January blog post from Libby
Sorry for missing an update in December. Hectic month settling into new flats in Loughborough and Edinburgh as well as attending a number of different end of year dinner and award ceremonies.
Since the turn of the year the pace of things has not slowed down.
I am just back from warm weather training in Stellenbosch (South Africa). However the term warm weather does not do justice to the temperature. The first day the temperature was in the high 20s and it just got hotter each day. One day the thermometer hit 44-degrees. Fortunately, that was a day we were training in doors (but I still did manage to get sunburnt walking to the gym).
This was the first time my guide runner, Mikhail, has been able to join in with this warm weather training. So we were able to work on a number of technique points to improve performance but I will leave these as a surprise for my rivals.
There were about 60 GB athletes and coaches in Stellenbosch. I got to see up close how strong Christine Ohuruogo is and the training group run by Linford Christie were also there.
I injured my abductor muscle during a training session. This meant some extra time with the physio and for a few days I had to ease back on the running to give my leg time to recover. This is why on rest days that is exactly what I did. While some athletes took the time to pop into Cape Town I just relaxed in my room with my iPad.
Back in the UK
I arrived back in the UK last week and made it back to Edinburgh after an 7-hour wait in Heathrow for my connecting flight. Fortunately I managed to avoid the shops in Heathrow and the standard purchase, Toblerone.
My indoor season on Saturday got off to a rather unusual start. Mikhail and I were scheduled to take part in a mixed classification 60m sprint at the British Athletics International Match in Glasgow at the new Emirates arena. However, during his warm up Mikhail injured his leg and with the season ahead it was decided not to potentially make the injury worse by racing. I decided to still take part in the race and run without a guide. Running without a guide at full pace is not something I do in training and perhaps it was a bit of a blessing that I did not have too much time to think about it before getting to the start line.
Running on my own
The last time I ran without a guide my eye sight was much better and it is not something I have done since 2005. As I only have slight peripheral vision, my guide is very important. I finished third in the race but in view of how close I was to those ahead of me I am confident the result would have been different with Mikhail by my side.
While I wait to find out the full extent of Mikhails injury it does bring home a risk that I have long faced, what happens when my guide runner is injured? Last time it happened I was able to call upon Lincoln, who was my guide before Mikhail. However, that is no longer an option for me so I am working with my coaches to try and identify other athletes who could guide for me should Mikhail get injured. A guide needs to have a similar stride length to me and we have to train together to make sure we run as one.
Oh and Lyon...
During February, I will be given my race schedule for the year as I target the world championships in Lyon later this year. I will be defending my 100m title and going for gold in the 200m also. At this point in the year I am ahead of where I had hoped to be. For example, my strength training has been going really well and even with the slight injury while in South Africa, I am delighted with how things have been going.
My new flat
My new flat in Edinburgh is really starting to take shape. We only have the hall left to decorate. However, this progress is more down to the efforts of Michael and his dad than me picking up a paint brush or screw driver.
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