Race season beginssssss

Manchester BMC
I was not particularly looking forward to my first 5k of the year. After missing so much of my winter training and base mileage, I knew it wasn’t going to be an enjoyable experience! I actually felt a lot better than I had expected though and only really struggled over the last mile but managed to pull it back again over the last lap. I did produce a PB by about 5 seconds to clock 15.47, which should be a positive but I felt that I had been training a lot quicker than that. It is just the final stages of my racing that i’m missing and I do believe its due to the amount of training i’ve missed over christmas time – but hopefully it’l come with more races.
During the day of my race, my mum said I should consider helping out the charity she is involved with and do the Manchester 10k. After a few hours of persuasion, myself and Howell decided to get involved with our bright, neon yellow Leukaemia Research T-shirts and to treat the race like my sunday long run. I had planned on running 7.30 minute mile but as soon as the gun went I couldn’t stand being behind folk and so I decided to run it however I felt. My legs felt really good considering I had ran a 5k the night before so I managed to steady run it at a quicker pace. I finished in 38.30 which was alright for a Sunday run! It was a great experience though and I would love to go back again, maybe even as one of the ‘elite’ athletes…. thats a BIG maybe though, as fast 10k’s do NOT look enjoyable!

It was a pretty long drive home but I was kept amused by Howell stressing out about the directions until he decided to spit in my face. Yes, actually spit!
Howell: ‘Eilish watch this….”
*Gobs in my face*
Howell: ‘ Oh my god, I actually can’t believe I just did that. I was only meant to pretend!’
What a lovely boyfriend I have. My mum was totally asleep on the back seats of the car and so there are no other witnesses to this event.
Other things
Heat Exhaustion
I have been extremely unlucky this week to have missed all of the good weather! It’s been the hottest week of the year so far and yet i’ve spent most of it indoors working. I’m getting paler and paler by the second! We did however get a few hours to take my little sisters dog outside for the first time. He’s so tiny that we almost lost him in the jungle of grass that is currently growing out of control in the garden.
Rex getting lost in the jungle
Flanders Athletics Meeting
Last year the International Flanders Athletics Meeting was my first steeplechase of the year so I decided to continue that trend by competing in it again this weekend. The first steeplechase is always the hardest as you forget how heavy your legs feel towards the latter part of the race. Last year I was 4thin 9.58 so the fact that I won this year and that I improved my opening time by 10seconds to 9.48, I was pretty pleased with it. The only disappointing thing was that I was 0.09 off the B standard for the Olympics, which would have been nice to get again! The first few laps I actually really struggled- not because I was tired but because I started off too slow and felt really uncomfortable hurdling. I kept stuttering really badly into EVERY SINGLE barrier. I was getting really annoyed at myself as it was getting worse and worse the more I thought about it! On a positive note though, my water jumps were about 3million times better than any of my previous competitions even though I have switched landing legs!
My mum told me to sit in and see how I felt over the first opening laps then try to run as quick as I could over the last kilometre. That’s exactly what I did do – it felt so much easier running at a quicker pace and I was able to float over the barriers rather than stuttering around like an idiot! In the end I caught both the girls in front of me and open up a 4 seconds lead on 2nd place.
The race has given me a lot of confidence going into my next steeplechase as I know i’m in really good shape. Its just about trying to find the right race at the right time now. Fingers crossed for me that its at the Diamond League in Oslo in the next week and a half!
The Scottish Lot 😀
Preparation for Flanders wasn’t the best. Our ryan air flight was delayed 8 hours… yes 8 HOURS! This resulted in a lot of angry scottish athletes frantically stretching along the airport floor and keeping themselves amused by the sport of ‘people watching’. To compensate for our 8 hour delay (which meant our flight arrived in Belgium after midnight!), RyanAir generously gave us £3.50 in food vouchers! Ridiculous. It managed to buy a bottle of water and that was about it! We ended up waiting for 40minutes in The Gathering restaurant only to be told half their menu was unavailable! After a few messed up orders, tiny portions and some other problems we then handed over our HUGE DISCOUNT of £3.50. Friday really wasn’t our day – nightmare.
Huge salad….
Finally we made it to Brussels Charleoi just after midnight and got our transfer straight away to the chalets at the track. However, we then found out that Kathryn Evans and myself would be sharing our room with 3 other girls. Normally this isn’t a problem as athlete always share with other athletes at competitions, but at 2am we knew the girls wouldn’t be too happy with us wandering in trying to find our beds in the dark. After waking up some of the girls we then found out there weren’t actually any beds spare! Strangely I wasn’t worrying about it too much – mainly because it was such a long day that I was practically sleeping whilst standing up!
In the end (after making some calls to completely full hotels!) our driver kindly offered us his home to stay for the night! By this time, it was 3am and I had already scouted out the best outdoor sleeping spots! Our poor driver, named Wim, asked his own son to get up out of bed and go sleep on the sofa so that me and Kathryn could share his room! I have never felt so bad in my entire life. The next morning we woke up to a huge breakfast spread out on the table for us. We were extremely lucky to have been looked after like royalty by the nicest family in the world! Wim’s two boys were 15 and 17, spoke great english and cooked us amazing food for the whole duration we were there! I was close to smuggling them back home in my suitcase in exchange for my little rascals of brothers. I literally could not thank Wim and his family enough for their hospitality and will definitely keep in touch with them.
Made some friends with their pets!
After my race late on saturday night, I had a full sunday to chill out and relax. Doing my 8mile run in the morning meant I got to spend the rest of the day sunbathing (more like burning) in the 30 degrees heat. I was pretty close to doing what one of the ethiopian athletes had done and ‘accidentally’ miss my transfer home but I dragged myself back onto that RyanAir flight.
Whats next?
My next race is the Oslo Diamond League on the 7th June. This week is pretty busy with work, school talks and training. It is also the wedding of two of my training group, Laura and Graeme Oudney. I refuse to stop calling Laura…. Laura Brown! But I suppose after the wedding on saturday its ‘facebook official’.. joking obviously..

But anyways.. ill be making sure that next week I lie around in my bed all day ‘resting’ up! 🙂

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