My first race I remember well. I was barefoot, summers day, my mother to my right giving me the thumbs up. I was 5 years old. I won my first medal. My track and field adventures began on that day. I also remember my last race in my teens, I was 16 years old. As always my mother was there who was our coach and I was involved with a club called Pierce AC. On that day I picked up no medals, our club was dissolving and athletics had run its course for me at that age.
Fast-forward 22 years later and it was my daughter’s turn to stand at the line whilst my mother and myself watched with pride. Her first race, she was 7. She picked up a medal, as did I in the “daddies” race. She was hooked, as was I!
I started to run on the grass in June 2017 and reading everything about Sprinting and training. I trained to get fast, simple as. I lifted weights to suit my body to get fast. October soon arrived and I decided that I would like to race again so my first competition was in December 2017. My focus was to learn all about how the race meeting went when to warm up and enjoy myself. I ran the 60m and 150m. I loved the buzz and all the excitement that came with it. Lots asked was I nervous, my answer was no. I was there to have fun!
Back to more training and my next Competition was at the end of December and I ran 60m (7.53) and 200m, my focus was to come out of the blocks and mind my own business in my lane! The 200m really caught me from a “fitness” perspective, as I did not do much Speed endurance work. Next up were the counties which were in mid-January, my focus was the 60m and to have patience towards the end of the race and not push my way through. My focus for the 200m was to come off the final bend with good posture. After the counties, I decided to put my full focus on the 60m regards my training and competitions as I knew I was still very raw and not having enough training done to try and compete in the 60m and 200m. So the 200m for me was all about building strength for my 100m/200m which is for outdoors season summer 2018.
Connaught arrived 2 weeks before the nationals. I was feeling great. I felt very fast and my self-belief was very high. BOOOOM – New PB in the 60m (7.44) and 200m (24.78). I was ready for the nationals
The Nationals were going to take place 2 weeks after the Connaughts. I worked A LOT on self-reflection, visualization and believing in myself. I wanted a medal in the 60m, end of. I woke that day with my back and hip was very sore, I knew it was all part of the day and kindly told my “trigger” areas to leave me alone, which they did. I listened to good positive music on the way up to the event. I signed in. I was ready, end of. During my warm up my body felt so light and fresh.
Our names were called and before I knew it I was at the starting line. I was very relaxed and very confident. I looked to my right and my mother was there along with all my family in the stand. This was the first time my mother watched me sprint since I was 16 years old, 22 years later.
On your marks. Set. Bang! 7.35 sec and Masters 35 Irish Champion. It was an emotional day for myself one that fills me with pride and self-satisfaction, one I will never forget, or my family, I keep going on about it. LOL. I received 4th in the 200m, which took part in the 60m. I knew from the first step out of the block, I was drained. Next year for the double!
I believe that it was my mindset and self-belief that won that race. I was only training for 5 months or so on a running track. I enjoyed every training session and every race. IT HAS TO BE FUN!! So the bottom line is this, you are only as strong as your weakest belief, not link!