Tuesday, 30 August 2011

On this day exactly 20 years ago..

On this day in 1991, Liz McColgan, won the World 10,000 metres final by more than 20 secs. To win a world championship is some feat, but to win by more than 20 seconds is near unheard of.

Have been watching the athletics non-stop. As usual there is always drama. I have never agreed with the one false start rule. I cannot imagine the amount of pressure and nerves that these people go through, especially the final of a mens 100m. Every single camera, spectator, journalist, athlete are all watching. Theres a lot of noise, distractions and flashing lights. With the big name of Usain Bolt in it. He draws in crowds and for him to be out the race, it puts a slight downer on the events. Dwain Chambers, Christine Ohuruogu and many more have fallen to this rule in these championships alone and it was quite upsetting scenes to see athletes that have trained all year round to be put out by a minor mistake. I believe everyone should be given a chance, 2 and you are out!

Watching Mo Farah's race was so so good, don't think i have ever screamed at the TV so much. To see someone give their all and yet still it is just not enough is unfortunate. But it will make him stronger and keep the desire there for next year, London 2012! Also a big fan of Bekele so i hope he gets back to his former world-class status!

Welldone to everyone so far. It has been amazing to watch. Especially the amount of brits that have made finals. C'moooooooon GB!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Clip of the day..

Just an amusing clip from the athletics highlights earlier. Shows athletics is for everyone and anyone! This 17 year old trained for a month to lower his PB to 15.66 seconds for the 100m, from American Samoa. Fair play to him!

TV has saved my life this week..

Saturday 27th August

Thank god for the athletics coverage starting today, it has finally given me something to do! In the past week I have read a disgusting amount of magazines, mainly about the lives of Kerry Katona, Jordan and other pointless people. Also watched 23 episodes of America’s Got Talent, 18 episodes of America’s Next Top Model, about 20 films and on YouTube listening to Drake and Lil’ Wayne on repeat. I have been going to the gym every day just to get out the flat! I am only able to do some core and sit-up exercises but its keeping me sane. I really wish I could do some sort of cross training but the surgeon will not let me do a thing for another 4 weeks until my MRI scan.

My meeting with the surgeon went well apart from me trying desperately to hold back my tears. He is very nice, however sometimes I feel he talks down to me and maybe doesn’t realise how much I want to get back into athletics. I know I’m not a surgeon, but I’m also not an idiot. I have done every single thing he has told me to do, however I think he feels that because of who my mum is, and how she always goes with her own thoughts that I will do the same, and maybe try to walk (weight-bare) on my foot too early. When in all honesty, I haven’t even attempted to! I can tell that the foot is nowhere near healed; it feels very weak and still quite numb and I totally respect his advice, he is an expert! Hopefully when I get my MRI scan on the 22nd Sept , everything is healed and I can start walking again. The scar is healing although my foot does look a bit like Frankenstein at the moment <-----

I got a bit upset earlier watching the Athletics, just keep wishing that I could have been healthy and had the opportunity to go to my first ever-major championships! It’s been good so far and GB have put out some strong performances to make finals, can’t wait for the rest of this week! Usain Bolt claims he’s not fit and yet he JOGGED past everyone, amazing! Also have an obsession with the girl beside -->..  Darya Klishina, think every single boy in the world fancies her and every girl wants to be her!  Extremely unfair for someone to be THAT perfect. Bit weird seeing the athletics on C4 and not the BBC. Noticed that A LOT of people are complaining about the presenters and commentators and that its not as good as the BBC. My only real problem with it was the adverts!! There were about 300 (slight exaggeration). Watching the mens 100m's was painful, after every race there was a big batch of adverts. Massive fan of Rick Edwards though so i'm not complaining that it's moved to C4, if it means that he is presenting!

Besides from athletics:

I decided to dye my hair yesterday; it was meant to be blonde but went a weird orange colour. Think I have rescued it a little bit but its still a bit weird. I really should go to a hairdresser and get it done but last time it cost me £90!! Yes, £90.. I almost died and haven’t been back since. So, here to home dying for the next few months and putting up with multi-coloured hair! 

Hoping to book a really cheap holiday in the next week with my boyfriend so that I can get out of Scotland for a week. Summer weather has been really rubbish this year. Wanting to go somewhere warm and cheap so that I can save up and head to somewhere exotic/long haul next year! Going to postpone the fact that i'm 21 this year and have it next year instead! Gives me an excuse to go away somewhere really nice, end of season 2012.  Somewhere like.... THIS!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

On the way up!

Tue 16th August 2011

Things could only possibly get better and slightly happier since my last post! Surgery was just less than a week ago and I was told by the surgeon that it went ‘well’, I have no idea what that means but it’s a positive! I was very nervous about going into surgery as I had never gone under general anesthetic before but soon my nerves turned into me being totally knocked out. Next thing I remember I could hear a wee mans voice but had no idea where it was coming from! Then as I got moved back into my ward, a few of my training partners were all there to visit me. So lovely of them and I cant thank them enough for all their help but I had no idea what any of them were chatting about and I was falling asleep every two seconds! I could hardly make out any of their faces. Very strange.

Next morning I felt pretty good even though I wasn’t on many painkillers, but my foot and half way up my leg was totally numb and so I wasn’t allowed home until all feeling had returned. MY JESUS I was happy I didn’t go home, that night I thought I was dying. Never ever in my life have I experienced such pain. All day I was complaining about how my toes felt very numb in the cast and at 2am it started to feel like my toes were being crushed! So I called the nurse who gave me some painkillers but they made no difference. Eventually after a few hours the Dr came up and took the front half of the cast off. This gave me some relief and I managed to nap for 30mins but at around 4am the back of my foot started to get the same pain. Like a sharp burning sensation across my Achilles. The nurses did all that they could and gave me two doses of liquid morphine but 3 hours later the pain was still the exact same. After a few hours of me crying and crying and a serious amount of complaining my surgeon came on shift. Within 2 seconds of seeing my foot he removed the cast, instantly the pain shifted. I couldn’t believe the change and that day I was allowed home. Since being home I have been on paracetamol only and now today I have taken myself off all the painkillers.

It is so so nice to be home although I have never been so bored in my entire life; there is literally nothing to do! Watched 8 episodes of America’s Next Top Model in a row and there is only so much Tyra Banks you can take in a day. Not being able to exercise or even move is killing me. Went to make myself cereal the other day when my boyfriend was out, but it resulted in me sitting on the floor of the kitchen making it, crawling about to get the milk from the fridge then proceeding to eat, sitting on the floor like some sort of gremlin. Showering is also a massive issue. I feel like and old woman. I am so stubborn that yesterday, I went through to the kitchen an attempted to open a can on tuna (bearing in mind that I HATE tuna but it was the only ‘food’ in my cupboard), my flat mate Craig asked if he could help me, I declined but then went to slice open my finger. This also resulted in me sitting on the floor eating my tuna but with a throbbing finger.

Every year my training group gets a 3-week break from athletics where we usually organise to meet up and do something that normal people do without having to think about training. So it’s a bit rubbish that this year I’m missing any fun things or nights out that are happening! Heading to a nightclub in my crutches and moon boot probably isn’t a good look but I’ve had my few years of partying and living a student life and although lying in my bed all day long isn’t exactly what I would LOVE to be doing, I know its what I NEED to be doing in order to get better.

At the moment I am still on no funding or sponsorship, which is a bit of a bummer as at the moment I cant even work my part time job with this injury! I have also decided to take the year out of Uni to concentrate on getting myself back fit and healthy for next years games. I can always go back and finish my degree whenever and to be honest I’m really unsure as to what sort of job I want to go into! Maybe I’ll be like Van Wilder (without the partying) and stay a student for the rest of my life! Who knows..

On another note my nails have never been painted so much in their entire life.

How things have turned around for the worst..

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

I’m sitting in a hospital ward watching the same old man walk past my room on crutches backwards and forwards for the past two hour. Never ever have I been so depressed and down in my entire life.
How things have turned around for the worst. One minute I was so excited to be in the best physical shape I’ve ever been in, then the next split second it’s all over.
I was given the opportunity to race in the London Diamond League at Crystal Palace over the 3000m SC. It was my last opportunity to gain a second B standard towards selection for the World Championships. I knew I was in very good shape, and was looking for a big PB. In the race, I felt so so good, not tired or heavy legged even though I was running at a pace a lot faster than I had ever ran before. I knew I was capable of the A standard of 9.43 but I just needed the opportunity of a no-pressure fast race.
Everything was going extremely well, and my plan was to stick with one of the American girls who I knew had a PB of 9.40, however on the second last water jump I sort of slipped when I placed my right foot on the barrier. This resulted in me landing maybe a little funny on my left foot. As soon as my foot hit the ground I heard a massive ‘pop’ and a massive pain shot up my leg. Through adrenaline I got to the next barrier but every step my foot was absolutely killing me and I was crying whilst running.
I was about to drop out with a lap to go but when I glanced at the time I realized I was well on for a massive PB and within the A standard, and so I kept going. Maybe not the best decision I’ve made as it had probably made the break a bit worse and moved the bone slightly, but I’m glad I did keep going as I now know exactly what time I am capable of doing. I feel I can definitely run a sub 9.40 if I can run a 9.44 with the last 500m ran on a broken foot!
As soon as I finished a guy ran over to me with a Lucozade and I just casually replied: “I think I’ve broke my foot,” he then proceeded to just hand me a drink and wander off. I couldn’t get up though it was that painful, and all the first aiders and physios were telling me it couldn’t be broken as I wouldn’t have been able to keep running on it. How wrong they were!

Got my MRI the next day, and I have broken the navicular bone on my foot, they said it’s a very strange bone to have broken and that they have no idea how I ran on it. To be honest I have no idea either as I am a total pap and not very strong physically (which is why the crutches they have given me are KILLING ME! Can’t lift my own bloody bodyweight!). But maybe there’s a similar mentality to my mum, she managed to keep running through a broken knee, so maybe craziness is inherited that way.
The day I found out my foot was broken, I’ll be honest, I cried…a lot. I have no idea how my boyfriend manages to put up with me sometimes. It’s just upsetting to me, as I have already had a year out due to injury and illness and I know firsthand how long it took me to get back into things and how hard it is not to stray away from the sport. I worked so hard this year to get myself fit and sacrificed almost every other thing in my life for athletics. I stopped living like a student and started living like an athlete an obviously it worked for me. But it does make me upset to think what have I done wrong to be in this position now!?
Broken foot, surgery in a few days, weeks in a cast, then months of rehabilitation. It’s a long, long road ahead but I am willing to do whatever it takes to get back fit again. It’s a full year till London 2012 and I really hope that I will be there on the start line, not just healthy and back running, but competitive.
This year I have had such a large improvement and a great learning experience for bigger things to come. I am upset that maybe I could have been at my first ever World Championship age 20, a full 20 years since my mum won gold, but this is only the beginning for me.
I would just like to thank everyone for their lovely texts, Tweets and Facebook emails, it’s made me cry several times reading them all. I do appreciate them so much and just to know that other people do believe in me and keep reassuring me that things will get better.
I’d also like to thank my boyfriend Howell, as honestly don’t know what I would do without him, he’s had to look after me since the break and keeps me smiling even when things are extremely…rubbish. It’s been a very tough week for my family with all the negative media, my second little brother being diagnosed diabetic and now me breaking my foot. They say things come in threes, so hopefully this is it. Onwards and upwards. “It doesn’t matter how many times you fall, but how fast you get back up again.”
Eilish Mc x

First Blog... Catch up!

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Hello. This is my first time at blogging, so I will try to keep it interesting and will keep a constant up-to-date report on my weekly races, but I do speak a lot and so apologise in advance for this.
This year has been quite a big step-up in competition for me and I have improved over a range of distances. It has been a lot of travelling and time away from home, but it has been worth every minute. I have been lucky enough to meet some amazing athletes and management as part of Team GB.
If someone had told me I would have been in these sorts of races at the start of the year I would of told them to shuuuuuush, as I had been struggling to get myself fit again after injury. I will re-cap on my main races so far. This will be a bit of an essay, none of my blogs will ever be this long, I promise.
International Flanders Cup, Belgium and European Team Champs
I did my second ever 3000m SC at the International Flanders cup in Belgium a few months ago. It cost quite a bit for my flights but I was so desperate to get a race, as I knew I was in good shape from my training sessions. I cut nearly a minute off my previous PB and broke 10mins, 9.58. As soon as I crossed the line I was on the phone to my parents. I was just very pleased to have gone under the 10min barrier in my first race of the year.
This time along with my debut over 5k, got me selection as a travelling reserve for the European Team Champs in Sweden. Literally couldn’t believe I had even been considered, and kept telling people that I thought it was a joke or that they were going to change their minds. The fact I was only a reserve was totally fine with me, I thought I would get a weekend away watching all the athletics I would normally watch on TV.
The day before I was due to fly out, this all changed! Haha. I was moved into the steeplechase after one of the girls was unfortunately injured. This put me into panic mode. I had never practiced over barriers before, and usually just race and hope for the best. Again I ran another PB, but watching it on the TV was a horrible experience. It looked like I was having some sort of fit before jumping over the barriers and then almost drowning in the water jump. Not my finest moment.
Anyways, things have slightly improved since then, once a week I have tried at the end of sessions
to just run over a few hurdles to get myself used to it. I know that this itself isn’t enough to improve my technique but I don’t want to specialise in the steeplechase just yet until all my flat times are down to where I want them to be.

Diamond League, Birmingham
One of the most exciting weekends away I’ve had was to Birmingham for the Diamond League. I was very, very appreciative to have been given the chance to race in such a high-class race. Found myself totally staring at some of the more famous athletes and I was probably creeping them out.
Got the chance to walk along the same hall as Asafa Powell as I was coming out my room, but I was in so much shock that I couldn’t even ask for a photo or even muster a hello! Horribly embarrassing.
As I walked out into the stadium, I had never ever seen such a busy stadium. It was absolutely packed, nothing like any races I had competed in before. My mum, boyfriend and two flatmates were all down watching the races. I had absolutely no chance of seeing them in the crowd but at least I knew they were all there.
Really pleased with how the race went, I was dragged round in a little group of three girls and ran an 8 second PB 9.47.03, Scottish national record and a British U23 record. Don’t think I’ve ever heard my dad so happy, he used to steeplechase and so I think he’s secretly quite happy that I am doing well over the same even as he used to do. He’s definitely not passed me any hurdling technique genes though. Thanks da.
European Under 23 Champs
The European U23 champs in Czech Republic were one of the best trips I’ve been on. Mainly because the group of people we went out with were just all so friendly. First day there was slightly eventful though. We all decided to go out for a 20min jog in the woods nearby only to be confronted with two naked girls standing getting photos taken by some very dodgy looking men, that was the last time we went for a jog there.

I was very lucky to share with Stevie Stockton again. I probably annoyed her with the amount that I sleep. That whole week was the least amount of sleep I have ever had. Finding out my heat had been rescheduled to 10.50am, I was not a happy bunny. But I did it and qualified safely for the final. Feet were a bit sore, as I always get stiff after racing, so I struggled doing three steeplechases in a week, two in three days!
The final wasn’t as quick as I had hoped and I came 6th, a lot of the girls had ran PBs, so I can’t complain too much. To even get to the championships was a major achievement for me this year. Hardly slept at all the last few days we were there with all the other Europeans teams shouting outside the windows until 3am, again I was not a happy bunny.
After doing a 45min run the next day after a few hours sleep and in 30 plus degrees heat, I honestly thought I was maybe on my way out. I was considering different scenarios of how I would explain to a Czech person that I was perhaps dying. Thankfully I made it back to the accommodation though.
Seriously nap deprived over the last few days I lasted a full 20mins at the after party before sneaking back to our apartment. The girls stayed up chatting for a bit but I was like a zombie and ended up asleep by midnight. 
That night there was a fire alarm and management were supposedly almost breaking our door down they were banging on it so hard. Yet me, Stevie Stockton, Stacey Smith and Holly Bleasdale slept right through it all. They all had earplugs in and so had an excuse for sleeping through it, me on the other hand, no ear plugs! Just absolutely knocked out. I can honestly sleep anytime, anywhere and through any noise, it’s a skill.
Coming home a day after all the English folk got home was slightly depressing at the airport waiting for our final part of the trip, however I almost had a heart attack walking through security. I saw what resembled Usain Bolt, and it was actually him! I threw my bag into the security scanner and ran through the one that beeps, left my bags and literally sprinted (well.. quick jogged) over to Usain.
The security people thought I was mental as I could hardly speak and just left my stuff in the machine, passport, boarding pass, phone. But it was definitely worth it. He was very, very tall, and allowed us to get photos with him, however think he was a bit overwhelmed to meet me, as he didn’t say much. JOKING!
I think he was majorly creeped out that a bunch of Scottish athletes ran over to him in all their GB kit, panting out of breath and asking for photos with him. Highlight of the year, the photo of him and me has taken over my Facebook profile and replaced the screensaver of me and my boyfriend, on my phone.
So after my massive catch up with the past few months, what am I currently doing?
Currently I am typing away whilst my lovely boyfriend has offered to drive me down to Birmingham for the UK senior champs this weekend. He stated that he wanted to leave on Friday before 9am in order to miss all major traffic as it’s a six and a half hour drive from where we live in Scotland. But in true Eilish, late-style we left at 12, after having to pass by the post-office, the bank and petrol station for food and magazines. I am very lucky he puts up with me.
Very worried about the hotel I have booked us. It was extraordinarily cheap, however once booking it I decided to look at the reviews. 85% would NEVER return. Oh oh. We’re being optimistic though, aha.
I decided to race the 5000m at the UK champs this weekend as I have been given the chance to compete in the steeplechase at the Crystal Palace Grand Prix next weekend. Really excited to run the 5k though, as it will be my second time over that distance, and I really think I’m capable of running a massive PB.
After Crystal Palace I am straight to Heathrow a few days later to leave for China for the World University Games. Very busy over the next few weeks but it’s all pretty exciting. I will keep you updated with how it all goes. Fingers crossed.
Eilish Mc x