Upcoming events –

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Radio time...

National Public Radio is going to run another story that has little old me talking about big old racewalking. The NPR piece talks about the 2km loop course outside the Bird's Nest stadium. It's great publicity for the sport and I'm psyched that we're getting some coverage. We'll work on getting the next storyline to read, "US racewalker wins Olympic gold."

This morning, I was up early for my last real training session before the race. My plan had been to go over to BNU and get a more precise track workout in, but there were some complications. Last night I was called and told to appear for a morning blood draw with the IAAF blood doping crew. So, training was shifted up and I stayed in the Village. There's a 900 meter course in back of the cafeteria where I did my 3km/3km/2km walk. While I was out there, Kenenisa Bekele and some of his Ethiopian compatriots were running an 'easy' morning warm-up. Bekele won the men's 10,000mt a couple nights ago. Yes, he was 'jogging' faster than I was racewalking. Surprise. This evening, Bekele ran just behind newly-minted American Bernard Lagat to qualify for the men's 5000mt final.

At 8:15am, one of the USOC team doctors walked Joanne Dow and me over to the polyclinic for our IAAF blood draw. The purpose, supposedly, is not to catch dopers but to establish a baseline for future doping controls. Joanne was joking that it was a big waste of time to test her the day before her last competitive race.

Sometimes I get a bit queasy around needles and today was no different. After the blood draw was over, I decided I should lie down. The Chinese nurses and doctors panicked, ran about in a frenzy and even rushed in a gurney for me. The USOC doc and I were laughing about their efficiency. I was fine, but it made for an exciting morning, that's for sure. It's funny how a little thing like a needle can get to me but I go out and walk a 50km the next day.

At 11am we had a team photo with all of the tracksters. When I get a chance to download the photos, I'll post some shots of me with some of my fast new friends.

I ate lunch in the Village and then took a short walk up to meet Liz and Miles who were out and about from the apartment. Miles has been very patient with all of the traveling, but it's really difficult for Liz without me around as much to help out. Traveling with a toddler is never easy and being in a foreign country makes it even tougher. As I've posted earlier, the Chinese are fascinated with Miles and love to touch him, grab at his cheeks or legs, and take his photo. He's put up with it pretty well, but I'm sure he'll enjoy being back home, too.

After spending a nice, mellow afternoon with the family and getting to hear Miles giggle and see him play in the apartment, I walked over to the field hockey pitch to watch the women's game between Germany vs. China. The local Chinese were so excited when China came from behind to win, but they were also supportive of the German team. The US women had played earlier in the morning against Spain and lost 3-2 to finish in 8th place. The Chinese go on to play in the gold medal game.

Kevin and I had a nice dinner in the cafeteria and then chilled out in the USATF lounge and watched Lagat and Matt Tegenkamp qualify in the 5000mt and Symmonds in the 800. All three of them won their heats and looked good doing it. All in all, it was a nice day but I definitely feel like I’m counting the hours now with my race just around the corner.


BakerBlog said...

Hi Philip,

Have a super-fast race, we will be cheering for you!

Olivia was excited to hear about your Olympic experience, she has been racewalking up and down the hallway.

Good luck and have fun,
Scott, Kirsten, Olivia and Nicholas

Will Craig said...

I heard the NPR bit on the radio - hope you do well. Good luck!

Will Craig

Dora said...


Have the best race ever!


Bernardo José Mora said...

Good luck

Peter said...

Was already sending good thoughts your way after hearing the Morning Edition piece. Best of luck, Philip, from Carleton folks in Portland.

Chris said...

Go man go!

Great posts--love the getting the insider's view.

Kirin says "hi" to Miles, by the way.

--Chris, Kinnari, Soren, Kirin.

Anonymous said...

We've enjoyed your daily comments and have a much better insight on "the Olympic experience" You are a champion.

Aunt Barb and Uncle Paul

Zachary said...


Good luck from Minnesota!

Sally & Zack and baby Rossalyn

Zachary said...

Go Philip!

Chris & Karl

ps. Stay in shape - we're planning on London in 2012.

HH said...

We're watching you live online at minute 1:17!!! Hooray for Philip!! It looks SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO hot; I'm glad they have that misting station set up... it looks like a number of walkers have stopped racing.
Go # 3163!!!!!

:) We are chanting from Arlington!!

Liz & Annette

Toby said...

Just went to NPR and heard the piece, nice publicity. Good luck on the new surface and hello to the whole family.

Ann Duvall