A Javelin session with Mick Hill and, everyone’s favourite, (I am being sarcastic in case you’re wondering) 800 metre drills. And that’s it.  

The last day of months and years of training into the lead up of what will be Jess’ last ever Olympics.  

It feels significant. To me at least. I ask Toni if he feels the same,

“Hmmmmm. A little bit, it’s the last javelin session ever in Sheffield. The start of the Olympics is only 11 days away so it’s beginning to feel real although we’ll really know it once we’re in the holding camp.

“The pain in the arse is making sure that we’ve got every last bit of kit ready”.

“Is that why you sent me that photo?”

Javelin tube

“If you look closely you’ll see that the sticker on the javelin tube says ‘2009’. It’s strange how time flies”.

“How did the last javelin session in Sheffield go?”

“We managed to get Mick giving his arm a workout”.

Mick and Jess

Master and pupil

“Has he still got it?”

Toni is obviously weighing up his answer,

“You never lose it”.

I decide not to pursue this line of questioning further, so change topic to the 800 metres, which Jess and Jo are running together,

“It seems a bit of a harsh way to end the final home session before the Olympics?”

Toni chuckles,

“It’s the first time we’ve been able to do a hard 800m for around 3 weeks so it was important to get one in. I offered them choices”.

“What type of choices?”

“Two 200 metre sessions or one 300 metres session.”

“What did they choose?”

“They weren’t happy with either.”

“Did they run then?”

“Oh yes. The only choice was which drill to run, not whether to run! I gave them an extra 30 seconds rest and they opted for the 300. I was really pleased with the times. It was also the first time in new spikes as Jess has been running in flats for the last few months”.

“it’s the last javelin session ever in Sheffield. The start of the Olympics is only 11 days away so it’s beginning to feel real”

“New spikes?”

“Yes. Adidas have sent 7 pairs of new shoes. The spikes would have been used at the Anniversary Games but she didn’t run an 800 there”.

“Can you send a picture?”

This is not the first time I’ve asked this question and the response has been silence.

“You forgot to take a photo didn’t you”.

“Yes”.

“One for the holding camp then. By the looks of the photos it wasn’t an easy session”

“By the looks of the photos it wasn’t an easy session”

“That’s why it’s called a hard 800”.

Hard 800 session

30 seconds rest

gotta catch em all

A wild Pokemon has appeared. Toni catches it.

I’m conscious that Toni has only one more evening at home before he departs for several weeks, so I start to wrap the conversation up,

“All ready for the off?”

As per usual, Toni’s first thought relates to the athletes,

“Yes, the rest of the team have their four week plans in place which I’m about to brief Paul on”.

“That’s great, but I meant are you ready?”

“Yes, although I need to go to Meadowhall (Sheffield’s giant shopping mall) to get some Birkenstocks”.

“Do you think they’ll send us a free couple of pairs if I write “Birkenstock” in the blog?”

“Worth a try”.

I’m about to wish Toni a safe flight when he interrupt,

“I forgot to say, we found a four leaf clover today, but I forgot to take a photo of it”.

It seems even the world’s best coaches and athletes need a bit of good luck from time to time.

 


Bonus video from yesterday’s long jump session: