Thursday, May 21, 2009

World Championships in Osaka

The Overall Experience

As an athlete you always want to do better then what the outcome is, but for my first international meet on such a big stage I couldn’t ask for anything better. Osaka, Japan was amazing and I am happy that I scored over 8000 points and can say that I am 13th in the world. I will tell you what, next year I will be 100% going into the meet and those guys better watch out. Thanks for all the emails and the support it was amazing. Thank you to Heather Van Holt for this amazing website.

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September 1 Second Day

Well I got to bed at 12am last night after dinner and shake down. I woke up at 5:15am. Probably slept about 4 hours, which is the least amount I have ever had in between days. I was sore and tired but the adrenaline kicked in and things got easier except for my abs, which were causing some pain. This day was going to take every ounce of strength and mental toughness to get through. I ran the hurdles and block starts were very rough but I was ready. As I was running them I had a sharp pain go up my left side about the fifth hurdle. I finished the race running 14.72 which is the slowest I have run in years but it was ok I was still in it. After the hurdles I went in and Tom Pappas was almost in tears with pain in his foot. Minutes later he dropped out. Clay and Pappas out and I am wanting to stop with two ab strains. I quit once in a December and never was going to do it again. I got out there threw discus and got a good mark at 43.70meters. Vault was the event I was worried about with my abs but somehow I was able to go 5.10meters. But it took going on my smallest pole and being in pain every time I hit the mat. This was the first time I was not confident in vault and almost no heighted. This point I had gone to far and the last two events were easy on the body. Javelin was good in warm-ups but crappy in the competition 56.01 meters. Well the final event the 1500meters. I felt like I had no energy until the gun went off. I was feeling good and after the first lap took the lead but got kicked three times by the French guy and the third time almost went down. After that the legs started to lock and all I wanted was to break 4:44 and score 8000 points. I scored 8004 points and was 13th overall. I was very happy at what I had done. After all this, all the decathletes walked around the track together in a celebrated victory lap for finishing the decathlon.

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August 31 First Day

This will be quick. Welll I was up at 6am and out to the track by 7:30 to start at 10:00am. I was in the last heat of the 100 meters. They had us check in at a call room where they checked everything in your bag and then take you over to the start. For 20 mins there was no where to warm up so that was new but my adrenaline was so high that it didn’t matter. I ran a great 100meter and ran a 11.14 which is my second best ever. Lon was a little struggle but still pulled off a 6.86m which is good for me. Shot was good at 14.74m and put me on pace for my best first day. We then had a four hour break. This was new and weird but I liked getting a good meal in the middle. I return to the track and had a shaky start in the high jump but made up for it in the end jumping 6’9, 2.06m. But the high jump took a toll on my legs and I ran a 49.02 in the 400m. It was the best first day ever and I am sitting 14th right now and in a great position to place in the top 8. Well I am going to try to get 5 hours of sleep night.

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August 30 (Tomorrow the DAY)

The mood in my room was different today because my roommate competes today. I woke up early to get a shake out in at the track at 9:30. The shake out was interrupted by a down pour of rain for the morning but I still got it in at the track. I feel good and just want to get started. I met up with my parents and we checked out the Floating Garden Observatory which allows you to see all of Osaka from the top of the building. It was amazing the city goes on forever. I got a easy massage to shake out the legs and then headed to my room where I am hanging out the rest of the day. It is finally here and I am excited, nervous, and ready to kick some ass for the USA. I will try to get something up tomorrow night after the first day but depends when I finish. Love all of ya and thanks for all the Support.

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August 29 (2 days until competition)

It getting closer to the day and it getting harder to get to sleep at night but I am feeling really good and ready to go. The mornings are a little wet but by afternoon it clears up. I hope conditions are good on Friday and Saturday. Today woke up got breakfast and watched the meet. I went over to the track this afternoon so I got everything done before my family showed up. I went out to the track and did some block starts and felt fast and the legs had some good bounce. After workout I walked down to find my family’s hotel and leave them a note so they could find me when they arrived. I met up with them for dinner and it was so good to have them here. I am excited my family can see me compete here in Osaka. Well this is the most important night of sleep so I hope I sleep well tonight.

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August 28 (3 days until Competition)

The days are really simple now just resting for the day I compete. I got a massage this morning and then watched the meet and did laundry. Japan is really humid and hot when you are outside. I am getting more used to it but I just have to remember to keep hydrated. I am so anxious now to compete. I went out to the track around 2:30pm and did shot put, discus, and javelin approaches. It went really well and all the timing in my throws was on so that was very good this close to competition. My family comes tomorrow and I am so excited to see them and have them here to watch me. It getting so close and I am feeling really good and excited.

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Here I am in my USA gear with stadium in the background.

August 27 (4 days until Competition)

Every day I have been receiving massages and chiro work so that my body feels loose and ready to go come competition. The massage therapist are amazing here they are the best at what they do and have been getting everything done that I need to feel good. I can’t thank them enough. My day is mostly filled with just chilling and watching the meet in the morning and then heading to the track and watching the meet again. Today workout went really well over at the warm-up track by the stadium. I did Pole runs with the vaulting poles to just make sure I had the timing down and I felt like I had a lot of bounce in my step. I will do some technical stuff tomorrow and then it is just chilling until the day we start.

The food at the hotel is starting to get repetitive and boring but it is keeping me on a good diet before competition. I hope everyone is doing well back in the States and I will keep you updated to what is going on here.

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August 26 (5 days until Competition)

Today was a real easy day. I woke up and got a massage from Benny and worked on my hip a little because it was tight then I got breakfast and watched the track meet in my room. I took a nap and then went to the track and did an easy shake out just to get the legs moving. I headed to the track for the Women’s Pole Vault Prelims and the 100 meter men’s final. The track meet is amazing and the caliber of talent is mind-blowing. I will tell you what though the Men’s 100 meter final was out of this world with Tyson Gay winning it for the USA. I was so pumped after watching that I wanted to go compete right away.

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August 25 (6 days until Competition)

I had a good workout today but the legs are still a little shot from the flight and long season but I am sure I will feel great on Friday when it is ready to compete. I just did some long jump approaches and some short jumps which felt good but a little sluggish. Next I did the high jump and cleared 6’3 three times and felt really good. Last thing I did was two 150 meter runs at 17secs with a 3 min break. All and all it was a good training day and my last hard one before I compete.

The meet started today and I decide to go watch the evening section with the Men’s shot and 100 meter prelims. Well this was the first time in the stadium and my stomach dropped I had never seen a track stadium that big I felt like I was at a football game. WOOOOOWWW. The races and everything were awesome. I am so fired up now.

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August 24 (7 days until Competition)

Today I woke up early and grab some breakfast with Courtney and we headed to the train station to take he train to a few Tokyo attractions. I did not have much time to tour because I had to be back for USA Team meeting at 6pm so I had to leave by 2pm. We went to Shibuya and saw the busiest intersection and all the stores, then we went to Harajuku and checked out the shrine, and last Akihabara which is the electric district with all the electronic stores. Tokyo was really fun and cool I wish I had more time up there.

The bullet train is so cool and fast. I made it back for the USA meeting and it was amazing and a shock to the nerves to see all the athletes representing the USA in one room. I am still living on cloud nine.

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August 23 (8 days until Competition)

This morning I went out to the track early so that I could catch a train up to Tokyo to visit my friend. My workout this morning was suppose to be pretty tough but I was tight so I decided to listen to my body and take it easy for the morning. I am so excited right now to be here. So I head to Tokyo and got up there around 5pm and had dinner with my friend Courtney who dances at Disney, Tokyo, and had some amazing Sushi at a little place next to where she lives. I later hung out with her Disney Cast members and chilled.

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August 22 (9 days until Competition)

Last Night I went to dinner with Brad Walker and Grace Upshaw and we had so great Sushi. Well today I woke up around 10 and feel ok but we will see when I go to the track. I cant believe everything that is happening I am eating everyday with athletes I only used to see only on TV. Osaka is a huge city that is a lot like Chicago with water ways running all through. This city is so clean though with no one littering. Today I saw a man open his car door ash his cigarette and the take it back in the car. Plus the crazy thing is there are no trash cans to be found anywhere.

I went to the Practice track by the main stadium and when I arrived I could not believe my eyes and how huge the stadium was. I felt that I was looking at a football stadium. My shake out went well but still a little tight from the flight over.

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August 20 (In America) August 21 (In Japan)

Well today was a long day but one that I will never forget. I left Phoenix at 6:45am this morning on my way to San Francisco and finally Osaka, Japan. Great thanks goes to my buddy Adam who dropped me off this morning at 5:00am and then had to get back to Tucson. The trip went very well and was very easy. I checked all my bags in at the Phoenix Airport and they made it to Osaka, which took a lot of stress off of my mind.

I can’t start to tell all of you how much I have smiled today. I have gotten goose bumps twice today and had to pinch myself that this is all really happening. I am staying in the Hanshin Hotel which the rooms are tiny but we have everything we need here for the athletes. I am rooming with one of the best Pole Vaulters in the World, Brad Walker, and the second I walked in the hotel I saw the #1 decathlete Brian Clay. WOW. I am really here competing at the World Championships.

The city of Osaka is huge and everything is centered around the water. There are so many bridges and high-rise buildings. The time difference is 16 hours and it was strange that the whole time I was flying it was sunny outside. 10 days until I compete.

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