Fri., Aug. 7, 2009
After all travel is said and done, all I can say is business class rocks! I upgraded my ticket in Chicago and the rest is history. Anytime you order dinner from a menu on a plane you know you are in good hands. Besides the delays in Chicago everything went pretty smoothly.
The hotel is pretty awesome. To use the power in the room you have to keep the room key in some power outlet which runs the entire room. I thought I was just using the card wrong but my room did indeed have a electrical problem.
The first run was really great. My legs needed the shakeout as equally bad as I needed to sleep. I got lost on my run and my shakeout turned into a great way to learn the city and meet some locals. Great architecture and great sidewalk art. I got some really good rest last night and now I am fighting my eyes to stay awake. Bring on the coffee!
Sunday, Aug. 9, 2009
Today we will be packing up and moving to our new hotel. The new hotel is only one mile from the present one, so not sure the reason for the move, but exciting nonetheless. The present hotel offers a physio room with massage and treatment, also a hospitality room, and several dining rooms. This new hotel must be the BOMB!!!
As far as training goes, yesterday was the first track session since arriving in Berlin. There was no fear of being lost this time as all I had to do was run straight and turn left. The workout was very encouraging as I didn’t feel quite 100 percent, but all my splits were still faster than race pace. There is a beautiful dirt/gravel trail that runs for miles along a little canal, so this makes the easy runs quite enjoyable.
I am still meeting great people on a daily basis, whether it is at a meal or at the practice track, or enjoying some great Wii moments. This morning we had a nice bible study for all those who cared to attend. It was great to worship with some of the best athletes in the world. To be here in Berlin, we all have been truly blessed by the lord, and to spend an hour a day every couple days talking over favorite bible verses is the least we can do.
As the race day draws ever closer, thoughts are rushing through my mind about racing, god, family, friends, and the ensuing school year. As all these thoughts flow in and out, I am constantly reminded that whatever happens here, win or lose, nothing at this point can get any better or worse. Just to be here in Berlin, and on Team USA is truly living the dream. God is good. Go Hogs!
Mon. Aug. 10, 2009
Well, today was surely a day of firsts. I went downtown with a handful of other athletes to check out some of the sights. Berlin is an easy to navigate city with plenty of sights worth seeing. We ventured to the Brandenberg Tor (stronghold for the Nazi troops during WWII) , the Holocaust Memorial and museum, the Berlin wall, Checkpoint Charlie (checkpoint that was the first checkpoint initiating American military zone) and the Berlin version of the space needle, not sure what this was called, but it was awesome. It was almost bizarre being in some of these locations, like the Berlin wall (or what is left of it, 100 meters) or Brandenberg Tor. Being in the same spot that Nazi troops and the world’s greatest symbol of oppression once ruled the landscape was not a great feeling, but rather as I said before, a bizarre one. Today was a very successful day as our small group of city seekers ventured to all these points with just enough time to get back for some afternoon massages!
I nearly forgot! This morning, Dan (steeplechaser) and I were out for a run when a wild steed (unleashed pit bull) came flying out of the woods and right into our path. He wasn’t friendly and certainly wasn’t just going to sit by and let us pass. As my heart almost leapt out of my chest and ran back the other way I confronted the wild beast. I figured if you can scare away a lion by standing tall the same would work for a dog. I stood in my tracks and didn’t back down. I have never seen a dog run so fast. I am pretty sure this daily merit of courage earned a couple chest hairs.
All in all, great day. God is good. Go Hogs!