Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Who Spiked My Luck?!

On Monday 18 June, I was having a great training session working on technician and execution. Towards the end of my session, the focus was on aggression, as I often rely on my guide runner to pick up the pace. So, it was important for me to do some runs on my own and inject some speed myself. However, on the first run when I injected the speed, I veered off to the left. I was instructed to go right, but perhaps reacted too slowly and clipped a cone. I elegantly flew through the air in a superman pose, spiked myself and badly twisted my ankle. The physio classified it as a grade 2 sprain, where grade 1 is the least damage you can do.

Despite my injury, I was determined to race in Wigan on Saturday 23 June. However, thanks to our Great British weather, the competition got cancelled the day before due to flooding. I was gutted not getting the chance to run, but then again it probably was a blessing in disguise, as my ankle still had some swelling and when I tested it out on the Thursday before was quite painful coming out of blocks.

It’s been 2 and a half weeks since I sprained it and it’s frustrating that I still don’t have full movement in it without it hurting. For example, it hurts to twist my foot inwards, I can’t cross my legs and I can’t kneel. Yet I’ve followed all of the physio’s advice, rest, ice, compression, thera band exercises, had some strapping, some ultra sound treatment, dosed up on anti-inflammatory tablets and even regularly put on anti-inflammatory cream for good measure. But it seems I have managed to sprain it good and proper.

Since Wigan was cancelled, this just leaves 1 qualifying race before Paralympic selection on 9 July. To make up for missing a race, I’m going to do the Charnwood Open on Wednesday to see where I am at. I think I’m just going to have to accept whatever times I run in the next 2 races, as my ankle is not fully recovered. Of course I’m going to try my best to hit that A Standard of 14.25 though.

I saw the quote for this blog post on my Twitter feed yesterday and it’s exactly how I feel –

Doing sports gives me a feeling of overcoming barriers, escaping difficulties and breaking through the darkness (Duan Li)

Monday, 11 June 2012

Consistant Racing

Now uni has finished for the summer, hopefully I can blog more regularly. I have raced twice since my last post, in Chelmsford on 26 May and in Birmingham on 2 June.

This was the week that it was summer in England with beautiful warm weather for racing. However, despite it being warm, I felt like my muscles were struggling to come alive. I was slow to come out of the blocks, slow to pass the other athletes and slow to get up to speed. I was therefore surprised to run 14.62secs, 0.01 faster than the Olympic stadium, all be it with a bit more of a following wind.

For the first time this year, I had no reason to avoid the 200m, although I did feel quite dehydrated by the time it got around to running it. I ran the best bend I have ever done before, most likely due to swapping my guide to my left so they can lead me around the bend. Nevertheless, after building up a strong lead, my legs began to go and my guide runner ignored our plan to kick at 50m to go, telling me afterwards he thought I was dead. I felt the other athletes come up beside me and had to kick by myself to the finish. The time came out at 32.29secs, 0.07 shy of my PB, best season opener, but it really should have been a big PB. But I did win in the end!

I only did the 100m in Birmingham, as it ran over two days and I needed to finish off my uni work. There was strong competition there and on paper I was third fastest. Nonetheless, I was gunning for the win. For the first time this year I got a great start, perhaps because that’s what we had been working on constantly the days leading up to the event! Then, I managed to make hard work of the second part of the race. I knew I was taking too many steps, not getting any air time, so kept trying to adjust my body, but failed. I was leading for most of the race and one athlete just shot by me to clinch the win. If only I had executed my race, I would have had it in the bag. Unbelievably, the time came out as 14.61, yet another 0.01 off my PB.

So it seems I can run 14.6 with a bad start, good start, head wind, following wind, no wind, hell any which way I like! I’m ready to run faster now though, it will be a killer if it’s 14.60secs next time!

My next race is on 23 June in Wigan and with many of the Paralympic athletes going to the IPC European Championships, it will be a pressure free race. Until then my training will be circled around execution.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail