I’m going to start with that really annoying, sorry, it’s been so long since my last entry!…SORRY!!
Nearly 5 months, wow – doesn’t time fly?
A lot has happened but not much has changed. Unfortunately life got a little tough after Berlin as my Grandad was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder a few days before the race. It was tough news to take in so close to an important race but I managed it as best I could and made sure I made him proud out on the roads. Looking back I don’t know how I made it to the start line in one piece mentally, but I did and I got a PB and the qualifying time which I needed so I can’t complain.
The next 8 weeks were spent in a rotation of hospital visits and helping my nana and my family out. Needless to say running took a bit of a back seat during this time. I trained when I could but it wasn’t my number one focus like it normally is. Sometimes there are much more important things in life to take up your time. My running became more of a stress relief than having an actual training effect.
Grandad unfortunately passed away at the end of November and life slowly returned to normal. I got back into training and despite being terribly unfit ran at a snow covered North East Cross Country Championships – quite possibly the biggest mistake of my running life!
As the year ended I started to plan out my path to the Virgin London Marathon. I needed to get my focus back. I was lucky enough to be invited onto another training camp in Kenya in January – the perfect kick I needed to get back into a good training routine.
Kenya was amazing as usual and I got some great training in. You can catch up with my Kenya trip over on the Sunderland 10k site You can also sign up for one of the races whilst you are there! 🙂
I had planned to race a local 10k on the weekend when I got back to A) see where I was fitness wise and B) hopefully prove that I was in good enough shape to gain selection for the GB team for the World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff this weekend. Unfortunately the race was cancelled due to ice on the course so I was left without a race. Luckily I had also planned to do a leg of the North East Road Relay Champs the week after but this was only 2.2 miles so the other end of the distance spectrum to what I was training for and totally out of my comfort zone. My little old marathon legs don’t do short distances like this!
The race came at the end of a big week and I could tell as I set off and my legs took a good mile to get moving. I spent the first lap feeling truly awful but thankfully the legs finally woke up and I got moving and managed to pull off the fastest time of the day.
Thankfully this was enough to give me the nod from the selectors and I was named on the team for the World Half. The World Half had always been pencilled in as a target race before London. Being 4 weeks out from London isn’t perfect timing but it is certainly doable and it’s always a massive honour to represent your country at any race but a home championship is always special and I’m really excited to see what I can do there. Training has gone really well over the last 4 weeks. A good run in Cardiff will set me up nicely for my final block of marathon preparation.
I’m heading out to Font Romeu the day after Cardiff to do my final block of training. I’ve always responded well to altitude training and being away from home in the final few weeks before the race means that I am away from all the hustle and bustle of the build-up and it allows me to focus fully on the race and not get distracted by all of the surrounding buzz.
I wouldn’t be able to go on a camp like this without the support of British Athletics and London Marathon who are funding the camp and for that I am extremely grateful. Being a full time athlete is a struggle financially but I am doing everything in my power to give myself the best possible chance of making the team for Rio. Receiving kit from Adidas along with energy drinks and protein recovery shakes from High5, which ensures I can fuel my racing and training correctly, helps to ease the financial burden. A special thanks also to Creative Nature for providing me with some great tasting healthy snack bars to keep me going between meals and CEP for supplying some great bespoke compression kit to help my weary legs recover from all the hard training I am putting in.
Some great pictures on here. Keep up the good work and well done in Cardiff this weekend 🙂