Yesterday I went to Quassy Park in Middlebury, CT with the kids for the day. They had a great time on the rides and in the water park.
My uncle, cousin, and niece are up from Texas visiting, and we only get to see them once a year (at most), so they came to the park with us, and so did my parents.
That’s my niece in the middle of the picture. We’ll call her Number 8 for now…
Her grandfather is my dad’s brother.
My kids call my dad Papa, and Number 8 calls my uncle Papa also.
My dad is like Number 8’s second grandpa when she’s up here.
So when the Texas crew is up to visit, my dad is known as Papa 2.0.
I can’t be totally sure, but I’d be willing to wager a decent amount of money that my family was the only one with two 70+year-old brothers riding a double inner tube down a huge water slide together.
Papa and Papa 2.0
I’m also pretty sure I had the biggest cheering section there with six kids, two papas, one mom and one cousin.
They all hung out and had more fun on the rides while I did the triathlon so I didn’t have to worry about my kids running amok around the park for an hour and a half unsupervised.
I had three goals going into the race last night.
The first was to kick a friend’s ass in the swim, but he ended up not doing the race, so that goal will have to wait until we meet up at another race.
My second goal — my stretch goal — was to break an hour and thirty minutes.
I came sort of close. This course was MUCH more challenging than the tri I did a month ago, so I’m happy with my time. The bike was super hilly, and the run was basically a mile-and-a-half downhill and then a mile-and-a-half uphill.
Which brings me to my third goal. My shoot-for-the-moon goal.
That was to win the swim for my age division and also break 30 minutes in the run (which was a 5K).
I didn’t come close to winning the swim (I was fourth in my age group). But I did respectably, and I also didn’t have a massive panic attack like the last time, so I was really happy with how I did in the water.
The last 5K race I ran was in May and my time was 33:00. So breaking 30 minutes at the end of a triathlon where the second half was pretty much all uphill would be rough.
I almost did it! My run was a 30:21. Almost three full minutes faster than my last 5K.
I’m really psyched about that.
So now I’m really motivated to train seriously for triathlons. I REALLY like doing them.
Here is another reason why I love them.
At 48 years old, I’m no spring chicken.
But look at the results for the top 10 women finishers:
Of the Top 10 women, 6 of them are over 40 years old. Three are over 50, and one is over 60! A 60-year-old woman kicked my ass by 15 minutes.
The top female finisher was in my division. She is 48 years old. A year younger than me (I turn 49 this year so that’s why my age is listed as 49). And she finished 24 minutes ahead of me.
That’s really f&%$ing fast.
Look at the results in the age group above me, and the women are even faster overall!
I finished fifth in my age group — the 45-49 year old division — but my time would have been eighth in the 50-54 year old division! Those chicks are smokin’ fast!
So the reason I love triathlons is that you can be pushing fifty, or sixty even, and still be really competitive. You are not past your prime. You can be a contender.
And that’s what I plan on being when I do this race again next year.
Not just a competitor, but a contender.
But no matter what place I come in, one thing is for sure…
I’m gonna have a blast while I’m doing it.