I’m back in action and ready to go! This weekend I will be running not one, but two races. Possibly a third if things go well but let’s look at the guarantees first and not the possibilites. As you are all aware, my last competition was a write off due to certain circumstances. Thankfully, I’m fully recovered and feeling really good for the races over the next two days. I have no worries and can just go out and enjoy the day regardless of what happens. At the end of the day, It’s experience and it’s all a building block for the outdoor season.
The first race will take place on Saturday, where I will be running the 200m in the AAI Indoor League Round 2. Technically, I should be running this race through my club but due to (presumably) lack of male athletes or certain other reasons they’ve only entered a women’s team. So instead of running in the actual league competition, I’m entering as a guest. This basically means that I won’t be part of any of the league races and cannot count towards any points tallies, as we don’t have a team entered. I will be running in a separate race with just athletes who are guesting. This is actually a really good concept because it gives athletes who don’t have a club indoors a chance to get some races in during the indoor season – something that is ideal for me at the moment. The more races I can partake in the better!
The second race and undoubtedly the most important of the weekend will take place on Sunday. It will also probably be the biggest race I’ve ran to date in Ireland. The Irish Life Health National Junior & U23 Indoor Championships! Again, I will be competing in the 200m as part of the U23 category. Saturday is only a run out and more or less a training session but Sunday is the real deal. It is a national event after all and a far cry from the Munster U23’s I ran a few weeks back. The only other big race I’ve ran was last summer in Barcelona – and it did not go well at all. In fact, it couldn’t have gone any worse. I had taken the long journey up from Barcelona to Sal de Mar to compete in the Catalonia Outdoor U23 Championships. I decided to run solely in the 100m instead of doing the 200m as well. I didn’t have all that much race experience, the crowd was surprisingly huge and I was in the same heat as both my training partners – whom I had never raced against! I don’t know if it was nerves or excitement but I ended up doing the most obvious false start you could come across. That was the end of that! Luckily, I’m yet to false start in a competition after that occasion but you’re always a bit sceptical in the back of your mind.
A lot of you might be thinking, why are you running Saturday when you’ve an important competition Sunday? I guess now I’m obliged to answer this! Although Sunday is a very big competition, I don’t particularly see it that way in terms of what I’m looking for myself. This being race experience and a realisation of the long term as opposed to the shortcomings. Simply, I just want to run! Naive? Probably. Stupid? Questionable.
I need to get as much races as possible under my belt, and I’m not particularly worried right now about getting in extra recovery because of a specific race. I’m not at that point yet where it’s extremely important for me to specify certain competitions. So it’s ideal for me to run both days. It will be very hard for me to compete at a National level at this given time, so although Sunday is important in a general view – it’s more specifically important for me in terms of getting those races in and running against sprinters faster than me. The standard will be relatively high and it gives me a great chance to possibly run a good time, but in terms of me being competitive then it will be a struggle. I’m not looking to finish top three or even qualify from a heat, just specifically for a time that shows progress. Anything else is a bonus!
My last competition bugged me a bit (even though I had accepted the circumstances) so I want to sort of assure myself that it was just a blip due to illness – so what better way to do that than to run twice at the weekend. At least it gives me two opportunities to see where I’m at! I’m feeling good and my mind is mentally ready. Confidence is high and I genuinely think I can run a good time. Another plus side is that both competitions are being held in Athlone – where the track is phenomenal. So that can’t be held as an excuse! Nenagh is no comparison to Athlone so I can’t wait to run on it!
So, what am I looking for over the weekend? Low 23’s – plain and simple. It’s all about times. If I finish last in my race but hit a low 23 I’ll be in a good place. Flipside and I hit a high 23 or low 24 and I’ll be disappointed. I genuinely know I have it in me to run this time but it just depends how the day goes really. I’m feeling good though so here’s hoping! Hitting this specific time will give me more confidence that I can break the 23 second barrier outdoors. I need this! I’m ready to go!
Updates to follow.