh cut.

I appreciate the support you guys give me, I love reading the great comments yall post, even the bad ones that I reject, it all is just fuel to my fire!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Let's Go Get 'Em Again...

Being a professional track and field athlete, our travels and journeys to exotic and remote places around the globe is definitely a perk that comes with the job. My journeys have now taken me to the south of France. Monaco to be exact.

This competition is a favorite of mine for a few reasons. The weather is always great, the scenery is off the charts and of course, the type of vehicles you see driving around town is like something out of the Robb Report.

This is the fifth time I've had the pleasure of visiting here for competition and I've historically done pretty well at this meet.

They have just finishing putting down a new surface for us to compete on, it's only been down for three days. I haven't heard of anything like this before, but I tell you, it's a definite upgrade from the old track in the looks department.

I've been pretty much chilling since I've been here, took a couple of trips to the track for light workouts. The lead up to an event is generally my favorite part of the track meet, with the pre-meet press conference being the highlight.

Of course all the press wants to ask and talk about is me running the world record. That's fine, at least they're talking to me about something, I remember the days when nobody cared what I had to say lol.

But I tell them like always, I don't try to chase a particular time, I run to get wins but of course I hope that the time is fast as well, but first and foremost, winning is paramount.

People get caught up in times, which basically is what our sport is all about, but I'm a firm believer that what we think is fast now will be common place in my lifetime. Say I go and run 12.86, that will mean the last two world records haven't lasted longer than two seasons. So the likelihood of that lasting isn't very good either.

Take my event, we see running under 13 seconds an all-time great performance. Since the '08 season, myself and Robles have run it a combined 14 times, a little over 30% of all of the sub 13 performances in the history of the event. In two years! So it's already becoming something that we see with regularity. Keep in mind in '09, we both didn't compete outside of a handful of times because we were injured, so imagine the numbers had we have been healthy.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to be the world record holder in the event, but I want to have a performance like Usain Bolt, where it's so impressive that my grand kids will still talk about it. That's where running a time can make you great, but I think winning is the ultimate key to being great.

If you look at Allen Johnson, he never had the world record and never solely owned the American record, yet and still he is considered the greatest hurdler of all time. Why? It's simple, he was a winner.

If you're someone who frequents my blog often, you never see me write about what time I am going to run in a given meet, simply because I have no idea what's going to happen. I can say I'm going to run 12.95, but what if I get to the meet and it's raining and a -1.7 headwind? The likelihood of me reaching that performance is slim. But one thing for sure, I can still give it 100% and get the win.

That's what I am going to strive for tomorrow night out here in Monaco. Give it 100% and try to get four more Diamond League points. One of my goals this year was to be the Diamond League champion and I really want to attain that goal.

Universal Sports will be having a live webcast of the competition tomorrow, they do an awesome job with the coverage, I hope you guys will check it out. I go off at 9:25pm local (3:25pm eastern)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My American Record Race Video

Paris Diamond League

video

Friday, July 16, 2010

What You Run Windy, You Can Run Legally...

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.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Paris Diamond League...Let's Go!!!

After some adventurous travel to get out to Paris, I arrived safe and sound on Tuesday morning. Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world!

I haven't been to this competition since 2007, where I finished 5th place in a time of 13.27, the race was won by Dayron Robles in 13.13. Speaking of Robles, this meet was suppose to be our second match-up of the season. We've both been hitting our stride lately, he's progressed from 13.12 to 13.08 to a present seasons best of 13.01 and my season has been going strong as well.

Unfortunately, he has sustained a hamstring injury similar to the one that knocked him out of the World Championships last season. He's a great competitor and champion and I hope the injury he has sustained is not a season threatening one.

Of course in my press conference I was asked about his absence a couple of times, but the answer is very simple, at the end of the day, I'm only racing those ten barriers and no matter who is in the race, I have to handle my business.

With his absence, it opened up a lane for my friend and training partner Joel Brown. Another one of my training partners, Dwight Thomas was already in the meet, so it's been cool kicking it with the fellas. Brooks is here as well, so training has felt a little back to normal.


Another question that everybody wants to ask is about the world record. This is pretty funny to me, people act like you just wake up in the morning, stretch your arms to the sky and when you finish your morning yawn say "Um, I think I'm going to break the world record today". I tell them, it's the world record for a reason, you don't decide you're just going to run a time that fast, if that was the case, I would have done it several years ago!

I'm super excited and ready for the competition. I don't get nervous for meets, but my crunk level gets off the charts. I just have to bottle it up and conserve some of that nervous energy. Brooks always says the day that I can find a way to do that, I'll run 12.60 LOL.

The meet hotel is steps from the Eiffel Tower and is a very nice spot. I haven't went out and done any type of sightseeing, but I'll be here for a few more days, so I'll get it in on Saturday and Sunday.

I ran tomorrow night at 9pm local time, 3pm eastern. Universal sports will be providing great coverage of the meet as usual. I hope you all tune in, there will be great performances for sure!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The G.O.A.T. Is Calling It A Career...

Arguably the best 110 meter hurdler has decided to hang up the spikes after 15 plus years in the professional track and field game.

Allen Johnson is a great guy on and off the track and the epitome of a classy individual. We all know of the countless U.S. Championships, World Championship titles and ’96 Olympic Gold, but that wasn’t the Allen Johnson I knew personally.

I only was around for the U.S. Title he won in 2005, I’ve only seen videos on youtube of his Olympic and World title races and only witnessed two of his record 11, sub 13 performances.


The very first time I payed any attention to track and field on an international level was the 2000 Olympic Games. I had just entered college and had no knowledge of who was good in the hurdle event. This was before the youtube era and I honestly didn’t have any desire to look into the sport, although I had received a full scholarship to run track. Going in to college, I couldn’t tell you who the best collegiate track programs were, let alone who any of the good individual athletes were on the professional stage.

While in my dorm room passing between classes, the first round of the hurdles in the 2000 Olympic Games were just starting, so I tuned in. They pumped Allen up, he was the defending champion and had been on a pretty good roll, but the guy that I liked the most was Terrence Trammell. The commentators were making such a big deal out of Terrence making it to the Olympics because he was still in college and he accomplished something that was so major, making the U.S. Olympic Team in the 110 hurdles as a collegian. That’s when I found out that the hurdle event was dominated by Americans and it was viewed as a downright amazing feat that Terrence made it being he was so young. So I figured, I want to do something amazing too and I thought that since he was still in college, I would get to race him in the upcoming season and it would have been cool to meet him.

Fast forward to 2004, up to this point I had never met any elite 110 hurdlers until I met Dominique Arnold during the indoor season of my senior year at a meet at Penn State. He was a really cool guy, we sat down for a minute after the race and talked like we had been friends for a while.

I went to the indoor US Championships that year and Dominique introduced me to Allen Johnson along with several other Olympians at a practice session. By that time, I knew exactly who Allen was along with all the things he accomplished, I was in amazement. When I shook his hand, the first thing I thought to myself was “This guy is a lot smaller than I thought.” You know how in your head you have a vision of how somebody looks or would act and I had a vision in my mind that he was a larger than life giant!

We conversed for a little while by the pole vault pit and then I asked him for his autograph and he told me no. I asked him why not and he said “I think I am going to be seeing a lot of you around”. I had no idea what he meant by that, but it made all the sense in the world to me a few years later because I was seeing him at a whole bunch of meets.

He says he doesn’t remember that, but I do. That’s why it’s important to me to try to interact positively with fans because they remember every last thing! That meeting with Allen may have not been a big deal to him, but it meant the world to me, so I try to remember that when I meet fans because you never know how you may affect them.

The first time I met Terrence was in ’04 at the Olympic Trials in the meet headquarter hotel lobby, it wasn’t much of a meeting, I said “hey man what’s up?” and he looked at me and just kept walking. I thought to myself “damn that sucks”. That was my favorite hurdler at the time, so after that, I didn’t like him that much anymore, but after knowing him for a while now, he’s actually a cool guy to hang with.



It’s funny because I can tell you my very first encounter with every hurdler like Allen, Dominique, Terrence, Larry Wade, Liu Xiang, Robles, Jack Pierce, Roger Kingdom etc.

When I first met Allen, I had absolutely no knowledge of professional track and field. When I went to that US Indoor Championship, I thought everybody that had a Nike or adidas or whatever their affiliation might have been next to their name, trained together like a team. I also thought that they only ran during Olympic years and they had regular jobs the other years. This was my senior year in college, in one year, I was going to be joining their ranks, pretty sad when I think back on it.

But between my conversations with him and Dominique, they cleared up all those misnomers I had. Allen was the one that really instilled in me that I needed to become a student of the event and the sport as a whole, if I was really entertaining the idea of going to the next level. So I did it to some extent, went back and tried to learn things about some of the histories best hurdlers and watch their performances.

In ’04, I returned to my dorm room to go to sleep after a grueling two-a-day football practice, I cut on my TV and the Olympic hurdle heats were going on. I sat and watched. The first thing I saw was Allen fall, I was devastated! I never watched another minute of those Olympic Games. It wasn’t until I had moved to Florida in February of ’05 that I found out a Chinese guy won the gold medal and ran the world record. I was in shock, I had never heard of this guy, so once again youtube came in handy.


I only knew Allen by what I saw on TV as well as the few minuets we actually talked, but when I joined the professional ranks, that’s when I actually could say I knew who Allen Johnson was.

In 2005, the very first big meet I got invited to was the Reebok Grand Prix in New York, that was the first time I lined up in a race with Allen. I think I spent more time watching what he was doing in his warm up than I did warming up myself. After the competition, I got the opportunity to sit down with him and go over race film. His knowledge of what was going on blew me away and I made a mental note that if I wanted to be any good, I had to step my game up not only physically but mentally as well.

In ’06 he got hurt, but came back for Zurich and that’s when I actually got to see the non-hurdling side of Allen, how much of a jokester he is and how he kept everything light. He told me he was hoping to just run 13.30 and he went out and won the meet, destroying a great field out in lane seven. I was next to him in lane eight and he dragged me to a great performance as well. Later on that year at the Berlin Golden League, was the first time I had ever beaten Allen.


In ’07 again in Zurich, we walked the streets and talked about everything. His fall at the Olympics, contract stuff and training as well as non track stuff such as his love of motorcycles and his family, you know he had jokes too.

From that point on, we’ve been good friends. I will hit him up on the Blackberry and see what’s up, he’ll hit me up and congratulate me on my performances. We’ve even spent time on the Blackberry breaking down races on youtube.

When I came back last year off my injury, he was at my first meet back and we sat down in the dining area for hours just catching up and he was telling me about listening to my body more and becoming more in tune with exactly what I’m doing.

I have learned so much valuable information from Allen over the years. He went from a guy I was in awe of and badly wanted his autograph as a collegian, to a person I can call up at the drop of a hat. When he told me he was hanging up the spikes, I couldn’t believe it. I often joked telling him he couldn’t retire until I decided I was going to retire.

His status message on Blackberry is “I rode it ‘til the wheels fell off, literally” and that he did. I can only hope for the same type of longevity in my career. Allen had a great presence on the circuit and he’ll be missed for sure. Now that leaves my training partner and great friend Aubrey Herring as the oldest active American hurdler. He had a profound impact on my career and hopefully by the time I retire, somebody will say the same about me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

2010 USA Championships Race Video

My race at the USA's, where I ran a then personal best of 12.93 (+1.7w)

video

Sunday, July 4, 2010

12.90...Got the Fireworks Started Early!


On the eve of the Fourth of July, a holiday known for fireworks, myself and a lot of other athletes got the fireworks started a day early out in Eugene, Oregon.

I am very happy with my performance today at the Nike Prefontaine Classic. I guess that would sound like a bit of an understatement, but even though I ran the American Record and produced the fastest time ever run on American soil, I am always looking for more ways to go faster.

I work my mom's nerves with that too LOL, I enjoy my previous performances for a short period of time and get to talking about ways I messed up in the race. She really dislikes that, but I can't help it. I think that is one thing that makes me a successful athlete, I strive for more and more and more always, no matter what I run.

As I sit in my hotel room and type this, it hasn't set in what I accomplished out at the track today. One thing I know for sure that totally blows me away when I think about it is, of all of the great 110 hurdlers this country has produced, from the Allen Johnson's to the Renaldo Niehimiah's to the Roger Kingdom's, I am the fastest hurdler to ever don the red, white and blue.

What's more remarkable is this is from me, a guy that was the 32 ranked hurdler in America in 2004, no hype out of high school or college and had to grind for every last thing I've gotten from this sport. I feel that I can be a real inspiration to younger athletes, you don't have to be the best coming up, but if you work hard and listen to the people that have your best interest at heart, you can be successful.

To the race itself, I felt very good in my warm up. In these one-off races, I try to warm up so hard so that when I get to the actual race, it feels like my second effort of the day. It is funny when I am in the back in the warm up area because that is where races are won and lost 90% of the time.

I don't remember very much from the race to be honest, but I knew when I was running that I was stepping!

I was far from shocked or surprised when I looked over at the clock and saw 12.90, I was waiting to hear what the wind on it was. I didn't think it was wind aided, but when he said "+1.6, legal wind" it just confirmed it and I was very happy.

I ran 12.89 windy in 2008 at the Olympic Trails and Brooks always says, what you can do windy, you can do legal and I almost did just that.

The most important thing is that I will come away from this meet still healthy and able to continue on my season. I am 100% genuine when I tell people that everytime I come to a meet, it is a celebration to me. The agony of being out nearly three months last year really made me appreciate what it is that I am doing and I have found competition to be much easier in the process.

I don't worry about competing or hoping to run fast etc, I just am happy for the fact that I have the opportunity to race over ten hurdles and show the world what I can do. I realize it is not my birthright to be out at any meet competing.


I absolutely love the crowds in Eugene! They are great. I don't know if people understand that we feed off the energy from the crowd, they fuel most of the performances that happen on the track.

This year's Prefontaine Classic was the best meet I have ever seen outside of an Olympic Games from a times standpoint. From the woman's 100 meters to the men's mile races, everybody was rolling! I was named athlete of the meet and awarded a plaque named in honor of the great Maria Mutola. Given all the great performances that took place today, really means a lot to me.

Now I will be returning home feeling even better than when I left. Won the US title again, ran a couple more sub 13's and will go back to Florida as the American Record holder. There is more left in the tank and a few tweaks I can make as well. I am looking forward to the rest of the season for sure!

**Photos courtesy of Errol Anderson**

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Show Goes On..

Unlike most sports, in track and field after our Championship event, whether that be USA Champs, World Champs or Olympic Games, the season still goes on.

For me, the train has stopped in Eugene, Oregon for the Nike Prefontaine Classic.

After the National Championships, I flew out to the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon and had a great time out there basically resting and recovering.

I got in to Eugene on Thursday and I've been fairly busy since getting in, but I've enjoyed every moment of it.

The high school Nike Team Nationals were held Friday night, so myself and Shelly Ann Fraser were invited guest to judge a talent show between the competing teams. The teams sent in videos and we were on stage judging them "American Idol" style. It was a very good event!

I got today started with a great breakfast at the Pancake House, then had a meeting with Nike footwear, they're putting your boy together some more spikes, ones that won't drop until 2012, they look hot of course.


Friday afternoon I had a press conference to attend along with greats such as Bernard Lagat, Tyson Gay, Allyson Felix, Jen Suhr and Fraser. I thoroughly enjoy answering questions from the media. One thing that is shocking to me is how people seem to be surprised with the times that I've posted this season. All I do is remind them that my body of work at this point in the season in 2008 was much faster than at this point now. I tell them that I feel I'm just picking up where I left off in '08 and could have done the same thing last year if I was healthy.

That's the one thing I know about the sport and always have, it has a VERY short memory.

After a great practice session, I co-hosted one of my favorite events, Win With Integrity. Susan Hazzard does a great job putting this event on every time. At this event myself, Joanna Hayes, Ian Dobson, Natasha Hastings and Ato Bolden entertained the group of a couple hundred kids.

It's important to me to do my part in giving a little back to the community. Kids look up to us and I think we all have a background that at least one of the kids can relate to and you never know which one of the kids you may touch and inspire.

It's going to be an early start to the day tomorrow, I run at 1:45pm west coast time. It's an adjustment for us because 95% of the time, we don't run until the evening. The good thing is, I just came off of a meet where we ran early, so it won't be too much of a big deal to me.

I haven't competed in Pre since '06 so I'm looking forward to the competition tomorrow. I love the crowds at the meets here in Eugene, they definitely earned the title of "Track Town USA". I have great memories of this facility, the last time I was here was for the Olympic Trials in 2008 and I would have to say that was a great experience for me.

Every year, Nike has a world wide initiative. Last year it was cancer and select athletes wore the "Livestrong" uniforms, Lance Armstrong's brand. This year, we'll be rocking red shoe laces as a Nike (red) AIDS initiative.

So the Sub13 specials are ready to go!

Catch the meet on NBC tomorrow from 4:30-6:00pm eastern time. It's great fields across the board, this should be one of the best meets of the year.