Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Back to the oval office

Beautiful day in Sewanee, track was idyllic... no one there except Joe, a fellow older masters. Pleasant upper 60ºs sun setting, quiet.   Unfortunately, the workout sucked.  I felt pretty bad.   Sore and sluggish.    Not feeling like a champion.   It was hard to fathom I felt this slow when I had just run my fastest 400m in 3 yrs .... just less than 3 days prior.
Hoka trainers on 
400m warmup, stretches, drills 
3 x 300m - 45.5, 44, 46 
200m - 27.5
I thought I'd go out and run 4 fast 300s about 42-43... wow, was I sorely mistaken.  Adductors are still sore and generally felt tired.  Probably jet lagged still as my sleep has been irregular.  Probably just feeling the fallout of my intense prep I put in before the meet.  Probably haven't quite recovered from that and 6 races.  However, I'm still quite light, under 144.8 lbs after dinner.

I was hoping to get out and post a good 400m before turning my attention to run the 100m at Penn, but I think if I raced this weekend, I'd probably be disappointed.  There is a new track in Oxford, AL I wanted to run on, a municipal park where Jacksonville St., AL has their home meets.  (Surprisingly, Jacksonville St., AL - a school I'd never heard of - is a DI school in the OVC).   The track called Choccollo Park is so new, there are very few photos of it on the internet.  This may be the first or second meet on this track.

I have until noon tomorrow to decide, and if I don't, I can race in Huntsville on April 7 and Sewanee on April 14.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Walking in Daegu

Friday was a fun day.  After qualifying for the 400m final, I watched the meet with my team for a few hours.   Then I drove down town to get some food and walk around.   Unlike most of my colleagues, I rented a car.  

Fish on ice in attractive display cases, fileted on request

Well, there are at least 2 signs I can read...

Sushi dinner with kimchi and soup... out with teammate Stephen Gould for dinner

Typical downtown farmer's market
Another market.  Apparently strawberries were in season.    Very good!!  and just $2 a lb.
Koreans love fried food... a street side tempura place.
Phad Thai
My bathroom - with jacuzzi and shower / steam room

I think it's hard for Koreans to speak English.  Beware of drunken use of the steam room, and especially ... 'the scald'

I didn't really ever figure out how this works.   However, it is a heated seat with a bidet and an ass blow drier.

My room

Mountains in the distance, comparable to the Catskills

Puzzling... why have a door at all to the toilet stall in a locker room if it is glass?

View of Siberia on the way home

The M45 Bronze medalist from Spain traded singlets with me... this will be a cool shirt to train in.  Viva Espana.

One of the things weighing on my mind throughout the trip was the rental car.  It seems that on Monday, my first day at the stadium, someone hit my car, scraping the bumper and cracking the plastic.   I thought I would be held responsible for it.  I had thoughts of myself running from the building and being chased by the police... because I was NOT going to give them my credit card.  I had to return to the car to the rental place before 10pm Sat. night.  I got there about 9:50.  They took my keys and smiled and I was on my way.  Whew... no problem.

It was 40º and raining.  I had an umbrella but still wanted to take a cab.  I found a cab but the guy refused my credit card and said the only English word he could say, "sorry!"   I walked another mile and was happy to find a cafe ... Korea's version of Panera called, "Paris Bagette Cafe."  It was a real small place, just me and the two owners.  I had a hot coffee and pastry, then walked the rest of the way to my hotel.  I think it was about 2.5 miles in total.  

I stayed awake most of the night packing and caught a taxi to the airport at 4:45 am.  Glad I got there when I did... a huge line formed behind me.   I judged the money situation pretty well.  I came home with about 5000 Korean Won... or about $4.  Cool souvenir.  

At American Customs, I had a fun exchange with the Customs officer.  He asked me what was I doing in Korea?  I told him.   Then he asked, "What are you bringing back with you?"  I said, "A Gold, a Silver, and a Bronze."  He congratulated me and we chatted briefly about the competition.  


More photos: 200m Final and medal ceremony

Medal ceremony, M55 200m.  Shane Sheridan (Ireland) Silver, Neil Tunstall (Great Britain) Bronze

M55 200m Final - last 10m
From Left: Ray Smith (Trinidad and Tobago), William Yelverton (USA), Shane Sheridan (Ireland), Toru Morita (Japan), Paul Guest (Great Britain), Neil Tunstall (Great Britain)

Sunday, March 26, 2017

People - WMACi '17

About 3 hrs into my 13 hr flight on Delta wifi.  Taking a more southerly route. Presently leaving
Japan airspace and moving toward the Kamchatka peninsula of Russia.  We'll fly over the Alloutian Is, across the Bering straight and across northern Alaska and the Yukon.

Well, updating that from my phone was too much for the limited device, so now... back in TN.

Some people photos from WMACi:
Toru (Japan), Rudy (Australia)

call room - 200m prelims 
w/ Shane (Ireland), Rob (USA), Andreas (Germany)

Bob Lida - fastest M80 man who ever lived
He set WRs in the 200m and 400m (29. & 70.)

Among the super elite - two double Gold Medalists:
Fastest M50 man in the world - Roland Groger (Germany)
set WR in the 400m (51.73) and won the 200m
Fellow Music Prof, Benoit Zavattero won the M55 800m and 400m
logged the fastest indoor M55 400m in the world in 9 years: 54.39.
French National record and 0.2 off the European record

W75 400m medalists

Teammate and M55 60m Gold medalist Rob and I in the Normatecs
at the Team USA trainers area
"I am he as you are he as you are me ...and we are all together"
(you won't get it unless you know the Beatles)
One of the many outdoor performances

Award for both fastest and best looking women's relay team: W40 Gold Medalists from Latvia

Closing ceremonies ... a lot of pomp, speeches, and pageantry

Stay tuned, more to come.   ATT sucks, my internet is down at home, but at least using a laptop ....

Saturday, March 25, 2017

WMACi World Championship report: 400m final

400m Final M55
Silver Medal

I brought my A game.  The race went down just as I expected it would. Me taking a sizable lead and Benoit catching me in the end. It was a good race. Of all my championship races, this was the fastest, indoor and outdoor. It was a French National record and a PR for Benoit, just 0.2 off the European record.  My time was the fastest M55 indoor 400m run by an American in 9 yrs. Faster than the world champion in Perth, and my PR on a 200m track.

I went down 2 age groups to M45 to lead off for the USA 4x200m relay. Not the strongest team as we had 2 M55 guys on it, but we medaled anyway... and we had competition.

It was an awesome meet in a great setting. Had some great experiences and much more to share when I get home.  For now, I'll be signing off to get ready for the long schlep home, which starts at 4 am for me.  It was a great meet.

Friday, March 24, 2017

WMACi World Championship report: 400m prelim

Three rounds of the 200m have taken its toll since I didn't hold back in any of the rounds. My feet were really sore today, but actually feel better this evening.

In our 2 heats, I had a good position in the second heat to see the time to beat to get top seed. Benoit ran just under 58.   Benoit had a day off and I didn't and so I wanted to save as much as possible and win my heat.

I ran a relaxed 27 or so for my first split after winning the break. I ran pretty strong until the last turn when I started looking around and realized how far ahead I was and shut it down coming down the straight. That would prove to be a mistake as I finished .6 behind Benoit. He's going to be really tough to beat and I just made it harder on myself having to run blind from lane 6. Bottom line is I'm going to have to go out like hell to beat him at the break, and it's always risky to go out too fast especially against a strong 800m champion.  I'm definitely not real confident for Gold tomorrow, it'll probably be Silver.  I'd just like to break 56, which will be hard if I go out wicked fast.

Unfortunately, I got moved down to the m45 4x200 relay. It's not as strong a team as our original planned m50 team.   We'll medal, not sure which color.

Should be a fun day tomorrow.  400m final is early, medal ceremonies, closing ceremonies, team photo, dinner out.  Whatever happens, I'm fine with it.  I already have a World title, and I moved up a spot to #2 in the world 200m rankings for the season.

I'll have more photos and stories to share when I return. I had a fun walk around the city after my 200m win yesterday.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

WMACi World Championship report: 200m Final

200m Final - Gold Medal
World Champion

Photo by Rob D'Avilar - semifinal race.  With Shane en route to an Irish National M55 record and Toru from Japan.

It went pretty well.  This has been a long time in coming. I really never thought it would happen.  I must admit, it took a lot of work and pain to achieve this world title.  I'm fortunate for the opportunity  and that my body stood up to the test and didn't break down. This is what all those days out there alone on that track in the cold, rain, snow, fog, heat... and many times when I would've rather taken the easier path and stayed home by the fire with a cup of tea.  No one gets it for free.  It was worth it, not just the medal and title, but for the journey and meaning it's given my otherwise reclusive lifestyle. Competition can sometimes bring out the worst in people, but never in my masters track community.  I've never met a nicer group of overachieving individuals from such a diverse set of backgrounds. It is like a family, not only Team USA, but the world community of masters athletics.

The Race
It went down as expected except I thought some of the others would have pushed me a bit more coming off the final turn.  I went out pretty hard but still had power coming down the second bank. I experienced a little tightening only in the last few steps. I won by 5+meters or so, it wasn't close. Shane took the silver but was a little slower than yesterday. I was just 0.04 faster. My second fastest  indoor 200m.  I enjoyed the medal ceremony and the post race hang. Watched some of the local pagentry and performances outside and ate Pad Thai.   Will write more later but am tired and the 400m starts tomorrow.  Signing off for now.