Kimberly Murray is a full-time exercise physiologist for the SportScotland Institute of sport, who on top of a busy job competes in athletics over 200m, 400m and long jump. Despite maintaining her training schedule of 5-6 sessions a week, Kimberly is currently putting herself through the paces as a part of the UK sport talent ID process for Power2Podium; an initiative similar to Girls4Gold, which saw Lizzie Yarnold win gold at the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014.
Kimberly will be non-stop treating athletes during the Commonwealth Games and as if this isn't all enough, she will be squeezing in a house move too! Feeling exhausted from reading the above? Relax, grab yourself a cuppa and enjoy reading a life in the week of Kimberly.
My life can be pretty hectic and last week was a good example. It was great, but it did push what I could achieve in a week to the limit.
Saturday 5th July
I have been going through Power2Podium; the UK Sport talent search for new bobskeleton athletes. Bobskeleton is the sport where you slide down an ice chute on a small sledge (aften referred to as a teatray).
Saturday was the phase 2 assessment in Bath, which was ultimately a day of tests. It began with a scary talk about what being a winter sport athlete involved (6 months at a time away from home) and then an IQ test (I left feeling a little stupid!).
Next up was the push start track – this is the only track in Britain. It is hard to explain but is basically a sled on runners, there is 10-15m of flat on which you sprint, and then you go downhill for another 40m or so. It's all pretty scary or exciting, depending on which way you view it! The only way to stop is by a bungee which pings you back the other way. It turned out to be really good fun – jumping on is much easier than you’d think.
The rest of the day involved anthropometry (they measured my neck girth), physio screening (really tough) and 30m sprints. Next up – dinner at Giraffe by myself and a train up to Liverpool, then a cold bath before bed. It was an enjoyable but pretty thorough day.
Sunday 6th July
On Sunday I was back to normal competitive action. I compete for Woodford Green and Essex Ladies and on Sunday we had our 3rd and final league match. We were aiming for promotion to the premier division. On tired legs I competed in the long jump, 400 and 4×100 and 4×400 relays. To think I used to just rock up, do long jump and go home! Not anymore.
Despite an appalling long jump (I’m blaming the skeleton testing) and the windiest 400m ever, we did it and next year will be back in the Premier division. This is especially good for me because my coaches are team management for Edinburgh Athletics Club who are in this division and it means I will have a coach to watch over me at competitions next season.
After the 4x400m, feeling pretty tired, I travelled back up the road to Stirling.
Monday 7th July
No rest for the wicked. Today was the first day of the Team Scotland Commonwealth Games 2014 preparation camp at the University of Stirling. I am working at the camp as part of the medical team; my role to help run the recovery centre where athletes can come and do an active recovery (on the bikes), stretch and rehab. We also have the ability to put on ice baths for the athletes and squads who use them. The first day was about setting up and working out logistics. Ice baths may sound simple (fill up a bin with water and chuck ice in!) but in reality there is more to it. We needed to work out timings for filling multiple bins/baths, how much ice was needed, where and how to empty them as they are very heavy!
Today the camp was quiet as only three sports were in – wrestling, triathlon and table tennis. But this won't last as up to 11 sports will be using the camp over the next two weeks. Today I had a 12 hour shift which meant I missed my training, but that was okay because I was pretty sore after my weekend training and competing exploits. Although saying this; I definitely should have led by example and done some active recovery of my own. I’ll get back on it tomorrow.
Tuesday 8th July
A quiet day at last! And, a chance to get in to the office and catch up. This means emails, updating information on athletes and catching up with other colleagues. Not much to report work wise today – nice to take it easy. I headed over to Meadowbank at 6pm for training. It takes me an hour and a half at this time in the evening so I am usually a little frustrated by the time I make it to training. I hadn’t seen my group or coaches since the week before, so as always a little catch up is necessary – everyone wanted to know how Power2Podium went.
I was still pretty sore so we changed my session to longer more steady running as opposed to short sprints. 5 x 200m later I was wrecked. It took me a good couple of laps (walking) around the track to start to feel back to normal again but I’d had a good session. I grabbed a shake on the way home, cooked a big batch of enchiladas to last me the week and that was me for the day.
Wednesday 9th July
Nothing much to report today, I worked into the evening and missed training which unfortunately is often the way. I have had to relax a bit about missing sessions, as for me it is sometimes unavoidable. My priority in life right now is my career and unlike some of the athletes I work with I cannot devote my entire life to training and competing. It was quite a difficult realisation, but one I made when I finished university. I see so many people putting their career on hold because they believe they are good enough to be a full-time athlete and then never achieve that. I didn't want that to be me; I had a career goal and an acceptance that I wasn’t going to be good enough athletically to make a living from it. I train and compete because I enjoy it now; it doesn’t rule my life, but it does also mean I may have never quite reached my potential.
Thursday 10th July
Back into prep camp. I’m on the morning shift and quite a bit has changed. The camp has been branded up so there are lots of great images around and inspirational quotes. Also we have far more athletes – including my first ice bathers – a wrestler and later a triathlete. There is a really good vibe about the camp; especially at meal times when athletes and teams hang about the lounge area to play table tennis or relax. It is a great environment for the athletes to follow out their plans leading in to the Games before they go into the Village.
After discovering how awkward it is to manoeuver and empty a wheelie bin full of ice and water (it is like a training session in itself – I note to wear flip flops and shorts from now on) I’m back in the car and off to training. I have a new session at training – 60m turnarounds. This means you sprint 60m, have 20s rest turnaround and sprint back 60m with 3 min between every two. We did this four times and followed up with our usual circuits.
On a Thursday we usually go for a burrito at Los Cardos on Leith Walk (aka #BurritoThursday), however I bailed this week as I had to get home to start packing because I am moving house Sunday.
Friday 11th July
Prep camp day 5. More ice baths for the wrestlers who get in with a hot chocolate to keep their mind off the cold! Rugby 7s and squash are due in later but I am off at 3pm to watch the Diamond League athletics event at Hampden with my friend and training partner Sarah who is competing in the long jump at the Games. Neither of us has ever been to Hampden before; even though Sarah has lived in Scotland and in Glasgow all her life. The Diamond League series is the highest level of competition you can compete in in athletics. It will never return to Hampden stadium though as the track is going after the games.
The line-up is really strong plus I have several friends competing. Sarah and I sat at the long jump on the back straight which turned out to be an incredible competition where two girls jump 6.90m+. This sort of distance usually gets you a medal at Worlds or Olympics. One of them is the British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson who both Sarah and I have competed against. She is having a huge year and a favourite for the Commonwealth heptathlon title.
We were excited because you don’t often get to see jumps which are nearly 7m. We had a great evening, although we were both disappointed our selfie didn’t make it onto the big screen.
So, that’s a week in my life! It was pretty slack on the training front compared to normal, but with so many exciting things happening – that’s just how it goes sometimes. After all, the Commonwealth Games don’t come around where you live and work very often do they? It’s time to make the most of that opportunity – I’m heading into the Athlete Village next week and can’t wait! You can find out more about Power2Podium at www.uksport.gov.uk