Day 19 - The 800
Flotrack Lueven 800 Video is Here. The Leuven 800 - July 27th at 14:00 the highlight of the summer! Some people think I came over just to get Alan Webb's race at history, but that is not the case. I came over to Europe for one reason, the Leuven 800. Terrence Mahon has been talking a lot of trash since we met in Boston for the marathon. Andrew Kastor has been keeping it low key with secret workouts in the middle of the night and Brad Yewer forgot to take his training shoes to Greece. Anyway the race is on Friday and I want your guys predictions. Who do you think is going to win and in what time? Talk to you guys later. If you get the winner and are the closest with the time I will send you a Flotrack shirt.
Nick Symmonds Workout
I am here in amsterdam paying 0.35 Euro a second for the Internet, so i am going to be brief. Check out the Nick Symmonds Workout. I will try to get more and watch out for the races this weekend, its going to be fun.
Kim Smith Workout
Ian Dobson`s Workout
So today's Blog is a workout of Ian Dobson. I always wondered how these athletes can come over to Europe and hold their fitness and run fast. I guess the answer is they train. So I decided to give you guys a break from me and show you a workout. I know my mom will probably be a little said that she cannot see me today but I think most people need the break. Today we did go to another low key meet in Belgium and it was a lot of fun, but I will show you guys tomorrow in my blog. I just got back from the meet and I'm ready for bed. I hope you enjoy the workout and get ready for me tomorrow because I will be back. Ciao
Day 14 - Waffles
The last couple days have been pretty hard on my body. I am racing a 800 against Brad, who you can see in the Ian Dobson workout, Andrew Kastor and Terence Mahon. I have not done a workout in 14 months and the last 5 days I have done 3 and a long run. Yesterday I jumped in a workout with Amy Hastings. We did a 1k and 4 x 400. Today I jumped in a workout with Ian Dobson and his coach Terence, my competition in the 800, looked pretty scared considering I did 5 x 200 at a pretty good clip. After the cool down I saw nick symmonds come on to the track so I asked if I could film his workout. He was cool about it so watch for that tomorrow. After the workout I headed to Amsterdam to change it up a little and find some different athletes. I'm excited for the meet this weekend in Belgium because we should have some fast times and if you read Walt Murphy's emails you would know that Webb will be trying to make history. We will have the mile along with Ritz in the 5k and the all the great races. I'm typing this on my crackberry so I hope I didn't make any mistakes. Anyway look for the Symmonds workout tomorrow and the great races this weekend! Ciao, Mark
Sorry for the short video but today was a long day. Andrew Carlson and I headed to the airport together at 7 in the morning after getting back from Heusden late on Saturday. I had a lot of fun the last 25 days and I could not of kept up the blog without all your support. It was hard work but well worth it. I learned, experienced new cultures and met a ton of great people. I will try to get a little recap video done here in the next couple days. I am in Austin so I think I will try to get a Leo Manzano workout, so look for that. I will be heading to Osaka and I'm thinking I will try to do something similar if you guys want. Tell me what you liked and didn't and I will try to make Osaka better. I think I am going to sleep for a couple days. I will talk to ya'll soon. Mark
Day 21 - Canadian Workout
Day 2 - Golden League Meet (Paris)
Day two was a long day. As I type right now it is 3 am Paris time and I have been up since 8am. As I look back on the day and my first European meet and first Golden League meet I am content. It was a great day and a great meet. I Ate lunch with Amy Acuff and Webb among others, the funny thing is all the athletes complain about the food in Europe and especially in France, which is known for their food. The athletes do have a point here, the food is not great, but since beggars cannot be choosers I am digging the free food. Amy and I sat and talked about the training center herself and her husband Ty started near Sacramento and how we need to raise awareness for all post collegiate training groups not just distance. I told her I would go out to Cali and make a flocast about their group, so look for that this fall. After Lunch I crashed out for two hrs and it could of been eight but I had to jump on the bus to the meet. I will let the video tell the story about the meet. After the meet I ate some dinner as everyone watched the race again. Now it is 3:10 and I have to catch a taxi to my hotel, get some shut eye because we travel by train tomorrow to cover another race in Belgium. So until next time....... Laters
Day 16 - Friday
Day 13 - High School?
Day 22 Bowling
Thank you !
I just wanted to say thanks to all the athletes and coaches. I tried to get as many of them in the video as possible but I know I missed a few so I wanted to thanks some of the people you did not see in the video. Jen Rhines and Stephen Haas for helping do some play by play, Kate O'Neill, Mary Cullen, Roisin McGettigan, Molly Huddle, New Zealand dudes, David Krumenacker, Reid Coolsiet, Eric Gillis, Paul Morrison, Steve Sherer, Chris Layne, Andy Stubbs, Ray Flynn, Aaron Aguayo, Brian Olinger, Chris Lukezic, Alistair Cragg, Aries Merrit, Sarah Jamieson, Steve Hooker, Alyssa Aiken, Aries Merrit, Wallace Spearmon, Demi Omole, aaaaaaahhhhhh I know I am still missing some people and I apologize if I missed you. And please do spread the word, we want your music, and lots of it, if you, your friends, someone in your family play in a band we would like to use it in our videos. We will put your name up and link back to you. We love all kinds of music, dont hesitate to shoot us an email at email@example.com Or use the Contact Form. Anyway I had a great time and I cannot wait until Osaka. 17 days! Thanks again, Mark
Day 8 - Bikes ???
I got to sleep in today and it felt great. I was going to run at 9 with a couple runners but they pushed back their run to later in the day and this suited me fine. When I did roll out of bed I went for a 53 min run. Today was the first day of training for an 800 that Terrence Mahon, Andrew Kastor, Brad, and myself will be competing in. I have noticed since I graduated college over a year ago. I'm a lil scared because the winning time was sub 2 last year and Terrence has been running a lot. We did 53 mins in the morning then I went out to film Ian Dobson's workout. After his workout I put on my old spikes and ran a 200. I was pleasantly surprised with myself when I saw that I ran a 26.4. After practice I went into town with Brad, Anne Shadle, Messener, and Andrew Carlson. We had some pretty decent food and headed home. I'm kind of tired because its 4:02 and I am thinking of making a Ian Dobson workout movie. Well I have to make this short because my eyes are closing.
Day 10 - Kortrijk
Today was a beautiful day here in Leuven. Brad woke me up kind of late to go for a run. Before we could head out the door, I ran into Terrence Mahon, the coach of Deena Kastor, Ryan Hall, Sara Hall, Ian Dobson, Kate O'neill and his wife Jen Rhines. Terrence just arrived from Rome, where Rhines ran great in the 5k. So Terrence, Kate, Brad and I go for a run but at 10 mins Kate turns back because she has a workout. We go 5 more mins and head back as well because Terrence has to hold Kate's workout. I start getting that pre-workout nervousness because I realize that I want to jump in and pace. I ask Terrence and Kate and they said it was cool, so I jumped in on her workout. I was a little nervous for two reasons; First because I was scared I was not going to be able to do it (I have not run a workout since I stopped running for Vig at Texas 14 months ago), Second I was scared I would screw up the pace because I had not run a workout in 14 months. Kate was cool and did not stress of my early herky jerky pace. She ran a couple 200s before I jumped in but together we ran 5 800s and a 400. It was tough on that last 800 but I got through it and felt great the rest of the day. I started creating my comeback plan because I knew I was coming back. Those thoughts faded quickly as I ordered a Sangria at lunch. The rest of the day I worked on today's video so I hope you like it. Tomorrow there is a race in Gent with a couple good races so stay tuned for that. Laters, Mark
Day 5 - Lausanne
I thought the first 4 days were hectic, but nothing as compared to day 5. I shot probably 300 mins of film. I think I spent more of the day looking at the beautiful city of Lausanne through my different cameras then with my own eyes. the day started off with me following around the young 110 hurdler Aries Merrit. I went to the track with him and filmed his warm up and talked about college station, the food, the iphone, and life on the road. He is a really chilled dude and offered me some japanimation, when i have time to watch i will. Right after hurdle practice i went to H&M with Sarah Jamieson, her hubby, or should i say soon to be hubby Jai, Steve Hooker, the Australian Pole Vaulter and my girl Jennifer Thomas, who has saved me from a couple disasters so far. After H&M I went to the track again. I went by cab and met a cool econ student who drives during the summer. We talked about America and Great America theme park, which is next to my house in Chicago. He would not let me tip him and since I am supposedly a trust fund baby this made me very embarrassed. By the time I got back to the Hotel after shooting at the track for the second time I got myself a meal ticket and hit the buffet. You can watch the video about that, but I must say the Ice cream here is ridiculous! I ate with the American distance runners, Chris Lukezic and Kevin Sullivan, who most of us take as our own anyway. It has been a long day, but I am getting to bed fairly early, its only 2, so I'm pumped and I will talk to you maÃÂ±ana.
Day 7 - Leuven
The last two nights I had solid rest and started the day ready to go, well ready to eat breakfast. I woke up around 10 so I could grab a good breakfast at the meet hotel. Jenny from Reebok or JT gave me her meal ticket because she was already on her way to Rome for the next meet. It was pretty crazy because after the meet got out last night all the big wigs, agents and shoe companies were checking out of their rooms at 1 in the morning heading South towards Rome. While most of the circuit heads South I head North towards Belgium. Today's video is all about the meet last night and my travels today, everything except my transfer from one Paris train station to the other. I arrived at Paris Core and I had to head to Paris Nord and use the subway. Well all I had was a 20 euro and none of the ticket machines were in English and I was totally a confused tourist and starting to get uncomfortable because my train from Paris Nord was leaving soon I needed to figure out how to get a ticket with out spending 20 Euros on a week pass. So I rushed up to the shops on the second level. I was frantically looking for some food shop so I could get some water and change for my 20 but all I could see was luggage shops and a post card store, bingo. I ran over to the shop but right before i got there i made sure to not look like a lost, scared American that needed someone to speak English too. So I walked in all cool but the guy saw right through me. It was probably my flushed face, sweat spotted shirt, a tearful eyes, OK I was not crying but I was sweating pretty bad. So I paid my 1.30 for a post card i did not care about and strolled out like i knew what I was doing. When I thought i was out of the frenchie's sight, I stared looking for the ticket machine. I was pressing all sorts of buttons, but it was not working. I almost bought a ticket off one of those bums that specifically sell to stupid tourists. I told myself I would rather miss my train. I was punching all sorts of buttons until it said insert money, I did and a ticket came out. I was relieved and pretty proud of myself for solving the equation that is the subway. Well that was one of the many entertaining moments i am having here across the pond. I will talk to you guys tomorrow. Later. Mark
Day 3 - Belgium
Today was great because we traveled away from the Paris airport. You can watch the my video about the travelling so I will focus my written blog on the meet. The race tonight was exactly what i thought small European meets were like. When you think of low key meets in Europe where people run fast this was it. Walking into the meet it just felt different then a USA meet people were dressed nice drinking wine and beer out of glasses chilling on picnic benches looking over the track. There was a VIP section with really good food. People always told me that these meets were social events and now i know why. It was the thing to do, a lot of people were not really there for the meet but for the company of others. The fans would cheer but you could tell everyone was just satisfied sitting near the track as the sun fell behind the trees drinking their beer. I talked Alan Webb into calling the 1500s with me and you can hear him cheering on Solinsky as he comes down the home stretch when he set a huge PR. I also filmed a couple 800s and walked around doing some interviews. After all the meets I find my way into a meal ticket and head into the dinning hall where all the athletes, managers and coaches mingle after the meet. Tonight was a real chill dinner as Solinsky, Mcwilliams, Cook and others ate some really good food and hung out for an hour or so after everyone was done competing. Again I find myself typing at 3:30 in the morning and I will have to head out early to our next destination to Lausanne via Brussels and Paris.
My Coach Mr. C
Anyone who was coached by Mr. Connelly knows what kind of person he is. Mr. Connelly has been one of the biggest influences in my life. While I was at St. Ignatius from 1998 to 2001 he was my teacher, coach, father and friend. Today in Chicago a lot of former runners and friends are celebrating his 40 years at St. Ignatius. I cannot be there so I wanted to do something to honor him because I cannot do it in person. If you know Mr. Connelly and would like to help honor him , please leave a comment. If you are an Ignatius alum and want a copy of the tribute please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you out
Day 1 - Paris
I am traveling through Europe with the track circuit trying to find out why more people come to the meets and why athletes run so fast. This is day 1. It is 5:15 pm in Paris and I am sitting in the bar of the meet hotel Sofitel. As I have learned pretty quickly, the meet hotel bar and lobby is where all business gets done. As I type this blog, the first of many from Europe, a group of five agents are talking to my left about their cell phone coverage in Europe and how the iPhone is the future and blackberrys are dead. I hope that is not the case because I just bumped up to the blackberry and I love my little white pearl. A Journalist sits to my left punching away at his computer working on his story for tomorrow?s paper, a manager and a coach sit across from me whispering in each other?s ear planning the rest of season, two meet directors at the bar talk about what athletes they have in their meet and how much they paid. It is actually quite amusing because all these agents, managers, meet directors and coaches fly all over the world every weekend to meet and talk business with the same people in different hotel lobbies. Before I get to far ahead of myself let me take a step back and fill you guys in on the 24 hrs and how I got here. 24hrs ago I was scrambling in Austin to get ready for 25 days in Europe. How much should I carry and do I have everything I need? Those questions did not get answered because before I knew it I had to get to the airport to catch a 1:10 pm flight to Atlanta. I left Austin on time despite the rain and landed in Atlanta on America day heading over to France, kind of seems un-American as my friends pointed out. I have never been to France so I am willing to give it a chance and so far everyone has been pretty nice. I left Atlanta at 5:35 eastern time and had a whole row to myself until Ray Flynn the agent surprised me and sat next to me to waste some time. Ray and I talked for a couple hours about Europe and what I should expect. I arrived in Paris at 8:15 am Paris time and headed straight to work. Dropped my bags off at my hotel and headed straight to the meet hotel. I ate Lunch with Andy Stubbs, the brother and biz partner of agent Peter Stubbs, Jenifer Thomas of Reebok and Sarah Jamieson, the 1500 runner from Australia. At lunch I set up an interview with Sarah at 2:30 and rushed to the Bernard Lagat press conference. After the Press conference and Jamieson?s interview I spotted Alan Webb in the lobby and hit him up for a quick recap of his season so far. It has been a long day and I have slept 3 hrs in the last 30 and I am two espressos deep chilling out listening to the chitter chatter of agents here in the hotel lobby, the wall street of the circuit.
Day 6 - Lausanne
Tuesday started off as the most chill day but turned to the most stressful. I woke up and I pulled the double breakfast. Here in Europe they give you breakfast at the hotel, well I guess it's like that in the states, but it feels different here. I'm not staying at the Meet hotel with food hall, I'm staying at the hotel across the street with all the red headed track step children. The rooms are nice but the door man hates my late nights. When I headed over to the meet hotel I found my way into another meal ticket so I could not decline. After breakfast and brunch I went out on the town, but you can watch the video about that. When I arrived at the meet I was all pumped up for some great races but I soon realized that I only had one of my two cameras and it was a huge problem. I had to make do with my smaller cam and low battery power. I was running around all over the place and did not really get to see too many of the races. The meet itself was great but I will wait and let tomorrow's video do the talking. Well I want to hit the hay so I will talk to ya'll tomorrow.
Day 4 - To Switzerland
Again I find myself typing away late into the night, itÃâs 2:27 here in Switzerland. Until about 20 mins ago a bunch of athletes were and mangers were still up in the lobby paying cards and telling stories, mostly telling stories. Most of the stories cannot be repeated because as I learned today on the train, what happens on the circuit stays on the circuit. When we finally arrived in Lausanne after a 2hr delay and one unexpected train change. I met up with Jennifer Thomas of Reebok, who introduced me to Steve Hooker the Pole Vaulter from Australia. We were supposed to have a beer together; Hooker always has one or two beers two nights before he competes. That fell through because of a timing mishap but we met up later and had a good interview. All in all we were traveling from 10:30 in the morning to 9 at night so I am pretty beat so I need to get some shuteye and I will talk to you tomorrow. Ciao
France, Belgium, Switzerland