On the eve of the Fourth of July, a holiday known for fireworks, myself and a lot of other athletes got the fireworks started a day early out in Eugene, Oregon.
I am very happy with my performance today at the Nike Prefontaine Classic. I guess that would sound like a bit of an understatement, but even though I ran the American Record and produced the fastest time ever run on American soil, I am always looking for more ways to go faster.
I work my mom's nerves with that too LOL, I enjoy my previous performances for a short period of time and get to talking about ways I messed up in the race. She really dislikes that, but I can't help it. I think that is one thing that makes me a successful athlete, I strive for more and more and more always, no matter what I run.
As I sit in my hotel room and type this, it hasn't set in what I accomplished out at the track today. One thing I know for sure that totally blows me away when I think about it is, of all of the great 110 hurdlers this country has produced, from the Allen Johnson's to the Renaldo Niehimiah's to the Roger Kingdom's, I am the fastest hurdler to ever don the red, white and blue.
What's more remarkable is this is from me, a guy that was the 32 ranked hurdler in America in 2004, no hype out of high school or college and had to grind for every last thing I've gotten from this sport. I feel that I can be a real inspiration to younger athletes, you don't have to be the best coming up, but if you work hard and listen to the people that have your best interest at heart, you can be successful.
To the race itself, I felt very good in my warm up. In these one-off races, I try to warm up so hard so that when I get to the actual race, it feels like my second effort of the day. It is funny when I am in the back in the warm up area because that is where races are won and lost 90% of the time.
I don't remember very much from the race to be honest, but I knew when I was running that I was stepping!
I was far from shocked or surprised when I looked over at the clock and saw 12.90, I was waiting to hear what the wind on it was. I didn't think it was wind aided, but when he said "+1.6, legal wind" it just confirmed it and I was very happy.
I ran 12.89 windy in 2008 at the Olympic Trails and Brooks always says, what you can do windy, you can do legal and I almost did just that.
The most important thing is that I will come away from this meet still healthy and able to continue on my season. I am 100% genuine when I tell people that everytime I come to a meet, it is a celebration to me. The agony of being out nearly three months last year really made me appreciate what it is that I am doing and I have found competition to be much easier in the process.
I don't worry about competing or hoping to run fast etc, I just am happy for the fact that I have the opportunity to race over ten hurdles and show the world what I can do. I realize it is not my birthright to be out at any meet competing.
I absolutely love the crowds in Eugene! They are great. I don't know if people understand that we feed off the energy from the crowd, they fuel most of the performances that happen on the track.
This year's Prefontaine Classic was the best meet I have ever seen outside of an Olympic Games from a times standpoint. From the woman's 100 meters to the men's mile races, everybody was rolling! I was named athlete of the meet and awarded a plaque named in honor of the great Maria Mutola. Given all the great performances that took place today, really means a lot to me.
Now I will be returning home feeling even better than when I left. Won the US title again, ran a couple more sub 13's and will go back to Florida as the American Record holder. There is more left in the tank and a few tweaks I can make as well. I am looking forward to the rest of the season for sure!