January 2015 – What better way to start my blog than at the start of a brand new year! This has been a long time coming (maybe a mixture of procrastination and possibly laziness led to the delay) but happy its finally here.
2014 was a reasonably ‘quiet’ year, I needed a chance to allow myself to get back to neutral, it is the first time in my 10 year slog as an international athlete that I have done that. I reasoned that in order to push on for a few more years, it would be in my best interests to give myself, more than anything a mental break. I wanted to have a ‘come as it may’ attitude to the season, but for me that was easier said than done. I only know one way to work and that’s to go hard, so even after a while the term a ‘quiet’ season was even hard for me to define.
I had to work hard to find the balance between doing something – I couldn’t afford to take a complete year out (that will do more harm than good), but I didn’t want to have another year of mental or physical battering. I think I found the right balance running in the 4x400m relay at the Commonwealth Games and doing the individual 400m at the European Championships.
That put me in a good place to begin preparations for this season and I began in November in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The work was tough, but I had a great time and great company with the some members of England’s cricket team. It is a good idea for athletes of different sports to mix, allows for the sharing of ideas and new thinking.
I returned home just before Christmas but unfortunately for us athletes, the holiday season is not really a holiday! I am green with envy every year as my brothers having broken up from school are free to enjoy lie ins and eat mince pies. I am able to put aside my jealousy and still enjoy Christmas with them, which is always a good laugh. I would like to add though my present pile is getting smaller and smaller….little hint for Christmas 2015! Although I was delighted with new Adidas Smart Run watch which I have been showing off at training since.
But now, just like that, we are in 2015 and it will be a big year with the world championships in Beijing. Being a defending champion comes with its pressures, probably more so than if I was without a title, but it doesn’t phase me, well not now anyway. Ask me in a few months and I may just change my mind. The dreaded winter training season continues and although the weather now is manageable, I am preparing mentally for the wintery downturn which I know is on the way. I am just praying I don’t get snowed under, that really won’t be helpful!
I’ll sign off by wishing everyone a belated Happy New Year and if you have made New Year resolutions I hope you are sticking to them.