Hayley Tullett has admitted that she would probably have retired if she had struggled at the World Athletics Championships.
Tullett will now prepare for the Olympics in Athens next year with renewed confidence after winning 1500m bronze in Paris.
The Swansea-born athlete, who is a part-time PE teacher, had seen her form dip after reaching the 1500m final at the Olympics in Sydney three years ago.
"Things didn't happen for me in 2001, although after the World Championships in Edmonton I found out I was slightly anaemic, and then 2002 went completely wrong," said Tullett.
"I talked it over with my coach, Mark Rowland, and we decided to get back to basics and follow the same plan which worked for me in Sydney.
"I did a lot of three-kilometre and cross-country running in the winter and it has made me stronger.
"I was beginning to ask myself whether I'd had my best days and decided that I would only carry on next year if this year went well.
"I am not a slacker and it is no fun training and putting your heart into it and then running like the way I did last year, so I did think about retiring from competition."
Tullett admits she was so shocked at taking bronze in a personal best time of three minutes 59.95 seconds that she did not know what to do.
"I didn't think I saw it correctly when I crossed the line," said the 30-year-old.
"I had to wait for the result to appear on the giant screen and then watch the replay before it began to sink in.
"I didn't know how to react and said to myself: 'What do I do? Do I run round the track? No, I haven't won'. So I just walked off and started giving some bad interviews."