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Read about Andy in America
Date: 1/5/2007

Hello again and thanks for reading my final diary entry.

Andy in America

This month has been really exciting and to be honest Iím really not sure where to start! I left for Orlando in Florida a couple of days after writing my last diary.  The flight was really long and tiring as we had to fly to New York and then on to Orlando.

When we arrived there and walked outside a big smile appeared across my face. It was boiling hot and being the sun worshipper that I am it wasnít only great weather for a tan but also great weather for training.

I went to the states with 10 other athletes and we all stayed in a large house together. Sprinters are generally a noisy lot anyway but this lot were unbearable at times! As soon as one person woke up then the whole house woke up, screaming, shouting and laughingÖ when you have kids of your own though you get used to not much sleep so it didnít really bother me.

Lloyd, my coach, told me that we would be training during the week then the weekend was ours to do whatever we wanted. Training out there was great. The track we trained at was actually at Disney World, which Iíve never been to, so it was pretty weird walking from the car park to the track every day and bumping into a giant Mickey Mouse or Goofy! The first weekís training went really well. Normally it takes a few days to get over the long flight and to adjust to the new time zone but I felt absolutely fine and it showed on the track. The times I was running in training were really quick and I started to get the feeling back that I wanted to race again and soon.

The first weekend came around pretty quickly and it was all about getting out and seeing what Orlando had to offer. We decided that ĎWet 'n' Wildí was the first attraction we would visit, which is a big water park with loads of water slides. I was so excited when I saw it I couldnít wait to get on the rides. My favourite ride of the day was called The Storm. This slide was wicked!!!! You slide down a near vertical drop for about 30 metres and then go into a big bowl.  The only thing is you donít know itís a bowl because mist is sprayed in there so you canít see anything. You spin round and round this bowl for what seems like an age before the 'plonk' down a hole into the pool below. I went on this 9 times - it would have been more but people were starting to get annoyed with me trying to get onto the ride all the time! Oh well.

Andy with athletes
Back to work again the next Monday. Lloyd told me that last week was an easy week so this week he was going to be working me really hard. Some people would get scared at the thought of seriously hard training but I love it. I like to walk off the track absolutely knackered. That way I know Iíve given my all. The first hard session he gave me was 3 x 250m runs, 3 x 200m and then 3 x 150m with not much recovery for any of them - believe me this is a BIG session. The 250's had to be in under 30 seconds which isnít hard but with short recovery it makes it very tough. The 200's then had to be done in 22-23 seconds and the 150's in whatever we had left in our legs. I hit all the times Lloyd asked which I was pleased about - it shows my general level of fitness is good which means all I need to work on now is sharpening up my flat speed and technique over the hurdles. 

I met up with an American hurdler I know and learnt that he trained where I was training so we decided to meet up to train together. His name is David Oliver and he is currently ranked number 1 in the world on times this year. We did a session over the first 5 hurdles out of the starting blocks. This would be my 1st session using blocks since the European Indoor final where I wasnít happy with my performance. Iíve put that way behind me now so I was excited and thriving with my new competitive edge. David isnít the quickest out of the blocks so I was taking him every time which hopefully bodes well for me as the best part of my race is the final half. If Iím beating him to half way then I know Iím in good shape and on to run quickly when I race the full 110 metres.

The weekís training was pretty intense and tiring so much of the evenings were spent relaxing at home or by the pool we had. We went to the cinema one night to watch Ď300í

Relaxing by the pool
- not my kind of film but it was pretty good. We also spent quite a lot of time playing Boggle. This is a word game but as my training group are all from London they kept inventing words that Londoners apparently use trying to pass them off as legitimate. Slang words donít count in Boggle so some of the guys were in major
trouble! It was good fun though.

The next weekend we decided to go to Universal Studios. Again I was really excited as Iíd seen it on TV and really wanted to visit there. I didnít know that there were 2 parts to Universal: the studios and a theme park. I wanted to go to the studios but I was outnumbered so we went to the theme park but I hate rides!!!!! They make me feel sick and Iím generally not a fan of being that scared! Despite this I was dragged onto every ride there!!!! To be fair I ended up loving every ride. I think all in all they knocked about 10 years off my life with fear and Iíll openly admit to screaming at the top of my voice on most of them aswell!! My favourite ride was the Spiderman 3D ride which was wicked!! You sit in a cart and go round while all these things come at you and as itís 3D you really feel like they will get you. The official photo of the ride was so funny, at one point it looked like some baddy was about to stab me so I tried to push him away! The camera took the picture at that exact moment and I looked so stupid throwing my hands into thin air!!!

Back to work again, this week we would concentrate more on speed work as we were due to race the 100 metres the next weekend. Everything went really well and I was looking forward to the race. As Saturday morning came I felt nervous and excited. I hadnít run a 100m since South Africa but was looking forward to it. I ended up running 10.37 in the heat and 10.36 in the final, it was wind assisted but I didnít care - it shows Iím in good shape!!

Andy with other athletes
Two days later we flew home. The journey went really quickly this time. I was so looking forward to getting home and seeing my kids who Iíd missed terribly. I landed on Tuesday morning but I have to fly back to Philadelphia on Thursday morning for a race. I have a very busy schedule coming up with races now as the season is just about to start. Hopefully everyone reading this will look out for me in the future and cheer me on if you ever see me.

Thank you all for reading my diary.

Take care.

Andy T

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