Pre-Race: Eileen woke up at 4:30am - 30 minutes before the alarm clock - and ready to go! The long awaited Summer Series was finally here! Lilac and I are convinced that we can make top 10 in our age group if only we compete in 4 races this year. :)
Funny story though, it was raining. Raining? What do we do now??!! Do we go? Do we sleep in? What’s the precedent for rainy day races? I don’t have a rain jacket. I don’t have a jacket I could run in at all!!
Lilac and I decided to go, and to change our philosophy around, because of the conditions. The race was at Papago Park, which is mostly comprised of that red sticky clay. We figured we’d be slipping and sliding everywhere, so our goal was to 1. Be safe, and not injure ourselves, and 2. Have a good time getting dirty. We thought it was a pretty good plan. We also packed towels, and flip flops to change into afterward, and I decided to skip the knee high socks, and go for dri-wick because of the conditions.
It was quite cool, and stopped raining right before the race began. The race was set up so that 80 year old women started first, and everyone else was seeded after them. Lilac and I were luckily in the same starting time (we were planning on cheating otherwise) and so we started 12:15 after the amazing ladies. Lilac and I have decided that we’re going to be doing the Summer Series when we’re 80 also J
The Race: We couldn’t see the clock in the holding pen, so we kept asking the tallest guys around what the time was. At the last moment we realized we only had 20 seconds or so, so we shoved our way up to the front, and took off when the clock hit 12:15. I say took off, but it’s a relative term.
Our race was actually not in the park at all (thankfully) and we wound up running outside of the Zoo, and then mostly along the canal. The canal was dirt, so it was nice and soft, but no real puddles to speak of. We were totally dry the entire race.
We still decided to keep our go with the flow attitude though, and enjoyed the very cool and very sticky weather (I bet on 4th of July we’re going to be wishing for a little rain!), and cheering on the old ladies, as we saw them on the out, and passed them on the way back.
Dorothy was the woman of the day. She was 80 years old, and told us that she had hiked the Grand Canyon when she was a spry young thing at 65, and at 75 completed the Dublin, Ireland Marathon. She even won an age group award for $76 and change, and now her husband says she’s a professional. J I love these ladies. They are so inspirational! We also stopped to talk to the guy with the flag shorts, who was waiting for his daughter. He told us we were having too good a time, and clearly we hadn’t run fast enough! Great guy.
At the end, we were approaching the finish line, which said 52:something . Didn’t know where we finished though, because Lilac grabbed my hand and we ran cheering across the finish line together. It was a great moment of friendship for us.
Post-Race: Lilac was starving so we grabbed something to eat. They had Nana wafers (so delicious) and pretzels, and soda – but no water. She grabbed a bagel and peanut butter, and then we set off for the real prize – The Good Egg. Breakfast was excellent, and the perfect end to a fun and enjoyable morning! I got the official results around 2pm that day – 40:15. We were 40 seconds off a PR from our 39:36, but since we were totally relaxing and enjoying ourselves, I’m thrilled with that number. I think the weather played a big part on it feeling so easy. J
The moral of the story is - go have fun in the rain!