There are days when I’m out running, & feel so on top of the world & energised and oh-so-wonderfully alive, that I quietly regret only starting to run when I turned 60.
I catch myself thinking “Oh, if only I’d started running in my youth, or in my 20s/30s/40s/50s”…and then I imagine where I might be now, and what I might have achieved, and wonder how life might’ve been so very different…all those wasted years of running bliss 😛
I’m 65 now, and have debated this question back & forth over the 5 joyous years which took me from zero, as in z-e-r-o, to a full marathoner. A slow full marathoner, admittedly, but a full marathoner, dammit!
But the fact of the matter is that I’ll obviously never know what it would’ve been like to run as a fit 25 year old, because I didn’t, so I must look at things differently.
As I get older, I find myself increasingly attracted to websites aimed at fellow senior citizens and you know what? There are hundreds and hundreds of runners out there, my age and older, running amazingly fast and strong, or running slowly and happily, and all of us having an absolute blast as we do so.
There is one huge advantage to starting running so late in life – I have the “comfort” of not having to see a decline in achievements or speed or pace – because there’s nothing from my youth with which to compare myself 😛
But what is wonderful is that there are still so many role models of my own generation who I can look up to & hero-worship
I read with open-mouthed amazement of 70 year-old Jeannie Rice running the Chicago Marathon in 3:27:50 and fellow 70 year old Gene Dykes breaking the mens’ record in 2:54:23.
Are these 2 super heroes or what?
One of the many things I’ve learned about myself since starting running is that I am competitive.
Never knew it before.
Having never been sporty or athletic-y, I never really had occasion to match myself physically against others.
But now with running…the problem is that I run with youngsters, many of them way younger than my children, and naturally I want to keep up with them, and feel as fit as them. So the advice in a very interesting article I read online makes sense (although I say this with great reluctance!):
“If you want to survive and keep running, you have to first accept that you’re not 35, 40 anymore…Your mind might want to run like that, but your running regimen has to be different.”
I accept the concept – your mind thinking it’s 35 years old – but I don’t want to aim lower than all the kids I run with 🙁
Deciding to aim as high as is possible in the marathon world, I checked the qualifying times for Boston, the gold standard in marathons. I give you the qualifying times for 2019 :
And here’s 2020:
Hey! Guess what! I can qualify in the 70-74 age bracket :P.
Joking aside, it’s not too crazy ridiculous, is it, to think that were I to shave 20 minutes off my current PB I might j-u-s-t be able to qualify for Boston in a few years?!
Talk about SERIOUS old lady goals!
So, No Regrets Running it is for me!
I sometimes even win medals.
I have a great sports brand, ASICS, that backs me, which is super exciting.
I have tons of new friends.
No Regrets allowed here.