Middle-distance runner Tom Lancashire on his past winter and the countdown to London 2012
I’m writing this at my favourite time of year, when the weather is getting better, the days are getting longer, and I no longer have to spend my weekends traipsing around in the mud at some cross-country course in the middle of nowhere.
Overall I’ve had a good winter, but I’m looking forward to the track season now. Last weekend officially marked the end of my winter, when I ran in the Northern 12-stage road relays in Catterick. It’s a fun event, which I always enjoy running in, only this time it wasn’t much of a relay for me as I was the only member of my team! I was considering running all 12 stages myself but was sufficiently tired after the first leg to call it a day there.
The highlight of the day came in the form of a classic “blonde moment” from my girlfriend Laura who, after I’d told her I was the only member of the Bolton Harriers team, asked which leg I was going to run! I told her I thought I might jump in around leg seven, but she quickly noticed the sarcasm.
Like I said, this winter has been good for me and I’ve had some really good performances, particularly in the Northern and National cross country championships. I’m especially proud of my achievements over the past few months as they have coincided with the buying of my first house.
I imagine buying a house is stressful at the best of times, but when you buy one that needs more work – and money – than you ever dreamed of, it can be a nightmare. In hindsight, I should have been more suspicious when the previous owners quickly accepted my mega-low oﬀer, but after re-wiring, re-plumbing, re-plastering and re-evaluating my will to live, it’s finally starting to feel like a suitable home.
On the plus side, I’ve picked up some new skills in the DIY department. In all honesty my parents have done most of the work, but I’ve become very good at sanding things down, and there’s no one better when it comes to supervising and delegating.
One of my favourite things to do nowadays is put on my wornout jeans and paint-splattered jumper and go to B&Q to pretend like I’m “in the trade”. I just find people treat you with a lot more respect there if you’re covered in paint. In a more perfect world everywhere would be like B&Q. Sadly, that’s not the case with my physiotherapist, who is quick to make fun of me when I turn up with a bit of white emulsion in my hair. I told him I was going for the George Clooney look, but he didn’t buy it.
“We recently passed the 500-days-to-go mark in the countdown to London 2012, but I don’t want to focus on those little milestones.”
Anyway, back to athletics, and as I’m sure you noticed we recently passed the 500-days-to-go mark in the countdown to London 2012. At first I got excited about it and had butterflies in my stomach, thinking, “Wow that’s close, I’d better go do some extra sit-ups or something.” But then I realised it’s just a number. Like, this is the last March before the March before the Olympics. Or the next time it’s my birthday (July 2 for anyone who wants to send me a card) I’ll only have one more birthday before London 2012.
I don’t want to focus on those little milestones. The most important thing for me now is focusing on this season and making sure I get everything right, so that I can go into 2012 full of confidence. So I’d better get stuck into some good training, after all there are only about 68 more editions of AW before the Olympics!