My first athletics competition in 2 years was on Saturday and I was hoping for great things after the hard training I’ve been putting in. I entered the CP Sport Grand Prix in London and competed as a guest of course since I don’t have CP!
Unfortunately, the sat nav failed and so we didn’t arrive until 10:10am even though we set off at 7.30am sharp. My 100m was at 10:30am and so this didn’t leave enough time for me to warm up. I was pretty stressed, but tried to calm myself before the start. Bang! The gun went off and I had an okish start staying low and driving forward. I was waiting for Courtney to tell me 50m had gone, but I didn’t get the call. I felt the others go a little in front of me and was distracted thinking god it’s taking forever to get to 50m, I must have come out of my drive phase to early. Next thing I hear is ‘you go’, which means there is only 5m left, as Courtney drops back and ensures she doesn’t cross the line before me. She completely forgot to tell me 50m, 30m, 20m and 10m! So I had no awareness of how far was remaining. At the end I wasn’t even out of breath and knew it had all gone horribly wrong. I was aiming to run 15.5secs, as this is what I was told I’m more than capable of running, but ended up with a time of just 16.9secs.
I didn’t know my time for a while, but at the end of the race I was just so angry. For one I didn’t win, knew I hadn’t run my hardest, couldn’t believe Courtney forgot to tell me the distances, stressed out that I didn’t warm up fully and felt like the hard training I’d been putting in was a waste. The winning time was just 16.5secs so I should have won easily. Instead I had only run 2 10ths quicker than two years previous when I didn’t do nearly as much training. I was very frustrated, but had 3 and a half hours to compose myself before the 200m.
Bang! I was off again in the 200m, which I’d never run before in competition. It was already going better than my practice run in training, as I remembered that there was a bend to tackle and didn’t dart straight on. I felt myself come out of my drive to early, but was pleased to hear 50m from Courtney. At 100m I could hear the others go pass me and concentrated on chasing them down. I came 3rd again and was more out of breath this time. I’m sure I could have worked harder, as it didn’t take me long to catch my breath, but I was new to the event, so not as harsh on myself. I really chased them down on the home straight and could tell I nearly got the girl next to me on the line. If only I knew exactly where the line was, then I could have done one of those dips!
I was hoping to run 35secs, but found out it was 36.9secs. Typical the winning time was 35secs exactly and 2nd place was just 36.7secs, I knew she only just beat me. Again I was disappointed, but not as much. I just don’t want to tell the head Coach of Paralympics my rubbish times just yet!
Time to look positively! It was only the first competition of the season and the first time I had run with Courtney in a competition too. So it was a learning curve for both of us. It wasn’t the Paralympics and surely I can only improve on the times. I know exactly where I went wrong so next time I have no excuses. My next competition is the Dublin games in 3 weeks time. This will be against other VI athletes and somewhere where I really need to do well. I then have a competition the day after in London where I won’t be able to avoid the head Coach of Paralympics and will be forced to perform! No pressure eh?!