I went to this race yesterday, part of the Pennsylvania Maple Festival in Meyersdale, PA.
5-mile run; I've been doing casual runs of anything from a half hour to an hour, not pushing hard at all, just doing time. I expected to have fun and probably break an hour; or, if it was a really good day, maybe make it in 50 minutes.
Early on a man about my age started running with me, and we started talking, and he was going just a little faster than I was comfortable maintaining, but I was having fun talking with him. We talked just about the whole time. Now and then I'd say, "I have to quit talking, I can't keep up this pace and talk, too," and he'd say, "Well, your pace is just about perfect for me," and then he'd say something and I'd answer and we'd be talking again. My shoe came untied and he actually waited while I tied it because he wanted to stay with me! So I have him to thank for my unexpected performance!
I thought I might be good for an age-group second, if I was lucky. But I was FIRST in my age group (women 55-59) -- first out of two.
But here's the thing. After the awards I went to the results board and looked at the times, and THAT's when I got mindblown.
I would have won in the next three age groups under mine, also.
Women's 50-54 winner ran 45:32. Women's 45-49, 48:29. Women's 40-44, 45:38. No runners 35-39, and the 30-34 first-place woman was ahead of me, but the second-place runner in that group was not.
Besides myself, there were a total of 13 women from 40-59. Holy cow.... I'm out there running faster than that many younger women???? How did I do that? I've hardly been training! I haven't run 5 miles in over a month!
So I got a shiny piece of bling and a definite mental high. I was feeling great when I got home so I went out and biked for an hour, taking advantage of weather we shouldn't be having until May, even though there are still snow drifts dotting the now-mostly-bare fields and roadsides.
What a wonderful day!