Melissa Breen isn't fazed about running times anymore. Photo: Jamila Toderas
The fastest woman in Australian sprinting history, Melissa Breen, dreams of winning a Commonwealth Games medal and declared she is no longer burdened by the pressure to set records every time she runs.
Breen is enjoying a "fun" build up to her second Commonwealth Games, saying she feels she has broken the pressure shackles that became too much to handle four years ago in Dehli.
Breen will finish her Commonwealth Games preparation at a low-key Canberra meet on Sunday before flying to Europe on Tuesday to fine-tune her race before competing in Glasgow next month.
The Canberra sprint queen broke an almost 20-year-old Australian record in February, beating Melinda Gainsford-Taylor's 100-metre time with a new mark of 11.11 seconds.
The time would have been good enough to win gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, but Breen says she has a new and simple mental focus of winning rather than looking at her time.
"People ask me what time I want to run at the Commonwealth Games, but it's irrelevant. I just want to beat people," Breen said.
"If that takes 11.1 seconds or if it takes 11.6 seconds into a head wind, then that's what it is. I'm not too worried about times, I don't feel like times define me any more.
"I know that Australian record time would have won in Dehli, but no one was there. This year in Glasgow everyone will be. I would love to get a medal, but to get there I have to get to the final."
Breen has raced just once since the start of May, but will ramp up her training when she gets to Europe when she competes in Belgium and then moves to Glasgow for the Diamond League ahead of the Commonwealth Games heats on July 27.
The 23-year-old was unveiled as the University of Canberra's first ''athlete in residence'' on Friday.
She will work with the university's sports science, management and media departments to help her development and offer students a chance to work with the rising sprinter.
Breen started a secondary teaching degree in 2009 before deciding to put all of her focus into athletics.
"I'm going to be a bit of a test subject, to be the first athlete in residence is absolutely amazing," she said.
"I'm going to have my own desk here at the uni as well. UC wants to be known as the sporting university and I'm proud to be a part of it."
Breen is using her last race in Australia to blow out the cobwebs after an intense training block, but limited competition. And she still uses her Dehli disappointment as motivation.
A teenage Breen missed the final and succumbed to external pressure. But her disappointing results prompted the biggest decision of her career - rebuilding all 50 steps in her 100 metre race.
"This time there's pressure because I want to do well, I'm four years older and I'm a lot more level-headed," she said.
"I love what I do, but it is just running. If I don't go as fast as I want, it's not the end. It [time] doesn't define me as a person. I've got perspective in the last six months, life is great regardless of whether I break another record or not."