I arrived in Serbia safely on Tuesday afternoon. Everything has been going pretty well here so far. I have adjusted to the time change very comfortably, no middle of the night wake ups or anything so I am thankful for that! Since it is a games (all sports), we are staying in an athletes village that is basically like 10 huge apartment buildings all in one area and is all fenced in. Its like a mini version of the Olympic Village that you would hear about. There are restaurants, grocery stores, you name it, there is one in the village. We are also close to a mall so its nice to be able to get out of the village and do something. Most people around here speak english so its been easy to get around and figure things out.
The weather has been great! It hasnt gotten any warmer than 26c and when I train in the morning its maybe only 18-20c. The first few days I struggled with trying to find a place to train but the last few days have been great. It seems as though they have bike paths all over the city instead of sidewalks! Its great for me. Very smooth, asphalt surface and the paths are everywhere so you never have to worry about running out of path.
Today we went and looked at my race course. It is a 2km loop, very flat and smooth. It has very wide turns so it seems like it will be a good, fast course. I race next Friday, July 10th at 7:30am. I am really looking forward to it. I have already seen some of my competitors training around the village. I havent seen the startlist yet though so I dont know how many people are in my race. I will probably find out in a few days.
I have my first hard workout tomorrow since Nationals. It will be my only harder workout before the race. Ill have one on Monday or Tuesday but just some 500's at race pace just to loosen up.
Btw, Nationals went well. Coach Tim told me the night before the race to just take it easy and just go fast enough to win so I did just that. I took it like a tempo walk and felt very comfortable through the whole thing. I wasnt breathing at all through the whole race and was able to talk and joke around with people the whole time. It made it a lot of fun! I ended up walking 1:43:28. Its funny to think back to when this time was a fast time for me! Im so happy with how far I have come over the years.
If you want to know more information about the meet, you can check the website at: http://www.universiade-belgrade2009.org/
Keep on walking,