In my last post I wrote about my invitation to compete at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. As we are now just days away, the fact that I’m going to be competing at the Olympic Stadium, in front of as many as 54,000 people is finally starting to sink in – this is going to be awesome! My preparations for this race specifically started at the beginning of last week, when my wife and I went away for a weekend with Emily to a family friendly spa in the New Forest. Not my normal preparation, but just being able to get away with the girls and relax and get my head in the right place for the build up to London was such a good opportunity for me. Relaxing in the pool, massage and lots of food and sleep really got me ready for a hard week of training last week, and a lighter recovery and fine-tuning week this week.
Training doesn’t stop, and last week saw my normal gym session and track session combinations, as well as a bonus track session up at Newham Leisure Centre in East London to get a feel for the Mondo track surface – trying to eliminate the variables.
On top of the training and still trying to put the hours into my PhD, there was also some media focus. The first came in the form of my very first byline, some commentary in the Evening Standard about my experiences of the Invictus Games in London last year, and an opportunity to talk about next year’s Games in Orlando, Florida. As a trustee of the Invictus Games Foundation, I’ve known for some time that the athletes would be heading stateside, and it was so difficult trying to keep the news to myself as I knew just how excited everyone would be about the announcement. Hosting the competition in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex is such an amazing opportunity for the athletes to compete, again, at international standard sports facilities, with a mainstream broadcaster on board to show their amazing stories world wide. Absolutely can’t wait for next year’s competition!
The second media piece was a whole lot more personal, talking about my family life, what Hayley and Emily mean to me and our journey to being a family, as well as talking about the amazing opportunities within the Help for Heroes Sports Recovery programme.
Outside of the training and the PhD and the media and the relaxing, I also had some gizzets through the post, and I’ve never been prouder of my washing line.
The Anniversary Games will be my first competition wearing the GB running vest, as if I wasn’t excited enough already!
I will keep updating the London blog throughout the week because the whole thing is fascinating for me, and putting all my thoughts into words helps the preparation process. For now, here’s a picture of a gorgeous baby in a washing basket because she’s too cute and dribbly not to post!