crammed busride to crystal palace

Getting upclose and personal with the Brits.

Quick update from London: I race the 5k tomorrow and I’m feeling much better and excited to step on the line, but it has taken a major turnaround after last weekend’s race in Stockholm.

First off, thanks for the incredible support. You all were awesome in the pre-race predictions, and I’m automatically forwarding your previous guesses to this weekend’s race as well. You can enter an additional, new guess if you like by commenting on this post.

Stockholm was a rough race for me, physically and mentally. The fact that I ran a season’s best by a small amount was the only redeeming factor in an otherwise craptastic racing experience. My cramp from hell struck right after 3k, making me slow down dramatically, and then once I started cursing the heavens about my unsolved mystery on lap 8, things kinda spiraled downhill…
Note: its not worth getting angry in the middle of a race. It only makes things worse.

Anyway, I walked off the track in a daze, and made my way over to the forest for a cool down, only to be found by Skip (Sally Kipyego) where I proceeded to burst into tears of frustration. I’m not a crier by nature, and I was surprised at how readily I crumpled into her skinny little arms. I guess after two years together on OTC, we’re there. I got in a few good heaves and then I pulled it together and gave her an enormous hug for her second place finish (the girl is on fire right now and deserves every good thing coming to her…some day I’ll write an inside scoop bio on her so you too can know how amazing she is).

Then back at the hotel, A-Jam (Alysia Johnson Montano) came up to my room and told me to “spill it.” A-Jam and I go back 11 years, and since 2008 we’ve spilled our deepest fears and exposed our weirdest psychoses over long phone conversations in the name of the pursuit of athletic excellence. Its a no holds barred relationship between two people from similar roots, with similar goals. Even though we rarely see one another in person, I talk to her about everything from wanting to win a gold medal to the color of my poop.

Having already had a little cry earlier with Skip, I didn’t really want to get into it, and was about to put on my jammies and stare at the ceiling until morning, but A-Jam told me “You are going to talk this out, and then put on your hottest dress and go dancing.” She stared me down, and then did that thing like in Harry Potter where those ghost spirit things suck your soul out of your mouth. I cried like a baby and got it all out: how I am sick and tired of playing catch up; how I just want this damn cramp to go away; how I’m starting to feel like a crazy person. I threw out empty threats of quitting the sport, which then made me cry harder (a good sign its not really what you want). When I got it all out, she held my shoulders and looked me in the eyes and helped me find gravity again. I called Rowls and we sorted out a plan between Stockholm and London to get to the bottom of things and get back on the starting line one more time. The plan started with getting out of my hotel room and going to the after-party, coach’s orders.

Damn, I am so frickin lucky. Look at the people I have in my life.

Hot shower.
Tie dye dress and my favorite black boots.
Post-race party filled to the brim with athletes and locals.
Sweltering room, cold drink.
Usain Bolt plays DJ while the Swedish locals swarm the booth with video cameras…

I thought I’d need a crane to lift my chin up, but all it took was good advice and dancing, dancing, dancing.

Fast forward to London…I’m here. Progress has been made on the stomach. I’m pulling it together. 5k Crystal Palace Diamond League, here I come.

Same contest as last week applies here: closest guess to my time tomorrow (race is at 3:45 London time) that is posted as a comment here gets a very fun English prize. You’ll like it, I promise.