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.