Laura Muir revealed she almost missed out on the World Championships – after winning a brilliant bronze.
The Scot claimed her first outdoor world medal after finishing third in the 1500m at Hayward Field on Monday night.
She set a season best of three minutes and 55.28 seconds, finishing behind Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.
But Muir was on crutches in February after a stress reaction to her femur in her right leg and admitted it was touch and she would even make it as far as Eugene.
“It was the worst injury I’ve ever had in my running career. I couldn’t walk for two months,” she said after contributing to her Olympic silver medal last year. “It was very, very frustrating, especially because I ran so well in January.
“Since the Champs were also almost a month earlier than normal, I had about three months less time to prepare than normal. So not ideal. I just knew I had to have a lot of faith in myself and my team that we were going to get that back. We did it and we got this medal.
“I was diagnosed with femoral stress reaction in early February, that was two weeks on crutches. Then another six weeks of just the pool, gym, Alt-Gs, anti-gravity treadmills, tiny runs on grass, slightly longer runs. Little by little we arrived.
“We were lucky that we caught it early. We knew something was wrong. We have advanced imaging. We found out pretty quickly what it was. Had it been a rupture, I would have been out for a long, long time.
“Fortunately, it was a stress reaction. Still, it was in an area of the bone where you have to take a lot of pressure off it.”
In Oregon, Muir was almost immediately involved in a breakaway with Kipyegon, Tsegay and Hirut Meshesha as the race got tough.
Meshesha was then dropped with over two laps to go as the medal winning trio battled for their podium places and Kipyegon took the title.
“I was fourth at the World Championships, fifth and sixth twice. I was so afraid of finishing third and someone might pass me,” Muir said.
“That happened in London 2017, I finished second and fourth. I was like ‘this won’t happen again’. I wanted to give absolutely everything until I reached that line.
“Everything hurt. My legs burned for the last 100m. I felt like I couldn’t lift her up, I was walking in syrup. Everything burned.
“But I knew when I reached the finish line it would stop. I was very, very tired when I got to the line but that’s what you want to be when you know you’ve given it your all. If I had reached the finish line, not given absolutely everything and lost, I would have been absolutely devastated.”
Muir, 29, now turns her attention to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham to complete her medal haul.
She said: “One more thing, I have to get the Commonwealths. I started out running all six champions in my running career, I did that, and then to reach the finals of all six, I did that.
“Now I want to win a medal in all six. It’s five to one to go.”