Friday, 20 May 2011

Determined or Deluded?

Last weekend was jam packed with competitions, as I sprinted in Liverpool on the Saturday and made my debut in the long jump in London on the Sunday. You may have already established from the title of this post that neither were a great success.

I left home at 7.30am on Saturday in order to arrive in Liverpool in good time for my races. Unusually the 200m was first, but I didn’t really think it would make a huge difference and if anything it was nice to get the leg burner out of the way! Considering we’ve been having pretty good weather for Britain, I was surprised with the swirling wind and ice cold conditions. I felt I got an adequate start in my 200m, but could feel the head wind fighting me around the bend. Nevertheless I felt stronger than my first race and whilst I still died in the home straight, it wasn’t as bad. However, I ran 35.80secs, over 3secs off of my PB and to top it off the wind came out as plus 2, even though in races before and after it was gauged to be -4.5 to -6.3!

It felt like an eternity until my 100m, which wasn’t helped by the fact that the schedule was delayed by half an hour. When I went into the set position, I remember thinking ‘oooh it’s windy’ and the next thing I knew the gun had gone off. So I had a sluggish start and whilst I felt loose and smooth, I knew I wasn’t travelling very fast. I was drawn in lane 1 and what I didn’t realise was that I veered to the left during the race and nearly hit the curb, this wouldn’t have helped my time either. It came out as 16.03secs with a plus 3.5 wind making it an illegal time anyway (the maximum wind behind you can be plus 2). So I ran even slower than my first race over both distances.

Come Sunday I was exhausted, but was feeling really positive about the long jump. Traffic meant it took double the time to get there, meaning I had less time to warm up than I would have liked. The long jump pit was adjacent to the stands meaning it was very noisy at times. They chalked the runway to make the board a metre long, which is supposed to allow a larger take off area for F11/12 athletes. In training, I’ve only been using the regular board though. There wasn’t much time to measure my steps to the board and this is one of the reasons it didn’t go to plan. My first 4 jumps I didn’t even make the chalked area and to this day I’m shocked that I made the sand and didn’t land on the track! Included in one of those jumps I veered off and had to start again when I wasn’t in any state to after crashing into god knows what, but didn’t want to miss a jump. Not that I’m stubborn or anything! On my sixth and final jump I leapt to my furthest distance of 2.78m. I was looking to jump a metre more than that and was fuming all of the way home. In training I’ve easily been jumping over 3m off of 6 strides.

So, am I determined or deluded? I’m sure people looking at my times and distances must think I haven’t got a hope in hell of even being considered for selection for 2012. And do you know what; if I was looking at my data I would presume exactly the same! However, I truly, truly feel that I can do it. I train 5 times per week, I’ve put on 1 and a half stone in muscle since last year and I invest my every last penny into the sport.

My 5 positives to take forward:
1. I won my races
2. I felt stronger in my 200m
3. I long jumped for the first time
4. I now know and understand the take off area better
5. I feel I can progress to 10 strides to the board instead of 6

My next race is this weekend in Liverpool again, where I’ll be racing the world record holder for my classification. I’ll also be racing some other girls from Brazil who are swift too. By far my biggest challenge to date and what better time to step up!

Who says the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon!

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