Sunday, August 29, 2010

Another Race, Another Win, Fast Time and Meet Record!

I had another outstanding performance out in Rieti today and had a great time while I was out at the stadium as well. My fans were out in full effect and were so excited to see me from the time I stepped off the bus. It was amazing! There were about 25 teenage kids out there rocking "D.O. The King" t-shirts, that had me really crunk! Dwight Thomas and Wallace Spearmon were dying laughing, I think they were probably jealous LOL.
This meet is notorious for have great sprint and distance results and it didn't dissapoint! It was great to go out and watch Kenya's sensational 800 meter runner David Rudisha break the world record in the event and watch Jamaica's Nesta Carter run a blazing 9.78! I told Nesta when we were at lunch earlier today that he was going to run 9.7, he laughed and said I was crazy, guess I'm not looking to crazy now!

I said in my post yesterday that I should be able to challenge the meet record of 13.07 set by Colin Jackson back in '94 and I not only challenged it, I broke it with a time of 13.01. I had a great warm-up and knew I was going to run fast. I had a scare while doing my usual start over the first hurdle when I get to the competition track. When I came down, my lead leg hip flexor really tightened up on me. I was genuinely concerned because at that point, it's either you run the race or drop out right there. No time to get it looked at. I had never been in a situation like that before and I wasn't sure what to do, so I defaulted to doing what I wanted to do and that was race of course.
I think I was a little timid at the start and through the first two hurdles until I realized I was going to be cool. Nothing bad happened and once again I took care of business. My friend Ryan Wilson wasn't so lucky as he ran into a bit of trouble about half way down the track and fell pretty hard, but he's fine thankfully.

My training partner Dwight finished second, running 13.26, he's becoming consistent around that time and has been finishing second in the last three meets I've been at, so that's a good sign. Joel finished fourth, we almost got a 1-2-3 finish, hopefully next time.

My fans were waiting for me after the race to take more pictures and stuff, not sure why this guy is acting like I didn't put deodorant under my left armpit, I guess I was sweating kind of tough.

Only disappointing thing to me is that in the post race interviews they kept asking me if I was disappointed because I ran slow and didn't break the world record because everybody was running fast. I guess it is kind of cool that when I run 13.01 people think it's a slow time, that means I have been pretty successful and I'm falling victim to my own success. I did tell the press that I would have rather run 12.99 as opposed to 13.01 because I'm in love with running under 13 seconds LOL.

Everyone was telling me how fast the track is and of all the great performances, but honestly speaking, I didn't think that had anything to do with the hurdles. You better believe this track is extremely fast and if I ran the 100 or something, this would DEFINITELY be on my schedule every year! I knew it was fast when I went out for my two training sessions out here and was running in to trouble at the third hurdle while doing my starts. Rieti's track is definitely as advertised.

When I got here and saw the program from the meet, I looked at the best hurdle performances every run here and outside of Jackson's 13.07, the second fastest time ever run was 13.23 by Roger Kingdom. Every great hurdler in history has run here and no one has mustered even a 13.1 outside of Jackson's performance.

I don't go in to a race trying to beat the world record, I give myself more realistic goals such as meet records. I'm glad that people are tuning in to the event to see what I am going to run, that's really cool. I know that the event isn't probably what people really want to watch at the time because it is kind of down, but I'm glad to be a glimmer of light for us to still get some pub in the media. I go and run as well as I possibly can every race and won't be surprised if one time I cross the line under the record. Like I say, it's the record for a reason, can't force it because it won't happen.

It's been cool out here in Rieti, tomorrow, I'm heading out to Split, Croatia for the Continental Cup meet that starts next weekend. Me and Robles are going to be representing the "America" team, if he's healthy, it will be a great race for sure! Kind of ironic how sports can bring together feuding nations for one common goal. I've been looking forward to this for a while and it doesn't hurt that 30K is on the line either!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Back At It Again...

There aren't very many meets I haven't been to during some stage of my career, but this is the first time I have ever been to the competition in Rieti, Italy.

It's a small town where the people are nice and laid back, they literally wait on you hand and foot and make sure everything is OK. Anything I've needed or wanted has been taken care of, the hospitality they have extended to us has been an A+.

I've been here for a few days now, had a couple of good workouts that were light and straight to the point.
This meet fell at a great time for me. I didn't want to sit around for nearly three weeks without competing between Zurich and Split. I was trying to find a race to go to that wasn't too close to Zurich or too close to the race at Continental Cup. I need every last one of those days to get back fresh after I compete, right now the days of me doing two races a week like I use to are over for the time being.

I don't think people understand the toll our bodies go through hurdling. At close to 210 pounds, at the velocity I run, multiplying my body weight probably four times coming off 42'' barriers, ten times in a race, that's a lot of weight coming down on that lead leg. That's only the competition aspect of it, not counting training. Needless to say, ice baths and massage therapists are my best friends! I probably get rubbed out three times a week and take an ice bath four times a week.

This meet out here in Rieti has startlists comparable to that of a Diamond League meet. The races are going to be great. The weather out here is nice as well and the facility has very good warm up areas. We all should be nice and loose for competition.

The 110 hurdle meet record is 13.07 held by Colin Jackson, I think he set it in 1994. If I have a good day, I think that I should be able to challenge this mark. It would be cool to add another meet record to my list.

I really hope the crowd will be loud and energetic, I love when they are. It was so loud in Zurich before the race, then we got down to get in our blocks, the crowd fell dead silent. It threw me off for real. I had to check back in mentally at the start!

I will update sometime after the competition. I really appreciate the support from you guys, the enthusiasm you show for me and my accomplishments definitely make me feel great. There's a lot of you guys that have been riding with me since way back in '07 when I started this blog and I had a personal best of 13.20 and the mission was 12.87 before I changed it a year later.

It is funny when I've been being interviewed lately and they ask me why I put that as a mission. I tell them because I couldn't think of anything else to put for a title and they look at me funny, maybe next time I should tell them that I was feeling a little like Nostradamus LMAO! They ask me if I thought I could run that time back when I started it and I say "not in a million years!" I never would have thought I would come remotely close to it, but hard work and sacrifice definitely pays off, especially when you combine it with maturing mentally as well.

If you believe it, you can see yourself doing it, you can definitely achieve it!! Always believe in yourself, no matter what people may say.

When I made my decision to accept my scholarship from Howard, people were telling me that it wasn't a place that I could succeed athletically and doing a lot of negative recruiting. I told them I could be good no matter where I attended school and I really believed it.

When I started running in '05, bouncing rent checks every month and working 30+ hours a week at Niketown, I turned down opportunities from two NFL teams right after the '05 draft to sign a rookie free agent deal and come to camp. Two of my training partners at the time said that was a stupid decision and they would have done it if they had the opportunity. I told them I was going to make it in track and field and I wholeheartedly believed I could.

Of course it was hard, but like the Olympic Creed reads "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."

At the end of the day, my early struggles make me appreciate my late triumphs so much and I'm definitely a fighter! I always credit my mental toughness as a reason I am successful and I have an undying belief in ME!

I know the direction of my posts start off one way and may end up in a whole 'nother universe LOL, I just get to typing and whatever comes out, come out. I don't proof read what I write either, but I do correct spelling, that red line that comes underneath the words is very annoying to me. I just type what I am feeling at the moment so please excuse my grammatical errors along with the scatterbrain-ness (if that's a word) of this post. Thanks for reading though.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sub13 Commentary

Yesterday, while making the drive to Rieti, bored in the car, I made one of my frequent stops checking Twitter on my cell phone.

I saw an update by @tandfn Track and Field News' twitter site. The update was about the history of sub 13 second races run in the 110m hurdles. They were highlighting all of the sub13 races I had run in my career.

When I looked at the list and saw the stats, two thoughts instantly came to my mind.

The first thought, I can sum up easily in one word: Wow! They compiled their list counting legal and windy times. Allen Johnson led the list with 11 times (all legal) and then I saw myself in second position with nine (seven legal, two windy), followed by Colin Jackson (four legal, three windy) and Dayron Robles (eight legal) tied with eight performances under the magical barrier.

I can honestly say that when I started getting formal coaching in 2005 and really having an understanding of times, I hoped to be able to do it at least one time. It hasn't really set in the magnitude of things I have accomplished personally this season yet, but when I looked at that list it sort of hit home. I knew all the individuals who had run under 13 and how many times they did it, but it's a lot different when you know it in your head as opposed to seeing it in print.

I am really proud of myself and the perseverance I have displayed. I went down for basically three months of inactivity last year to coming back for three races to suffering the same injury again in Brussels. We see it often, an athlete comes back from a major injury and never reaches the level they were at before hand. I not only reached the same level I was on before, I surpassed it! It is definitely a testament to my coach, physiotherapists and to the mental strength I posses.

My second thought was "This list proves what I've been saying in these interviews beyond a shadow of a doubt". As you can imagine, everyone always asks about breaking the world record. I generally respond with "unless someone can find a way to put it in "Usain Bolt" type territory, it's just being set up to get broken soon." I believe that what we think is so amazing time wise, will become ordinary by the time I reach 60. Track and Field News' compilation of sub 13's proves my theory.

My first year as a professional was in 2005. 28 of the 54 times we have ever seen the clock stop under 13 seconds has been seen since that time. That's over half all time, in a five year span. Tell me that's not making sub 13 seem ordinary. Legal time speaking, we've seen 25 of the legal 46, which is a higher percentage. That percentage would be even higher had Robles and myself not missed the bulk of the '09 season and Robles would have been able to compete this year as well. Between myself and him, we've seen 15 sub 13's since '08 alone.

If I am lucky enough to run 12.86, that would mean the last two world records haven't lasted longer than two years, after it stood unmatched for nearly 13 years, which probably means mine wouldn't last too long either. I would take any time under 12.87 but I would love to go like 12.80. Who knows what could be possible, Bolt showed anything is possible.

Shocking to me, people have come up to me a lot and told me the hurdles record is one of the softest in the books. They site that because Renaldo ran the record of 12.93 in '81, it has only progressed six hundredths of a second since that time. I do believe that if Renaldo would have continued to run, he probably would have run 12.85 already, he was that special when I watch his races. I do not believe that the record is soft by any means. I don't think people understand how hard it is to hurdle when you are running at 12.9 pace. The hurdles are way too close and there isn't that much room to maneuver. Not only that, but to run a record in the hurdles, you have to be perfect 12 times. Your start, ten barriers and the finish. That's way more than any other event. One false movement and you can go from 12.9 to 13.1 easily.

In track events, if I can find an explosive guy who will run 35 steps for 100 meters, he will demolish the record. No matter what your skill set is in the hurdles, you are still dealing with finite space and opportunity. Until someone comes in a revolutionizes the hurdles by taking one or two steps in between as opposed to three, then we can see some off the chart stuff, but until then, I do think the limits of the event are being pushed. Maybe if I coach a kid one day, I'll train him to two-step LOL.

I am looking forward to the possibilities of my future performances. As an American hurdler, over the history, we've tended to have great performances well in to our 30's when we start to mature, so I just am thankful for my health and hope that it continues. Maybe when I am 60 and there are as many sub 13's as we see four minute miles, I will have performed good enough to have my name still somewhere near the top of the Track and Field News sub13 edition in the year 2040!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crunk Juice 8/23/10

I just got my crunk juice for today! I just happen to go on the NIKE website and saw my picture on there and I got SUPER hype. I was so crunk that I wouldn't be surprised if the people staying below me in the hotel send security up here. Like I said it doesn't take very much for me to get hyped up, good thing I didn't see this before a race LOL.

Things out here in Sweden have been going amazing. Training has been definitely been awesome. I miss practicing with my teammates though, at least I'll see a couple of them in Rieti late this week. I've got some celebrity status out here too, everywhere I go, people here know who I am. It feels pretty good taking pictures and signing autographs. We work so hard and I appreciate every minor sign of respect. I guess people have been writing on Swedish blogs that they've been seeing me around town, so tomorrow I have an interview with the major paper so that should be fun.

I had to ship my Diamond League trophy back home unfortunately. It was VERY hard traveling with it from Zurich to Sweden and I have several more flights to catch and I don't think I can manage. That thing weighs over ten pounds in it's case. I got the information of the guy from DHL that is responsible for sending it just in case something happens, I know who I need to come back to Sweden and see about.

All things aren't so great, the U.S. track and field community lost a great man in Scott Davis, the voice of our U.S. championships for what seems like forever. The last time we conversed, I was giving him a hard time because he announced I was an All-American from the University of Tennessee! We laughed and talked out in Sacramento for what seemed like all night long. He was very entertaining. There's a Facebook group formed to put him on the cover of Track and Field News, I'm all for it! The people behind the scenes are responsible for the development and growth of our sport just as much as the athletes are.

Also my training partner Novlene Williams-Mills is dealing with a loss in her family and had to leave Europe abruptly. Please keep their families in your prayers.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fantasy Football Time!

Last night I had my draft for my favorite fall pastime, fantasy football.

Being so competitive from the time the calendar flips to January 1 of every year, all the way until the middle to end of September given my career, it's hard to give up the competitive juices. This gives me an avenue to compete while I'm bored out of my mind during the fall season.

I'm in a league with 11 other of my friends, including my brother and of course Aubrey Herring and Joel Brown. Like I said before, we had the draft last night and we all were on line for it, it was cool catching up with everybody all at once.

Somehow Joel and his raggedy looking team won the Super Bowl last year, this is the fourth year of it for us and hopefully I can bring home my first title.

I'm confident in my squad, it shapes up like this:

QB- Matt Schaub (Hou), Eli Manning (NYG), Matt Ryan (Atl)
RB- Frank Gore (SF), LeShawn McCoy (Phi), Micheal Bush (Oak), Jahvid Best (Det)
WR- Lee Evans (Buf), Kenny Britt (Ten), Percy Harvin (Min), Steve Breaston (Ari)
TE- John Carlson (Sea)
K- Neil Rackers (Hou)
Defense- Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins

Pretty solid team, I like my chances. We'll see what happens. You can say I'm a fantasy junkie because I also play fantasy football, European style with the English Premier League. I'm killing in that as well, two weeks into the season.

The one rule I live by is that you should only have one team. I know people who have three or four teams, that's weak! It's like filling out ten brackets for the NCAA tournament!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Went Out With A Bang...

Figuratively and literally!

I capped off my great time out here in Zurich with an impressive performance, running 12,93 (-0.4w). We were the penultimate individual event of the competition and I made the fans go crazy! That really makes me feel good that they are so appreciative of all the hard work we put in to this sport. Trust me, it is not easy going out and running fast time after time after time. As a sprinter, a serious injury is knocking on the door every training session and every race.

I got to officially wrap my hands around the championship trophy for the Diamond League. The celebration that had for us was so classy!

As I mentioned, I literally went out with a bang when I crossed the finish line. I don't know exactly what happened, but I knew something like this would be inevitable. I tend to lean so hard at the end, don't ask me why I do it either. I've never trained or practiced a lean, so I guess this is just how I naturally finish the race. Not sure if it's a bad thing or a good thing, but it works so it's cool.

Thankfully, nothing is messed up, got a couple of track burns, but I've had WAY worse turf burns playing football, so this is nothing.

I said in my previous post that I was hoping the training group could go 1-2-3, but that didn't happen. Dwight finished second in a seasons best 13.25, it's cool seeing him put the pieces together a little at a time, that's the same thing I spent years doing. Joel finished fifth in 13.31 after an awful start.
The race was pretty fast top to bottom. 13.36 got you eighth place! That's crazy.

My performance was just .01 off the meet record held by the legendary Roger Kingdom set back in 1989 which was a world record at the time. I am now equal second fastest ever at this great venue, tied with another great, Renaldo Nehemiah. His time was also a world record when he ran it.
The fans at the meet showed me SO much love! I thoroughly enjoy that. I went out on the track early for the "Presentation of the Stars" and it was so electric in the stadium already! Fans made signs for me and everything.

This blog has been taking on a life of its own and I guess the local Swiss fans are avid readers. They read about my love of chocolate, so on my victory lap, I received several boxes of chocolate. I really do appreciate the support! Like I've said before, I try to sign every autograph and take ever picture, although after a race I'm exhausted. Showing the fans my appreciation for them is equally as important as their appreciation for me.

Unfortunately, my time in Zurich has come to an end. I'm heading up to Sweden tomorrow to just chill out and recharge my batteries and train for a while. I will be running at the Continental Cup, September 5th representing the America's team. I'm not too sure if I'll be doing anything before that or not, I really hope I will because I love competing. My coach has had to reign me in this year as far as my schedule because if it was up to me, I'd be running all the time. It's pretty hard for me to deal with the fact that I can't compete as much as I use to or would like to, but I know it's for the best.

I'm going to see my number one favorite soccer team, FC Barcelona, play next week, I'm so excited to go to that. They are the reason I even started paying attention to the sport in the first place back in early '06.

I'll keep you guys posted on all the goings on out here! Stay tuned...

Screamin' Let's Get It From Another Planet!!



My time out here in Zurich has been great, the hospitality has been very impressive!

In my last post, I commented about the kids clinic I was attending in the town of Chur, Switzerland. I must say, the reception I received there blew me away!

First I hopped on the helicopter for the 20 minute flight to the neighboring city. I am a big fan of helicopter rides, the views of the mountain sides of Zurich were off the charts.

The chopped landed right in the middle of the infield and we were awaited by hundreds of Swiss kids ranging from first grade to middle school.

One of the most unexpected things happened to me out there. A kid I gave my autographed starting bib number to at this meet in 2008 brought it out and asked me if I remembered. Of course I didn't, but he said that he stayed with athletics because I gave him that and inspired him. That was really cool. Like I mentioned in the previous post, I know you can't touch everybody, but you can affect at least one and it looked like I did that back in '08.

I find it very important to sign as many autographs and take as many pictures as I can because the fans are the lifeline of the sport to be honest.

I had a press conference yesterday that lasted for just about an hour. It was the longest one I have ever had, but it was cool to me. You never know what type of funny question someone will ask you. I stay will a smile on my face because this is a true blessing to be doing what I want to do. I'm a very positive person and it was disappointing to me when I read a recent article I did in London that painted me in a negative light, but I know the "if it bleeds, it reads" mantra in the media, so it's ok, you live and you learn.

Tonight is the big night, race day! Man I live for this.

This is the last Diamond League race for the 110m hurdle event and I have an insurmountable lead in the points, so tonight, I will be taking home this nice piece of hardware!

Everyone knows I love winning tangible things such as trophies and medals, so you better believe this will not be leaving my sight once it touches my hands after the race! It will definitely have a prominent position in my house as well LOL.

As for the race tonight, I'm not exactly sure who is all in the race, my two other training partners are though. It is funny because I remember when I started out on the circuit, I use to be obsessed with looking at start lists. I am hoping that we can finish 1-2-3, of course with me in first position, LOL (come on, cut me some slack haha) and everyone walks away 100% healthy and can get ready for the next competition.

I will make a post meet update later on, wish me success!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Arrival In The Home of Chocolate!

I have now arrived in Zurich, had a nice workout session and a great interview with the Swiss television media.

Zurich is to me, the BEST meeting on the European circuit and it's not even close. They have the best physio, best food, top level accommodations and the atmosphere during the competition is electric!

When I landed at the airport, I was picked up swiftly, arrived at the hotel and was greeted personally by the meeting director, Patrick Magyar, who already had my room key and meet information packet ready. All I had to do was walk in the door and head right to my room. That is very big to a lot of us athletes as we criss-cross Europe for these competitions. Not to mention they even do our laundry for free at this competition.

It's small things like getting laundry done that we take for granted at home, but it's a lot of work to do on our own out here. Keeping a clean set of underwear is not an easy task for us! Keep in mind they only allow us 20kg worth of luggage to carry as well and we are gone for months at a time. Zurich takes care of a lot of the off the track things we have to deal with so we can focus down on having great performances.

Being in Zurich plays into one of my vices though. Upon check in, they always give us a big box of Swiss chocolate. Everybody that knows me knows how much I love chocolate. That is probably the main reason why I had to get three root canals and spent over 20 hours in the dentist office before I went to London! I try to lay off, but I just can't help myself. I'm always telling myself "OK, just one more" but I think they sprinkle something in the chocolate over here, it's so addictive.

The Zurich Diamond League event is the only competition I have been to every single year of my career. They have always extended an invitation to me. My first season in 2005 I got in because they had a "B" heat, '06 I finished 4th, which was very big for me at the time, in '07, although I got hurt at the World Championships and every other meeting was rescinding their invitations, Zurich still had me in attendance. In '08, I ran my second legal sub-13 here and '09 they had me back for my first real appearance coming off of my torn calf and I finished 5th, beating individuals who were finalist at the World Championships.

We race here on Thursday evening, but today, I'm looking forward to a kids clinic I am doing in the city of Chur, Switzerland. I am traveling by helicopter so I will be able to check out some great views of the land. I always like when I get a chance to interact with kids, no matter what country they are from, they are the future of our world and like I always believe, I may not affect every kid, but I know I will have an impact on at least one by the time I leave.

Video of My 13.06 Race In London/Interview

Race footage from this past weekend, with a couple of post race interviews. It felt good to hear one of the all time hurdled greats, Colin Jackson, positively critiquing my race. I know that I am a good hurdler, but when you get some of the best people that ever did it saying positive things about your performances, it feels good.

video


video

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wrapped Up the Diamond League Title!!

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!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bridging the Hurdling Gap

Marc Middleton and his crew from "Growing Bolder" came out to the track and did a short documentary on my coach Brooks Johnson. This is a great piece they put together.

As you can see from the video, I seemed to be the only one not training the day they came out and that's for good reason, I was coming off one of my nine hour sessions at the dentist and only had a jog and stretch workout.

video

You can check out more from the crew at www.marcmiddleton.com and www.growingbolder.com

Monday, August 2, 2010

Made The Cover!



People have a "bucket list" of things they want to do or accomplish by the time they die, well I can cross off making the cover of Track and Field News on my bucket list of things I want to accomplish before I retire.

I'm sure people might be wondering how in the world did it take me four days before I wrote a blog post on it, but trust, it would have only taken me four minutes, the only problem was trying to find a big enough picture of the cover. I only could save the tiny thumbnail picture from their website, so I stole this picture off of track and field news' twitter page.

My mom called me when I was in Cracker Barrel after practice ordering myself some dinner to go, that's how I found out. She asked me how come I didn't tell her the big news, I had no clue what she was referring to, but then she told me. I played it cool because I was in public and didn't want to cause I scene, but I rushed to my house to hop online and see.

I usually never pass go or collect $200 before I hop my stank behind in the shower, but that could wait this time. When I got to the website and scrolled to the bottom to see the magazine, I got super crunk, I started hollering and running around my house. I don't remember the last time I was that crunk, I mean I was on level 100! I don't think anybody in the history of Track and Field News has been more excited to be on the cover than me. I'm not even sure why it was something I deemed important.

Small things like that brings me a lot of joy. I think I brought up being on the cover of the magazine to everybody that works at Track and Field News. I thought it would be hard to make the cover because you don't see hurdlers on the cover ever. Only distance runners and Bolt really. The G.O.A.T. Allen Johnson only made it one time and that was in 2006, think of all the accomplishments he had prior to making it.

I really appreciate it in all honesty. Jon Hendershott has been a great guy and really has been giving me some pub since 2006 in the mag. He's one guy I really enjoy interviewing with. I said that I am going to buy 1000 copies of the magazine to wall paper a room in my house with, but I haven't even seen it yet, but you better believe I've been blowing up my local bookstores and Track Shack waiting for it to come it!