Friday, January 15, 2016

Aging up -- at least for NC Senior Games State Finals

Unless one is nine or twenty years old, aging up is not something one looks forward to.  NC Senior Games policy is that one competes within the age group reflecting the age one will be on December 31 of that year. So, though competing in September, I competed in the next older age group (which I would not hit for another two months.)  

I had not been doing track since August and had been casually running the road or trails, including some road races.  Good excuse setup, here!  One could say I was not at my optimum -- but, then, I have rarely felt as if I am ready for a track event.  The Finals were held September 24th at the Meredith College track.  A terrific track well maintained (reserved for use only by students and faculty). This is also where the Sir Walter Miler is held in August

My major NC competitor, who has beaten me in every track distance and event, except for one 100m -- and that was only because that was the first race for her after recovering from an injury -- did not come to the Finals.  This was disappointing.  I expect she, and many others, will show up next year since that will be a National Senior Games qualifying year.

Prior to the day of the meet (all in one day), it had rained frequently.  This day, however, though it was cloudy, we were spared rain until late afternoon, by which time the track events were completed.  I warmed up but did not feel full of energy (even though I had taken two days off from boot camp.)  The first event was the 100m.  There were five of us in my heat.  I messed around with the blocks, not really too confident, and feeling a little foolish.  One other lady was using them for the first time. She asked me for advice! Ha Ha!  I being the last person to ask, since I have trouble remembering how I use them from one meet to the next!  It put me in mind of a State Finals eleven years ago, my third at the time. A lady in my heat, though in the next AG up, had set records in each lower AG.  She used blocks! At the time, I was astonished, that someone so old, would do so. Hey! that's what I thought at the time!  It looked stupid. Blocks and very short shorts do not go together well on an older person.  So, here I am, looking as stupid -- except my pants were not short.

I fumbled my way out of the blocks and got to the finish ahead of the others.  Not elegant or pretty, but one down, two to go. 

Next was the always dreaded 400m.  In this one, I was the only one in my AG, joined by two ladies in the next older AG.  I did not warm up much, having recently run the 100m.  Between events I chatted with other runners and friends there to watch.  Because of the "watchers" I had to push my way around the track even though I could feel the legs churning right down to almost nothing.  Being the only one in my AG, I easily won that one! 

In the 200m, it was me, one other in my AG, and those tough older women!  They, the 80-year-olds, are admirable and no slouches.  They had a happy outlook, which made the rest of us happy.  I enjoyed this one far better than the 400m.  My legs did not die, though my speed was just so-so.

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