Monday, 28 May 2012

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 4th in 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 :D

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! :)

Thursday, 24 May 2012

First time over barriers in 2012

My first water jump since breaking my foot last year. My heart was absolutely racing and I had a few stuttered attempts and a slight panic attack before man-ing up and just jumping! Haha, I have also changed my landing leg but surprisingly it actually feels better and more comfortable than landing on my left leg, like I previously used to do!

Off to Belgium tomorrow for my first steeplechase race of the year. Will post a blog tomorrow when i'm extremely bored sitting around the airport!

Monday, 14 May 2012

It's Amazing The Difference One Day Makes...

So it has been a week since my race in the Olympic Stadium. I decided to stay on a few days extra down in London with Howell and his family. The whole week I was down, I stayed at his godparents house in Middle Temple – it was amazing. Their apartment is lovely and within a little gated community, bit of a strange concept but it is really, really nice and quiet. Bit of a blonde moment from me – went out for a run to try find a park, Howell's sister asked me if I saw Buckingham Palace on my way, to which I said no but that there was crowds and crowds outside a building I passed. After google mapping where I ran, I had ran directly past Buckingham Palace three times. Such an idiot. We had planned to head to London Zoo one day however the heavens decided to open and god was having a great time ruining our plans. However it did work in my favour, as it meant we then spent an hour and a half in Topshop – heaven. After deciding to treat myself to a few purchases we then went to Selfridges and ate a disgusting amount of food. I was slightly disappointed with my race at the weekend but several krispy kremes later I was just looking forward to the rest of my summer season.

No longer a Krispy Kreme virgin... Delicious!
Myself and Howell on Millennium Bridge
If someone would have said to me when I was coming out of surgery back in August – that I would be back racing in time for the summer season – I would of told them to.. hush.. So the fact that i've been able to run 3 races within 3 days wearing spikes on all 3 occasions – is a huuuuge step forward and given me loads of confidence for the rest of the season. Hindsight would of saved me a lot of tears over the winter months! After the heat and semi, I was feeling surprisingly good – legs felt fine and I couldn’t feel the foot at all. I also wasn’t particularly nervous about the whole event but I think that was because I was just really happy to be back racing again with no problems. The day of the final was FREEZING. There was a bit of a hold up on the start line and by the time we started our race, every single one of us were frozen! I was really hoping the race would go off hard from the start but it was the exact opposite – we went through the first lap in 72. I was stuck in the inside lanes, my own fault really for not getting out quick enough when the gun went. After panicking for the first two laps I eventually got a free break with 400m to go. I tried to push on but it just wasn’t enough and I was caught by Jen Walsh over the last 30m. Still, my lap times weren’t too bad to be honest, 72-70-63.. so I did manage to pick it up quite a bit over the last lap – but just not enough. Hopefully that last little bit of speed/strength will come though. After missing the whole of the winter and indoor season, I feel I need a few more races in order to get that sharpness back. Obviously I was disappointed to come second as everyone wants to win – but at the end of the day – I have to remember how fortunate I am to be healthy and fit. A lot of athletes are injured and currently fighting against time to get back fit for the Olympic trials on the 22nd June.

My next few races have been decided now. I am keeping to a very similar race schedule as last year as that seemed to work for me (bar breaking my foot!), so this weekend I am going to do the 5k at the Manchester BMC again. This will probably be my only 5k this year as I have missed a lot of my base training over the winter – still I am hoping for a PB as training has been going really well. From this, I am then off to do my first steeplechase. It will be mainly a run over the barriers just to see how the foot reacts and how well I recover from the race, i'm not particularly aiming for a certain time but rather to finish in one piece! My main opportunity to get the Olympic Qualifying time of 9.43.0 will be later on, the start of June.

Coming back from London we decided to get the train home from Kings Cross, as there is a (sort-of) direct train into Dundee. At first I thought this was a great idea but 5 and a half hours later, I was starting to regret my initial decision. We got off the train and had to go straight to training that night. It was also my first session after racing and a few easy days. Dundee track was extraordinarily windy and to makes matters worse a torrential downpour started! Its safe to say, I was close to retirement. After stopping myself from crying my eyes out like a little princess I did complete the 5x600m but very, very slowly. For some reason, I felt like an absolute elephant trying to run around the track – my legs were like lead. Thankfully after that horror of a session, the next day I was back to normal again. It's amazing the difference one day makes.

You're a wizard Howell..
Kings Cross Station
This weekend, myself and Howell went along to my Aunties 50th Birthday. It was the first time in about 3 weeks where I hadn’t been wearing running clothes – so it was nice to get dressed up, do my hair and make up and actually feel like a girl instead of a little boy in trainers all day! We didn't stay too long though as Howell was racing at the Scottish East Districts the following day. I decided to go through and watch the race, however after arriving to the hurricaine at Meadowbank Stadium – I started to wish I had stayed in bed. I was extremely thankful that I wasnt racing – it was horrible and I feel sorry for all the athletes that competed in it! Fair play to them. One of the young guys in my training group got a 2 second PB in gale force winds! I miss being that age, where you just run and don’t get tired regardless of weather or distance!
Heading out for tea... mugshot!

This morning I am off to Scotstoun Stadium for the announcement of my new sponsor Macb water. I am extremely fortunate that Macb have come on board to help me out for the next three years, up to the commonwealth games. To have my picture on all their water bottles, stocked in all major supermarkets in Scotland – is pretty cool! It is really nice to have their support and to have them believe in me. I will be helping them to encourage more people to put on their running shoes and reap the benefits of the sport. Running is something anyone can take up and improve, it doesn't cost (much) money to get a pair of trainers and get out running. It is something you can do with friends, it makes you feel better about yourself, keeps you in shape and clears your head. No matter what level of the sport your in – everyone gets the same benefits and go through the same feelings and motions. Macb believe that running can be a great leveller between people, especially women and so I am really looking forward to working with them over the next few years and supporting their 'team macb: better together' campaign. 
Make up and Hair done for the Macb Photoshoot!

More photos to follow!
Macb photo shoot..

Friday, 4 May 2012

Olympic Stadium

Yesterday I was extremely fortunate to get the opportunity to step inside the Olympic Stadium! I had seen pictures of from when it was still being built a few months ago but it is completely different, actually being there. The stadium is UNBELIEVABLE. As soon as I stepped inside, I wanted to start running around on the track but we weren't allowed. Although we were allowed to jog very slowly beside Lord Seb Coe for the press photos across the finish line - which was pretty cool. I also got in trouble for taking pics but with it being BUCS Championships this weekend, I knew hundreds of folk would be taking pics then! So I just got in there first ;)

The actual press conference wasn't really a nice situation to be in. The aim of the day was to publicise the BUCS championships and the athletes competing in the stadium for the first time ever. However, all of the journalists were continuously quizzing Lord Coe about the 'security of the stadium', 'the current weather and how the rain affects the stadium' and about 'how necessary are the missiles on the roof'. It was actually an extremely awkward situation and unfortunately not many of the journalists were really bothered about BUCS being the first test event in the new stadium!

So, BUCS is currently underway but I am yet to move from my bed for the past 6 hours. I really am going to town on my first rest day since I broke my foot last August. It's not even enjoyable because I am THAT bored. There is only so much eating/sleeping and watching 90210 that you can do before you clinically go insane. Thankfully, I have managed to save some money (intact a LOT of money) by staying at my Howell's families down in Temple, London. All the hotels were fully booked within, about a 20mile radius to the track! Nightmare. Where I am currently based though, is perfect and I have been doing my easy runs along the main tourists sights of London - which is pretty cool! Although... I attempted to find a track or park near where I was staying but after wandering around for 20minutes I decided to give up and go for my run along the Victoria Embankment. I then attempted to do strides along the path but it was so, so busy that I ended up doing my 8 strides along the main road! Crazy idea as I was very close to getting run over by hundreds of taxi's and bikes!!

Travelling about London has been really easy on the tubes - although I regret jumping in a taxi the other day. The man went absolutely wild at me because I had a Scottish £10 note. To me, the money is the exact same- I didn't even realise it. Until he was practically screaming in my face telling me that it could in-fact "be an illegal note... a fake note.." He then went on to say "i've never seen this in my life". Unfortunately, I didn't have another penny to my name - so either he took my 'fake monopoly money' or he was giving me a free ride! Oops.. I have now stocked up on English bank notes to avoid any more fights! Haha.

My race is at 11.50am with my semi-final on Sun and (hopefully) the final on Monday. 3 days of racing will be tough an thats why I have decided to do the 1500m - as it's the best preparation with regards to the rest of my racing season! 

STV have been following me over the past week as they are doing a small documentary on "Scotland's Olympic Hopefuls" - and I am very grateful that they think I am one! :) They are actually coming all the way down to London to film my races and to follow me over the rest of the season on my quest to make the Olympic Team!

Will write my next post after BUCS with how everything goes and possibly more pics and videos (if i'm allowed!!)

Den's Road Primary School Talk

Eilish McColgan

Dens Road had a very special visitor at our assembly today. Eilish McColgan took time out of her busy Olympic training schedule to come and talk to us about how sport can give us some very positive experiences. She told us how important it is to set goals and try our very best to achieve them and this is for all aspects of life not just sport.
What did you find interesting/remember about Eilish’s talk?
Good luck with your training Eilish From P4/5.

7 Responses to “Eilish McColgan”

  • Matthew McRitchie
    I thought it was fun learning about Eilish McColgan.It was cool how she might be going to the olymoics.
  • The steeple chase must be very hard.It must of hurt braking foot.
  • I agree Matthew it is really exciting meeting someone who we may be watching on TV representing Great Britain at the Olympics.
  • Robbie Johnson
    Elish McColgan’s visit was really interesting and surprising. It has made me look forward in watching the Olympics.
  • Fatima Ammani
    Elish McColgn was very interesting i like that it is one in a life time to be in the olympics
  • Hello Primary 4/5
    What a lucky class you are with lots of visitors over the last few months. Has Miss McKay been relaxing?
    I really enjoyed the visit from Eilish McColgan too. I learned so much about her event and have my fingers crossed that she will make the Olympic Team. I remember watching her mum at the Olympics when I was little. I wonder if she has inspired any of you boys and girls to become athletes and maybe one day I will see you competing in the Olympics too.
    Keep up the hard work
    Mrs Cassidy
  • i enjoyed it when eilish mccolgan came in and my gran worked with liz mccolgan