The Wrong Season

Years ago, when running friends went to watch Ontario Masters events, I wondered why they would want to watch a bunch of old guys run. Really, how fast could they be?

Here I am, twenty years later, and I am a running in the masters division. Next weekend, I may be one of the old gals whom people will be watching.

Years ago, I never would have considered running track as I’ve always thought of myself as a long-distance runner. In the past year, though, many running friends have planted that seed for me. Last June, my husband told one buddy from decades ago that I was running again, who then inquired about my race times and commented “Wow, she’d do well if she ran with the Masters.” Women in my age group have also suggested that I give this a try. I thought about it; I was curious.

But when my friend, D., registered as a sub-Master, I started to think more seriously about this. A few weeks ago, Shawn mentioned that he might go and, last week, I got an e-mail from one of his running buddies confirming dates and times. After reading that e-mail, I felt ready to throw up.

The truth is I’m scared. I do not want to finish last, which would be okay if it were by a few seconds, but I don’t want to finish last by a lap. And I don’t want to finish last to a 70 year old. Let’s face it: there are some really speedy older women out there.

But I’m also not one to back down from a challenge. You do remember The Polar Bear Dip, don’t you? It was another “we’re going” event and there was no pressure on me to go – except my own as I felt compelled to keep up with the boys. And here we are again, less than a week later, when I’m ready to embark on something that I’ve never done before – and it is scaring the daylights out of me.

Last week, I ran mile repeats on the track for the first time in ages. Last night, as it was dark, we ran kilometre repeats as that was what worked for us safety-wise. Perhaps my auto-drive to run these workouts is telling me that I should go to York next weekend – that I should give the 3000 metre a go.

But that leads me to my next dilemna: Can I wear a running skirt to a track meet? Do I need to search for a pair of shorts in January? What would you wear?

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8 comments

  1. I really, really admire you for doing this! The track is where I would chicken out for racing, without a doubt! But you will rock it. I'd probably go with a pair of shorts, simply b/c with an older crowd, folks will be more old school on the dress. Either way, you're going to turn some heads! Good luck!

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  2. Hey – I'm scared for all the same reasons you posted! I'm wearing shorts…we're the same size so you can borrow a pair of mine. Also, I think we have same shoe size so you can borrow my cleats too! I hope I don't make a fool out of myself Sunday…. ps you will ROCK the 3000m. Good distance for you.

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  3. The occasional scare is good for your health. At least you are expecting it!
    And how stressed can you be? You're worried about what to wear…
    So finally, run it, run hard, and don't even think about that 70 year old, cuz one day YOU will be that 70YO, still kicking butt. That's a fact.

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  4. Wow. This is awesome. A friend of mine told me I should do some indoor track meets this year (this was before my PF took out any chance of competing this winter) but I am absolutely too chicken to do it. Best of luck! I can't wait to hear about it.

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