The last time we chatted I was in Guelph, Ontario preparing for the Speed River Inferno with hopes of hitting a last chance, at the buzzer shot, standard to qualify for the Commonwealth Games. It was the absolute last day anyone could hit a qualifying standard and I needed to run under 8:32 to put myself in the pool of athletes eligible for the Commonwealth Games. Until that day my season’s best was 8:36. I had some work to do. Chris Dalhunty stepped up big time and offered to pace us at 8:25 pace. This was exactly what we needed if we were to have any hope of getting under the standard that night in Guelph.
The steeplechase was the last event of the evening and all night others had been hitting fast times. I knew this was as good an opportunity as any. We had a rabbit, the weather was perfect and the crowd was big and loud. From the gun it was fast and Taylor Milne and I hung onto Chris Dalhunty. Pretty quickly I realized It was not going to be one of those races where is would come easy. It was going to be a grind. I hung onto the back of Taylor for as long as possible and even when the gap opened up I tried to stay positive. The night before the race I visualized what I would need to see on the clock with 2 laps to go to have a chance at the standard. The number I came up with was 6:18 (or faster). I hit 6:18 bang on! I knew I had a hope but I had to get moving. Unfortunately the next lap was slow and I hit the bell at 7:27. I needed a 65 sec lap or faster. The fastest of that race. I also knew that Alex Genest had found his legs and was closing hard on me. I put my head down and hammered. I knew it would be close, so close that I even pulled out the middle school chest lean at the line. 8:31.25! I had just squeaked it! Double Fist Pump!
I had to sit tight for a few days before they named the official team. There was rumors circulating that Athletics Canada may take those with a “B” standard but until I saw my name on the official document I wasn’t going to breathe easy. I must have refreshed the page on Athletics Canada 100,000 times. Finally it was posted and I was named to the team.
This was surreal. Coming into the season making the team was my #1 goal. But there were times it seemed far out of sight. 9 weeks prior I had just arrived in Flagstaff and was barely running. I was getting crushed in workouts. I have to give so much credit to the team I have around me. I leaned on these people hard. Everyone including my Coach, Teammates, Physio, Massage Therapist, Psychologist, Physiologist, family and especially Rachel were all there for me providing me the assistance/confidence I needed to get me back rolling. Thanks you all!
Onwards to Glasgow
With the Games still 6+ weeks ago there is still lots of time for improvement. This is great because I feel more ready to go at this time in the season than ever before. Having missed all of indoors and only having raced a handful of times so far this year I feel fresh and excited for the opportunities ahead, starting with nationals next weekend!
The 2014 Canadian Championships take place in Moncton, New Brunswick, June 27-29. Check out www.moncton2014.ca for all the details and info for live streaming. Should be good times!