Monday, July 25, 2005

July 25, 2005

Hey everyone! These last couple of days have been pretty rough. On Saturday I ran in the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusdon, Belgium. I felt a little better from my cold when I woke up and I thought that I would be fine when the race started. In the morning I got up and jogged a couple of miles with the Gouchers and then I just laid around most of the day in my hotel room.

Warming up for the race I did not feel great. I drank too much water before I started to jog so my stomach was a little upset but I felt better soon. Slattery started things off very well for our group by running a pr of 8:17 in the steeple and then Kara had a great race and also ran a pr of 15:17 in the 5k. She was hoping to just run in the 15:20s, close to her pr of 15:28, so it was really incredible that she improved that much.

Adam and I ran next at around 9:30. I knew that the race would go out real fast and so I was going to try and go out in the back of the pack and pick people off as the race progressed because lots of people would probably go out too fast. I got out real well and was in the middle of the pack and I came through the quarter in 61. I slowed up a little bit after that and was going to try and run 64-65 pace for as long as I could.

There were two big groups that split up after 600m and so I made the decision to go with the first group, thinking that soon some of the people would start to slow down. At a mile I was a couple of yards behind the pack but still came through in 4:11. I ran a 64 for the next lap, but then started to fade. It seemed like nobody from the lead group faded at all and I was stuck running by myself.

I came through 3k in 8:03 but was feeling it. The last mile was pretty rough and I ended up running 13:44. I was a little disappointed with the result but I don't think that if I could rerun the race that I would have gone out much slower because there was such a gap early on between the two main groups in the race. The B race, where I was originally supposed to run, only was won in 13:32 which certainly is better than my 13:44, but I felt that I was ready to run 13:25.

Adam ran amazing though, finishing in 13:10. He closed very hard and ran 57 for his last lap. Alberto made me feel a little better when he said that having the guts to go for it, even if you die sometimes, is sometimes more important than running a conservative, though faster race. Although I was really disappointed with my race, I was really happy for the Gouchers because they had gone through so much and had trained so hard that they deserved to run well. It will be exciting to see what they do when they come back later in the summer after another month of hard training.

Yesterday I woke up real sick and the cold that had started a few days ago finally hit. I spent the entire day in bed with the chills except when I ran 9 miles (very easy), and did some drills and stretching. Today we are flying out of Brussels and I'll go to Detroit and meet up with the PanAm team there where we will drive to Windsor for the competition. Alberto says that unless I feel a lot better in the next day or two he will scratch me from the mile that I am scheduled to run during the opening ceremonies and I will just run the junior 1500 on Sunday. Talk to you all later. Galen

Friday, July 22, 2005

July 22, 2005

What's up everyone. Today, like yesterday, was pretty mellow. We just ran once today and did lots of drills and dynamics. I feel a little better than yesterday but still not as good as before Lignanoi. One day can make a huge difference though, so hopefully I will feel good tomorrow. I found some good waffles today when I walked into town.That was definitely the highlight of my day. It wasn't right off the grill or warm, but it was still excellent. I got a little worried before I ate it that it would not taste as good as I remembered it, but it still met all expectation.

I still have something to look forward when the waffles are warm and fresh. The other good thing was that Kara Goucher found out that the waffles were legit. She had gotten real irritated at Adam, Alberto and I for talking about the waffles nonstop for the last two weeks. Now she can't stop eating them.

This afternoon I did not feel very good. I think that I'm fighting a cold. I've had a headache for a couple of days now and today I feel achey and tired. It is kind of eerie to think of all the parallels that this trip has to last year's. Last year we also had a rough trip to Belgium and I had lost it by the middle of the day. I was cussing and screaming about every little thing that went wrong until Alberto yelled at me to quit whining and suck it up. I cracked a little on this trip, but not nearly as bad as last year.

This year at least I had Adam to be pissed off with and share my frustration. The other thing is that last year I was also fighting a cold the day of the meet. I had a terrible headache and felt sick all day. I almost didn't run the meet at all and I don't think that when I told Alberto I was going to run that he thought it was a good idea. However, today he told me that often at the onset of a cold, before it gets bad, runners will run prs. Some think that perhaps the body is starting to energize itself to fight the cold so it is a little stronger than normal for a brief period.

Tonight after dinner at the meet hotel I looked at the heat sheets and found out that I was in the B race again, which last year was won in13:21. But looking at the entries for this year, nobody had run under 13:32 this season. Alberto introduced me to one of the meet directors and I convinced him that I was ready to run in the low 13:20s and that I would start out at the back of the pack so I wouldn't clog up the already large field. He told me good luck and said that he would have his eye on me.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

July 21, 2005

Today we all slept in and just tried to recover from yesterday. After breakfast we all went to the track to do a light workout. We pretty much did the same workout that we did before the meeting in Lignano. Adam and I did 8 x 300 in 45-46 with a 200m jog rest. My legs still felt tired from yesterday, but the 300s did not feel very hard.

After the workout we went to lunch and bought waffles for dessert because I had been talking them up so much. But the ones that we got weren't very good and were no different than anything you can get in the US. Tomorrow I'll go find the good stuff - hot off the grill and smothered with cinnamon and sugar.

The town is dead today because it is a national holiday, so there are no cafes or stands open. Other than that today was pretty uneventful. I just took a long nap in the afternoon, ate dinner, and went to bed.

Talk to you all tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

July 20, 2005

Yesterday we traveled to Heusdon-Zolder, Belgium for the final meet of our European tour and it was officially a trip from hell. Our ride didn't show up at the meet hotel so we had to jump on a bus. After an hour and a half we got off at a station to meet the car that was suppossed to bring us to the airport in the first place. At that time the driver said that it would take another hour to get to the airport which was cutting it close because our flight was leaving in 65 minutes. After a half hour the driver started to argue with his wife and pulled out a map. We were obviously lost.

At this point Adam put his hands on his head and started to moan. His eyes rolled back in his sockets (just kidding - I just like giving him a hard time). Several times the driver passed clearly visable airport signs because he insisted he knew the backroads. Alberto and I ended up forcing him to follow the signs after we did a 20 minute circle which found us looking at the same airport sign we had saw earlier.

If you think that's the end of the story, believe me, it gets much better. The airport we flew out of looks like a maintanence shed. When the driver pulled in, Alberto and Adam started yelling that where we were wasn't an airport. We finally got to security and then the guards made us go check one of our bags because everyone is only allowed one carry on bag, so we did that and had to go through security for a second time. Finally we got on the airplane, which was a half hour late leaving.

Alberto had called the Lignano meet director Giampoloon on the way to the airport when we were running late, and he assured us that he would make the flight wait for us because his brother was one of the pilots. Right before we took off Alberto called him to tell him that we had made it and he knew that it was not a problem because in Italy, everything is always behind schedule.

There was another slight delay after everyone was on the plane and Adam and I joked around about how the pilot was probably reading the flight manuel before he tried to take off. This next sight topped off the whole trip. As we were driving to the runway, we looked out the window and saw signs every 15 meters reading (no joke) air brakes? rudders? lights?

Thankfully, we made it to Belgium alright. We just jogged easy on some grass and did lots of drills. We all looked forward to going to sleep after such an exhausting day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

July 19, 2005
What's up! Sunday was a very exciting day. The Gouchers and I all ran in a meeting in Lignano and it went real well. Kara started things off with a great race in the 1500. She ran 4:12, which is only a few tenths off of her pr.

That is a great result for her considering that she missed some time early this year due to injury. Then Adam and I ran in the 3000. The weather last night was supposed to be fairly cool and dry, but it turned out to be hot and humid. It was about 81degrees when we ran and it was by far the most humid night since we arrived here. Warming up I felt real good and it was the first time all year that I felt that my legs had lots of pop in them. For the 10ks that I ran earlier in the season I didn't need to be very fast or fresh because it is more like a long tempo run where sprint speed isn't essential. You don't need to do a lot of super fast speed sessions to make 67 pace feel easy.

Anyways, coming in to this race I wanted to run around 7:50 but in any case I just wanted to make sure that I got the junior record. I had just missed by .04 in an indoor race I ran earlier this year so I did not want to go out real hard and die at the end and just miss the record again. I got out real well at the start of the race and came through the quarter in 61 feeling real relaxed. I pretty much just got behind Adam and followed him in the lead pack. I was confident that I couldstay with Adam for most of the race because of all the training we did together in the winter.

Sure, he would start to pull away from me sometimes towards the end of the workout but for the most part I was able to hang with him. I figured that the same thing would happen in the race. I was sure that Adam would close hard and pull away from me, but I could stay with him until a lap or two to go. We came through the mile in 4:09 and I still felt pretty relaxed and at that point I knew that I would run fast. Adam took off with about 800 to go and probably ran his last lap in 55 or so. He is very fit right now and will continue to run better as the summer progresses. I stayed with Dan Lincoln until 1 lap to go when I passed him. He passed me back with 200 to go but I closed on him in the last 100.

I was happy to keep my form at the end of the race and finish well. I was also real happy about my time of 7:49. I was disappointed after my races in Cuxhaven and was glad that the rest I have been taking is finally kicking in and I am running well. After the race Adam and I jogged one lap and then did a very short workout. We ran 2x800, 300 in 2:09, 47. We took a 400m jog after the 800 and a 300m jog after the 300. I really didn't want to do a workout after this race but once we started I felt like we were jogging. After that we cooled down and then went out and got some pizza. The last two days have been pretty low key. Yesterday we got up and ran 7 miles. We were suppossed to run easy and ave a recovery day but we ended up running a little under 6 minute pace. Adam thought we were running about 5:45 pace for the last mile or two.

We both felt pretty good though and were not straining at all. After that we kicked it on the beach, which is only about a 1/4 mile from our hotel. The water was warm and it felt good to be outside.

I didn't really like the beaches though because they are covered in lawn chairs that people rent for the day and there is not a lot of room to do anything. Once the endless lines of lawn chairs ends there is only about 10 feet to the water. Today we were planning on going to Venice for the day to walk around after we ran in the morning. We did a real short "long run" of 10 miles at a pretty good pace in the morning but when we got back to the hotel we all were real tired and the fatigue from the race was starting to kick in. I just wanted to go to sleep, and the Gouchers agreed, so it turned out to be a pretty uneventful day.

I took a 3 hour nap and then walked around town for a little bit. It would have been fun to see Venice but the trip would have been 2 hours each way.I came here to run and that is my main priority while I am over here. We will travel tomorrow to Belgium (and yeah, they're waffles are bomb), so I didn't want to have two long days in a row which could tire me out for the race on Saturday. Well, that's all that is new from over here.
See you later, Galen

Friday, July 15, 2005

July 15

July 15, 2005

I want to start today off by wishing my mom a happy birthday. I wish I could be home to celebrate with you and the family. I was out cold last night and, as Julius Achon would say, slept like a jug of water (perfectly still and undisturbed, or something like that).

After breakfast I jogged over to the track to do a light workout to work out my legs and get them feeling fresh before Sunday. I felt pretty good on my warmup and then did 8x300 in 46 with a 150m jog rest. On the last one I only ran 48 to show how easy it would feel in the beginning of the race on Sunday.

There are a lot of Americans in the 3k here so it will be good to see some familiar faces who I know will not go out at a ridiculous early pace. I felt very good during the workout . Afterwards I jogged back to the hotel and did some dynamic flexibility and then jumped in the pool for a few minutes to loosen up.

Then I went up to my room to take my usual nap. At dinner in the hotel Alberto and I talked with one of the meet directors and talked about the race. I guess that there is going to be a couple rabbits and they will take it through 2000 in 5:10.

It should be a perfect race for both Adam and I. I will just try and get in the middle of the pack and hang on for as long as I can. I am really looking forward to running a 3000m again. I think its my favorite race because it is not too long but still really fast. My race is also pretty late at night (I think its around 10), and I love to run under the lights.

I liked the stadium too. There are seats that surround most of the track but the stands are not too big so it won't feel empty. The track is mondo and should be fast. I'm going to go get some gelato now, which is one of the things that I was looking forward to before I left. I usually have a huge bowl of ice cream every night at home and I need to get back in my routine. I think I'll go with chocolate.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

July 14

July 14, 2005
What's up everyone. Today I left Switzerland and flew south to Lignano, Italy where I am going to run in a fast 3k. Alberto and I took a train to the Zurich airport from Bern and then flew to Venice. The plane ride from Zurich was real short (about an hour or so), but then we had to drive another hour and a half to the city of Lignano, which is up the coast from Venice.

The car ride wasn't too bad though because there were some other Americans in the car. We rode with Jonathon Riley, Jason Lunn, and Tyson Gay. It's been nothing but planes, trains, and automobiles (great movie), for me so far today. Lignano is right on the coast on the Italian Riviera, and the meet hotel that we are staying in is only about a quarter of a mile from the beach. It is a pretty big tourist city so there is lots to do.

There isn't a cloud in the sky but it is not too hot. Alberto has been meticulously checking the weather here for the past month to see if it is going to be good conditions to run fast in. I guess that when you really are trying to run well you have to try and take advantage of every possible variable that you can. I won't run until10 at night though, so it should cool off a lot by then. The room Alberto and I are staying in is real small. There was originally only one king size bed but it could split apart in the middle so it was alright.

After we split the beds up though there is no room to walk around and we can barely open our door. There is AC in the room though, which is a luxury we haven't had yet on our trip. The hotel though isn't very modern and looks like something that you would have found in Florida in the 1970s.

I just ran easy in the evening. My quad is very sore from the workout I did yesterday so I took it easy and didn't stretch it too much because I didn't want to aggrevate it. After running I did some dynamics and then jumped inthe pool and swam for a little bit to help loosen up.

For dinner we had, what else, pasta. I think I'll be eating that the entire time I'm here. It was very good though. Tomorrow I'll go to the track and do a light workout. Later, Galen