The day after Run Ottawa’s Cookie Run 10km, I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers when pressing the ‘submit’ button on my elite athlete application for the 2017 Ottawa Race Weekend 10km. The Elite B Standard for the race for my gender and age is sub 40 minutes. At the Cookie Run, I ran 37:54. Even though I ran under the standard, I still felt like getting accepted was a long shot. I don’t consider myself an elite runner by any means. I’m just a mom of two, I have a full time job, I take my son to hockey practice, and fit running into the equation by managing my time down to the very minute, every day.
I’ve had an interesting conversation with a few people lately. I feel like I’m entering a new space in my running – it feels like new territory for me. One that’s very exciting, and little intimidating. I was reading the “What does sub-elite mean?” post by Spikenard on the Salty Running blog, which outlines some of the different races and what their elite and sub-elite time standards are. For some races, my times from the events I ran in 2016 fit the bill. In others, they don’t. I ran a 1:27:08 half marathon in October, to later find out I was 8 seconds off the sub-elite standard for the 2017 NYC Marathon (the information has been removed from their site since then). Prior to this year, I didn’t even know these types of things existed. I knew about running a qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, and that was about it.
Last week, I found out that my application for elite status for the 10km Ottawa Race Weekend event was ACCEPTED. It literally took my breath away, and when I read the email, time stopped and all I could do was stare at my phone. Many people told me they knew I’d get in, but I honestly was surprised. I’ve worked really hard this year to become stronger and faster, but I still feel like I have more work to do. When race day rolls around and I achieve my goal, I feel surprised, mostly because I know that anything can happen on race day, and I try not to go into a race with expectations. Sure, I have goals, and I do the best I can that day, but I don’t make assumptions for my performance. I find that this mindset helps me overcome the challenges when I ride the struggle bus on race day.
I can’t thank the team at Run Ottawa enough for giving me this amazing opportunity. I’m looking forward to the end of May and laying it all out there on the course. I can’t wait to race with people I admire and look up to. I’m also looking forward to the challenge of racing with the elites and seeing just how far I can push myself. I am also thrilled to be part of Team Awesome for Ottawa Race Weekend 2017. The morning after the 10k, I will be running the 1/2 marathon. Leading up to Race Weekend, you’ll find me documenting my journey – my training, recovery, favourite gear, and fuel.