Can you hear that noise? It’s the sound of athletes everywhere rejoicing that winter is over and I confess I am joining the party! I am very happy to put another winter behind me. Even though I opted out of the indoor season and was doing the bulk of my training outdoors I chose to stay at home. The cold mornings and the dark nights have been overcome and I am satisfied that I have been able to build both my physical and mental state. There were training camps that I could have attended but I felt more comfortable in my own environment. It seems the older I get, the more of a home body I am becoming.
Being at home did have its advantages as I had the opportunity to attend some really inspiring events. Events that really make a positive impact on anyone and everyone that comes into contact with them or who happen to be involved.
Much has been said about women’s participation in sport, something I feel strongly about and so I was delighted to attend KPMG’s ‘Sport is Beautiful’ campaign last month. It was a mesmerizing collection of beautiful women enjoying what they do – sport – brilliantly. Excellence captured so naturally.
I believe it is important that we see diversity in the marketing of women in sports, unfortunately something we aren’t treated to all the time. I loved what I saw and it seemed the guests did too. There were images that we are not treated to very often and it was great to see how the generalized notions and stereotypes about women in sport were overthrown to be replaced by awe and respect.
I also attended the British Ethnic Diversity Sports Awards. I can’t remember attending an awards show before where the award givers were encouraged to dance on stage to a live band! I had so much fun. I saw the wonderful Denise Lewis presented with a life time achievement award and she in turn went on to honour her mother with the same award. Such a fine example of inspiration being passed down the generations.
These are just a couple of examples of events that are recognizing the incredible achievements of those who do not always got the headlines they deserve, or the credit they warrant, but continue to pursue excellence for the love of what they do.
I was also invited by my sponsor adidas to their headquarters in Herzogenaurach. This was the first time I have been and it was great to go behind the scenes and see how much work and research goes into everything I wear. It was reassuring to know that in the same way I am pushing myself in training, the team at adidas are supporting the athletes to find the crucial 1/100ths of a second that can make all the difference. And, no matter how long you have been doing athletics, everyone still loves getting new shoes!
As much as I spoke about staying at home, there does come a point when it is time to go! Warmer climes beckoned and I have taken off. ‘Warm weather training’ marks that time of year when everything gets a little bit more serious, the outdoor season is just around the corner and it’s probably the last real block of work an athlete can put in to contribute to a good performance throughout the season. It can be quite daunting though; once the conveyor belt starts moving, there is no getting off until right at the end when the season is finished.
I am currently in Florida and just getting set for lock down mode! It’s the best way for me to prepare. I don’t intend to resurface for a while, but I will try and keep you updated as I go through the season. I will try not to leave it as long as 3 months again.
I hope those of you that have been preparing for upcoming marathons and toughed out the long winter months with me are successful with your goals. You all have my utmost respect.
For more information about the Sport is Beautiful campaign check out http://sportisbeautiful.com/ and follow @Sport_Beautiful and be sure to get your tickets for the British Athletics Summer Series at http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/2015_Outdoor_Season/
And finally, I’m never without a good book and I am really enjoying my latest read Failure is not an Option by Gene Kranz. I picked it out when I went to the Kennedy Space Centre with my sister and brother last week. I have taken inspiration from both the space centre and the book that has allowed me to refresh my mind and get ready to push on again.
I will get an indication of where I am at in my first race in Kingston, Jamaica on 9th May.