Hi guys. This is my first blog for athleticos, so I hope you like it :)

For those of you that know me, you’ll know that last season was a very frustrating one for me. During the indoor Birmingham Games, I pulled my hamstring. 6 weeks later it was finally better and I was ready and excited to start training properly again to get myself ready for the outdoor season. However unfortunately my body had other ideas. I then seemed to get injury after injury which caused me to miss several competitions including the England Athletics U23 and European Trials. This was devastating for me as I thought my chance of competing at the U23 European Champs in Ostrava was over. However thanks to the UKA futures programme and my physio, Shane Kelly, I managed to come back from the injury and run a few quick 150m’s. This gave the selectors confidence that I was ready to compete and compete well. So finally it started to all turn around. The fact that I managed to run a personal best of 23.41s between injuries was also a factor that helped me get selected for this competition. If I had not gone to Geneva that weekend and run a decent time, then my 2011 season would have been completely different.

Unfortunately it turned out that I was not quite ready to compete in Ostrava and I didn’t manage to qualify for the final. This was the first international championships that I had not made the final, and understandably I was completely gutted. However all the team coaches in Ostrava were extremely supportive and had alot of faith in me that I would be able to go back to the UK, train well for 2 weeks, and come back strong at the World trials in Birmingham. However, again my body thought otherwise and the day after returning to the UK I got a bug. I found it difficult to pick myself up after knock down after knock down and was considering whether to call it a day for the season. However, I’m not the quitting type, and I decided that I did not not want to get into the habit of being afriad to compete incase I didn’t run very well. I turned up at the trials with the attitude that I had nothing to lose and to just see what I could run. I ended up coming 6th which wasn’t too bad considering it was my first senior champs.

A few weeks later I was told that there was a possibility that I could get selected for the World Student Games in China, however it was only a slim chance. I found myself having to pack everything still without knowing whether I would be flying to China later that evening. I ended up getting a phone call at 2pm to say that I was needed to fly to China, and I had to get to Heathrow airport (I was in Bristol at the time) by 5pm. Luckily because I was practically sat by the front door ready to go once I got the phone call, I managed to get to the airport in time and make it to China.

China was a great way to end my season before the London Olympics. The weather was exceptionally hot out there so it took a while to get used to. I was quite nervous when out in China as I was unsure how I was going to run. I still hadn’t been running very quick in my races leading up to the Games, so my confidence was pretty low. However after my heat of the 200m, with my new Nike spikes, it all changed. I ran the race much better and it felt like I was back to my normal self. It may have taken a few months but I eventually got there. I ended up qualifying for the final which was going to be my 4th 200m race in 2 days. Although I had never done this before and found it quite challenging, it was the perfect learning experience, in the lead up to the Olympics. I came 8th in the final and ran my 2nd fastest time of the season. Considering I was in lane 1, I was very happy with this and felt I had remembered how to run a 200m again!

I was then in the 4x100m relay team along with Amy Harris, Margaret Adeoye and Ashleigh Nelson. We came home in the horrible position of 4th, however we beat the Russian team which was a great result as they were one of the favourites. I was then told after the 4x100m final (30mins before the 4x400m final) that I was needed to run the anchor leg. I had only ever run 1 400m leg before so the thought of having to run my 2nd ever 400m infront of 61,500 people was terrifying. I think running under a mixture of fright and adrenaline is the way to go though. I ended up running a split of 51.93s in my 7th race in 4 days. I couldn’t believe it. Not only did I get a good split time, but we also got the bronze medal. This was my first international medal and the experience of standing on the podium in a stadium of that size was indescribable. I will certainly never forget that moment.

My 2011 season just goes to show that you should never give up if you get a few set backs. I almost finished my season prematurely and I am so glad that I decided to keep going, as I would not have gone to china and realized my new found love for 400’s!!

I then enjoyed a couple of weeks rest on holiday in France before returning to training to get myself ready to achieve my goal of qualifying for the Olympics next year.

I started my winter training last week. Luckily i’ve got 2-3 weeks of general strength work before getting into the difficult sessions on the track.

At the moment I’m doing general circuits which are followed by a tempo running session on the grass. I am also doing some light weights sessions too. New to my training this winter are ‘rope drags’ and sled pulls as well as a few kettle bell circuits. My new Nike free shoes are perfect for this kind of training as they are comfortable and light. I’m looking forward to do a standing long jump competition in training tomorrow as it’ll be a nice break from the usual stuff we do.

Em

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