We have it good, don't we?
Blog 1 – 16/08/17
I’ve been toying with the idea of blogging for a while now but always put it off thinking I had something better to do. On reflection it was probably a mixture of the lack of enjoyment I possess from sitting on a laptop typing and probably laziness (I’ve always been too honest for my own good). Those who know me will probably be nodding their head in agreement right now.
There is also the problem of writing about something that people want to read about, something interesting and engaging because I didn’t want to just write something for the sake of it.
So what shall I write about?
Well my last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride of near misses, hope and generally bad luck so I thought I would share it with you.
An Athletes’ life is vastly different from what we would consider the norm. Yes many of you know that we don’t generally work nine-to-five and we attend training camps in warm and exotic places throughout the year, so you would be forgiven for thinking we have it good wouldn’t you? But we rarely divulge the day to day, behind the scenes stuff we get up to which is overshadowed by running across a finish line with our arms in the air and a huge smile linking both ears. Or how life can go from being on top of the world one day to down in the dumps the next.
Five weeks ago I was in a good place, one and a half weeks away from possibly running a qualifying time and gaining selection to the World Championships, which finished last weekend. Two days later, on my evening run I felt a pain in my hip, around the hip flexor area. This persisted over the weekend so naturally I seek the advice of my physio. The symptoms were presenting a compressed hip joint trapping the sciatic nerve. I was given some exercises that would decompress the hip joint, which should have relieved the nerve and made me be good to go.
I ran the 5000m in Heusden, Belgium on July 22nd, missing the qualification time by an agonising 5 hundredths of a second. To get an idea of how close that is, put your watch on stopwatch mode then start and stop it as quickly as you can. I’ll be impressed if you can get within 0.10 of a second and I was 0.05 away.
Although the pain wasn’t too bad during the race, it was still pretty bad throughout the day and during warm up and warm down but while in race mode we do a pretty good job of blocking outside distractions out.
My next week was all over the place. I was juggling with having to deal with my hip and getting that sorted, which involved rest, constantly refreshing the IAAF roll down page to see if I was moving up the rankings for an IAAF invite place and wondering if, on the event I did get invited should I accept it as the possibility of being unprepared to compete and/or doing myself further damage was quite high.
The roll down is a ranking system put together by the IAAF for all Athletes eligible to compete at the championships. The list allows for 3 people per nation. So if that nation has 100 Athletes under the qualifying mark, the fastest 3 would be in one section and the other 97 would be in separate section further down. The IAAF set out a target number of Athletes to compete in each event depending on how many heats they want and the number of Athletes in each heat (Steeplechase has 3 heats of 15 – so 45 Athletes, 5000m has 2 heats of 20 – 40 Athletes. If the number of eligible Athletes under the qualifying standard is under that target number, the IAAF will invite the next ranked Athletes outside the qualifying mark. Needless to say I was first on the list but after all Athlete’s had been selected by their federations, I was ranked 41st, one place too high.
They say everything happens for a reason and maybe the possibility of doing my body further and increased damage was that reason.
I’m now Four physios and five different diagnosis down the road and still not 100% sure what the problem is so I find myself writing this blog whilst on a train on my way into London for an MRI scan to get a better understanding of the injury I am carrying.
The hardest thing to take is that I’ve missed five weeks of training and I’m still not fixed. This has a knock on affect as I’ve had to withdraw from some races I had planned. As racing is how I earn a living, it adds pressure and stress to the situation because like everyone else, I have bills and a mortgage to pay. Welcome to the ever changing and uncertain life of a sportsperson. It’s safe to say I’m not in such a good place today. Still think we have it good?