Since returning from Rio and having a short break from training and competition, things haven’t all gone according to plan. With all the celebrations and event attendances out of the way it was time for me to get back into the swing of things and return to some serious training.
The first few months were incredible. I felt stronger than I ever had in the 2015/2016 season and everything was coming together. Like I said last post, Coach and myself were focusing on the 200m this season and with a lot more speed involved. In feeling stronger, I was able to control how I was running a lot better and with that I could get more power and speed over the shorter distances. However, coming into Christmas and the New Year, everything was not going so smoothly and my body just couldn’t handle the improvements being made with both technique and speed, and therefore I was overloading on specific body parts. We unfortunately came to a stop on the track with a stress reaction in the tibia bone of my right foot (stage before stress fracture). Training had to be modified and competitions needed to be delayed for the time being. I was doing a lot of bike work and even added in a swimming session (which I still don’t like haha) for the next 2 weeks whilst my foot was able to settle down and get back to somewhat normal.
Personally in doing that, I didn’t lose my speed (if anything I gained more) but I lost parts of my fitness that for me is very crucial when running. So when I got back on the track, I started off slowly building back into it all and with a week and a half in joggers, no pain or discomfort, I was back in spikes.
We had then planned for a month and I would compete for the first time since Rio (this was at the 2017 ACT State Champs). I entered in for the 100m and 200m. First day of the competition and it was the 100m race (an event I hadn’t done for almost a year and before that 3 years, so it was very foreign). I ended up getting a PB of 11.72, however I still didn’t feel that was the best I could do and I think having that time off with my foot took away my potential. Although it was still a PB, so I was very happy. Coming into day 2, I was excited for the 200m after last season being so good. Warming up was great, I was a little tight from the day before being my first race back, but I didn’t think anything of it. My practice block starts were much better than my actual starts the day before. The race came and my start was once again really good. As I was coming off the bend, I started to accelerate into the straight and I felt a bit of a twinge and then what felt like a pop. So I decided to slow down and then stop after 100m.
With lots of tears and an MRI scan it was diagnosed as a grade 1 tear of the hamstring. With what wasn’t an ideal situation, I was determined to not let the season end and to still make the World Champs Team. Unfortunately with Nationals this week, the best option for me was not to run and focus on the long-term goal. As I’ve been getting back into it all, slowly of course, I am starting to feel like myself again and everything feels how it was when I first started the season off. Still in running shoes but progressing back to the speed work each week, all dependent on how I feel each time I wake up and how I feel in the training session.
What’s next for me:
– I am still trying my hardest to make the World Champs Team. I am aiming to compete in June to try and get qualifying times and then if need be to go overseas in July.
– I am also trying to stay in contention for the 4x400m relay team.
In saying all of this, at the start of 2017, I was very fortunate to have signed with my new sponsor Nike. They have been very helpful and supportive with everything that has gone wrong this season and I look forward to working with them over the next couple of years and hopefully many more after that.
I’d also like to thank everyone who has helped me through this shocking few months of pushed me to become more positive each and every day. Very thankful to have Dr Nathan Gibbs and Physiotherapist Liz Steet at South Sydney Sports Medicine Centre for getting me back on track with my rehab. Also, to Coach Michael Dooley, Jaryd Cowley and Lee Royston thank you for all your hard work on the track, off the track and in the gym, in getting me back to normal and back ready to train and compete again.
On a side note, 2017 has brought more award ceremonies which I have been nominated for than I could hope for. There has been the AIS Sports Awards, NSW Sports Awards and on Sunday 2nd April 2017 Athletics Australia have awards for the past season which I have been nominated in the category for Female Junior Athlete of the Year. Fingers crossed!
Good luck to everyone competing next week at the Nationals. Wish I was there.