Belgian Waffling

After the weekend's competition just passed, the facts stare me blankly in the eyes. It was my last competition inside the qualifying period before World Championships selection. In that sense, it was unsuccessful. But although I am feeling like I am once again snacking on a familiar tasting piece of irony pie, I feel great.

I forgot how nice it is (and rather helpful) to have a coach. This being my 5th European campaign, there is a certain pride that takes over when by yourself trying to 'nut it out' in Europe. I had about 3 weeks without Matty, and I realised how important it is to have a rational, watchful, and objective eye when training and competing. In my first session back with Matty last week we made a couple of small changes in my technique over the hurdles and it made an extraordinary difference in times and effort.

Belgian national Champs was to be the last competition for me inside the qualifying period, with a heat and a final. I went in with my new found confidence in hurdling as well as a settled attitude to the  qualifier situation in that, "If it happens, awesome. If not, that's OK." (History tells me this is by far my best suited approach for these races.) I was hoping to race against my old friend Michael Butheel in the heats. He and I not only share a very similar build and fascial structure, but more importantly, a similar PB. He was chasing qualifiers too.

The cold wind and the wetness dampened our spirits towards the good conditions we were hoping for, and we didn't get put in the same heat. I ran a very respectable 49.95 out on my own, and with some mistakes in the race, including a 16 stride into hurdle 10. It showed me that the changes we were making are what I need and that I really am in good shape!!

The final was a little colder and windy, but not too bad. I recovered and warmed up well, but my race was riddled with mistakes from the 5th hurdle, which included smacking hurdles 5, 7, and 9. My run to the 5th hurdle was "sensational" (Matty's words, not mine!). I had all but given up on the fast time by the 10th (which I took an insulting 17 strides into - I should take 15) but still managed a 50.60. This was annoying and encouraging at the same time.

So I sit here with a fantastic session done yesterday as well as the weekend behind me and a knowing that I can run fast at the moment. When I first got over here I think my racing was a little like blindfolded 'pin the tail on the donkey'; I'd race hoping that I would nail it but it was a bit of  blind faith (see Olympianity blog below). Now the blindfold is off and I genuinely know I have the artillery to run 49.0-49.4, and more importantly, HOW to run that fast!

On a good note, I have 2 or 3 more races to prove myself correct. The only bummer is they won't count as selection races this year.

I give myself about a 30% chance of World Champs selection in the hurdles with what I have done. The 4x400 relay is even more unknown as no-one is running as they would expect themselves to. A very odd year for all selection. But in the meantime (selectors will sit down on the 1st or 3rd of August) I shall wait patiently in the back of the class ready to come up to the blackboard and NAIL that book report... Pick me! Pick me!


Popular Posts