The countdown has begun! We’ve arrived in the busy city of Hong Kong for our final preparations before India. With just eight days to go until Nick’s final, we’re doing some final heat and humidity acclimatization here along with most of the New Zealand athletics team.
The setup here is great. We’re in the same hotel that we stayed in two years ago before heading into Beijing, so we’ve been reminiscing about old times quite a bit. From our window we have a nice view of one of the city’s busy harbors. It seems like every time I look there’s a massive freighter powering past us. Things feel so familiar, yet so different. We’ve especially been missing Nick’s brother, Steve, who was here with us last time acting as Nick’s assistant coach.
This hotel is pretty hip and trendy which is great, but it’s also been amusing at times. The bathroom, for example, is completely made out of glass. I imagine this is a little more awkward for other members of the New Zealand team who are sharing a room than it is for a married couple like us.
Our flight here was pretty uneventful. We arrived at the hotel at about 8 pm Hong Kong time. It was well past dark, but we still made it out around the hotel for a short jog together. Since I just ran a half marathon last weekend, I’m fitter than usual so I’m able to comfortably jog with Nick on his two or three mile shakeouts. I’m so proud of myself!
We’ve been trying to adjust to the radical time change. Hong Kong is in a completely opposite time zone from Michigan. The only good thing about this is that we don’t have to reset our watches—just switch the am and pm. The first night we arrived, since we were so tired from our flight, we were able to sleep for 5 hours but found ourselves wide awake by 4:30 am. Luckily, there was an exciting Michigan football game for us to stream on the Internet, which kept us occupied until breakfast at 7 am.
Yesterday Nick did Ron’s traditional pre-championship speed workout. I took our camcorder and recorded him so he could study his form later. Sometimes I don’t think he understands just how smooth he looks when he’s really flying. Watching him, I kept thinking he was slowing down or taking it easy on a stride—but then he’d cross the finish line and I’d see the time and realize it was actually a really fast interval. I think that’s part of what makes him a great 1500 meter runner. He has the ability to relax and look like he’s jogging when he’s actually running incredibly fast. At the world level, conserving energy with efficient form makes a big difference. Races are won and medals are decided by hundredths of a second, so every little bit of help is important. Hopefully in India, the race doesn’t end up being that close, but if it does, Nick’s ready.