The highs make life sweeter; the lows in life make us stronger.

It’s been a very busy couple of months on the athletics track. The Qantas Australian Athletic Tour Meets have been jam packed with so many exciting performances! I simply love the atmosphere every Track Classic encompasses: motivational pump-up music, encouraging support of fellow competitors and the buzz of enthusiasm the spectators bring. It’s definitely the highlight of my athletic calendar each year.

This season has incorporated a combination of highs and lows. My 800-metre speed has improved with a few personal best times this season. Highlights include Zatopek in December 2012, a great start to the season, with many elite athletes eager to start the Australian track season early. I competed in the Open Women’s 800 metres, winning in a time of 2:06.51. Conditions weren’t perfect, windy, but I felt really strong and lengthened my lead in the last 200 metres. Beginning the season with this solid race, gave me the confidence and determination that I could progress forward positively over the next few months.

Following Zatopek, my training continued in Falls Creek, with the U19 Talent Squad, giving me an insight into training away from home as well as training along side experienced athletes such as Zoe Buckman. I enjoyed the communal nature of training with some of the countries fastest athletes. The experience included discussing the importance of diet, strength and conditioning training and recovery techniques. Falls Creek was a great experience and on return to Sydney, I felt confident and encouraged for the upcoming 2013 athletic season.

The Hunter Track classic on February 2nd was my first 1500 metres for the New Year, placing 4th in 4:23.10. An interview after my race can be viewed on: I was a bit discouraged with my result but remained positive and determined to train harder. I loved staying to watch Australia’s best athletes compete, the men’s 800 metres was definitely a highlight.

The NSW Open Championships on March 3rd was exciting. I placed first in the Open Women’s 800 metres, in a personal best time of 2:05.74, my first NSW Open gold. I found myself moving away from the field in the last 150 metres in a solid race competing with experienced athletes such as Kelly Young and Selma Kujan.

I went to The Sydney Track Classic with a lot of hope and anticipation as I had a lot of success in 2011, clocking a time of 4:13.62, which placed me 2nd in the World coming into the World Youth Championships. This year however, I was disappointed with my run of 4:20.94. On reflection, I believe I should have been more aggressive mid race. This disappointment gave me determination to train harder to achieve the times I knew I was capable of.

The next race of the season was the Australian Junior Championships, on the 13th of March. I would’ve loved to race in both the 1500 metres and 800 metres, yet the Perth Track Classic was on the same week, so I had to prioritise. I competed in the 1500m at Aus. Juniors, winning in a time of 4:22.63, with a last lap of 64 seconds. Between my race at Nationals and The Perth Track Classic I found myself on a desk in my apartment studying like crazy, as my Year 12 half yearly exams commenced the day I returned home from Perth.

On March 16th I raced at The Perth Track Classic in the Open Women’s 800 metres, placing 3rd and clocking a personal best time of 2:05.27 in a great race against athletes like Kelly Hetherington, Selma Kujan and Eliza Curnow. After a busy week at Australian Juniors I was very motivated by this race, and the extra incentive of winning some extra pocket money for the top 3 places certainly got me through the last 150 metres, where I overtook 2 girls to place 3rd. One tactic I learnt from this race was the importance of keeping form and concentration mid race.

I’m really looking forward to racing The Melbourne Track Classic on April 6th and The Australian Open Athletics Championships April 11th-14th, in the 800 metres. My goal is to run under 2:05. I’m particularly focusing on the 800 metres for the rest of the season, but essentially, 1500 metre training is still helping me get through that last 200 metres for a strong and fast finish.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll try to keep you updated as much as possible!

Till next time J

Anna xx

Thanks to NSWIS, Nike and Athletics Australia for their support.