Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Austria Last days

May 28th


Today we left at 11am to Gotzis and arrived around 3pm.  It was a beautiful ride and Tom, Lisa, Josef, and I made it safe and sound. Josef dropped Tom and me off at our Hotel and would meet him at the track at 5pm


May 27th


The rain continued until around 2:30pm when I finally got on the track to do my training.  We returned from training and packed up all are stuff and got everything to leave tomorrow.  It has been 16 days and it went so fast since Italy. I then went to a massage at 5:30pm while my brother and Josef went and got stuff for dinner and placed a bet for Barcelona to win.  It was 5.20 to 1 so Tom put 10 euro and Josef 50 euro.  If Barcelona won Tom got 52 euro and Josef 260 euro.  So we had our team to cheer on tonight.  We ate dinner at Josef where he made pasta with shrimp it was so good.  After dinner we watched the Manchester United and Barcelona game.  It was so much fun and with Barcelona winning 2-0 we were all excited.  Well off to bed because we leave tomorrow.


May 26th


What a crazy day!!! We went to meet a guy to go paragliding at 11am and hen we drove his little car on these back roads to the top of a ski resort.  We parked the car next to the chair lift where you get off.  At this point we got out all the gear and Tom suited up to paraglide first.  We were going for 45mins each.  The guy was real cool and because he knew Josef he gave us the same price as he charges but threw in that he would do tricks with us.  Tom was up for an hour and got up to 3100m which is like 9000+ feet.  He had an awesome time and I got some awesome pics.  Well it was my turn and I got suited up and we were off.  We were flying in the mountains and spiraling up and then back down doing tricks.  Then he said we had to land after only ten minutes I was on the ground because a storm was rolling in fast and we could get caught in the air or on the mountain in his little ass car. 


Paragliding was crazy and cool but nothing compared to how this guy drove.  After landing we packed quick as possible jumped in the car and were flying down these dirt back roads because he was worried it would rain and he couldn’t drive down with out sliding on the road.  Well he was going so fast he kept bottoming out because on dirt roads you have the ruts on the side and big mound in the middle.  Well this guy had trouble and kept bottoming out hard on these rocks and by the end Tom and I felt sick because he was flying down these curvy roads and hitting the brakes it was awful. Well after spinning in the air and the car ride Tom and I felt like shit after but I must admit it was awesome and a crazy day. I would do it again.  After all this it started raining and by night it was pouring with thunder and lightning.  The storm was amazing so Tom and I sat on the balcony and watch the storm over head.  What a day.


May 25th


Not to exciting today I did my training walked around town and mailed some postcards. But tomorrow morning we are going paragliding over the town of Lienz.


May 24th


Today at the track Lisa and Josef had a guy coming out with electric timing to time Lisa so I took part.  Morning was slow because we were out late but I went to the track around 1pm and Tom stayed home because he was tired and sore.  I warmed up making sure my foot was ok to sprint and maybe hurdle.  After warming up I decided to run the hurdles with Lisa.  She ran her 100mH and I did my 110HH off the same start guy.  I ran a 14.40 which in practice with a 1.1 head wind was awesome.  I then ran a 300m in 36.77 and a 200m in 22.58.  I slowed up in the 300m with about 50 to go so not as good as I wanted but 200m was good after all that running.  Foot was a little sore but it was good to be able to get the training in.  Afterward we went to Josef to eat.


I can’t call it dinner because it was 4pm but we had a salmon and rice dinner that was delicious. Josef had it early because he was taking his nephew to hit golf balls at 5pm. Tom and I returned after dinner and I took a nap while Tom watched a movie.  I then watched a movie with him and we made some more food because we were hungry again.


May 23rd


My foot is feeling better so I decided to see how good it felt.  While Tom and Josef went on a 45min run I warmed up and did sprints.  I started off with a build up and then did some hard starts for 30m, 40m, and 60m.  It felt good and instead of pushing it I got ready for long jump.  Josef returned and I asked where Tom was at and he said he lost him 5 mins earlier.  Josef ran just under 10k with Tom and he came in around 45mins and Tom came in 49mins.  He had gotten tired and had to walk but he finished the run under 50mins.  Tom didn’t realize that he was running that far before he left and when he returned he was happy he finished but a little pissed. HAHA After they returned I did long jump and had no pain in the foot so I was happy.  After training Tom and Josef went to golf while I stayed behind.


I did some work on the computer and then watch Kingdom of Heaven.  I returned home thinking Tom was coming back because they called and said they were but an hour went by and no one.  So I called and they were headed back after stopping for dinner and more beers then planned.  I then went out with them to the bars because I hate to just sit around and do nothing especially if I am in another country.  It was fun and I returned home around 1:45am.  Tom stayed out with Josef and they had a good old time.  Well the cool thing that came out of their long dinner was Tom meet a man that does paragliding and said he would take us one day.  We have to see about the weather but we will go soon.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Austrian adventures continued...

May 22nd


Tom did not move this morning and when I left at 1:30pm to train he still had not moved.  But I was jealous he got to enjoy the nightlife and see how the people were here.  The truth is I don’t know if I would have ever come to Lienz and experience this if I weren’t training though.  I took today of training again and just did 20 mins on the bike and some weights. Tomorrow I am going to try and sprint and jump to test the foot. After training I returned home to get Tom up and go to Josef for dinner.  Tonight Josef made pasta with meat sauce.  It was really good and I ate until I couldn’t eat anymore. We then returned home and Tom and I went to sleep.


May 21st


Today was a holiday for Austria.  Everyone had it off because everything was closed it was crazy.  We met Josef around 10am and went and got a cappuccino at a café in town.  Josef then took us out for a ride and showed us around town.  We stopped at a small pizza place where we grabbed lunch real quick and then headed home because we were training at 1pm.  Well because of my foot I decided to take a few days off from training.  Tom made up for it though. Tom ran with Josef for 32mins going about 5k almost 6k.  Then when he recovered he ran a 100m and 120m with Lisa as fast as they could.  After Tom was tight but did a good job.  I am sure he will feel it tomorrow.

After training Tom and Josef went out to play golf while I stayed at Josef to use the internet and get caught up on some things.  It is really weird being in another country and training because usually I would be out having all kinds of adventures.  But I have to be smart so that means no extra hikes to make me tired, mo-peds, or golf.  Sucks but I have bigger things to do.  Tom and Josef returned from Golf and we went to the local football (soccer) match at the track I had been training at.

Let me just say that this level of soccer was not very good but they get paid to play.  Everyone here drinks from 16 years old and up.  After the game was over everyone stayed to drink and listen to live music at the field.  Josef friend Hans who we met yesterday at golf was there and this became Tom new drinking friend for the night.  After hanging out at the field we proceeded to downtown to check out the bars.  The first bar we visited was Elsa’s which was the smallest bar you have ever seen which was owned by an older woman named, Elsa.  But this bar was the late night spot for entertainment and late drinks til the sun came up.  It was 11pm and we stayed for a little then headed to a bar called Yellow.  I took off about 12am to go home and sleep and left my brother with Josef and Hans.  My brother strolled in around 5:45am and if you want to know what he did you will have to ask him haha.  Now I know he is going to be sore tomorrow haha.  Lienz is a great small town. 


May 20th


Tom and I have enjoyed our apartment and it has been nice to have a place where we can cook and chill.  Our apartment is stuck in the 70’s though.  With retro carpet and Disney pictures of the 7 dwarfs next to a shirtless woman petting a horse. It works though it is just funny.  I went to the track where I ran with Lisa and Tom again.  Tom is becoming quite the runner he has run 15 plus minutes each day.  If you know Tom he hates running so it cool to see him trying to get into shape.  After the run I tried to see if I could sprint but couldn’t so I changed my workout and did 3x400m at 65secs.  IT was a good workout.

After training we went to the golf course where Tom and Josef played golf and I walked along and watched.  The coolest thing about the Golf Course was that there is a stream running through that is so clear and I pointed out that it looks like you could drink the water.  Well you can Josef showed us a place that the water comes out of the ground and it is the freshest spring water you will ever taste.  It was cold and so good.  After 9 holes Josef drove me to my massage and returned after at 8pm when we grabbed food and Tom and I returned home. At dinner we tried a new beer that called a Rattler by Gosser, it is a 2% alc. but it is beer and lemon mix that is so refreshing and good.  This trip is so cool living in a town and learning a culture I never thought I would know. 


May 19th


I had to be up early this morning to go to the doctor to get chiro work and check my foot.  After work went to Josef to get the laundry we had done yesterday.  I went home and then got ready to try and train.  I went on a run with Lisa and Tom, the foot hurt but if you know me I will push through any pain.  I got through the run but couldn’t do anything else.  The foot is worse then I thought but I will be fine by the end of the week.  After training we went home and Josef got his brother in law MASERATI and came to pick us up. 

Josef took us up to Tristacher See, which is a lake in the mountains, where we got a iced coffee and then we went to the Golf Course.  The Maserati was so sweet.  That thing can handle the curvy roads with ease but also has so much power with 480 HP.  Damn it was so nice and clean inside too.  At the Golf Course we just hit on the driving range. Then Tom, Josef and I returned to Josef for dinner where he made a spicy curry chicken dish with rice.  It was really good but my brother Tom got lit up like a firecracker and was in tears from the spice. As we have been here Josef has been awesome and introduced us to so many good wines and beers as well as food.  It has been a great trip and once my foot good I can get back to training hard.


May 18th


After being in Europe for almost two weeks I needed to do some laundry.  Josef allowed us to do our laundry at his apartment while he went to work.  Tom and I did work on the computer because we had internet and did laundry all morning.  At 1pm we headed to the track to get some real training in.  I was feeling pretty good after only a week after a decathlon.  I had block starts and pole vault for a workout.  They went really well until I had a bad vault and fell off the mat hitting my foot really hard and causing a bone bruise on the ball of my foot right below my right big toe.  I finished my workout with little pain.  By night time my foot was in a lot of pain and had started to swell.  Tom and I decided to go to dinner and found a place called Alder.  Dinner was really good.  We returned home and went to sleep.  Hope my foot ok in the morning.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

London Weekend Crazy fast

May 17th


Tom and I woke up at 5:45am showered and packed our little bags and headed out.  We got a taxi to the train station and then grab a train to Gatwick where we caught our flight on to Salzburg, Austria.  We arrive around 11 and had an hour and a half to catch a train to Kufstein to meet with Josef who was in Innsbruck for a meet with Lisa.  We meet with Josef and Tom and I jumped in the car back to Lienz.  When Tom and I got home we were so tired we just watched movies and sat on the couch. We talked about our quick but really cool trip to London and then we went to bed. Wwwwhhhhhhh breath


May 16th


After seeing all of London in one day yesterday we had to go see the culture. After we woke up and we ate some food we headed out to find Tom old managers new Pub.  We found the Pub but it didn’t open until later so we went to a café and grab another breakfast because I was hungry again (shocking).  After we enjoyed our food we returned to the Pub and found John.  It was now 12pm and Danielle, John, Tom, and I had a beer while we chatted with John.  John was an awesome guy that had so much energy and I can see why Tom went so far to see him. After our visit with John we went to meet up with his son Steven and another Pub.  Steven was Tom biggest drinking buddy when he lived in London and that just says what happened next.  We sat at the Pub for the next few hours drinking with Steven and his friends.  It was such a fun time I didn’t want to leave but we had made plans to catch STOMP at 8pm. 

We went to Lester Square where all the plays and performances happen in London.  We got our tickets and went to STOMP. It was a really cool show with amazing music, funny gestures, and cool dancing.  After a long day we had to return home because Tom and I had an 8:30 am flight to catch out of Gatwick.


May 15th


Danielle is in London because she works for Apple and will be there for 3 months.  So she had to get up early and go to work so Tom was going to show me the city of London.  We decided to do the Big Bus Tour that takes you around the whole city of London and see all the sites.  It was a beautiful day in London if you can believe it. The bus tour has two different lines you can ride, we chose to take the Red Line that has a person as your tour guide.  We went by the Buckingham Palace, the major parks, Big Ben, over the London Bridge, to the London Tower, the London Eye, and so much more.  With all these places Tom and I decided to get off at the London Eye and ride it so we could see the city.  We were lucky to watching the changing of the Guard from the eye and because of the nice day you could see everything.  After the London Eye we returned to the bus and rode it to the London Tower.

At the London tower they had a demonstration of different medieval weapons for all to see.  We then went in and caught the tour and followed it around the whole compound until it ended then we proceeded to see the Crown Jewels.  I can’t even tell you how amazing the Crown Jewels are.  There were diamonds as big as my fist and jewels you didn’t think could be real.  It was so cool.  After seeing the London Tower we returned to the bus and rode it back to the beginning where we caught the blue line which was the audio tour of London.  We took it to Harrod’s which my brother was very excited to see and was walking distance to the Pub he used to work at when he lived in London.

It was about 4pm now and we had started at 8am from Danielle’s and were suppose to meet her at 6pm.  Tom and I went to the Duke of Wellington Pub to see if Tom could catch some of the regulars he used to see 4 years ago.  We found a few and got stories on the rest.  John the manager when Tom worked there had moved to a new Pub and we got direction to try and catch him tomorrow.  After a beer we returned to get Danielle and return to the Duke for dinner.  We grab Danielle and as we were leaving Zach, Danielle co-worker, was headed out with his mom and they joined us at the Duke for beers.  The Pub food was really good and the beer was amazing too. The beer has the same alcohol content as US beer but tastes so much better.  At 11pm the Pub closed and we returned to Danielle’s and went to sleep.


May 14th

After a long night we were a little slow in the morning but we got everything together which was a small backpack full. We then headed out on the train at 1130am to Klagenfurt where we were flying out on Ryan air to London Stansted.  We arrived around 5pm and then grab the train into Downtown London. It was getting late and we still hadn’t gotten hold of our friend Danielle so we checked into a hostel and got onto the internet to see if we could get hold of her.  We did get hold of her and found out where she lived and went to visit her.  Well she invited us to stay at her place, by that time were so tired that we passed out on Danielle couch bed and stayed there for the night.

Little side note about why we are in London.  Danielle birthday was today and Tom and Danielle have celebrated there birthdays together for the last four years and they made sure not to miss this one.  

Trip to Austria from Italy

May 13th   (Brother Tom Birthday)

After sleeping in we hung around the apartment and then headed to the track where I ran and stretch out.  After only a few days after a decathlon I was feeling good but still a little sore. Tom found a new thing to do and that was to climb the rope at the track. Tom thought he was coming to Europe to hang out but really he is getting in shape haha. I also saw Lisa who I will be training with while here.  Lisa is coming to U of A next year as a heptathlete. By this time it was around 3pm so we headed back to the apartment and I got a massage.

At 6pm Josef took us to a really good place for Tom Birthday. Before we walked to dinner though Tom and I decided to book a trip to London for the weekend.  At dinner we had a three course meal with wine and beer.  It was amazing I had asparagus soup, tortellini, and this fried chicken.  Around the end of dinner Lisa showed up because she was going out in Lienz for the night because all the kids had finished finals.  So after dinner we all went out with Lisa to a bar.  I learned a new pool game (????) which was so funny because I was playing with a bunch of younger Austrian guys. After the bar we went to a club and Tom and I danced with Lisa and her friends.  After a long night I pretty much carried my brother home but Tom had a great time on his birthday and I was glad to be there.

May 12th


Woke up early today to try and find a car to rent that we could take my poles to Austria.  Well, because we were in a small town that only had a few car rental places it was very hard to find a rental place to rent a car. Especially one we could leave in Austria instead of bring it back to Italy.  Finally Matt said that he would go with us and drive the car back to Desenzano.  So the challenge now was finding a car that could hold four people and all the luggage of three people including poles and a massage table.   We found a car and around 1230pm we were on the road to Lienz. 

Well I would like to say that it was an easy trip and we had no problems but sure we got pulled over when trying to find our way through a little town.  Lucky us Joel, the massage theropist, spoke German and talked to the Police about why we had the poles tied to the top of a car that had no rack and with some luck and little lies about me being an Olympian we were let go with no ticket or fine.  Dang that was close.  After that we got to Lienz as fast as possible and once there got hold of Josef, who is a coach there that I know and will be training with for a few weeks til Gotzis.  Tom and I got our apartment for the next 16 days and then we went to the track for a beer.  HAHA there is a bar at the track where I will be training because they have football (soccer) matches and everyone loves their beer here. We then went to another place for food and beer and then walked home. I must say that their beer is very good. 


May 11th

Today Matt, my brother and I went to Venice to explore to city where roads are made of water.  We were suppose to head to Austria today but because of communication problems to do with the poles my poles were now getting left in Italy and had no way to get to Austria for my meet so I decide to rent a car and drive to where I needed to go. 

Back to our trip to Venice, after a night of fun craziness with all the athletes at the after meet dinner my two fellow companions were moving a little slow.  Most days you would want to stay in bed after a night like that but when can you say that you are going Venice for the day.  So I got them out and ready and we went to catch the 12:31pm train from Desenzano del Garda to Venice.  After a two and a half hour train ride we were in Venice and ready to go explore the city.  After getting off the train we jumped on the water taxi and rode it down to St. Marks Square where we looked around the square and went to the top of the bell tower to see all of Venice. 

The view from the top of the bell tower was amazing because you really could see, all of this amazing city on water.  After see the tourist attraction of St Marks square we went and got lost in the allies and streets of Venice.  After walking for a long time we sat at a café on the water and enjoyed a cappuccino before jumping on a water taxi back to the train station.   What a day in Venice with Matt and my brother. We all slept the entire way back on the train to Desenzano.  We returned around 9pm and then walked 20 mins to the hotel where we all jumped in bed and went to sleep.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Italy Decathlon Day 1 and 2

May 10th (Second Day)


Starting out in third I was feeling good and ready to run fast in the hurdles and jump high in the vault.  I slept well last night because I was so tired from waking up the first day at 4am.  I can still feel the weird affects of Jet lag but it should be no problem and I am ready to compete.  Hurdles went well and I ran 14.28 and got third overall.  Next came the discus and I have been throwing really well but this ring was so slick that it made it tough to throw.  I almost fell twice both times at the beginning of my throw.  I was able to figure it out and threw 44.16m.  This put me into first place going into pole vault. During warm ups the conditions were amazing with a slight tail wind and I was vaulting awesome.  Well by the time I was vaulting the wind had done a total 180 degrees and was a strong head wind.  I managed to make 5.05m and tie for the best vault.  For the conditions I was very happy.  Javelin was a disaster and I only threw 55.48m.  Just enough to keep me in first by, 60 points.  I then went on to run 4:38.71 which was about a second slower then I needed to run to score 8000 points. I scored 7994 but won the meet in Italy.  I was happy with my performance for it being my first decathlon of the year but there is a lot that I could have done better and will in Gotzis in 3 weeks. Well it is off to Austria on Tuesday to stay in Lienz until Gotzis.


May 9th (First Day)


Today I woke up at 4am wide awake and really never fell back asleep. This was tough because I hadn’t slept well since I got here and it was definitely starting to catch up.  I was feeling kind of sluggish going into the meet.  Warm ups went well and I felt ready for the 100m.  I was in the third heat and ran 11.17 but what got me was I was pretty much even with the guys who won and they ran 10.95 so I wasn’t sure if this was right but I went to Long Jump ready to improve. Well I didn’t I jumped 6.83m which was below average.  I felt great on the runway but things were just not firing.  At this point my left leg was very tight and causing my knee to hurt.  I threw shot 14.31m and again below average.  To this point though I was even with my marks for my PR decathlon 8215.  I went into High Jump and jumped 2.04m which was my best since Osaka in 2007.  I felt ok going into the 400m but my body was very tired from the lack of sleep.  I ran 49.53 because I tightened up the last 100m.  Overall 4020 was my first day score  which puts me in 3rd only 13 pints behind the leader.  For being Jet Lagged and starting the season here I was very happy with the marks but this will not fly in Gotzis so I have some work to do.  Sorry they are not in feet but over here they do not convert and I have forgotten my book. 

Travel to Italy and preparation

May 8th

I didn’t sleep well last night and woke up around 7am, wide awake, and ready to go.  I went down stairs and got breakfast and then returned to the room and did some stuff on my computer until Matt woke up at 9am.  After he returned from breakfast we headed to the track and did a pre-meet warm up.  Then we wasted the day really not doing much in the hotel.  I am feeling good and can’t wait to begin tomorrow.  I start at 10:15am (1:15am pacific time).  So I am off and will let you know how the meet goes.

May 7th

Today was a good day with a trip to Sirmione and having a good shake out at the track.  Woke up around 9am and got breakfast at the hotel and about 9:45am Barbara picked some of us up at the Hotel and took us to the track to do a shake out so that we could get the junk out of our legs before Saturday.  I had heavy legs but after some running and full sprints to blow out the junk I felt much better.  I saw Joel for a massage and then returned to the Hotel for lunch. After lunch we headed to Sirmione to check out the castle and buy some gifts for some people back home.  Including getting a gift for my mom for mother’s day.  We then returned to the hotel and relaxed for the rest of the day and got to bed around 11pm after watching a movie.

May 5th to 6th

What a long day/two days.  I took off out of SFO at 6:56pm on the 5th and landed in Milan Italy at 5:35pm on the 6th.  After 14 hours I had arrived in Milan and then had a 2 hours car ride to the hotel in Desenzano del Garda.  Upon arrival at the hotel Abergo al Caccitore, Matt Chisam and I then did a 10 minute run and stretched.  We meet Joel Tull a massage therapist for Wake Forest who loves to travel to different meets and lend his services to all athletes at the meet. We then grabbed dinner and returned to go to sleep at around 11:30pm.  I had arrived in Europe and will return to the states on June 1st.

May 1st

Today I was suppose to take part in the All City Meet in Santa Rosa but due to Rain I was not able pole vault.  I was going to pole vault at the high school meet to bring some excitement to the community about track.  I was very disappointed that I was not able to Vault but I will set up to do it again.  I need to thank Greg Fog and HEART and SOLE running store for setting all of this up and being such supporters of me.

Outdoor Meets and Training Before Europe

May 1st

Today I was suppose to take part in the All City Meet in Santa Rosa but due to Rain I was not able pole vault.  I was going to pole vault at the high school meet to bring some excitement to the community about track.  I was very disappointed that I was not able to Vault but I will set up to do it again.  I need to thank Greg Fog and HEART and SOLE running store for setting all of this up and being such supporters of me.

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I took part in the Sun Angel, Mt. Sac, Long Beach State meet, and Sun Devil meets for the rest of the month.  All the meets went well for how hard we trained going into each one.  I did the Pole Vault (4.90m) and 400 meter hurdles (54.55) at Sun Angel.  I decide to do the 400 meter hurdles as a change in training and had no training going into it.  I ran well but definitely off at each hurdle.  Mt. Sac I did the Pole vault (4.90) and high jump (1.95) on Friday and then did Long Beach State meet on Saturday where I did the pole vault (4.90).  The last meet I did was the Sun Devil meet where I did the Long Jump (6.77), Pole Vault (4.90), discus (46.09)PR, and 110HH (14.24).  The month went really well and I was excited at what I did and can’t wait to go to Europe for May and kick butt in the Desenzano and Gotzis Decathlons. 

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April 3rd

Today was the second day of the Jim Click Multis and today I will do all the events except the 1500 meters.  I started with the 110 meter hurdles and ran a 14.30 which is a great opening time especially for the first time running 10 hurdles.  Second was the discus which was not great I threw 142’ which is ok but not to where I had been in practice.  The pole vault went great during warm ups but then the weather changed and it became extremely windy and I went 4.70 and couldn’t make anything else.  The weather was a big factor and I did Javelin but nothing good came of it.  Chris finished with a PR score.  Chris has been a great addition to my training.  After 5 years of training alone it has been good to have a partner to run with and push me each day.

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April 2nd

Today was the first day of the Jim Click Multis and I will be competing in the Long jump, shot put, and High Jump.  It was a very good day with a 6.97 long jump, 14.54 shot put, and 1.97 high jump.  It was a good training day and I was excited to open up for the outdoor season with such good marks.  My training partner Chris McGovern had a good first day with PR in the 100 and long jump.  He had a PR first day and hope he keep it up to PR the second day.

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March 14th

Well only a week after the USA Championships I decided to take part in the University of Arizona NFL Pro Day.  I took part in the 40meter dash (4.54secs), vertical jump (36inches), broad jump (10’ 9), 3 cone drill (7.22secs), 20 meter shuffle (4.50secs), and ran routes as a wide receiver.   The cone drills and shuffle gave me a little trouble.  Overall I felt I did really good and ran some good routes as a receiver.  For only doing football stuff for a week with Willie and Mike I felt I did very good and we will see.

USA Indoor Combined Events Challenge

March 8th

The second day started at 1pm.  I had tweaked my groin in the High Jump the day before and it was getting tight as I was warming up so I had the trainer wrap up the groin and leg and finished my warm up for hurdles.  It was a good race at 8.15 but I know if my leg wasn’t hurting I would have been better.  Going into the vault I had a good lead and after making 4.95 (16’ 2 3/4) I had a significant lead over second place.  In the 1000 I sat behind the second place guy and with 200meters to go blew past him and ran 2:50.04. Not a great time but what I needed to do to win USA Indoor Combined Championships. I scored 5748 which I felt was not a good meet for me but sometimes it doesn’t matter the score it is how you compete against the rest of the field and today I was on top.

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March 7th

Today is the first day of the USA Combined Events Championships and we started at 1pm.  I was feeling good but a little stiff from all the training but after warm ups I was ready to go. The day didn’t start out well for me or the rest of the competitors because of an extremely fast gun in the first heat, none of the competitors were ready and had slow starts.  I myself was not even set when the gun went off. So ran a 7.20 which was fast compared to the field but not for where I should have run. The long jump was again not up to par with a 6.81.  But brought it all back with a 14.94 (49’ 00 ¼) and moved into 1st.  High Jump began and I was feeling good but was only able to clear 1.97 (6’5 ½) as my best height.  After day 1 I ws in 1st and ready to keep that lead through the second day.

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March 6th

Today was very low key.  We woke up late and by the time we got going it was lunchtime.  We checked out Duke and I went to the track for a shake out.  That night we had dinner with a few of my friends from Carolina and then it was off to bed because tomorrow was day 1.

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March 5th

I flew into North Carolina today for the USA Indoor Combined Championships.  I arrived and rented my first car from Alamo.  It was interesting because I had to leave the poles at the airport go get the car and come back to grab them but everything worked out fine and I got the poles and the car just fine.  I then drove to the hotel about 20 mins down the highway where I changed and headed to the track to do a shake out.  I was feeling good after my workout and ready to go on Saturday.

I returned to the airport and picked up my parents who came in to watch my meet.  I was excited to have them here and cheering me on.

Fall Training 2009 and Indoor Season

Month of February

I did do any meets for the month of February instead I took the weekends to install my kitchen and work on my house.  The last weekend of February I headed to Seattle with the U of A team to coach at the Mt Pac championships. Training has been very good and I look forward to Indoor nationals the first week of March. I feel strong and fast but very tired from all the intense training. 

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Jan 31st

The second day started at 11am which I fell is a great time to start. The day started with the 60m hurdles and warm ups went great but only ran an 8.25 because I hit the first hurdle. The next event was the pole vault which has been interesting this year because I have changed a lot of things. I only went 4.95 (16’ 2 ¾) but was happy because the things I changed started to feel comfortable and pay off. The last event was the 1000m and I was hoping to run 2:45 but being rusty my pacing is off and I ran a 2:52.4. I was able to win every event of the Hep and scored 5649 which for only my second meet was a good start.

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Jan 30th

We had a 2pm start today which is totally different usually it is 9am and really early. I am so used to an earlier start that I found myself trying to find stuff to do for a few hours before I started. The first day was a good opener for getting the rust off. There was a very quick gun at the start of the 60m and I was not totally set and ran a 7.16 which second fastest time in a hep. I just wish I had a better start.   Long jump warm ups felt great but the second I had to jump I was so worried about the board and not fouling that I had three bad jumps but still jumped 6.74 (22’ 1 ¾). The shot was really bad this meet but high jump went really well and I jumped 2.01 (6’ 7). It was a good first day and I was able to win every event of the first day.

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Jan 29

Traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a heptathlon. I have done one indoor meet this year at Flagstaff two weeks ago. I did the hurdles and the Pole Vault. Hurdles went really well but vault was a little off. I am looking forward to competing again in a multi event. I feel really good and want to see how things are by doing this heptathlon.

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Home Depot is dropping their Olympic Program which will end March 2nd. This will interesting for many athletes and I hope they bring it back when the economy turns around. The good news is I am in negotiations with Asics to sign a contract to run for them. So look for their shoes and apparel.

On a different note I have decided to stay in Tucson until 2012 for the London Olympics and train with Sheldon Blockburger so I bought a house right before Thanksgiving and have remodeled it with a new kitchen, floors, paint, and much more. What an experience it has been being a Homeowner.

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Sept – Dec

Fall training was really good this year. I am going into the indoor season feeling good and healthy. All of September and October all I did was lift and polymerics. I came out stronger and more dynamic then I have ever been. I then began technical work in November and because of how good of shape I am in the events were very easy to pick back up. I am really excited for this season. All I have to do is stay healthy and big things will happen.

Beijing Olympics

August 12th – 24th (Watching Olympic Games in Beijing)

I was fortunate to have money donated to me by 4 Santa Rosa businessmen to go to Beijing China to watch the Olympic Games. This was an amazing opportunity that I got to experience. I went with my friend Aaron Robinson which made the trip 10 times better have such a good friend there to experience this with. I was able to enjoy many events including Softball Gold Medal match, Baseball Bronze medal match and many of the track finals and events. I got to watch Usain Bolt break all the records as well as many of my friends compete at the Olympics.

I visited the Great Wall which is more amazing in person then anything I have seen. I enjoyed the Silk Market, Forbidden City, and many of the great things Beijing had to offer. It was a great experience to see and be part of the Olympic games. If you want to know more just find me and I will tell you all about it.

USA vs Germany Thorpe Cup

August 3rd

The second day of the Thorpe cup was just as hot and humid as the first day. It was so hot and miserable and I felt good warming up. Hurdle warm ups were really good and ran a 14.26 and got second. This moved me up in the standing. Discus my hip began to tighten up like it had all year but I still threw well 45.71 (150’) and then came Pole Vault which by this time my little injuries began o come back I cleared 4.95 (16’ 2 ¾) which was not bad but running down the run way was not so fluid. I moved into first and with Javelin and 1500 left. Javelin was 58.04 (190’ 5) which put me a little more ahead. With just the 1500 I was ahead by about 90 points but the German behind me was good in the 1500 and I had about 9 seconds to spear. I ran 4:36.1 which was good for me with 4 weeks of little training but the German beat me and won by 8 points about a second to slow for me. I was very happy with this meet scoring 8191 my second best ever and it was good I took part in it. Our team won with the second best team score ever averaging over 8000 points for the 5 guys. Now back to getting healthy and getting ready to make the Berlin World Team in 2009.

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August 2nd

Today was the first day of the Thorpe Cup and it is hot and humid it was 105 degrees with 95% humidity. As always I woke up got my breakfast and headed to the track. I felt good even though that I have not done much in the last four weeks because I was letting my body heal. But I knew with the training I had done all year that I was good to go and feeling healthy was way better then anything. I had personal records in the first three events 100m was 11.03 a .05 sec improvement, Long Jump was 7.22 (23’9) which was a 9 inch improvement, and the Shot Put was 15.17 which was 800 points in a throw. High Jump was better then it had been all year and I went 2.00 meters ( 6’6 ¾). Due to the injuries and everything after Trials I really kept the training down so the 400 was a challenge and I ran 49.49. Which was not bad considering the lack of training. This was a PR first day in the dec by almost 100 points, it was 4161. Good start to the dec in Manhattan.

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August 1st

Manhattan, KS is hot and humid. Today it was 100 degrees with about 95% humidity. This is the expected the weather for the rest of the weekend but may be hotter. This will be interesting to do a decathlon in this kind of heat. It been really fun at this meet so far because it a team atmosphere out here and I haven’t had that since college. This is the first time this year that I have not been stressed out before a meet. I actually feel like I used to when I had fun competing. With the Olympics and everything it been a crazy year. Good Night

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July 31st

Well today I am flying to Manhattan Kansas to compete in the USA vs Germany Thorpe Cup decathlon challenge. My coach Sheldon Blockburger was selected as the Head coach for the men’s side and I was chosen as Captain. The Thorpe Cup is 7 German decathletes and 7 USA Decathletes that compete in the decathlon. The top 5 scores from each team are added up and high team score wins. It will be a close battle and I expect USA will be on top. I feel we have 7 strong decathletes on the team that will do amazing.

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After trials I sat down with my coach and we discussed the hip and abdomen issues I had been having for the last year. We were saying call it a season and begin the healing but I had been dealing with it for a while and wanted to compete one more time at USA vs Germany Thorpe Cup. So we decided that I would take two weeks off and come back training with no volume and just technical work. It has been working and even though I may loss some stuff in events been healthy is more important through 10 events.

Olympic Trials

June 30th

I woke up feeling tight so I got to the track early to get work done and get loss for the hurdles which I decided was going to be a turning point and I was going to finally get a Personal best. The gun went off and I had a great start and blistered to a 14.12 which was a .08 second personal best and ranked me 4th in that event. Discus was next and I had been throwing well in the past weeks so I was looking for another personal best, 46.02 (151’) and it was a new pb. I had a long break after discus because there was a second flight but I was ready to vault high. I had vault 17 feet plus in many meets this year and was ready to do it again. The winds were not good for vault but that doesn’t matter to me because if I get on my poles I will go 17 feet. I felt good in warm ups and the first few heights and then the hips and hamstrings got tight and instead of relaxing and running better I tried to push harder and my rhythm was off. I vaulted 5.00 (16’4.75”) well below the 5.30 (17’ 4.5) I was hoping for. This point the only way I was making the team was if someone got hurt or didn’t finish ahead of me. I went into Javelin still tight and threw ok but at this time disappointed in myself for my performance. We had a four hour break between Jav and the 1500 meters and I convinced myself that I was going to finish strong and get 4th place no matter what. It was close but I did get 4th by 8 points. I ran 4:31.66 just .5 seconds off my pb. Ashton Eaton from Oregon ran an incredible race and ran 4:20 which almost allowed him to pass me.

The crowd during the 1500 meters was incredible they were yelling the whole race. For a decathlete you don’t hear that during the 1500 meters because many people say we are jogging but I know I am running as hard as I can. I want to see people 195 lbs that have just done 9 events and been at the track 20 hours in the last two days not look tired. No thanks to announcer (((((((( for saying here comes the jog. You just did the High Jump and I know if you had to jump two days in a row that you would say you were tired.

Well thank you to all my fans that were at the trials and keeping up with me on the computer. Thanks for all the support and love it means so much.

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June 29th

I had trouble getting to sleep but slept well. My dad met me for breakfast bright and early and then took me over to the track to get warmed up for day one. Warm-ups went well and I felt good but really nervous and worked up for me. But once the gun went off in the 100 meters I was good. Besides a head wind in the 100 meters I ran really well clocking 11.11 my second best ever. Out of the field I was the closest to my personal best .03 off. Long Jump was next and this was the swing event for me and it was average. Only 6.91 (22’9) and when you hope for 7.20 that not good. What was worse is the guys I needed to beat started strong and LJ they blew me away.

Shot was next and again an average mark 14.54 meters. High Jump was next and at this point the guys I needed to beat were rolling and High Jump was the event I needed to be amazing in and instead I went 1.96. My hips were tightening up on me. High felt good but I needed at least three for bars. We had a long break between high jump and the 400 meters but it allowed me to get stretched and worked on so I wasn’t so tight. I was pumped to run this 400 because the stadium was packed and roaring. I stepped into the blocks in lane 2 which is a tough lane to be in but allowed me to see everyone. By 250 I was running well and as I came off the turn feeling good but my hamstring tightened with 70 to go and I ran 48.66 my second best ever, I was very happy with the time. Finished day one 4033 well below the 4200 I was hoping because I had been average and really didn’t do what I needed to. But day two is my day and as I know anything can happen.

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June 28th

Family and Friends came in today and it was good to see them. I must admit I am nervous and excited to be here. Lets hope I can sleep tonight.

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June 27th

I went to the track and I did a shake out and saw the chiros and massage therapist. I then watched the women’s heptathlon to cheer on some friends. I watched for an hour or two and then left. I can already see the hype of the Oregon crowd and how enthusiastic they are to watch these amazing trials.

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June 26th

It was nice staying at the Hilton because it was where the Hospitality room was for athletes. They had everything we needed. Got breakfast and then meet up with Sheldon at Hayward field to do a workout. WOW! What a site Hayward Field is with all the stands and stuff going on around it. I did discus, long jump approaches, and block starts. After that I headed to the chiros and massage therapist they had provided for the athletes. I returned and got lunch and later went to dinner with Joe Detmer, Raven Cepeda, and a few UNI guys. I returned home and went to bed after that. Hayward was a site to see and tomorrow events start so should be interesting to see the amount of people.

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June 25th (travel to Trials)

Today I traveled to Eugene Oregon for the Olympic Trials. I was up early and flew from Tucson into Portland because to get poles to Eugene it was easier to take Southwest airlines to Portland and then take the free Athlete shuttle down. The trip went easy but the butterflies of the Trials began to stir. I arrived late afternoon and checked into the Hilton where I was staying. Then I relaxed got dinner and groceries with Sheldon and Shevell. Then went to bed. I was finally here after a year of training. Feeling good and ready to go. I feel fast and strong just hope the body agrees when the day comes.

Home Depot Commercial

June 17 Home Depot Commercial

I was in Carson, CA at the Home Depot Center at 11:30am to film me long jumping on camera for a national commercial. I had my own changing room and from 11:30 til 1:30 I was hanging out. I did a fitting and got briefed on what I needed to do. I warmed up and waited until 1:30pm when they finally got me to go to the stadium. I met a lot of people but the Director was the director ofInvincible with Mark Wahlburg and he also helped on Fast and the Furious. It was really cool to meet him and everyone was so cool that was working on the set. I did a quick warm-up when I got there as they set-up and waited for instructions.

The set was in the LA Galaxy Stadium and they had set up a raised wood runway for the long jump. It was up against the wall like we were in a stadium. There was fake people in the stands and real people mixed in to cheer when I took a jump. It was amazing feeling thinking of being in a commercial. I did a few run throughs and they told me that they would be filming the landing and then doing a full jump with run and everything. I began with short run of a box for the landings that were a very close shot on where I landed and nothing else. I did about five because it was such a zoomed in shot it had to be within two feet so I needed to land right in frame. We then moved onto full run jumps like I would in a meet. I took three of these and then was done with the action part. They were some amazing shots and I can’t wait to see which ones they chose.

We then broke for lunch and came back to do a close up shot of each of the athletes. Then they took some photos and I was all done. I was able to catch the earlier flight into Tucson and was home by 10:30pm. A long day but so exciting and fun,  just another amazing adventure in my life.

Keep an eye out for the commercial during Trials and all summer!!!

Training and Meets Before Trials

June 16

I got in last night after 15 hours of traveling and crashed. Got up in the morning went to breakfast with Jarred Sola that was leaving town and then got a call that I was needed in LA to do a Home Depot commercial. I said yes and was flying out at 4:49pm. My call time was 11:30am the next morning.

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June 11-15

I decided to go to Des Moines, Iowa to train with Sheldon for the week while he was at NCAA Championships. I finally arrived on the 11th while trying to get on a D3 pass for the last two days. I was very glad that I went to Des Moines to train with Sheldon and watch the NCAA’s. Train was awesome and watching NCAA’s got me even more fired up about going to Trials in two weeks. U of A had national champion in the women’s high jump and many all-americans. It was a fun week but Sunday was a long travel day back to Tucson.

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June 8

So the time had come to see how my leg would react to the first day and when I woke up it was tight but as I warmed up it felt very good. My leg is about 85-90% right now. I ran 14.33 in the 100 hurdles and threw the discus 145’. All felt good and with three more weeks I should be 100% going into the Trials in Eugene.

This meet is very fun for me because a lot of the decathletes that I have meet over the years are all in one place competing and hanging out. It's fun to go to meets that are for decathletes and heptathletes because I relate to them so well. It was a good weekend and I am ready to hit the ground running at Trials.

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June 7

I traveled to Dallas for the Texas Greatest Athletes Decathlon at St. Marks High School. I planned to do events to see where my leg was at during competition. Today I did the 100m, LJ, SP, HJ and 200meters of the 400 meters. I ran a 10.96 in the 100meters, Long jumped 6.80 (22’3”), did one shot throw at 47’, and High Jumped 1.97 (6’6). I then fished the day off with running the first 200meters of the 400meters. I am planning to do the 110 hurdles and the discus tomorrow.

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May (Finished up)

The rest of May was pretty busy with trips to Provo, Utah and Regionals in Northridge, Ca. After Pac-10 I headed to BYU in Provo for a High Performance meet that the USATF paid for to do some events. Still with a leg that was 70% I did the long jump, high jump, and discus. The meet went well but still had to rehab the leg. I then traveled to Northridge with the U of A team to coach the women and men’s vault. Both Jaci and Brendan got personal records and almost made some big bars. Our team did well and had a bunch make it on to nationals. May was a busy month and I was only in Tucson for about 10 days the whole month. I have one more meet in Dallas and then three weeks of rest before trials.

Italy Decathlon 2008 trip

May 15 Flew Home

A long day of flying that ended in Phoenix where I stayed for the weekend to coach Pac-10 for the U of A team.

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May 14 Verona

We woke up late and walked around Desenzano and had lunch before we meet with Gabriel at our hotel at 2pm. Gabriel was one of the teachers from the hospitality high school that I had visited. My mom had seen him at the track meet and offered to take us around Verona that he had taken his class many times. He was amazing tour guides that took us too many places in Verona and explained the history and significance of each one. We saw many of the churches, the castle, the coliseum, the tombs and the famous bridges. Venice was amazing but we had a very short trip so I must admit I had the most fun in Verona. There was an amazing market to buy gifts for everyone and the structures were amazing.

WOW! I never got to Southern Italy but the people in Northern Italy were so helpful and nice. If I knew the language I could easily see myself living there and enjoying the culture and amazing atmosphere. I will return next year to win the meet and show them what I really can do in track.

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May 13 Lago Del Garda (5 different cities)  
Happy 22nd Birthday Tom

Well before we went to bed last night we asked at the front desk about trains and what we should do for today. To go to Florence we would have had to get on a train at 6:55 and arrive there at 12:45pm and leave 8 hours later for the same train ride. We decided against the long trip and decided to rent a car and drive around Lake Garda and see what it had to offer. This was an amazing choice and something most tourist miss doing. We started in Desenzano and went to Salo, Tremosine, Riva del Garda, Malcesine, and Peschiera.

Salo was a city in a bay that was on the water and it was beautiful. The next stop was Tremosine which was toward the North end of the lake which is totally different then that of the South. You begin the Alps and there are huge mountains instead of flat ground. To get to Tremosine you had to go up and little road that at most place only fit one car but the site from the top of the Mountain was amazing. I could see so much from the city from the mountain ranges to the lake down below. The next stop was Riva at the very north of the Lake. Riva was surrounded by mountains and was a very popular area for wind surfing. Riva had many expensive stores and high end stuff. The next stop was Malcesine which had a famous castle on the banks of the lake. This area had a lot of beaches and people enjoying the lake. The last stop was Peschiera where we had dinner at a small restaurant tucked away in the back streets. The whole day was so much fun, I could go on forever telling you the beauty of the lake and everything I saw. I learned to drive on round abouts and had an amazing day with my mom.

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May 12 Venice (Day 6)

Well after having such a bad meet I am glad I am staying in Italy to take some R&R while checking out all the amazing things Italy has to offer. I had never been to Europe so this was going to be an experience. Our first stop was Venice with Jackie and my mom. We got a late start but we got to Venice by train around 2pm and the train left at 7:50pm. The train was very cool because we got our own cabin and just napped all the way there. As you leave the train station the Grand Canal is there with so many boats going around as they were cars. We decided to jump on the Water ferry and go all the way to the end and walk back hitting all of the sites. WOW, the buildings were amazing with so much history. Even the simplest a bridge was a work of art as you went down the canal. Streets had become water and no one missed a beat. Our first stop was the St. Marks Square which was huge and had so much history and beauty. We mad sure to get lost in all the side streets to see all of Venice. We visited an art exhibit and saw artwork from many different artists. Well I will be the first to say I need a week in Venice to even see enough to make me happy. We had dinner and returned home on the train. Watch out, Venice is expensive and for the most part all of Italy was a little pricy. Tomorrow we may try Florence but seeing a 4 hour train ride we may skip that.

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May 11 Italy (Day 5) Day 2 of Decathlon

I woke up feeling good except this nagging groin and hip stuff I have been having going on for a while. I did everything to get warm for hurdles and still had trouble so wrapped it up and put icy-hot on it. I was ready to go and ran a good race. I won the hurdles for the meet running 14.39. After hurdles and adrenaline were over, my hip and right leg tightened up and I couldn’t get it to loosen up the rest of the day and just told myself to finish and not hurt myself so I could do anything after this meet. I am fine and will take a few weeks to get healthy and be ready to still go score 8400 at the Olympic Trials and go to the Olympics in Beijing. This is the first bad meet I have had in two years so I am glad it came now and not later.

That night they had a huge dinner for all of the athletes and coaches to celebrate as they handed out all the awards for the meet. It was very fun hanging out having some vino with everyone. My mom was there as well having a grand old time.

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May 10 Italy (Day 4) Day 1 of Decathlon

Well I had about one of the most nerve racking days of my track career. I began the day as I always do with breakfast and getting to the track 2 hours prior. Listened to my music and warmed up. Warm up took longer then usually but I got my hip and groin ready to run a fast 100meters. I felt fast and besides the head wind I was ready to run fast. I ran a 11.08 and was tied for third after the 100meters which is really good for me in the 100meters. Well that was the last good thing of the meet. I warmed up awesome for the long jump but scratched my first because I was running fast so I moved back and had a huge jump on my second but scratched as well. I had never had two scratches before and I started to doubt myself and was so rattled I couldn't calm myself. I jumped 6.39 and lost over 100 points. After that I couldn’t get anything going putting up less then par marks. I finally decided enough and was going to run a great 400meters but as the 4th heat began a storm blew in and we had terrible winds with tents flying and wind swirling in all directions. I began with strong wind in my face and tried to fight this wind through 200 meters but by the time I got to 300meters the wind took it’s toll on me and I ran 49.85. I just had one of though days. To bed and hopefully I can turn things around tomorrow because I am not out of the meet.

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May 9 Italy (Day 3) Day before decathlon

Today I woke up around 7:30 and had a decant night sleep considering the bed is smaller then me. I then went and had breakfast with everyone and then we all headed to the track at 10am for are shake out before starting tomorrow. My legs felt really good today. My hips have loosened up. Joe and I again played soccer and after three days we were all tied up at 3 goals so we will never know who wins. I feel ready to go for my decathlon I just hope my groin and hip don’t give me any trouble. One of the athlete had some eye trouble and my mom went with her to the hospital so that she had a mom. Everyone at the meet was so helpful and got everything dealt with.

After our workout we returned to the hotel and then went on a day trip to Sirmione which is a city 15 mins away that is on a peninsula that goes out into the water. It was a very beautiful city. We visited the castle that overlooked the whole city and across the lake. We took a bus here and a boat back across. Italy is an amazing country that is so beautiful and everyone is so nice and very helpful. So far Daniele, Barbara, and everyone has gone the extra mile to make sure that everything is good to go. To bed now and hopefully a day full of Personal Records.

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May 8 Italy (Day 2)

Well I crashed hard last night and really didn’t move for 9 hours. I woke up around 6:40am and tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t so I got up and went down to the lobby and messed around on my computer. I then had breakfast with some of the heptathletes and at 10am I was picked up to go talk to a High School that was a Hospitality technical (vocational) school. It was very interesting because they had the school centered around three jobs; receptionist, cooks, and waiters. They had a bar, kitchen, and everything you would see in a hotel.

Joe, Jackie, my mom and I first got a tour around the school and then went into the gym to talk to the kids. It was chaos at first but got better but they were still High School students. I was that way in High School too. It was very cool after we were done taking pictures and signing autographs. We then were taken to the dining room where the students had prepared lunch for us. We were served like we were in a fancy restaurant with different courses and it was delicious. After all the school stuff we headed to the track.

Joe, Jackie, and I did our shake out and a little workout at the track. Then Joe and I played soccer for about 20 mins before we returned to the hotel. The rest of the day was low key and tomorrow will be a very low key day before I start Saturday. I am very excited for this meet and can’t wait to start.

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May 6-7 Italy (Day 1)

What a long day of travel. I woke up at 4:30 am and went to the airport. I flew out of Phoenix at 7:15am and landed in Philadelphia at 3:00pm and left there at 4:25pm for Milan. My mom meet me in Philly and it was really good to see her and have someone going with me to Italy. I was only able to sleep about 4 hours over all this time and we landed at 6:25am Milan time on May 7th. I then stayed up for the whole day and finally went to bed at 9:00pm. To best adjust to the time, I had to do this and by the time I went to bed I was exhausted. Besides the crazy day of travel, Italy is amazing. I was able to go to the track with Joe where we did a shake out and played soccer. I'm in the city of Desenzano del Garda, which is right on a huge lake it reminds me of a mix between Catalina and San Diego. I am very excited for the meet this weekend and hope that I can show the world how good I can be.