After a short break following the World Athletics Final, World champion Jana Rawlinson is building the one thing she lacked last year - a solid fitness base. Christmas has passed, as has baby Cornelis’ first birthday.
“It was really lovely to spend some down-time with ‘Cor’ and feel like a normal person for a couple of weeks.
“Since then we’ve been really training solidly. We did a big hill session on Christmas Day, which was fun. We’ve had probably the best three or four months training the Rawlinsons have put together.
“I can’t believe Cornelis is one year old. He had a big birthday party, a combined party with our next-door neighbours’ little boy. All the neighbours came and all his relatives. We’ve had to put some of the presents away for later because there were so many.
“He walked when he was eight months old, about two weeks after the end of (last) season.
“He’s only got four teeth still, which is a little funny. He’s great at kicking a footy - soccer ball, I should say, in Aussie terms - but he’s still not overly confident with his speech. He says, ‘Momma’ and ‘Dadda’ and ‘woof, woof’ when he sees a dog, and that’s about it.
“He’s more athletic than he is intellectual, at this stage, but that’s OK.”
“Coming back to Sydney with Chris and ‘Cor’ and living near my family, has made the period after my second World Championships win very different from my first (in 2003).
“In 2003 there was a lot of hoo-ha. It was the first time I’d ever won a (senior) World title. It was very much a whirlwind, whereas coming back this time my parents are here bringing me back down to earth.
“It’s really been a good consolidation period, where we’ve just recovered and reset our sights for the Olympics. That’s probably been helped by the fact that I’m here, in Sydney, with my family.
“The suburb of Sydney in which we live was hit by heavy summer storms recently. We got quite a few black-outs, and the bottom floor flooded a little bit. At least we worked out that our house doesn’t leak any more. Last year it did!
“After giving birth in December, 2006, having my wisdom teeth removed at the end of January, 2007 and then a 10-week injury break with plantar fasciitis, I really had only four months’ solid running coming into Osaka and still won.
“One of our aims was to get in a big training block coming into the Olympic year. I think I have achieved that and built a great base. The other day I had one of what I call my ‘tester’ sessions - 6x300, it’s my hardest session - and we completely exceeded where we thought I’d be at this stage.
“Even though I’ve got a little niggle now* I don’t really worry about it because I’m so far in front of where we thought we’d be. I’m really fit and really strong.”
(*Rawlinson had ‘clean up’ surgery to remove loose cartilage and floating bone fragments in the second toe of her right foot. She hurt her toe midway through last year’ European season and carried it through Osaka.)