- 18 Jul 08, 03:27 PM
Three weeks to go until the Olympics start - and you won't believe it, but I've got a horrendous cold! It's actually got worse over the last few days - I can't even breathe properly, but I'm on antibiotics so hopefully that'll cure me.
It's been a while since I last blogged, so let me just update you on what's been happening. At the end of April I went on holiday to Goa with my boyfriend Ed - 10 days of sun, really hot, lovely beach, really chilled out, and once I got back, we got straight into our 12-week programme of Olympic training.
My mixed doubles partner Nathan Robertson also had ankle surgery while I was away - he was really scared about it all, because it was a potentially career-threatening injury. But the surgeon said the operation was a complete success, and Nathan since then has been making a miraculous recovery.
I'd say he's around 95% now - and he's playing better than the whole of the last 18 months put together. Before it was the fear factor, being scared of doing certain movements, but now he now knows his ankle is as stable as it's ever going to be, so he's relaxed and there's nothing to lose. If there's any doubt in his mind about the injury, he's hiding it very well!
The annoying thing is, that having missed all the physical work at the start of the 12-week period (because he was doing his rehab), he's now actually playing better than all of us, but we're the ones who've done all the hard work! We would never be able to be medal contenders the way his ankle was, but we can now really go for it and we have to.
We did have one 'practice' competition at the end of June when we went out to Singapore for a training camp and the Super Series tournament itself. Nathan wasn't allowed to play in the mixed doubles which was really annoying as we had a great draw and it would've been nice to get some matches together. So I just played loads of ladies doubles with Donna Kellogg.
At that tournament, Donna and her mixed partner Anthony Clark beat Olympic favourites Zheng Bo and Gao Ling. It was a great result for Donna and Clarky against the Chinese pair.
Comparing us two GB mixed pairs, I think over the past year we've been quite equal with results. Donna and Clarky are up to sixth in the rankings, while we've dropped down to eighth - but given that Nathan and I have struggled with injury and illness and missed tournaments, that's not too bad.
We had a bit of heat training out in Singapore - but you can never predict the conditions you're going to be faced with. When we go to places like that, we try to play in hot halls and do power-walks outside, trying to get used to the humidity, but we'll do the main bit of it when we get out to Macau at the end of July for the training camp. Nathan and I are an attacking pair, so in a way I'd like the conditions to be quicker in China because our attacks are difficult to repel, but then I guess the smashes coming at me will be very quick too!
I'm just trying to keep life as normal as possible over these next two weeks before I leave the UK - I don't have any superstitions any more, even though I used to...things like lucky socks or doing things in a particular order, but I've grown out of that now.
I think next week will be when I start panicking a bit - but for me, it's part of the normal adrenaline rush and getting fired up. Nathan is definitely calmer and more chilled, and sometimes when I go "Oh my God, what about this, what about that?" he just looks at me as if I'm some complete weirdo and says "What are you panicking about? Just chill out."
I know it's to do with luck on the day, and I think there are eight or nine pairs that could win the gold in Beijing, but I also know that when Nathan and I play our best, we are awesome and we are the best in the world.
My competition starts on 9th August in the ladies doubles with Donna, and then we get going in the mixed on the 10th - you can follow it all here on the BBC Sport website. Let's hope I've got rid of my stinking cold by then!
Gail Emms was talking to BBC Sport's David Garrido
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