Medals, medals, medals
Posted on 25th October by Scary
Wow….where to start?? So much has happened since I last blogged, mainly because it’s so long since I lasted blogged, sorry, but to keep this post positive, virtually everything that has happened has been GREAT! With my body and mind pretty much behaving itself…and with Fit for Purpose ensuring that it remained it a positive functioning state, I gradually built my training volume back up, but more importantly, I was really enjoying running again. So, in August, I decided that I had nothing to lose and possibly a lot to gain by running the trials for the World Mountain Running Championships. I had only raced twice since May, but hey ho, I might as well give it a go! I ran well beyond my expectations, finishing fourth in what was probably the highest standard trial race I have ever taken part in and as such claiming a place in the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Albania 3 weeks later. I have to admit a few tears of disbelief were shared between me coach and I at the finish line!!
So I was back in the big time…it took a while to sink in, but then I had to refocus and get to Albania in the best possible shape I could because I knew that we had a very strong team, well capable of winning a team medal and I wanted to be a scoring runner. The build-up to the race went pretty well, I had a few niggles which Christine and John at Fit for Purpose kept under control and by working on relaxation and confidence, I went to the event in a positive frame of mind, ready to run as hard as I could. Between the trials and the championships I raced just once, in a fantastic event in the north-east corner of Italy. I had run the event last year and was really keen to return. The race, called Tre-Rifugi, is a three person relay with the first leg being an uphill run from the town of Collina, the second leg is what can only be described as ‘crazy’…imagine a rock race and then being told to race up and over it…that’s leg two and the final leg is a kamikaze downhill back to Collina. I am desperate to do the downhill leg one year, but this time, due to my selection for the GB team, I had to do the first leg, as I had the previous year. I had a pretty good run, in warm conditions to finish in second place and run a few minutes faster than last year, so things are clearly improving! Unfortunately, as a team we faded a bit over the next two stages and finished a bit of a disappointing third, but having said that the weekend made up for the poor result.
So next up was the world championships. Albania was an experience; it’s not really somewhere you would think about visiting, so getting the chance to go for an event was a great opportunity. I would definitely describe it as a ‘developing’ country, but on the whole the event was well organised, although I can safely say that I doubt I will ever run a race like it again! To start with parts of the course ran through a building site, and add to that temperatures sneaking up towards 100 degrees Celsius and it certainly made things interesting. Unfortunately, the races were run close to midday and as such the heat was stifling, but it was the same for everyone and we just had to get on with it. I ran a race that I am proud of, I am not ecstatic with my final position, 16th, but I went out with the aim of getting a top 10 finish and although I struggled a bit on the second lap and dropped a few positions, I think that because of the heat I would have faded just the same had I gone out easier, and therefore finished even further back. As a team we ran great, we were all near the front from the start and packed well with Lizzie Adams having a storming run to finish 5th, backed up well by Emma Clayton in 10th and myself in 16th, although Kate Goodhead struggled with the conditions, she battled through to ensure a solid back-up had any of the front three suffered late on. The result….a WORLD BRONZE MEDAL.
After the Worlds, I had a bit of down time before the Commonwealth Championships, which were held in Llanberis, Wales. Representing England I was keen to prove that the selection race and world championships were not one offs and I was really back to running at the top-level. There was no doubt that with just two weeks to recover from the tough conditions of Albania, I was going to be tired, but I was also determined and it was this which drove me up to the summit of Moel Elilio, once over the climbing, I just let myself go on the descent and was pleased to claim my first individual, international medal with bronze behind the flying Lizzie Adams and an excellent run from Scotland’s Tracey Brindley. Team gold for England was an added bonus. It was now definitely time to take a break, I needed one mentally and physically to ensure that I can maintain the consistent training that I am currently managing to achieve through the maintenance of regular treatment at Fit for Purpose.
I promise to blog again soon, in fact I already have a few more adventures to tell you about, but they will have to wait till next time. For now, good bye and happy training!