Not sure what the conversation was here but it was along the lines of me having a stinker of a run in the opening cross country at Acklam. Last year I was first vet 40 in just over 39 minutes. This year I was 37th in over 43 minutes. No wonder I'm scratching my head - probably in disbelief! After two of the four laps I stopped in pain with my right hamstring cramping up - as most of the pain has been in my left hamstring recently it was a new experience but equally as frustrating.
Having decided on lap two that the pain was not going away I scanned the course for a suitable drop out point - a park bench was in my sights.....stretch out the hamstring and try and get the cramping pain eased...if it didn't ease at least I would have a good vantage point to watch the race unfold. The stretching seemed to work and after seeing a good twenty runners or so float past I decided to get going again and managed to get round the four lap course. In the end it was worth it as I helped New Marske to a well earned First Team place - I knew there was a reason to get going again!
After a few easy days and lots of stretching my running has finally got back on track with a week and a half of good solid training with tempo sessions, a solid run at Redcar park run on Saturday and a really pleasing hill session tonight. Tonight's session was a repeat of a session three weeks ago. Times tonight were about 6 seconds per rep quicker and a much more consistent (and pain free) run. It might be a bit presumptuous to say that it seems (touching wood!) that the worst of the hamstring pain seems to have eased and I am now managing some decent sessions that aren't leaving me in pain for days afterwards.
So hopefully it is onwards and upwards now and I'm looking forward to the next few races starting with a trip to Whitby for the next round of the NYSD. Hopefully my next blog will be about sweet revenge and not more tales of woe!
In this weeks Athletics Weekly there is a lot of talk about money...fees rising...costs increasing...and funding being withdrawn. Now normally I look through the list of athletes who have had funding reduced and think either fair enough or well they haven't had a good season or two but I must admit to raising my eyebrows at one or two of the decisions. Steph Twell was one of these and she has written a very heartfelt and passionate letter to Athletics Weekly summing up her disbelief and disappointment at being "dropped". Having broken her ankle representing her country her comeback has been amazing and has run the Olympic A standard over 5000m and ran a seasons best of 4.07 in the 1500m. I am sure she will bounce back but one of the things she says in the letter really did sum up the "short sightedness" of this decision....
"having joined the world class programme in 2007 as a TASS (now Potential) athlete and having progressed to Podium C level it is difficult to understand how I could have been deemed as a podium finisher to now being totally removed from UKA's support as I no longer fit their criteria as a "genuine medal contender" or even a top eight finisher at major champs".....
Throughout my time on the programme the most valued support I received was the exceptional medical cover I was able to access as well as the excellent service provision in terms of strength and conditioning, physiology and nutrition support which helps contribute to being a world class athlete....
Endurance is not a short term pathway and this was highlighted after watching Jo Pavey seventh in the 5000m and 10,000m (with a pb) in the Olympics aged 38.
Aged only 23 I have delivered on many occasions in cross country and track at global and European level (Bronze Commonwealth Games 1500m in 2010 and the fourth fastest British female over 5000m).......one of my biggest concerns is that young athletes will be penalised for achieving at a young age"
Steph is absolutely right that success in endurance events does not happen overnight and it takes years of training to reach the top level. What comes through the letter is the passion that she has for running and the determination that (even without the funding) she will strive to be the best she can in the sport. I hope she can bounce back from this setback and let her running do the talking...she certainly has got a point to prove now!