The race was yesterday. Yes, I actually came in 3rd in my age group. It was a phenomenal experience to actually have my name called, step up to the podium, get a glass to commemorate the experience, and have a fireman help me up and down (because I needed it!)
The morning was cold – it was 44º when I left my house! By the time I got to the lake, it was around 50º. After I had set up my transition area, I found I wasn’t cold at all, and stripped off the jacket and yoga pants. I really lucked out as far as the bike rack. I somehow chose the rack with the oldest person in the race! My new friend Rachel is 76 years old, and absolutely wonderful. I also met others in my age group and older. What camaraderie we older women have! I love having our ages in big bold black numbers on the back of our legs.
As I suspected, the swim was not the greatest. I just didn’t train enough. But my time was still quite good. They grouped the Athenas with the women over 55 for my wave. So you have a bunch of old ladies greatly outnumbered by a group of women who weigh over 165. I have nothing against the weight – but these are mostly young women. They were so much more aggressive than the over 55 crowd. Several of us felt we just got mowed down. And I wouldn’t really mind getting mowed down by someone who is truly faster than me, but when they run over you to pass you and then flip on their backs to rest after they have passed – it is annoying because it is a big effort to get around them. That would be my only negative feedback about the race. Otherwise it was just spectacular.
One of my fears was realized when I fell! I actually fell in the transition area while trying to put my socks on. I knocked down several bikes and almost took the whole rack down. Thankfully, I did not get injured and I did not damage anything. Yikes. Next time I will bring a bucket to sit on as a few others did.
Then I got to hop on my new bike! Oh, what fun I had on the bike ride! My time was good for the ride. I felt so happy and strong.
At the finish of the bike ride, I hopped off the bike and started running. This is usually the most difficult portion of the race. I think I actually did enough bricks while training to be able to do this without too much difficulty. Within the first quarter mile, I ran into my 76 year old friend and we stayed together throughout the run. She thanked me for keeping her on pace, and I thanked her right back because I KNOW I would never have kept it up without her. She finished just ahead of me. I felt super good about the run, and the race in general.
This was the nicest race I have ever participated in. It was small, only three hundred some finished. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. All of the race staff, the volunteers, and even the other racers were encouraging, supportive, and helpful.
The race t-shirt is even nice!!!!!! Very pretty and it actually fits!!! There was a nice swag bag which included a pint glass. The prize for placing in my age group was a pretty little glass, which I will treasure.
I’m still on cloud nine. I hope it lasts more than a day. I feel strong and healthy and goooood. I also feel the sisterhood of older women. It is so powerful. With our ages marked on our legs, Rachel and I ran along. People would pass by, or be passed by us, and say “76 and 66! Wow!” Yeah, wow. I really feel, deep in my bones, how special this is. How fortunate I am to have the good health to be able to do this.
I am so grateful.