Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Age is just a number….or is it?

I know that there are a lot of younger runners whippersnappers out there….but I just have to vent a bit …

I found running this past year – having never been an athlete this has been quite an adventure for me.  I’m a planner by nature – so I’ve been  stressing over studying the art of running as much as I’ve actually been running. 

Yesterday I had a conversation with a close work friend.  She was telling me that her daughter was running a half marathon in 7 weeks.  I was shocked by this to say the least.  The daughter that just at Christmas time we were discussing how out of shape she was, who needed to lose weight and get herself together?  The daughter that last summer out of the blue signed herself up for a triatholon and then needed to be rescued by the search crew during the biking portion?

The conversation went something like this:

Her - “A’s running a half marathon in March”

Me – “Really – how’s she gonna do that?”

Her - “Well – she’s been running –she’s going to run a 5k this weekend, a 10k in a couple of weeks – and then she’s gonna do the half in March”

Me – “really – just like that?”

Her - “She’s got a trainer helping her, she’s going to be on vacation in March before the race so she’s going to need to find a way to fit it in.  She looks great – she’s lost a ton of weight”

Ok – is it me?  It seriously isn’t supposed to work this way is it?  I am busting my butt running – now for 8 months and mapping out my strategy to run this half – and her 24 YEAR OLD daughter is just going to decide to run one as she can fit it in?

I did point out to her that recently in the Philly Half there were two deaths – both people in their twenties.  I remember hearing about this and panicking.  (I did not investigate these – but I did hear during the report on this that it was eluded to that they didn’t train the way they should.)

I find it a bit frustrating.  I’ve worked hard for every mile, every minute I’ve put in.  I’m dedicated to this sport.  As a forty something  newbie it has not come easy.  I’m not fast, I’m “cautious”….realistic….all of those words best used to describe the conservative, controlling person that I am.

I’m certain that with age comes wisdom (ha) and that overthinking this  my training plan will persevere.


  1. I was just talking to someone about age yesterday. Running is one of the sport that time is your enemy. I feel like time is not on my side as I work towards goals like half maratons and marathons. I love when I see someone in their 70s and 80s running in races! We can do it!!! Erica

    1. Thanks Erica! I too love to see them out there - it makes me feel like this will all pay off in the end. :-)

  2. Your running will pay off! I used to run like that in my 20's kind of minimally train and then show up for stuff - never did bad, but never did great either. I'm faster now (at 42) than I was at 22 for sure. My marathon PR set this year (at 41) was 30 minutes faster than the one I ran at 28. So it does pay off = we just have to be better trained and smart about it!

  3. I think there are two different points that I need to make that hopefully will make you feel better.

    ONE - anyone can finish a half marathon - as long as they know their pace. So you will probably SMOKE it while she walks or jogs and completes it in much longer.

    TWO - it is harder to start when you're older but you are training and I think you'll be surprised at how fast you will be by then :)

    That girl sounds like she is very ignorant to exercise (which i was too) but if she isn't researching or properly training she could get injured. I hope her trainer knows what's going on.

  4. I think that it all really depends on the person, so she might struggle though, but yes sometimes at younger ages our bodies can handle things better than our older bodies can. I trained for 12 weeks for my first half so maybe she is on that type of training program. I had been running for months and months before though. Hopefully it will not be a repeat of her triathlon.

    1. thanks Courtney - I hear you are feeling well - hope it runs its course quickly!