Taking baths, eating boiled eggs before training and having treatment on my back are just a few of the changes I made this year to enable me to run an illegal 13.52 and a legal 13.61 over 100m. My previous PB was 13.93 set in 2013 and it was a relief to start making progress again. Tomorrow I begin winter training, so thought I would take the time to reflect on my season before starting anew.
Whilst I am pleased with my progression, I had a real reality check this last week watching my event at the Paralympics. Fifteen out of the sixteen athletes who participated ran faster than my best time. The slowest time set was 13.99. Again I was left thinking, how on earth do these girls do it?! I train so hard, yet seem to be forever chasing. One of the most difficult things to accept was the re-classification of some T12 athletes moving down into my T11 class. This is something that could keep happening and pushing my classification on further. However, there is nothing I can do regarding that situation and can only concentrate on improving myself as a sprinter.
Yes, baths, boiled eggs and back cracks have contributed to my progression, as well as my nine pound weight loss. My friends all thought I was crazy when I told them I was trying to lose weight. That’s nine pounds less to drag down the track though. Also, I am managing to do drills that I literally physically couldn’t do before.
Each year I learn more and more about what it takes to be a world class athlete. For instance, I know I wasn’t able to lift heavy enough in the gym last winter, so there was only so much power I could expect from myself come the summer. This is something that is going to get fixed this time around.
I managed to run under fourteen seconds on six occasions this year demonstrating my ability to be more consistent as an athlete, which is a positive. I took just under four seconds off of my previous 200m PB, which is remarkable considering I don’t train for the event. I was given the opportunity to compete for Great Britain in front of fifty thousand people at the London Anniversary Games, which I was incredibly grateful for. These small achievements are what I need to remember moving forward.
Winter training is going to be tough. It is going to hurt. I am not going to enjoy it. However, I know it is going to be worth it.