JO Pavey says not being selected for the Olympic marathon was a 'blessing in disguise', after scooping her first ever European Championships medal in the 10,000 metres in Helsinki on Sunday.
Pavey, who is set to be named in the London Games GB athletics squad today, came second in 31mins 49.03secs, with Portugal's Dulce Felix taking gold.
The Tiverton athlete, who already has a Commonwealth Games silver medal, was forced to return to the track after being overlooked for the marathon, but admits she is happy with the recent turn of events.
"Not making the marathon for the Games has ended up being a real blessing in disguise because it meant I could come back to the track," said the 38-year-old, who will head to Portugal for some hard training before entering her tapering phase.
"I'm just really thrilled to get a medal and doing track this year has been really fun after spending two years away trying the marathon.
"If I had got the marathon place I would have taken it, despite me preferring the track, because the Olympics are the Olympics, you'd be crazy to turn down a place.
"But the decision was made for me and getting back to the track has been great.
"It's made me feel young again. You feel like 'have you still got the ability to run on the track?' It's been a nice surprise to feel I can still do it at this age.
"I'm really pleased to get a medal, 25 laps is always a long way. Anything can happen, I just tried to keep strong, she (Felix) put a burst early on in the race and I tried to cover it, but she was really strong – I just tried to keep focus."
The big question now for the Honiton-born runner is whether to compete in the 10,000 metres and 5,000 metres at London, or just focus on one of the two.
Pavey recently stated that her performances in training had encouraged her to run the longer distance, despite having enjoyed more success throughout her career in the 5k.
Husband and coach Gavin Pavey revealed the 10k would probably be the priority entering the Games, but felt Jo's mentality could well lead her to running in both.
"She is still prioritising the 10k – that is definitely her focus at the moment," he said.
"She will enter both the 10k and the 5k but if the 10k is an eyeballs-out race then she might not run the 5k. If it is a slower, tactical race then she might run both.
"I suspect she will run both knowing Jo, providing she does not have an injury or a niggle, then she may not want to risk it.
"She is really pleased though and it's great to get a medal heading into the Olympics. She has to be satisfied with how it went.
"She just needs to do some sharpening up and tapering and then she will be ready for London.
"It has been great preparation for her because it is only the second 10k she has run in the last two years."