It was a rollercoaster ride of a competition, big highs and big lows!
Starting with the highs....
Up first, 100m hurdles, 14.02 which is 100th of a second off my PB of 14.01, great start to the comp!! I ran 15.2 in my first hurdles race since Delhi in Switzerland three weeks ago, then 14.69 2 weeks ago so to go so close to sub 14 was totally awesome!
Second event, high jump. I knew I was on for something big here after clearing 1.71 a few weeks ago, and I did....cleared 1.72 which was a PB then went on to clear 1.75, yea!!! I had 3 attempts at 1.78 which I missed but I was close which was encouraging. My old PB of 1.71 was 4 years old from Beijing so it was an awesome feeling to nail a bigger height, and I can now say that I can jump over my own head!! Great points in high jump too so I was fizzing going into the next event....
Shot put. Felt amazing in the warm up, the timing was sweet and the Ratingen crowd was surrounding the shot put sector, and the music was pumping, such a cool atmosphere! First round 15.30, boom! PB (old PB 15.08, but the farthest I had thrown in a heptathlon was 14.69 so it was awesome!!). Second round 15.20, third round 14.98. My best series ever. More to the point, my points tally was growing nicely and I was well ahead of my 6150 targets in each event.
200m time...one of my favourite events, just run fast!!! I ran 24.51 which was slightly slower than I had hoped, but still a seasons best and I finished day two 160 points ahead of my PB score from 2008 and well on track for day two. I was also leading the competition which was awesome, dominating!!
Back to the hotel for some R&R, struggled to sleep as was pretty excited about my first day and the prospects of a PB and Olympic qualifier the next day.
Woke to rain, but it cleared and by the time long jump came around it was a lovely tail wind blowing.
First jump I landed past the 6m mark, yeaaa!! That would have been a PB (old PB 5.95), but then discovered they had had a technical glitch in the measuring and didn't measure my jump, it was also too late to re-measure as they had raked the sand, grrrrrrrr!!! They did give me an extra jump so I just treated it as a warm up and prepared to start the comp again.
Next jump I was flying down the runway with the crowd clapping and the music, feeling fast and then just on take off felt my left hamstring grab a little, ouch!
It was a 5.91 jump, my second best ever, but my bloody hammy was sore. Stopped the long jump comp and went to get some treatment. Adding up the points I knew I only needed a 42m javelin and a 2.17 800m to do the Olympic qualifier. To put that in perspective my PBs are 48m and 2.10 respectively so well within reach. But the hammy had other ideas, arghhhhhh. I could jog but not stride out, and unfortunately to run 2.17 I needed to be able to run fast-ish so had to pull the pin on the whole thing. Jamee the physio we had with us did everything she could to get me back but it wasnt meant to be (thanks for your help Jamee!) So so so SO frustrated after going so well, and to have another injury set back I couldn't quite believe it.
Last night I couldn't sleep again, but for completely different reasons, rather than being excited like the night before I was upset and couldn't stop thinking about what might have been.....the rollercoaster ride that is sport, and life! To have battled with injury to get to the start line in Ratingen, and then to be doing amazing, and the body feeling great.....it was just a freak thing that sometimes happens in sport when you are pushing the limits (strain most likely caused by slightly over-striding on the final take-off step which just put a little too much pressure on the hammy).
I have one more chance to do the qualifier, at French Champs the first weekend of July. My friend Sarah Cowley and I will both compete there, she too had to pull out of Ratingen with injury after day 1, after dominating in the high jump and being in 3rd at the end of the day, so it wasn't a good couple of days for the kiwi chicks!! Whilst it sucks for both of us its so great to have each other to understand fully how you feel when this kind of thing happens, thanks Geezle for your support!
So that's my story, the first half was amazing, the second half heartbreaking. Ratingen was my good luck charm in 2008 to qualify for Beijing, and was so close to being the same again in 2012! The hammy isn't serious, but enough to stop me in my tracks for now, but I will be back!!!! I will take the positives from this, I got myself in a position to score 6200+ this weekend and I know I can do that again, and more come French Champs and the Olympics.
Thanks so so much for all your messages of encouragement and support, I am sorry I haven't been able to reply individually but I really do appreciate it and love getting the emails.
To my team here in Europe (Andrew, Angus, Mum, Dad, Ben, Jarrod, Jamee, Sarah, Robyn and Tim), you guys were awesome this weekend, thank you for being my cheer squad when things go well and my rocks to lean on when things turn to custard!!
Aufweidersehen from Germany,