In the beginning…

7 03 2011

Downtown Melbourne along the Yarra.

Officially my first post, after a few practice attempts.  Not entirely sure what my plan is here, but I strongly encourage any and all to comment and give me suggestions on how to make this thing look/run smooth.  I guess my initial goal is to try and keep friends and family up to date on some of my happenings as I’m on the road training and racing over the next several months.

I’m gonna start back in time a bit.  Flew into Melbourne, Australia two weeks ago to begin an 8 week adventure down under.  My trip was actually delayed by 4 weeks due to some injury issues, a common occurrence in my life over the last 5 years.  But eventually made it, albeit lacking some serious fitness, especially when being thrown into training with guys I’d consider to be some of the best in the world. I stayed in an apartment with former wisco teammate, Craig “Rowdy” Miller (3:37 1500m, 7:49 3k), and Aussie 10k record holder Collis “Simba” Birmingham (27:29).  Side note–the nicknames are pretty big with the aussies, still working on mine though. Spent the first week more or less washing the 26-hour trip out of my legs and adjusting to the time change (16 hrs ahead).  Rowdy and I explored downtown a little, and upon my pleading, he joined me in a tour of the Melbourne Aqaurium–totally rad!  Ran around the city at various parks: the ‘Tan, Albert Park, Fawkner Park, and along the Port Melbourne Bay and Yarra River.  Wish I could tell you that I went on a lot of exciting adventures, but in all honesty, the majority of the time I’m running or doing running-related activities…stretch, drills, core stuff, ice, sleep, eat, relax (yes, I consider all to be in the job description).  It’s definitely incredible to be able to travel as a result of running, but I think that my experience of these new areas is maybe not the same as a traditional tourist.  My most exciting moments are exploring a new city by running all over it, meeting international athletes and learning about their philosophies and cultures (in this case, the Aussies). I can’t say I have any regrets about how I spend my time, yet.  For me, this is a business trip, and I’m trying to treat it as such.

There are a few other aussie athletes (among them Jeff “Goober” Riseley, 3:32 1500m best and Tristan “Tricky” Garret, 1:46 800m best) training in Melbourne under the management of our agent, Nic Bideau.  The group convened for workouts tuesday, thursday, and last Saturday the 26th, during which I joined in for my first track session since the end of December, a very humbling experience (and really just the beginning of such experiences). All the guys formentioned raced on Thursday, March 3rd in Melbourne at the Olympic Park Track in a huge meet that attracted international competition.  I (un)fortunately got to observe.  On Friday, Miller and I left Melbourne en route for the mountains and a little altitude training with 20 yr old Australian 1500m record holder Ryan “Grego” Gregson (3:31) and 19 yr old Brett “Robbo” Robinson (3:42), world-junior competitor.  Funny–although I’ve got a few years on these kids, I feel like a freshman all over again, getting mopped all over the trails by a couple of studs, Rowdy included of course. We’re accompanied by Garry “Gaz” Henry, a hardened, veteran marathoner here to manage the party.

More to follow soon. Keep in mind, this will be a constantly changing blog as I try to get grips on it all. Posts/pictures will be updated as often as possible.

 

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9 responses

7 03 2011
Ellie

I like it when you stand next to big animals for perspective (a la tapeworm)

7 03 2011
XCLova96

I love this. You’re the man Jack. Keep postin. I’ll be watching. Pictures are awesome too so keep uploading those babies. I like to hear about your workouts too. This is sweet!

7 03 2011
Timbo

This does not count as keeping in touch, but it is a good start. Keep on rolling down there

7 03 2011
Aunt Ellen

Great start “Jacko” (seems a natural nick-name for down under) Just keep posting!

8 03 2011
Ma

Great post, Jacko. Gives us statesiders a view of your life of running, eating, sleeping, and enjoying another continent. Wish I could join you.

8 03 2011
Jack Bolas

Thanks all for the comments. I’m glad you like. For the record, “Jacko” hasn’t been adopted as the nickname. I think the crew here is actually leaning toward calling me “Bolo”

9 03 2011
sisusmith

Bolo sounds good, just don’t look it up in a spanish dictionary. Love the blog and I like how you introduced the Aussie group out there, those guys are legit! For me, being the same age as you, it is cool to see how you make the transition from college to full time runner. I’d love to hear some of the training philosophies you encounter with the new group. Good luck staying healthy and I look forward to hearing more good things from you. -Justin

13 03 2011
omcdon05

You have a nickname, its Jack Bowlpack. Or as it commonly became know, Jack Ballsack.

19 03 2011
Teresa

Yes, I’m stalking your blog.

Mar calls you Jackolope….I feel that would be appropriate for Australia as well?

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