Here is one person who has known she could do better and has actually done it and continues to do it: Olympian Lindsey Anderson and the Lindsey Chronicles, part 3.
Lindsey has arrived in China and is preparing for her Olympic odyssey in the Chinese city of Dalian, which is about a one hour flight from Beijing.
Says her husband Mark, who will fly to China on August 12, “Lindsey got to Beijing today. She says that the Opening Ceremony clothes are by Ralph Lauren and are fully decked out. She says she feels like she’s wearing a suit when she puts it on. She found out that athletes are unable to take video or pictures during the Opening Ceremonies. We’re bummed about that.”
Lindsey from Beijing: “The flight to China was about twelve hours long and I was able to sleep for about four of those hours, enough that I haven’t felt way dead today.
“It took forever for everyone to get through customs because some of the PVC’s (what we use instead of passports) didn’t have middle names like some of the athlete’s passports.
“We landed at 2:20 p.m. and didn’t get to the Olympic Village until about 6:20 p.m. It was a long time to wait!
“Once we got here, me and a few others went out on a run. We weren’t going fast or anything, but it felt good to run even though my legs felt kinda funny from the long flight and everything else we did.
“The Olympic Village is huge, but not very good for longer runs. A lot of smaller loops.
“Tomorrow we head to Dalian. I think it will be a lot less hectic once we get to Dalian. At least now when I come back to the village I’ll know where everything is and be able to get around fine!
“I still have to organize myself down to one bag for Dalian. I know I will have no problems sleeping tonight! I’m pretty exhausted...”
Lindsey from Dalian: “I can’t believe it’s already Friday, this week has gone by so fast. Today was another long day of traveling. I was able to do a morning run before we left the Olympic Village for the airport so that was good. It took us forever to get our bags checked. They had a separate counter open for us and it still took forever! Once we got to Dalian we had a 45 minute drive to our hotel.
You wouldn’t believe the security measures they are taking here in Dalian. We had our own police escort from the airport. They closed down the road that we drove on so there was no one on it except our bus and the police escorts, while the traffic on the other side was almost at a standstill.
“The only places we can really run here is at the track or at the golf course (only nine holes) right next to our hotel. If we want to go on the road we have to get a group together and set up a time so the police can drive with us as we run as our escorts.
“I ran for 60 minutes today at the golf course and it went well! It started to rain on us so it was actually pretty cool as we were running so that was nice! It’s beautiful here in Dalian. The weather is still very humid but it’s been so much more mild than it was in Osaka at the World Championships last year.
“It had rained last night in Beijing a bit so as I was doing my morning run this morning it was actually pretty clear out and nice! If it keeps raining off and on a little bit that would definitely help the air quality! But even then it hasn’t been nearly as bad to me as everyone was putting it out to be. Hopefully it will stay like that!”
Lindsey also responded to more SJR questions.
Q: Macee Nielson is a Monticello high school sophomore-to-be who, like yourself, recently beat everyone in the 24th of July 5K. She is a 1A cross country champion as a freshman and also the 1600m champion this past spring and competes with the 1A-5A girls. Any words of wisdom, advice, admonition for her?
A: That’s way exciting for her! Tell her not to get intimidated by the bigger schools. She will have good races and she will have bad races, but the key is not to feel like you have to race awesome at every race.
Don’t put that much pressure on yourself! I sure did in high school and running just wasn’t as fun for me then as it is now, even before I made the Olympic team. If she has any specific questions I’d be more than happy to answer them!
Q: How are you feeling about your preparation for the Olympics?
A: I’m feeling good! My workouts and training have been going well and I’m excited to be here now so I can really just focus and get ready to race!
Q: You have said your goal is to make the finals in the Olympics and to do so you’ll probably have to run the trials in about 9:25. Your personal best is a 9:30, run at the Olympic Trials. How is the 9:25 coming?
A: 9:25 is definitely there with how my training has been going, so it’ll be good to go out and do it.
Q: What is the first thing you put in your suitcase?
A: I think the first thing I put in was my spikes. Definitely a must for racing!
Q: What do you read while waiting at airports?
A: Usually once I get through security, I’ll talk on the phone for a bit, but once I get to the gate and I’m waiting for the plane I’ll either read a book or the Ensign. If I don’t feel like reading, then I’ll listen to music on my ipod and play the game ‘Bejeweled’ on my phone!
Q: What about diet? What do you eat while training?
A: I definitely eat a lot of fruits, vegetables and grains, plus I love milk so I drink a lot of milk. My diet usually stays about the same throughout my training, just the amounts tend to vary depending on the day. I try to stay away from a lot of high fat foods and stuff like that, but I also eat ice cream and other types of desserts occasionally.
Q: What is your mantra? What do you say to yourself when you want to slack off a bit?
A: Wow, that’s a tough question! I think the biggest thing I try to do is stay positive and trust my training. My most favorite thing that my coach, Paul Pilkington always tells us is: “You’re fit, so you will race well.”
“Whenever he tells me that I completely trust him because he wouldn’t say it if he didn’t mean it and he knows even better than me what my fitness level is. It’s very comforting to go into a race knowing you’re going to do well beforehand.
Next week, Lindsey returns to the Olympic Village in Beijing, attends the opening ceremony and continues training for the 3000 meter steeplechase trials, which are on August 15, followed by the finals on the 18th. Send your comments and/or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.