Upcoming events –

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

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Yosemite Training

July 25--Yosemite National Park

Wow! It's hard to imagine a more beautiful place to get in a good workout. Sean Albert and I joined a few others from the Olympic Training Center for a long day of hiking that was capped by a breathtaking (literally) ascent of the cables on the side of Half Dome. If you have never been to Yosemite, go. Even if you never get out of your car, it will be well worth the trip. But you really should get out, see the falls, wander through the meadows in Yosemite valley or, better yet, the large glacier-swept Tuolamie Meadow to the north. It's no wonder that John Muir loved this place. The size and scale of the valley and the surrounding mountains is hard to believe.

Sean and I made the most of our trip by driving up on Saturday morning and staying in the luxurious Curry Village tent city. It had everything you could hope for when camping in the great outdoors: soft beds, downy pillows, warm blankets, hot showers, and neighbors who stayed up drinking late into the night, talking and banging pots and pans in your ear. Or perhaps it was the crying child who kept falling out of bed. 'Thump.... whaaaaa! whaaaa!' And then again an hour later, after the considerate parents had carried her screaming through all of the campsites to make sure we were all awake: 'Thump....whaaaaa! whaaaaa!'

Even with little sleep, we were energized for the 5:30am start by the splendor of the granite monoliths and towering ponderosa pines. Last year Sean and I made this same hike with 15-20 track and field athletes from the training center including Curt Clausen. The three of us quickly separated ourselves from the pack and made it to the top before anyone else that day. After some photos out on the 'diving board' we hustled back down before the hordes arrived. The cables are never fun because of the exposure, but with lots of other people on them ahead of you, they become pretty dicey. This year it took us a few hours longer: more time for photos and snack breaks.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

20km Olympic Trials

July 17--Sacramento

I thought it would be hard to watch today's 20km Olympic Trials because I wasn't competing. My knee injury has cut into my racewalk training for weeks now and I knew if I raced I would likely overdo it. Coach is right, though, I have a much bigger race to focus on in just six weeks. Yikes, that seems like such a short time.

It was very exciting to watch the guys mix it up today. I had expected the race to be a bit more tactical than it was. From the beginning I wasn't surprised to see a slow pace and a large pack. But Kevin Eastler and Tim Seaman made a break for it much earlier than I would have guessed. The finish times of the top four ended up being a bit slower than some people anticipated, but given that it was a trials race it shouldn't have surprised too many people. It was great to see a few young guys getting into the thick of things with Ben Shorey and Matt Boyles showing only a few nerves at their first 20km Olympic Trials. With luck and preparation, perhaps they will be on the podium four years from now.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

2004 Olympic Games – Introduction

July 15-- San Diego

I've been wanting to begin this journal for weeks now. Since March 21, I have known that I was on the Olympic team when I hit the 'A' standard in the 50km in Tijuana. Now I have finally gotten around to writing the first of what I hope will be many journal entries as I prepare for the 'big dance' in Athens. This journal may not be the most informative Olympic resource, but I hope to share my experiences with friends and family around the country so that they can feel a part of the Games. I know the cost of a plane ticket is prohibitively expensive for most, so in some small way I hope to bring the Games to you.

Read on and enjoy.