June 1st dawned with a summer thunderstorm. The last month rained almost non-stop and remained below 70 degrees F, which is unusual for a typical May around here. But race day’s forecast was warm and sunny. So, my first thought upon waking was, “no, no, no! It’s not supposed to rain!” My second thought was, “I am going to freeze.”
Quitting never crossed my mind. Athletes compete rain or shine. Unless, of course, the race director postpones the race. Then most of us sigh in relief. The crazy ones curse.
Instead, I prayed the rain would stop so I could do my best and not freeze. And — it did stop raining just as I parked at the venue. The water was warmer than the reservoir where I practice, and I was completely dry by the time I hopped off the bike. The clouds held off until well after I’d finished racing. (Only my poor award certificate suffered.)
I love the excitement of race day and the way the surge of adrenaline speeds me along for the entire sprint course. I flew through the bike leg, five minutes faster than last year and entered the run at a decent pace. Then, about halfway to the finish, a woman passed me. I looked at her age stamp and then at the distance stamp and groaned inside. She was in my age group. She stayed within sight the rest of the race, but I just couldn’t catch her.
Still, I am pleased with my improvement from last year, especially considering my injury last fall, which has drastically affected my run speed. As always, my goal is to do even better next race.