Donn's Olympic Journal
Friday, Aug. 3
That was probably the most fun I've ever had mid-race in my life. Since I was leading the whole way I got to really soak it all in and not have to deal with thinking about everyone else. Walking into that stadium was magical. Walking out as an Olympic Finalist was pretty sweet too! Now I'm going into the final thinking I may as well run for a medal and see what happens.
Afterward I met up with the Princeton crew and had dinner a few stops out of the city to unwind. Then rode back in, watched the womens' 10k and came back to the village. It's now 1:15am so I'll probably just put in ear plugs and cover my eyes with the sleep blinders and just wake up whenever feels right. Tough life.
Race notes: Auto-qualified to the Olympic Final. After 150m nobody was going to lead so I jumped to the front and started shooting for 66s (2:45s). Led until 300ish to go I didn't respond quickly enough when the guys jumped me. Had to wait until after the water to get back in the auto-qualifying group.
Thursday, Aug. 2
Took the tube to Mile End, ran to the Thames and explored the Thames River Path. It seems like there could be some potential for a post-finals run about a mile west, toward the center of the city.
By the time I got back to Mile End Stadium James Cole had showed up! I did some drills and light hurdle stuff, got a quad massage and then met up with everyone else! The crew is complete: Mom & Dad; Mike & Steph; Uncle Brent, Aunt Penny & Cuz Brooks; TK, Andy & James; Coach Dolan, his wife & kids; plus Callahan, Conor McCullough, Shane & Brad!
Got back to the village just in time to throw on my 3XL podium suit and size 13 podium shoes for the team picture... and then to exchange it for a podium suit that actually fits.
Got in the
Normatech inflating pant legs after that and used the extra-long ones
that, once inflated, were crushing an area that shouldn't be crushed.
Particularly days before the Olympic Village supposedly goes wild.
Anyway, I can't wait for tomorrow. Ezekiel Kemboi, Roba Gari, and the likes!
Wednesday, Aug. 1
Today I ran from the Olympic Village, through the Olympic Park where all the stadiums are, and into Victoria Park where I did a perimeter loop. In the Park it was about a mile, each way, through thousands of people. I actually did a pretty good job staying at a run and keeping my heart rate up. But every time I looked up at the endless crowd it was really daunting.
Met up with Coach Dolan and his family at the mall afterward for a burger and smoothie. I really really can't wait to race, but I'm also so excited for track and field to start! The Olympics are about to get so much better!
Tuesday, July 31
Had coach Dolan's company for the workout today. Having someone on my side was helpful. I felt pretty good during this! Water barriers weren't stellar but they never are in practice. The running was good and that's the important part.
Went to a Lithuania-Nigeria basketball game afterward and cruised around London a bit. I'm enjoying the freedom and the down time here. Also being spotted throughout the city as an Olympian is pretty cool!
Monday, July 30
Woot woot! Still haven't gotten killed crossing streets on runs in London even though I never know which way to look! This morning I left the village at 11 am and was at Bloomberg TV in London's financial district by 11:30 for my first live TV interview. Then another interview with Bloomberg, this time recorded, edited and pretty much coached. He kept telling me to say it again, but more concise, say it again but take this out, say it again, but don't stumble through it. Jeeeez cut me some slack!
Then from Bloomberg TV to the Nike Hospitality Building to pick up MORE gear and stash my stuff while I ran in Regent's Park. Felt pretty good on my run and loved exploring the park on a beautiful day. I could get used to this nomadic life where every run is a new adventure. Washed up briefly in the Hospitality building then walked back to Regent's Park for an NBC30 interview with Kevin Nathan.
Then hitched a ride with the NBC30 crew to Dorset Square for a Princeton Alumni Association of UK meeting right in the square's private garden. Met up with Callahan there and rode the tube back with him to Stratford afterward (what a guy, he stayed on several stops extra just to keep me company and hang out!) Now time for a good night sleep and tomorrow is my final workout before the race! Coach Dolan should be here in time to see it, too. Looking forward to it.
Sunday, July 29
Spiked up in my new Nike Olympic Edition Mambas! I have more pairs of spikes than I know what to do with these days.
wanted to keep this workout fairly easy and maybe unload on the last
one a bit. After #2 I consciously decided to slow down a bit and make
sure they felt smooth. The 45s rep felt good, and the next rep (42s)
felt just as good, so backing off the pace seemed to help. The last 50m
or so of my 5th one the wheels were falling off!
Good relaxing day today, but I need to make an effort to get more sleep. Like 10 hours of sleep. None of this 8-hour night funny business.
Saturday, July 28
Took the tube to Queensway, walked across Hyde Park and to the Royal Museum of Art, which is now the Team USA house. Changed and stashed my stuff there before running in Hyde Park. Had a good exploratory run, came back to the USA house and had a delicious free lunch with all you can eat Chobani! Then took the subway back to the village.
Friday, July 27
Didn't really want to run any slower than 65s even though I planned to. Hurdling went well and it looks good on the video that was taken for me during the workout. Didn't feel springy, but I think with some quicker stuff and some recovery I'll be there soon. Happy with this workout!
Laid low for the rest of the day until the ceremonies. Although I was on my feet from 9pm until almost 2am it was such a great way to really get excited and feel the aura surrounding these games.
Thursday, July 26
Took a 2.5-3 hour bus from Birmingham to the Village this morning! Moved into my new home for the next few weeks and began to unpack and sort through the ridiculous piles of new gear. Had to cut it short to head to practice though. 20 min to the Thames and back along the canal from Mile End Stadium, USA's newly-renovated exclusive training facility.
Tonight at dinner the men's basketball team came through the dining hall and got mobbbbbbed by people. It took Kobe like 5-10 minutes to walk 100m because of all the athletes surrounding him and posing for pictures with him. He was good about it, but I think the team is staying out of the village and only went into the village to see it and let themselves be seen a bit so he better be good about it!
Wednesday, July 25
Woke up at 10am. Was officially out of bed at about noon. Ran on another canal path, this time right next to the hotel. This was actually very similar to the tow path in Princeton, but maybe a little harder, narrower and there's no shoulder between the path and the water. And more urban in a few places. And grosser water (yes, apparently that's possible). But more boats and activity. So basically the similarities end with straight, flat and dirt.
Got a good stretch out and steam room session in afterward. Also today had a visit to wounded soldiers at the hospital, a Team USA karaoke night and a ping pong tournament. Good stuff.
Tuesday, July 24
At Alexander Stadium in Birmingham again at Team USA's training camp. Got there by about 10:45am, did a little warm up jog around Perry Park, then did drills, got my arch taped, strides, then the workout. Arch taping wasn't bad but it was a little tighter than I'd like. I'll have to adjust that for future workouts/opening ceremonies. Workout was intended to be 5 miles at 4:48 pace but I'd be ready to pull the plug after 4. I had a slow lap from 3.75-4 miles and hadn't been feeling good so I stopped. USA's distance coach, Jack Hazen gave me splits afterward that showed it was only a 73.7 which isn't too bad. I think some of these might have been babied a bit though. Anyway, it looks like I ran about 4: 47, 47, 48, 49 for the tempo. I don't know where we're missing a lap from but whatever. Afterward I grabbed a protein shake, a stretch and an ice bath and headed back to the hotel. Tonight we had a free, exclusive showing of Ted just for Team USA. Walking back to the hotel at night as a big group everyone kept staring at us and asking us questions and asking who gets to race Usain. Fun stuff!
Monday, July 23
This morning I took a bus from the Olympic Village in London to the Team USA Track and Field training camp in Birmingham. The accommodations are awesome. The track we use is the Diamond League stadium. Sahweet! Ran from the stadium to the canal and went TPR-Birmingham out and back totaling 4ish miles then TPL-Birmingham out and back totaling 3ish miles. The Tow Path actually wasn't very nice and was difficult to run on, but now I know for the coming days and when I hopefully come back to Birmingham in August for the Diamond League meet.
When I got back to the stadium I did the full hurdle routine followed by 2x40m 2x60m 2x80m, but I guessed on the distances since nothing was marked out. Didn't feel speedy but I think I'm feeling the race/travel combination. Ice bath and steam room afterward.
To add to all this newfound publicity, I've started using Burst.it to share pictures and videos from the games. Check out my page at http://www.burst.me/dc/donn-cabral if you'd like. That's the last promoting I'm going to do in my running log though.
Sunday, July 22
Drove from Szczecin to Berlin this morning. Was the only American on the bus but practiced my Russian with two 400 hurdlers from St. Petersburg. Two hour flight to London and then a 90 minute bus ride to the village. By the time I was checked in it had been about 8 hours total traveling. I got a room to myself in the USA block for tonight. I'll get a different one when I come back on Thursday. I've already broken the showerhead - sorry Nick Symmonds, Cyrus Hostetler, Kyle Alcorn and whoever the 4th person will eventually be.
Went for a run from the village but tried getting directions first which really delayed me. I had hand-drawn maps, suggestions to do my whole 12-miler on the grass field in the village, and whole crews of volunteers arguing about how to get around. Bottom line is getting into and out of this village is going to be annoying. Ended up running along the canal even though it took a while to get there. I wish I had gone the other way and hit the River Thames, but I was told that was way too far so I decided to explore upriver. There was a ton of dodging of people and waiting to get around people since this canal path was very narrow and very crowded. The live music and festivity along the canal was definitely entertaining though.
I taped my foot before this run since during the warm up yesterday I started to feel arch pain if I landed on my mid-foot. Today there were several times where I'd get shots of pain in my arch and heel, but it wasn't as bad during my run. I'll see doctors and trainers tomorrow and hopefully get my calves and feet stretched, rubbed and taken care of.