After 2 years of going cold turkey on athletics, I’m back! (Sort of.)

After telling everyone who’d listen I was done racing, unsurprisingly to anyone who knows how much I love athletics, I am once again racing – but this time with no pressure and for fun and fitness, not for medals! Seeing the epic Josh George win the London Marathon and then spending time with my old friends and teammates both during a recent work trip to Perth, Australia and at the race hotel after the Marathon made me realise that:

  1. I’ve missed my friends during the 2 years I went cold turkey on athletics.
  2. I never stopped training, so really by not racing I was just putting myself through the tough bit of being an athlete and not giving myself the reward of spending weekends with awesome, talented people out on the road or track – or the adrenaline rush of lining up on the start line waiting for the gun to go off.

So almost 2 years to the day since I said goodbye to athletics after winning the 2013 Great Manchester Run, I found myself at Silverstone F1 track sheltering in a garage from the pouring rain on a Wednesday night having sat in hours of London traffic trying to get there from work. Oh the glamour of national racing! But guess what? IT WAS AWESOME. Turns out 2 years of substandard training didn’t actually make a difference, and although I was slow I wasn’t so bad that is was embarrasing, so we’ll chalk that up as a success.

So good to be back with the girls!

As usual I decidec to run before I walked, so after a quick email to the always lovely guys at Nova International I secured myself a place in the Great Manchester Run that Sunday. And you know what? That didn’t go badly either. I may have only placed 5th but I was only 9s slower than the time I won that race in in 2013, and most importantly the feeling of racing alongside my friends and spending the weekend with the amazing Jade Jones and Simon Lawson who I spent years training with, plus some great new faces like Callum Hall (one to watch there…) made me realise what I’ve been missing for the last couple of years.

So what now? With my new job (in football, huge surprise there!) I actually get evenings and weekends off (not something Tough Mudder liked to give us), so training is a lot easier to fit in. I travel a lot with work so for the moment I’m not going to go abroad to race, but I’m excited to get back into doing some British road races and who knows, maybe I’ll even try a track meet this Summer… maybe.

Did it always hurt this much at the end of a race, or am I just out of shape?!

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