IT seems unimaginable now when you see the impressive performances of Jenny Selman, but it wasn’t that long ago the 30-year-old was overcome by embarrassment when she crossed the finish line, so slow were her times. 

Having won both GB and Scotland vests as a junior, and further Scottish vests in the early years of her senior career, Selman’s dip in form was, unsurprisingly, hugely demoralising and she admits to being somewhat baffled as to why she kept battling on rather than hanging up her spikes. 

Battle on she did though, and her persistence has now paid off. 

A gap of almost a decade between her first Scotland vests and her most recent ones highlights how far off the pace she was for that spell. 

However, Selman is now back with a vengeance. 

Having battled her way back onto the international scene shortly before the pandemic began, she has now established herself as one of the strongest middle-distance runners this country has to offer; no mean feat when Olympians Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie are leading the charge. 

On Saturday, Selman will once again pull on her national vest, taking her place in the Scottish team alongside Olympic silver medallist, Muir, for the DNA meet at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, where the home nation will face, amongst others, England, Wales and Spain in a new-look event aimed at attracting a new audience to the sport. 

It is quite a turnaround in fortunes and, admits Selman, one she has surprised herself by. 

“It’s so good to be back running well again and be pleased with my performances rather than be embarrassed at how much effort I was putting in but still going really slowly,” she says.  

“I look back and don’t know why I didn’t quit because things were pretty miserable with my running and for large spells, I wasn’t really enjoying it because when you’re running slow and running through pain, it’s just no fun. 

“I was clinging onto the thought that if I could get a bit healthier then I would start enjoying it again. 

“This year, though, has been such a shock to me – I don’t think I would have believed it if someone had told me I’d be back running like I am now.” 

Selman goes into this weekend, when she will lead off the “Hunt” relay, in the form of her life. 

Just a week ago, she ran 2 minutes 1.84 seconds to win the Scottish Indoor Championships and with that performance, has put herself into the picture for selection for the British team for the World Indoor Championships next month. 

She will need to shave another couple of tenths off her current best to make the squad but that is by no means an impossibility and to be in contention for her first GB selection in her thirties is a testament to Selman’s commitment to her sport. 

Having been a part of Liz McColgan’s training group during her time at Dundee University, which also included the likes of Eilish McColgan and Lynsey Sharp, Selman came back to earth with a bump when, in her early twenties, she was forced to enter the “real world” and combine a full-time job with the ambition of being an international runner. 

For quite a time, Selman could not find a way to make things work, which makes the contrast to now so stark. 

“I ended up being pretty directionless - I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing or where my running was going and so it was tough,” she says. 

“I had a number of low-level injuries so nothing major but when that’s combined with juggling athletics and work, training alone and being outwith the system and not having that support, it can be really difficult and that makes for some very average performances. 

“Now though, I’m training in Edinburgh with a good group of girls and it’s so much more fun and that’s a huge difference because we all really look forward to going to training. 

“Once you start seeing that improvement in your performances, you get such a boost in confidence and so go into races with so much more belief that you can run fast.” 

Selman already has one eye on the outdoor season, where she is within touching distance of the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games. 

As with the World Indoors, the strength of her events in this country mean that it will be a monumental feat to make it into Team Scotland but, for now at least, Selman is delighted purely to be in the conversation and whether she makes it to Birmingham 2022 or not, she is happy to be back fighting it out for international selection. 

“It’s really cool to be mentioned as having a shot at getting into these teams,” she says. 

“With middle-distance running being so strong at the moment, I’m well aware that even if I make the qualifying time, there’s so many really fast girls that I still might not make the team but I’m ok with that.  

“If I don’t make the team in the end, I know I’ll still be happy with what I’ve done because I know I’ll have put in everything I possibly can and so I’ll be pleased that I’ve given it a real go, regardless of the outcome.”