This weekend sees the exciting start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games so what a great time to have our next blog update from our very own Lynsey Sharp. Find out what life’s like as an elite athlete competing in what’s expected to be the ‘best Commonwealth Games ever’!
What a difference a month can make! My immediate future is now clear and my race programme is now set – extremely busy but exactly as I had wanted it to be. The last weekend in June brought the British Championships which doubled up as the European Championship Trials. After the heats in which the qualifying conditions were very tough, the final the following day was packed full of all the best female 800m athletes in the UK. To make things even tougher, I had been struggling during the preceding week with a nasty chest infection, which I probably fell victim to because of the 15+ courses of antibiotics I had been taking in previous months for my infected leg wound. I had felt so ill in the days leading up to the race that I met with the British Athletics officials to discuss whether or not I was fit to run. In the end, of course, I decided to run and was absolutely delighted to win the final, claiming the British title and guaranteeing my selection for the European Championships in August.
A few days later and at 24 hours notice, I was offered place in the 800m at the IAAF Diamond League in Lausanne. It was a very high-quality field and turned out to be a fast race and I was over the moon when my time appeared on the scoreboard – 1.59.67!!! My first time under 2 minutes! Words cannot describe how that felt – it has been a lifelong ambition to break 2 minutes so it was thrilling to have achieved my goal.
From there, I went on to run at the Diamond League in Glasgow. Billed as everything from ‘ Duel of the Scots’ to ‘Battle of the Brits’, it turned out to be anything but, as the race was won by a foreign athlete! I ended up placing 6th in what would be called a blanket finish, ie where a number of athletes cross the line together and the photo- finish decides the placings.
This week it’s a drive north to Edinburgh, then on to Irvine to spend a few days at the Team Scotland holding camp. From there, I will proceed to the Games Village a few days ahead the first of three rounds of 800m races. I’m really looking forward to being reunited with some of the other athletes in Team Scotland and representing my country as best I can!
After the Games, I aim to return to Loughborough for a few key sessions before I depart for the European Championships in Zurich where I will defend my title of European Champion. Again there will be 3 rounds which will make it a very tough experience after the same number of rounds in Glasgow.
After the two major championships, I intend to finish my season at a couple of the remaining Diamond League meetings …..and then in September, I must return to hospital for surgery to clear the infection which has been lingering in my leg wound since last October. It goes without saying that I’m not looking forward to this, especially since it hasn’t really been bothering me, but it’s only been ok because I have followed a rigorous infection management programme to keep it at bay. Until then, it’s onwards and upwards….!!