Sunday, May 15, 2011

My first Diamond League experience...

Well, I'm done competing, and as it goes with any new experience, I'm a bit disappointed, I learned a lot, and I am encouraged for my future races.

First off, it is a BAD idea to come to china 24 hours in advance before a race. I did my best to sleep when I got here last night (for 6 hours), and then took a walk in the morning, did a
shakeout in the afternoon, and then HIT A WALL of wakefulness at about 5pm. I was drifting for a couple hours before I went to the warm up track, and even there my mind was doing the thing it does right before you fall asleep, where you think one thought, and then it goes on a tangent to many others, until you realize what you're thinking doesn't make sense anymore...oh boy. I did my best to ignore the fact that I was tired, remind myself of the great opportunity I have here, and to stay engaged.

Warming up did help, thank the lord! Once I was running I could stay awake, though the walking part in between drils, etc. felt very lethargic. Not sure if the tiredness was especially hard because at home it is the wee hours of The morning, or if my congestion/stuffiness that I picked up this week (lucky me!) was getting to me too.

REGARDLESS of all the excuses I could make, my legs felt good doing strides, I felt pretty light and quick on drills, and was hoping for the best. The check-in/calls process at the meet was much less intimidating than I originally imagined, which was a nice surprise too.

For the race itself, I was in lane 2, and felt I got out pretty well, and was happy with my position until suddenly a couple girls squeezed me back right around the 200m mark. I thought to myself, oh well, this is a diamond league race, the rabbit is supposed to go out in 58, if I stay in the middle of the pack and be patient I should be ok...but the leader was actually
through the 400m in 60, so we had a little work to do on the second lap. In hindsight, I know now I should have started making a stronger move probably at 300 to go, because I started kicking closer to 200 to go, passed 2 women, finished, and realized I had a ton left in me.
(That's the encouraging part!) The 800 felt SUPER short in comparison to what I've been doing lately, but very comfortable, too comfortable, I realize now. I felt more like I finished a repeat in a workout than I did like I finished a race. At Oxy next week, I'll have to keep that in mind and really be confident and more aggressive/assertive in the earlier parts in the race.

All in all, a good experience, I am grateful to have a chance to see what an amazing meet like this is all about, I remember watching the diamond league meets online while we were in Europe last year and thought how cool it would be to be in one, yep, it is pretty dang cool. Hopefully I'll earn another chance soon.

In other good news, 8th place earns 1,000 bucks here, so the Kampf cash train flowing;)

I'm currently seeing how "the other half" lives in the Delta Sky Lounge in Tokyo as I await my next flight home. I'm lucky enough to make some athlete friends who happen to fly even more than I do,so they've got platinum membership and guest passes to share with me! I'm gonna go see what free food I can take advantage of...:)

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