Anyway, after throwing up spaghetti and my toenails on Tuesday, I ate a bowl of Cheerios on Wednesday, a half a bowl of oatmeal and half a baked potato on Thursday, and a noodle bowl and omelet on Friday.
That brings us to Saturday morning and the Mt. Taylor Quad. Not running for a week and not eating for a couple of days created some doubts about finishing. But you never know how the day will go until you work it, right? The winter quad is a bit of a challenge. For those who don't know, it starts in Grants, NM, at 6500 feet. You bike up for about 13 miles gaining about 1800 feet. Then you run for 5 miles, gaining 1200 feet. Grab your skis, with skins attached if you have any brains, and ascend another 1200 feet and finally switch into your snowshoes and top out at 11,300 feet. Then you turn around and go back down, snowshoeing, skiing, running and biking.
Team Scrappy, AKA Team Scruffy, met up on Friday evening. That would be Ellen Hatch and Spencer Briggs, and a late add-on Crystal Anderson. After a high class night at the Motel 6, we made our way to the start line with our bikes and our rather funky fashion statements. We were all hoping to add a beautiful doubler's scarf at the end of the day. These scarves are for those who completed the Mt. Taylor 50K in the fall and solo the Quad.
We looked a bit scared before the event.
All of our gear was already on the mountain, so we sucked down a cup of coffee, grabbed our bikes and helmets and went to the starting line. The four of us were all pretty close together at the bike/run transition.
About half a mile into the run, a woman passed me. She looked over and, I swear to god, said, "Wow, you are doing well." What the hell did that mean? Not, "Nice job," or "you're looking good," or even "you can do this." No, what she didn't say was that I was doing well for someone my age. I turned to Crystal and she said she just didn't know that I was a beast. Thank you Crystal. I needed the beast label rather than amazement that I was still kicking.
Fast forward to the uphill ski section. I am plodding along when some woman catches up to me and says, "You are an inspiration." I saw this woman again on the downhill run. She was walking back down to the next transition. She was on a team and only did the ski/snowshoe sections so her race was over. She started running with me and again told me I was an inspiration. OK, I like inspiring people. Someone has to do it. I enjoy being a role model. I want women (men, girls and boys) to see what a person can do. But again, the unspoken was that I was an inspiration based on my age. In fact, she asked me my age and told me she thought it was wonderful.
I guess it was a day when I was showing my age. That is what bothered me. I really thought that I was still passing. Passing as a 50 year old. I could draw the parallel with other parts of my life. I am not ashamed of being in my 60's. I am proud of what I can do at my age. I just don't want to look my age. That's all. I want to be in control of who knows my age and my sexual orientation. I don't want it to be obvious.
Team Scruffy with our Doubler's Scarves