Upcoming events –

Napa-Sonoma Half Marathon, July 20, 2014
Noble Canyon 50km Trail, September 20, 2014

Wednesday, September 20, 2000

Back in Brisbane

Howdy Philip Phans!

The past two days have been a bit of a blur now that I'm back here in Brisbane and on a regular routine. I've been spending lots of time glued to the Channel 7 Olympic coverage. It's a bit frustrating because they have this fascination for Australian athletes and don't give the Team USA results after each event. Oh wait, I'm in Australia--now it all makes sense! Besides being a bit Aussie-centric, the coverage has been pretty good. Unlike NBC, they actually show lots and lots of races and events. They don't spend 30 minutes telling you how Marion Jones decided to choose her shade of eye-liner or some other insipid "human interest" story.

The excitement and drama of the Opening Ceremonies and Olympic Village is slowly beginning to fade from my consciousness as I return to a predictable training routine. All of that will change again tomorrow. After a hard training session in the morning, I will check out of the Marriott (goodbye five-star luxury) and fly down to Sydney for the last eight days of preparation for my race (hello Olympic mania).

I'm getting very excited about competing. On Friday, the Athletics events begin (or Track & Field as us "Yankee blokes" like to call it). And the first gold medal to be awarded on the track will be in the men's 20 kilometer racewalk. My good friends Tim Seaman (USA) and Jefferson Perez (Ecuador) will be facing some stiff competition from the Russians, Mexicans, and Spanish. There will be 50 walkers in the 20k. In my race, there will be 54 starters.

The great thing about getting to watch the men's 20k on Friday is that I will get a great preview of the course. I'll be able to see Tim and Jefferson battle it out over the same 2 kilometer course that I will be walking on a week later. Right now, I am more excited about their race than I am for my own. I'm sure that will change as the days tick past.

When I woke up this morning, I realized that the count is down to only 9 days! That seems like such a small number after so much preparation, so many days, months, and years. I've known that I was on the 50K team since February, seven months ago. And I first made the commitment to train full-time to make an Olympic Team back in 1993, seven years ago. (Seven may be my lucky number... to make the Olympic Team, I had to finish in the top three at the Olympic Trials and walk under the Olympic "A" time standard of 4:00:00 for 50 kilometers. In Mezidon, France, last year, I walked my personal best of 3:59:53 a whopping seven seconds under the "A" standard.)

There are a few things that I still need to do here in Brisbane before tomorrow's departure. One thing I would like to do, if I can find my way to City Hall, is ride to the top of the historic Clock Tower. Since I haven't done hardly any touristy stuff since I've been here, it will be my one indulgence. My pre-race taper has officially begun if I have the energy to walk five blocks down the street to ride an elevator to the top of a tower. It sounds sad, but I rarely have the energy in the afternoons to get out of the hotel and see the sights. Yipeee!

That's all for now. Thanks to everyone who has sent an email and who is cheering me on in their own special way. I really appreciate my growing fan club.

Can you all do me a small favor? If you have never tried racewalking, get out and try it. If you don't know how, check out the How-To-Racewalk site on the links section of this webpage, or just go walk around the block a few times, as fast as you can.

Cheers, mates!


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