Certain occurrences over the last 48 hours prompted me to ask Pat to name for me any memorable athletics TEAMS she could recall. Her response was....
"that 4 x 400 GB team"
"which one?, I asked.
"the one with the Welsh guy in it"
"Which Welsh guy, Ewan Thomas?"
"No, Jamie Bolt!"
"You mean Usain Bolt?"
"No, he's not Welsh!"
"You mean Jamie Baulch"
So basically I said, you can't name a memorable athletics TEAM. But anyone can call to mind dozens of outstanding athletics INDIVIDUALS. Coe, Cram, Ovett, Elliott, Bikile, Aouita, Moses, Owens, Carl Lewis, Ron Clarke, Bannister, Herb Elliot etc etc etc.
The point being athletics is essentially an individual sport. When you look back on what you've achieved you will think foremost of individual triumphs whilst perhaps also having some good team performances to speak about. I'm proud of team titles won at Sale first time around, marathon successes as part of a tremendous valley Striders squad and British medals won with Bingley vets. But it's the personal achievements that will be uppermost in ther mind.
There is a danger though that commitment to a club, whether it be in racing or training, can deflect the individual from what's best for themself. Racing "for the club" to the detriment of an individual performance
in a significant race soon after, or perhaps taking part in a tough club session with a tough individual session in the legs from the previous day. In a perfect world, of course, the aims of other club individuals are shared and several athletes focus on common events. Tomorrow is a race I've focussed on over the last few weeks and have not been distracted from that focus. But I will be pleased to see a couple of other club mates toeing the line as well.
So.... Saturday evening. British Masters 5K Championships still on for tomorrow. Can't say I'm particularly looking forward to it. 3 laps around a fairly non descript mid Lancashire town; but the atmosphere with the loud speakers booming is usually good. Hopefully will spur me on to a PB for 2010 and I can make a decent contribution for the Sale Harriers M60 team.
I "enjoyed" 3 very easy days of 4.5, 3 and 3 since the last track session on Wednesday; unlike one or two others I've not had to put in a midweek race so should be reasonably rested. Not that it ever feels like that does it? But once this gun goes all should be well.
I don't think I could have done any more in the last few week's preparations for this one. The four track sessions went to plan and had no collateral damage on the aged legs. Whether the plan itself was a good one is another matter!
If you're reading this prior to your race tomorrow ...have a good one!