After a long seven months of winter training, improving my strength and technique. The athletic season has swiftly come back around. The competitions have been reviewed and my weekends for the next few months have been filled with countless opportunities to compete, with the hope to throw some big distances.
Coming back from a successful contest in Portugal, I was excited to test my mettle with the distinctively different English condition.
My first competition of the year in England was the British Athletics League, held down in Yeovil. Being a three hour drive away, my club Rugby and Northampton AC, organised transport and accommodation to travel down the night before.
After a speedy journey, helped by playing a copious number of card games with the team, we arrived to our hotel. Following a delicious meal, that was very kindly paid for by the club, we retreated to our rooms to get a good nights sleep before the big day.
Arriving at the competition with plenty of time, javelin was one of the last events of the day, so I settled down and relaxed, enjoying the opportunity to watch the rest of my team compete throughout the day.
As the day progressed, my nerves increased.
This was due to the fact that I had stupidly managed to take a big chunk of skin off the palm of my hand, whilst gardening two days prior. This had left a very sore and raw patch of skin on my hand. Uncertain if I would be allowed to cover it up or even be able to throw properly, I anxiously waited for my event.
As my starting time edged closer I bandaging my hand up and started to warm up. Although uncomfortable, I could throw without having to really compromise and started to relax. I went into the first round with the same blasé approach, trying to replicate the same mentality I had in Portugal.
To my surprise I threw 54.42m. My mind began to spin, knowing I had five more throws to try for a new personal best!
That’s where the mistakes crept in, getting too excited, the run up was wrong on the next throw. The following two throws were too close to the line, causing me to compromise my technique. So I pulled the run up back slightly for my fifth attempt and threw 51m. Knowing I had corrected the run up, I went into the last round confident that I had another big throw in me, but only threw 53m.
Although I didn’t achieve a new personal best, I was happy with my overall performance. It is still in my top ten throws and shows some consistency to the start of my season. My run up has been developed and I believe is now correct for the rest of the season- giving me that additional room to commit to the throw, without worrying about the line.
I have now done two competitions.
Due to the previous two years this is a momentous moment. Both years prior, I have already been injured, tearing my external oblique, missing out on my County Championships.
This year, five days until the competition, I will finally be able to compete in it and go into unchartered territory for my competitive year. It is extremely positive and exciting for me to say that, especially when I have opened up the season strongly and just had another brilliant last throwing session today.
Let the good times come!