The season has finished for another year and I must admit what a season it has been.
The season definitely didn't go the way we had planned a lot of things went wrong but the important things went really well.
Starting from the beginning. February 28th was the afternoon that I tore my hamstring the first time. A 6cm tear was the result that made our decision to cancel the Australian season and go straight into rehab to get the hamstring healthy and strong again. The training was going to plan and I made some amazing progress. Ten weeks later we were in Sri Lanka to run the relay to try and qualify for the world championships, we had run a few days before and got so close to the 44.00sec required running 44.06sec, so you can imagine we were quite confident we could achieve this mark. We were running quite well when I received the baton from my teammate. I took off at a very fast pace and was charging around the bend until I got 30m away from the 4th runner and I felt this tightness in my hamstring and I knew straight away what had happened. 3 days later we were in England and sourced a doctor straight away to get an MRI on my Hamstring to find out the diagnoses. It wasn't as bad as we thought, the result came back with a 1cm tear. Sharon and I were relieved that the rehab was not going to be as long as the first one.
6 weeks after being in the UK I was finally allowed to run my first competition, which was in Ostrava. I was so excited to be racing again after about 10 months after the Olympics. The heat time was a lot slower than what I was expecting with 12.90 I was very rusty and almost fell over half way through. I knew I had a final and I was very ready to run a lot faster than previous. I flew out of the blocks with my fastest reaction and kept the pace up all the way through the race and finished off with a time of 12.67. I was so excited with this time and had so much confidence going on with the season.
Birmingham, Lausanne, Sotteville and Monaco Followed my first race and so did a lot of tears and tantrums. I was so heartbroken with the way I was racing, not so much for not placing first but more for the fact that I was hurdling terrible and I didn't understand why I couldn’t feel the way usually feel. When an athlete is in that state of mind everything is quite irrational thinking. I certainly was not thinking rationally. I didn't think about the work my coach was giving me was being targeted for the world championships and that these races may not be at my best.
A week before London Diamond league I felt a change in my training. I started to feel like my old self again and I was excited. I went to London full of confidence and really happy to be there. I was lining up and the hurdles felt small I felt like I could conquer everything in my path. I crossed the finish line first with the biggest smile on my face with a new season best of 12.65. All that pressure that was built up inside me, and all the horrible races that had made me so upset had finally released and I could start to feel normal again.
The weeks leading up to Moscow for the world championships had been a lot smoother and a lot more encouraging. My only goal for the World Championships had been to make the podium. I worked really hard in training in the final weeks with my new found confidence.
I woke up on the morning of the world championship heats and I knew I was ready to run I could feel it in my body. I knew I wasn't entirely ready to run 12.4 or 12.3 but I knew I could handle the pressure of world class hurdling. I won my heat in another season best of 12.62. I knew I had more in me and all I needed to do was to run faster. I was the second fastest going into the semi final and I was ready for that challenge. I was so excited that I was in the 3rd semi final so I could see what the other girls did before me, except for the fact that my semi was stacked with Dawn Harper-Nelson and Queen Harrison. I knew I had to get out fast because these girls were going to be right on my tail. I got out well and crossed the line in the fastest semi time of 12.50 with Brianna Rollins running 12.55 in her semi final. I did a fist pump after the finish line not because of my time but more for the fact that I was back and I was ready to take on these world championships and make the podium. The finals came around very quickly but again the hurdles in front of me looked really small and I was not scared at all, I was ready. I drove out of the blocks as hard and as fast as I could, I stormed down the track trying to stay in control. I knew I didn't have the fitness to pick up my speed so I had to stay ahead of the other for as long as could, I was almost at the finish line and still ahead and then Brianna Rollins, the new kid on the block came through and crossed the finish line first and me in second. I looked across and smiled knowing that I had done my goal and that was to make the podium. I couldn't have asked for anything else and I was very satisfied with how it all went and that my coach did everything she could in my preparation to make me the best athlete she could for the world championships.
I had 5 more competitions to run after the worlds. Linz, Zagreb, Brussels, Rieti and Gateshead. I made the podium on everyone of my outings, which I was so ecstatic about. I won Linz, second in Zagreb, second in Brussles, first in Rieti and first in Gateshead in both the 100m hurdles and the 150m.
So all in all the season was very satisfying and I really couldn't ask for any better than what I achieved. I achieved my goal for the season and when you have done that then anything else is just bonus.
I would like to thank all of my supporters who were behind me the whole way, My coach Sharon Hannan, my strength and conditioning coach Peter Hannan, My husband Kieran Pearson, My Physio's Thea Dillon, Dolf Francis, Stan Garlan and my racing agent Maurie Plant for always having my best interest at heart and for making sure I got on the track everyday. For all the supporters back here in Australia most importantly my mum Anne McLellan for being my number 1 fan. I also want thank everyone of my followers on social media for always being so encouraging and always believing in me when times got tough. I would like to thank my sponsors Adidas and AMP for Staying with me over the years and helping me achieve my athletic dream.
That's it for now I hope you liked reading and stay tuned for my next blog which should be about all things book related and also the importance of recovery which I am experiencing as I write this.
Sally Pearson xx