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Back to Europe

Back in Europe
12 June 2002 

Just last week I flew from the US to Europe; finishing up in Stuttgart, Germany, which is just 30km from our summer training base in Tübingen.  My flight was good – from Seattle to London then a connection to Stuttgart.  I arrived in Tübingen and went for a steady 40 minute run.  It rained hard halfway through and although I was soaked through it was no great problem; in fact I enjoy running in the rain!  Starting this diary, I should say that all my training is co-ordinated by Coach Li who has been my coach since I arrived in Washington State University in 1996.  He is my close friend but most of all a very precise and smart man who pays attention to all details of preparation, no matter how minor.  We suffer from inclement weather during the winter months of Washington State and so are a little behind on early track work. However, we worked hard over the winter and I’m starting the season in good shape.

The two days in Tübingen went so fast, then on Friday I traveled to Seville with my training partners Benjamin Kipkurui and Japheth Kimutai, and my manager James Templeton.  Connections from Stuttgart to Seville aren’t great, but the time passed quickly as we all had plenty to talk about.

My goal for Seville was to run a smart race and win it.  I was hungry for a fast race following my disappointing 3rd place finish at the Prefontaine Classic in Eugene.  We had pacemakers lined up to take us through a fast 1100m, however the breeze was surprisingly strong and the pace was a little lower than we had planned.  Personally, I felt that the two guys did a good job and I was pretty satisfied with my performance (1st in 3:36.52).  Sure, it was slower than I’d planned, however it told me a lot about my level of endurance and speed at this time of year.  My 56/57 seconds for the last 400m tells me that I’m capable of running a lot faster…..that’s the key adjustment we’ll be making on my training – to build speed for the later part of the race.

I travel home to Kenya for the National Championships starting 20th June.  I’m always really excited to see my parents, sisters, brothers and my lovely nieces especially Sheilla and Joylene.  The three tactical races of Nationals are a good chance to really polish my form and sharpness.  Which is good because after Kenya I return to Europe for 1500s in Lausanne (2nd July) and Paris St-Denis (5th July).  In between races I like to balance my time between training/traveling etc and school/relaxation.  I like to read magazines especially those related to IT, politics around the world; watch TV (sports, entertainment, music, politics), surf the web and email my friends.  I’m studying for my certification on Windows 2000 Professional (MCBE) course offered by Microsoft.  So you see it is a busy time of the year for me!