THOSE Sunday morning runs.
Every Sunday Jessica Ennis drags herself out of bed to put herself through a gruelling series of sprints to prepare her for moments like last night in the Olympic Stadium.
It was time for the nation’s sweetheart to live up to her title.
She’d blown away the opposition in the 100 metre hurdles only to allow her lead to slip in the high jump and shot put with barely average efforts.
But then came the final event of the day - the 200 metres. Noisy all the day, the crowd summoned up extra energy to give Sheffield’s Jess one last push.
And she delivered. Big time.
Needing to get close to 23 seconds to overtake Lithuanian Austra Skujyte at the end of the first day she flew around the bend and into the home straight as if propelled by a wall of noise.
Those runs had given her the strength, stamina and steel to demand more of herself. Her time of 22.88, a lifetime best.
The decibels went up another notch and Jess, our Jess, will go into today’s three events holding a 184 point lead over Skujyte, 258 on Hyleas Fountain and more than 300 better than Olympic and world champion pair Nataliya Dobrynska and Tatyana Chernova respectively.
It was in stark contrast to the shot put earlier in the evening.
The shot isn’t one of Ennis’s premier events but it is by no means her weakest either so she would have been disappointed to lose more than 200 points to the winner of the discipline Skujyte.
Looking to reach around the 14.75 metre mark, Ennis could only beat 14m once, a put of 14.28m for 813 points.
Lithuanian Skujyte, meanwhile, won her second straight event after the high jump with a new heptathlon record of 17.31m to take a lead of 64 points into the final event of the night, the 200 metres.