With less than 200 days to go until the Glasgow Commonwealth Games I am currently out on my longest spell of altitude training in the heights of Iten, Kenya.  I will be spending a full five weeks at altitude before returning back to the UK for some races. 

At the start of every year I write down my main aims for the coming months.  It could be to make a team or, more generally, to improve my times.  It allows me to gain some focus on exactly what I want to achieve for the year.  Fortunately for me, I have been preselected for the Scotland team which allows me to focus on getting myself into the best physical shape rather than worrying about chasing qualifying times. 

Currently, I am ranked 4th in the Commonwealth behind 3 Kenyan athletes.  If I could scrape into the medals, I would be extremely happy with that!  For other events, the Commonwealth Games is a lower standard than the Olympics and World Championships but unfortunately for me my event, the 3000m Steeplechase is jam packed!  The level of competition is similar to the World Championships with the first and second placers both from Kenya.  All I can hope for is a personal best, if I can achieve that then who knows what can happen on the day!  Bringing home a medal for Scotland is definitely my main aim for the year. 

It will also be my first ever Commonwealth Games.  I got to experience a youth CWG back in 2008 in Pune, India.  It was a fantastic experience but I’m sure nothing will top Glasgow.  My mum always told me growing up that the race that stood out most for her throughout her entire career was her home Commonwealth Games back in ’86 in Edinburgh.  She said the crowd was one of the loudest she’s ever heard and the most memorable race she’s ever competed in, even more so than her World Championship Gold and Olympic Silver.  There are not many athletes that get the opportunity to have a major championship in their back yard….2014 is definitely going to be a year to remember!

Eilish x

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