With it being a smaller race, I knew my chances of placing in my age group were greater than usual. About half way through, I could hear a lady talking ahead of me. I overheard her say, "I don't think I will run as fast today. I am 41 years old, and I smoked a pack of cigarettes last night."
Hearing that spurred me to run as fast as I could. She was the only lady who looked like she might be in my age group. Hearing that was true, made me want to try really hard for the Masters' win. I had never won the Masters' before.
Normally, I don't really "race." I just go at a pace that is slightly uncomfortable, and try to hang onto it. It is just enough to be faster than my training, but slow enough that I never really feel like I could crash and burn. On this particular day, I was all out the whole race. Coming up the last hill, my lungs were burning and I was breathing hard. It hurt, but it felt good.
I could hear breathing behind me near the finish. I just knew it was the cigarette smoker. A man at the finish shouted that there was someone right on my heels....and she passed me....but it wasn't the cigarette smoker. It was a younger lady.
Not only did I win the Masters' division, I ran a personal best!!!
I never thought in a million years that I would get a PR after the age of 40! I surprised myself, and was SO excited!!!
Actually, during cross country season, coaching keeps my mileage down somewhat. I have to stay late (in order for kids to get picked up), so I don't have as much time to run in the afternoons. I ran a total of 19 miles last week. I really believe the lesser mileage gave me the fresh legs that I needed to run faster on Saturday.
I guess sometimes less really is more!!!!