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Inside the Olympic Village-100M Week, handball!

Aug. 3: More Progress, Women’s Handball, Countdown to Athletics

The
past two days have shown a lot of progress. We have been going to the
physio every afternoon for about 90 minutes to get Ruben worked on and
he seems to be coming along well. His hip was tight which was causing
the knee pain. But his hip has loosened up quite a bit which has allowed
some relief to the knee. The progress from a week ago is really
remarkable and Ruben has well over 100 miles in the last 6 days,
including a workout. Tomorrow we will be on the track in the afternoon
for another track workout and hopefully we’ll continue to see the
progress. These are certainly not ideal circumstances but there has been
so much progress that our confidence in the 5,000 meters is rising each
day. The field Ruben will be racing against is likely the best 5,000
meter field ever assembled, so its a great honor just to be in the
field. Rest assured, everything he has will be left on the track in
Olympic Stadium.
 
Yesterday,
I attended the technical meeting for Athletics (Track and Field) as the
Cape Verde representative. No technical meeting is ever the greatest
way to spend your time, but this was a bit different. Each country is
only allowed a maximum of three representatives, so I was in the meeting
with basically the top administrators and coaches from literally around
the world. This will be the most excited I will ever be to attend
a technical meeting, that’s for sure. I just looked around the room and
realized just how far I had come in my profession from my first coaching
job as a junior high school assistant at the Keene Middle School. I
thought back to coaching sixth, seventh and eighth graders; showing up
for practice at Trinity not knowing anything about coaching a college
team; going to practice my first day at the Merchant Marine Academy when
one of the captains quit because I expected him to come to practice
each day; and finally being introduced to the team at UMass Lowell in
the stands at Costello (Athletic Center) by Joan Lehoullier (Senior
Associate Director of Athletics). Its amazing to think back on all the
steps along the way to get me here to London and all the people that
have had a hand in getting me to this point. I would thank them all too
many to list here but without all your help I would never have made it
London.
 
Last
night Ruben and I attend the Spain vs. Denmark women’s handball game.
For those that have never seen handball, its a cross of soccer, lacrosse
and generally tackle the person with the ball. It was in a place called
the Copper Dome (the outside is completely covered in copper, oddly
enough) which was one of best venues I have ever been in to watch an
event. We were literally on top of the action from our seats and I truly
enjoyed the entire game… or match…Actually, I’m not even sure
what its called, but you get the idea.  Those women were unbelievable
athletes and extremely tough. The only reason we even got tickets to
handball was because it was a 4 minute walk from our apartment and I am
really glad we experienced it.
 
Today
on our morning run and dinner tonight I finally got a chance to meet up
with, Benita Willis, one of Ruben’s training partners in Colorado. I
have heard so much about her, but never have had a chance to meet her in
person. Benita has the very special distinction of being the last
non-African winners of the World Cross Country Championships. She also
holds many of the national records for Australia and has run the
marathon in 2:22. She has also been a great help to Ruben as he has made
his way through the world of professional running. It has been great
for Ruben to have such an influence on his running and training. Now
that I have spent some more time with Benita, I know why Ruben thinks so
highly of her.
(Front row waiting for the women’s 100m prelims)
 
Tomorrow we
have the first day of athletics so we are looking forward to getting
that ball rolling. In the first session tomorrow morning, Lidiane Lopes
from Cape Verde will be in the preliminary sections of the women’s 100
meters – section four if you get a chance to watch.
 
Its
hard to believe we have been here over a week – the time has gone by so
fast. We are looking forward to finally seeing some great Track and
Field performances live in Olympic Stadium over the next week!
 
All the feedback from the blog has been great, so keep it coming!
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