Friday, August 26, 2011

...and so it begins!

The IAAF World Championships in Daegu, South Korea begin today! Huge shout out to Aretha Thurmond, Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Stephanie Brown-Trafton, Kibwe Johnson and Michael Mai, who are competing in their qualifying rounds to kick the American throwers off!

I arrived here on Monday night; I flew from San Diego to LAX, LAX to Tokyo, Tokyo to Busan, South Korea, and then rode a bus to the Athletes' Village. By the time I got to the bus, I was so tired that I have absolutely no idea how long that trip took. I think it was probably 5 hours. Okay...more like two. On the 12-hour flight from LAX to Tokyo, I had my own exit row by the bulkhead; two seats to myself with all kinds of leg room! It was probably the longest and easiest day of travel ever. The only bad thing that happened was that I had a Mom moment and left my favorite water bottle somewhere in the L.A. airport!

The Athletes' Village here is amazing. This is only the second time that there has been a village for World Championships (instead of just a hotel), and the LOC (Local Organizing Committee) did an awesome job!! There are four bedrooms and two bathrooms per suite, plus a big living room and kitchen. Jill and I got the master bedroom, haha! The air conditioning is fabulous, and each suite has its own wireless internet router! The dining hall is in the basement below all the different buildings, connecting them, and while the food leaves much to be desired, it's convenient and sufficient (plus, I brought my own healthy snacks and tuna packets, and there's a grocery store down the road with peanut butter). There's a fitness room with a fantastic sauna, and the practice track, weight room and throwing area are actually in the village! Honestly, it's exactly like living at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center, except with more living space and worse food. I'm a happy camper!

Speaking of camping, Russ is on an amazing fishing trip through Colorado right now, and I'm really excited to meet up with him and explore the wilderness on vacation! Before that happens, there's work to be done and fun to be had here, though!

I threw in practice on Wednesday, and it was better than the majority of my practices this summer, but not as good as the ones I've had at home in the last few weeks. I'm extremely happy to say that I've found my alignment and connection again, and I'm working on reproducing those feelings on every single throw I take. We've figured out which rhythm and speed I should use in my full approach, and keeping all my energy moving in the right direction is getting easier and easier.
It's so nice that Worlds are finally here.
This season has been a pretty surprising roller coaster ride, and it's great to finally be resting a lot to let my body soak up all the hard training I've done for the last nine or so months! I'm happy that the focus of the season has finally arrived, and that I feel like everything we've done this year (and last year!) has led me to this competition. That was the plan all along. :)

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