Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One year on...

It has been one today year since the big earthquake that destroyed many parts of Christchurch, including QEII stadium and the athletics track where I spent many hours training and competing. These pictures below of the track are heartbreaking, especially seeing all the long grass giving it a sad, abandoned look.

For me today is about remembering all those people who lost their lives, all those who risked theirs trying to save others, those who survived but were badly injured, those who lost their homes, and all those people still in Christchurch surviving the ongoing aftershocks, stress and flow on effects from the devastation, and those who are working hard to help rebuild the city.

Here is a really cool website that The Press and have put together for the anniversary, and a fantastic collection of footage from TV3

(Photos courtesy of International Track Meet and Fundraising for an Athletics Track in Christchurch's facebook pages and aerial courtesy of Ross Becker)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A bump in the bumpy road...

I have met with a slight bump on the bumpy road that is my journey to the London Olympics!

I was diagnosed with a stress fracture in my lower left fibula on Friday. The pain came on quickly in the days prior to the International Track Meet in Christchurch and resulted in me pulling out of the long jump and 100m at that event. The pain never eased in the following weeks, so some quick work by my doc and physio got me a bone scan and ultrasound appointment on Friday, with the result I didn't really want.

The healing time for this is usually 6 weeks, and the good thing is that we have caught it very early and I have already had 2 weeks of no leg training so I am well on the way to recovery. I am just thankful that this has happened now, rather than closer to the Olympics which would really put my Olympic dream in jeopardy!

Unfortunately it does mean I will have to delay my first heptathlon of the season - I was planning to travel to Melbourne next week to compete in the Victorian Championships. I had hoped to get the Olympic qualifier done in Melbourne, and I was looking in great shape to do that, but things don't always work out as you would like them to!

So just like 2008 I will travel to Europe to do my qualifier in May and June before the 8 July cut-off date.

I plan to be back on my feet at the end of March with plenty of time to prepare for Europe. The great work Andrew and Angus have done in the last 12 months with "non-traditional" training, and the numbers and PBs I produced off that gives me much confidence that I can recover from this injury and be back in the best shape of my life and ready to take on the big guns in Europe!

In the meantime please send speedy bone healing vibes my way, thanks!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cadbury Creme Eggs take on the Heptathlon

Check out Cadbury Creme Eggs trying some of the heptathlon events....hilarious and messy!!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

15m shot put

I threw a personal best in the shotput last night at the International Track Meet with 15.08m, my first time over 15m and adding 34cm to my previous best of 14.74m. Only two other heptathletes in the world threw further last year (2008 Olympic Champion and 2004 Olympic silver medalist)!

It was an awesome competition with Valerie Adams and Jacko Gill throwing. I was 4th in the comp behind them and Tom Walsh of Canterbury. There was a massive crowd and they were allowed to sit around the shotput sector which made for an awesome atmosphere, just like the meets in Europe. It was a pretty emotional meeting considering the previous ITM was cancelled as it was scheduled just 3 days after the February quake. A memorial race was run for Canterbury athletics legend Brian Taylor who was tragically killed in the CTV building during the quake. Below are a couple of pics of the comp and some links to stories online.

This weekend was also NZ Champs for heptathlon in Palmerston North, and a massive congrats goes to my friend Sarah Cowley on a PB score, looking forward to competing with her in Melbourne in a few weeks time!

15.08m, yea!

Signing autographs - awesome to see so many people at an athletics meet!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Article in the Christchurch Star

Article in the Christchurch Star:

Heptathlete Rebecca Wardell, back home for tomorrow's international athletics meeting, talks to Sports Editor Nick Tolerton. 
Is this your first Christchurch meeting since you moved to Dunedin in July 2011 after the earthquakes? "Yes, and I'm really looking forward to it, especially to coming home and seeing family and friends. I know the guys have put a lot of work getting this meet back up and running after what happened last year, and drawing some big names. It's awesome. And I haven't raced at Christ's College since we used to go there when I was a schoolgirl at Rangi." 
What events are you doing? "The 100m, long jump, and shot  put. I know I'm in good shape in the shot put and I did a good training session on Tuesday, so I'm looking for a personal best in Christchurch. Mine's 14.74m." 
Will you give Valerie Adams a bit of a hurry-up?
"I don't know about that. May be if she's throwing with her left hand. If I'm within 5m of her I'll be happy." How is it going, based in Dunedin? "Fantastic. It's a really good base down here and the people to train with, and it's really nice not to live with the shaking, but at the same time you're close to home." 
The Olympic heptathlon is your big goal this year. How's your build-up going?
"I've got my first chance of qualifying the last weekend of February in Melbourne, and all going well I'll qualify and head to Europe when it starts getting cold. The standard is 6050 points, and my best is another 50 points more than that, so it's achievable. The main thing is the body staying in one piece. I'm still feeling the effects of my foot injury sustained at the Commonwealth Games. It's an ongoing issue but something I'm managing at the moment, but I'm not doing 100 per cent of the training I'd like to."
Where were you on February 22, 2011?
"I was at Rangi Ruru standing on the field, about to coach javelin. If you have to be anywhere, standing in a field is a good place. I'd been at QE2 in the pool earlier in the morning, and you wouldn't want to have been there, but with all the girls at Rangi and trying to keep them happy after the quake, it was pretty full on."

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fun in the gym

Now that my two weeks of heavy gym training are done we get to do some fun, explosive, lighter stuff. We have been doing assisted jumps with a bungee, like a kid's "jolly jumper", and today got to push a imitation bobsleigh which was awesome....perhaps a Winter Olympics beckons?!