Month: February 2016

RUNNING IN MY 50s

Tomorrow is my birthday, which got me to thinking about what running is like now that I’m a little older and supposedly, wiser…

I’ll be 57 Tuesday and running these days is more enjoyable than it ever has been. When I get into a groove, I appreciate it more than ever. I ran 16 miles early yesterday morning and during a long stretch of two or three miles halfway through, I was able to relax, just run along, listen to my music and look at the calm and blue Pacific Ocean. That was nice.

But it’s also much, much more high maintenance. It wasn’t until just last year when I discovered I had to do strength training at least twice a week to keep from getting intense IT band and knee pains. I keep my hips and core strong, I work those area hard at the YMCA. I’ve learned to really enjoy those workouts, nearly as much as my runs. It’s a nice change for my non-running days.

I also find I have great balance and can move very swiftly in every day movements, much more so than non-runners in their 50s. If I have to run for a bus, just out of the way of a thoughtless cyclist or pick up a dropped pen quickly, no problem! All those squats and hill repeats have really helped.

My weight is an issue. I’m not too much overweight, maybe 15-20 pounds more than I should be, but it’s dreadfully difficult to lose weight now. Of course, with all this running, it’s very hard to lose weight because I’m always hungry. I tried to explain that to a non-runner at work and she couldn’t understand the concept. it’s just something I have to deal with and perhaps accept that I’ll never be a very thin runner.

I spend A LOT of time on my own running or working out. I’ve always been a loner-type person so I’m rather used to it, but it’s even more so now. Many people hate being so much alone, and there are times, I will admit that I’d love some company doing non-running things, but when I run I like to run alone. I’ve never been a big group runner. I’ve done group runs and I will do them, they can be fun, but not as much fun as running alone.

So what will my 57th year bring? I hope many, many more miles and lots more squats, crunches and endless pairs of running shoes.

Cheers!

 

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VALENTINE’S DAY RUN

I’m not a big Valentine’s Day fan. I’ve been single a long time and even when I was in past relationships, I saw no need for anyone or any date on the calendar to tell me this was the time to be nice to my significant other. After all, we should our loved ones how much we love them all the time. But, many people love it, so I hope they have had a great time today.

With that said, I had a long run scheduled for today, so I woke up at 4:30 this morning and headed out at 7:00am.

I’ve been pushing myself hard lately. My gym workouts are hard, and leave me knowing I’m doing everything I can to get in great shape. But I think I’ve been perhaps asking too much of my body, especially my legs.

After Mile 9 on my run, my right IT band started acting up. Thank goodness I brought my little roller along with me, so I was able to roll it a little during a short break. I did plan to go father than I would up running, but I had to cut it short because my legs ran out of steam. I did 15 miles, but I pushed those miles.

Before my marathon last December, I wold have been a little panicked about not getting my intended miles out, but it’s OK, I still have time and I will do this.

And, it was meant to be because my run ended exactly IN FRONT of the Trader Joe’s at Fisherman’s Wharf. How’s THAT for distance timing?? I picked up what I needed for some meal planning for the first part of the week and went on home for a nice warm shower and rest. All after a good foam roll session, of course.

Cheers!

SNAGS AND SETBACKS

I’ve been reading this book “The Untethered Soul”, by Michael A Singer about reclaiming your life and true Inner Growth. It’s an interesting read, one that can help me quite a bit, as I tend to worry a lot about things out of my control. I’ll write a complete review of it in here when I finish it.

Stress is the big killer. Combine stress with unhappiness and it can lead to many things, none of them good. And it has been getting to me lately. I simply must find a way to let go the stress I’m experiencing these days.

It is a work in progress. I’m including meditation in my evening routine, as well as getting back into eating healthy and striving to reach my fitness goals. This will take three things: 1) time, 2) patience and 3) money. And I need to do a better job at all three.

But it’s OK. I will do them all. My first goal is to not be so hard on myself. The greatest damage we can do is to be our harshest critic. So, I’m going to smile back at myself in the mirror more and carry on!

I ran six miles last night through Downtown and along the Bay. It was wonderful! The weather was mild, absolutely no wind and I felt so free. Tonight, I hit the gym, ready to work out my trouble spots: Core, Glutes, Shoulders, Arms.

And tomorrow as Scarlett said, is another day.

Cheers!

 

PS: I’ve revamped my blog/website. It’s now much simpler to reach and it will have a lot more content, including exercise instruction, recipes and reviews. Let’s just say that it will be a great place to check back often!

THE NEXT STEP

Presidio 1-31-16

The Presidio

Getting to the testing site isn’t easy via MUNI. Located near the old Candlestick site, it’s a long ride on the 9 and then a long walk down to the Executive Park on the east side of 101. Nevermind that my lasting memories of this place were from last July when I failed the NASM Certified Personal Trainer’s exam, so I cautiously made my way to the location. How many more hours could I have studied? I asked myself. I know this, I will pass this! Also went through my head. I took Buster along for good luck; somehow the little guy seemed to make me feel better.

I had spent so many hours studying at night after work, on BART, early in the morning. I had sacrificed so much just to pass…and GUESS WHAT??!!??

I PASSED!!!!!

I took my time answering the questions; I went over all of the questions a second time to make sure I understood them and answered them correctly. I’m glad I did too, because I found two mistakes I made the first time!

I was happy but even more relieved. Now I can move on to the next step.

I’m not young, but I’m not dead yet either. If I want to change my life, I need to do it NOW. But, because of circumstances, I can’t make radical changes all at once, so I’ve worked out my plan in a series of steps. My next step will be to complete a new resume with my goals towards a new career. I’ll let you know more in a later blog.

I ran 15 miles yesterday. It was a glorious morning, one of those types of blue sky days that I wanted to frame. It was a good run, my legs felt good and I’m doing much better on the hills. I took the run slowly and concentrated on form and getting the whole distance out. I’m figuring out when I need to take in water, electrolytes and food. It’s all coming together.

And also, with some of the stress of passing my exam gone, I can focus on losing weight, which is another one of my goals this year.

It’s difficult to express how much of an accomplishment this victory was for me. I failed the exam the first time I took it and that defeat hurt badly. But, it didn’t stop me from getting back up and trying again. And since then up until passing it Saturday, I have been studying hours and hours, working to know the material. At night after work and running, I study, on BART going to work and going back home, I study. In the morning with coffee, I study. Putting in the effort was well worth it.

And now to plan my next course of action, stay tuned….

Cheers!