Friday was a day off so I tried to use it to get ahead in my packing. My uncle is headed to Trinidad on Monday for a round of chemo, so he will be taking one of my bags down ahead of time for me. Once I got my first bag done it started to kick in that I was really leaving in a week. It seemed like when I wanted time to slow down the most, it sped up into high gear. When I was done packing one bag I still had a lot off stuff left. I don’t know how I was able to pack it all the first time, but this time I’ll take it home in three bags instead of just two. I went to a beach for the last time, and just like always it was perfect. I sat on the beach and just enjoyed the waves crashing over my feet at first, then I went in for the last time. There were a couple fish that swam up close, and the water was nice and warm. We stayed until the sun started to set, and then it was time to say good bye to the beach.
Saturday was church day for my uncle. Since I have been here I think he has been out to church two or three times, and I hadn’t got with him yet. He was going to the church he would be pastoring once he gets better and I decided to go with him to check it out. The church was down in town, right by the shore. When we got there they had started already, so we snuck in the back to join. I had decided to wear a nice light sweater which quickly turned out to be a mistake. There was a nice breeze from the sea coming through the door, and couple fans, but I was still sweating like crazy! Other then the over heating though, the church service was really nice. There was lots of singing and dancing, kind of like the black churches you see on TV. We spent lots of time afterwards catching up with people my uncle hadn’t seen in a long time. A lot of them were very surprised in how well my uncle was doing, and even amazed he had made it through his surgery. Every time I see my uncle I remember how much he’s been through, and how positive he still is about everything, and just how strong he has been. He has been a real motivation and inspiration for me while I’ve been in Tobago.
Once we got home I rested up for a bit, then headed to the soccer field down the street. I had an easy workout since there were time trials on Sunday. 10x200 turn arounds on the grass, with 100 meter walk recovery. Nothing too hard, but something to get the heart going. I used this workout to try and work out some kinks in my form. I think since I’ve come to Tobago my arm movement has gotten a lot better, so for this workout I tried to focus more on my legs. Even though the workout was suppose to be nice and light, it seemed like the more I focused on getting my legs in the right position, the faster I would go. The workout ended up going a lot faster then I thought it was, and I was done in just over an hour.
I headed back home and just as I walked in the door, a friend called and invited me out for the night, talk about perfect timing. I quickly got ready and headed back down the hill to get picked up. It was my friend’s aunt’s birthday and he said it was going to be a big party. Well he wasn’t lying. There were cars lined up for several blocks and the crowd was huge. When we finally parked the car and got to the house, the sweet aroma of Trini food filled the air. I didn’t have time to eat after working out, so this was going to be perfect. My friend had to help a bit with the park, so I plopped myself beside the food table and ate to my hearts content. We stayed for a while and mingled, and my uncle actually ended up at the same party. By 11 I was beat so we headed back home.
Sunday was the last time trial for me and I wanted to end with some good times. For the first time I was not the first person to the track for time trials. There was a handful of guys already there waiting to get started. Everyone was limin’ near the storage area, where there happen to be a golf cart. Before I knew it, three guys were pushing and four were pulling the cart all around the track. None of the guys have there licenses and I could definitely tell watching then try to manuver the human propelled vehicle. From where I was sitting I could not see the stands, but the boys could. All of a sudden in mid turn all the boys on the golf cart bailed like it was a sinking ship. They all ran under the stadium, leaving me sitting there wondering what had just happened. Thirty seconds later one of the coaches came waltzing down the stairs, then one by one the boys came from under the stadium acting as though they had just got there. I started to warm up for my last time trial not knowing what I was going to run, I just knew whatever it was, it was going to be fast. The high school kids have their national championships on Wednesday and Thursday, so I knew there weren’t going to be too many rounds for the time trials, I prepared myself for a 200 or maybe a 150. I was ready to go for the 200 when I was told it was going to be a 300 instead, I was a little off but either way I was going to run it well. It was me and two other guys running the 300, then one guy running 300 hurdles. I tried to put into play everything I had worked on during the week. The 300s that I had done on Thursday helped me mentally to be prepared for the time trial. I use to get scared of 300s because I thought they were too far, and that I was going to get tired. Now I know that I may get a little tired, but doing reps of three or more 300s in practice help to let me know that no matter what, after I run I’ll be alright. I made my way over to the 300 meter start and told myself just to take it out like I had on practice on Thursday. Short quick steps off the start with a good acceleration phase, pick it up with 200 left, then once again on the home stretch. The first 200 went just as planned, nice and smooth. I didn’t get caught up in anyone’s race but my own, I knew where the guy in front, beside, and behind me were, but that didn’t change how I was going to run at all. Coming on to the home stretch I could feel the tiredness kicking in. I dropped my form coming off the corner and I could feel it. I fought to bring it back, and as I did I could feel myself get taller and my stride come back. There was a boy coming up on my from my left, I did not want to let him pass me. I pumped my arms as hard as I could and finished off strong. 40.50 was my time, not a personal best, but my best so far in Tobago. We took a short break, then went right into a 150. Doing the longer distances first really help to make the shorter ones seem not as bad. I ran the 150 like it was a really long acceleration phase. One of the coaches told me that patience wins the race. I tried to stay low and powerful for as long as I could, and made a smooth transition into running up nice and tall. I stayed relaxed but still quick and the time showed it paid off, 18.28, another good time. Before coming to Tobago I ran 18.22 once before, and that was three years ago. So, coming back and almost running a personal best just 5 minutes after running a 300 was awesome. My shorter speeds have gotten really good since coming down, and it feels good. I finished off with two 60 meter sprints, but unfortunately I didn’t get the times. The 60s felt good, and I was able to keep fairly close to the guys, so I think they went pretty well.
And just like that, my last time trial was over. I now only have a week left in Trinidad and Tobago. I’ll be going with the secondary school kids to Trinidad for nationals on Tuesday, so tomorrow will be the last workout at the track. I still can’t believe my times almost up, it feels like I just got here.