I had planned on posting every 2 weeks or so, but old habits die hard. Even now, after retiring, I'm still procrastinating......still thinking things to death and trying to get them perfect before I publish. That's gotta change. I've got to just write, and realize I can edit things later if I want to. So... here we go...just gonna write.
The topic of this post are the races I've done in the past couple of months.
First of all, I did compete in the first Kelowna Xterra at the end of September. I was just about the oldest guy who was competing, but I don't plan on letting that stop me in any of my ventures. (Side note - you'all should read "Younger Next Year" and do what it says). Back to the Xterra....... I competed in the sport duathlon group which involved a 2.5 k run, a 12 k bike, and a 4.5 k run. Although I personally felt I did fairly well in my first 2.5 k run, the other 5 left me in the dust. Hey, but all of them them were younger than me (4 of them exceptionally so). The good news was on the bike. After taking a bonk on the head during a head-over-heels spill in a squishy marshy area, I proceeded to pick off 3 of those young fellas and got side by side with a fourth before he edged ahead. Two of the three caught me again on the last run (4k). Ultimately I finished 5th in my group of 6. I did end up getting a first place medal in the over 60 sport duathlonites. :) My running still pretty much sucks and I have to work harder at it before my next race in Victoria (8 k in 2 weeks).
Onto the Victoria race..........Barb and I drove to Victoria on October 9th and stayed in a charming old B and B in Oak Bay. The next morning, in the dark, we drove to the race sight in downtown Victoria, and both got ourselves prepared to race - I was doing the 8k and Barb the half marathon. Our large group (2674) started off at 7:15. Barb started at 7:30 and finished with a time of 2:24. I finished in 42:08, 458th overall and 11th out of 53 in the 60-64 male age group. Although I would have liked to have had the mental endurance to go under 42 minutes (that was my goal), I really was pleased with my overall placing. Regarding mental endurance and toughness... I find that element to be the most difficult part of running. Physically, I no doubt need to gradually improve, but if that physical improvement is not matched by a corresponding growth in mental toughness, I won't reach the times that I'm shooting for. (Another side note - I believe as we get older, we do become more mentally tough. Our physical condition may not be equal to younger runners, but often our mental toughness can compensate and level out the playing field.) During the race I was tired and my legs were feeling real heavy, but I found the biggest enemy was my mind. I was telling myself that I was tired and I should probably slow down a bit. Unfortunately, I listened to myself. I should have done what Jens Voigt (a very cool biker who is one of the oldest in the Tour de France) does. He tells his legs to "shut up and get to work". If I could do that I'm sure I could have been under 42 minutes. I do believe you should have nothing left when you cross the finish line!
The third race (kinda) that I've done this fall was the Kelowna Pub Relay. Yesterday Barb, myself and 4 others (Carmelle, Rob, Lois, and Al) entered a team in this non-serious, dressup type race. Each of us had to run a certain distance(anywhere from about 3 to 7k), from one pub to the next throughout Kelowna. At the end of each leg, the runner had to chug a glass of beer. My leg was a 5.3 km section from a pub up on Rutland Road down to one at Orchard Park. I completed it in 27:14 and in the process ran a 5 k PB. Okay, so it was more downhill than uphill and maybe I shouldn't count it as an official type time. Besides, a couple of people (including a talkative girl) passed me during the run. Anyhow, we all had a great time, drinking a bit of beer, wolfing down a buffet lunch, and winning a couple of door prizes.
The above three are the formal type races I've completed during the past little while. As well as running, I've also been biking a couple of times each week. Next on the agenda is skate skiing. I've rounded up all my equipment and now all I need is snow!!!
Well, I should wrap up this post and publish it before I decide it's not good enough. It has been primarily a newsy background bit that I needed to write before I can move on to the next.
I've already decided to write about my part-time dream job next. Should be lots of food (and drink) for thought in that entry.
Oh, by the way, if anyone reading my blog ever has any comments to make relating to what I've written, please feel free to respond. I'd love to "spar" with anyone who'd like to engage. I'm sure I'm not "always" right.......... but I am right most of the time.