Upcoming events –

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

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Relaxing in the Village

View out my window in the athlete's Village towards the cafeteria and "international zone"

Walking this morning with Joanne Dow the day after the men’s 20km race was nice. We followed a flat, paved loop around and through the athlete’s village. There is some bus traffic and lots of pedestrians along one of the long straightaway, but it’s a good 2.6+km around. It’s fun to walk past athletes who are headed to the cafeteria or back to their dorm rooms and feel encouraged and welcome.

Entrance to the Olympic Village, security tent

Since my race is less than a week away, I’m not doing that much mileage. I only walked 10km this morning and will do a short speed workout tomorrow. I’m really starting to feel much better about my race and my fitness, but I wonder how much of it is the extra rest, good food, and light training load I am getting now.

Kevin Eastler and I spent the midmorning and lunch talking about his future plans. He’s getting out of the Air Force and into General Electric’s former officer’s career program in upstate New York. He’ll be mentoring for a career in renewable energy projects like wind and solar for GE. He is fortunate to be able to step seamlessly from his athletic career into a full-time occupation. Kevin is also very interested in sustainable technologies and lifestyles. He and his wife plan to build a ‘green’ house that uses solar and wind to generate their energy needs, something I would be love to do some day (if I knew enough about it).

Laundry pick-up and drop-off in Olympic Village

After lunch, the US Racewalk team went to watch water polo. The USOC gives out tickets to athletes every day to a variety of events. There were extra water polo tickets, so we watched the Australian women battle it out with the Chinese in the pool. The hometown crowd was rewarded with an extremely aggressive and competitive game, but the highly rated Australian team was too much for the Chinese.

Pathway in Village with solar powered lighting

The rest of the day was pretty low-key for me. I read a little, talked to friends, had dinner in the village cafeteria, and watched some of the athletics events. None of the dorm rooms have TVs in them, so some of the USATF coaches went out and bought a TV and set up a common room for us to watch the track events without having to trek over to another building. It’s pretty fun to watch Olympic track events with a bunch of Olympic tracksters. Everyone knows everyone on TV and is yelling at them as if they can hear us from the Village. And the NBC commentators would learn a lot about the different events if they could listen in to what people were saying tonight. Some of the athletes in the TV lounge train with or compete against the athletes who were in the stadium tonight, so there were a lot of insights, positive and negative, about why someone raced well or poorly.

After having watched for half an hour, one of the throwers returned from the Village cafeteria with a huge McDonalds bag full of French fries, chicken McNuggets and burgers. Yes, the athletes eat McDonalds, though I’m not sure why. Kevin felt bad all morning after eating two Egg McMuffins for breakfast. I suppose if you eat junk food regularly, your body gets used to it. But it makes me wonder how much better these guys could be if they ate more healthily.

No comments: