Yes, I Am An Aging Runner

img_20170102_143030936Yep, the title it is the truth and as much as I hate to admit it some days, I am the proverbial and stereotypical aging runner, full of contradictions, plans and angst about what the future will hold for me as a runner.

In August I will turn 60 years old…damn that is hard to believe, because I really do not feel that old, but some days the body reminds me that I really am. Other days, it seems as though I can still do more than I ever thought possible.

However, that ability to bounce-back and do it again and again…well that sure as hell ain’t the same.

So over the course of the next “few” months, I will probably get all maudlin and reflect a lot on this next birthday a bit too much.

I know that we all too often hear that same refrain about older runners. That we whine all the time about how we used to be and that we need to change how we do things to stay competitive. Yet so many of us old farts don’t ever get it through our heads that we actually have to do something differently to change things.

More than likely, except for those brief periods when we get motivated as hell, we usually get back to doing what we have always done pretty quickly and then wonder why:

  • there is very little overall improvement
  • the decline continues
  • the injury days on the calendar seem to creep up in number a little more each year
  • we when we look in the mirror that dunlaps disease just keeps on winning.

Even though we talk, write and expound upon the idea that we are changing.

When in reality, we don’t.

My problem is that I know that I fit nicely into that stereotypical aging runner profile and even though I readily admit every year about how I need to change how I train, eat and lift weights, etc., to get better or simply delay some aspects of the aging process when talking to other runners or writing about it on my blog.

I never do.

Why?

I am too busy just running.

That is what I tell everyone.

Naw, it is more of an attitude than anything. Like most people I have gotten set in my ways and am fairly comfortable, dare I say pretty happy with who and what I have become and to really improve as a runner…

I would have to leave that comfort zone and make changes to the way I do things.

Which might disrupt and force changes to the life I have and probably change how people around me have to do things too. Is my running really worth that, would I become the next great masters runner?

Realistically the answer is no, I am pretty damn comfortable with my life the way it is.

That is the real issue about being an aging runner for most of us, we have developed our comfort zone over many years and leaving it is something that is not…well comfortable.

I know you read all the memes and motivational crap floating around the Internet, in magazines and other places to get out of that comfort zone. However, the reality is most of us don’t and probably won’t.

You know something else I am learning – that’s okay.

It is okay to be happy with who you are and what you have. You don’t always have to be chasing after a golden ticket or trying to be something you are not.

So I will probably keep running for as long as my body will let me, with no real plan, just running according to how I feel that day, using different training concepts picked up over the years, to get me where I think I want to go with my running.

Some days I will run faster and yes, I know that on many days I will run slower and slower.

Yeah, I am getting a bit maudlin this year ain’t I?

🙂

4 thoughts on “Yes, I Am An Aging Runner

  1. There’s a German expression that goes “aging isn’t for cowards.” But you make it look easy! And since you’re still younger than both my parents, I can’t think of you of “old.” But I do understand why one thinks about it more as one gets older.

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    1. Yeah, my Great Grandmother, who was born in the 1800’s used to say “getting old ain’t for sissies and a bunch of other stuff on aging from her perspective. Unfortunately, a lot of what she said is coming true. However, it is better than the alternative.

      No, getting old is not easy, but it is something that if we are lucky enough just happens. There are more changes than you can shake a stick at and many of them not all that much fun, but you gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other.

      The biggest quote that my Grammie Bertha used to say was “Youth is wasted on the young”. I never really understood what she was saying until a couple of years ago and every year I understand a little better.

      Getting old ain’t a bad thing, but it is different and I can understand why so many people fight it tooth and nail, especially in our current society, where being old serves no purpose and holds little dignity and is seen as a burden to many.

      I will continue to age, enjoy what I can and keep pushing myself to do as much as I can for as long as I can. 🙂

      Just another stubborn old fart.

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  2. Love the comments as well as the post!

    The whole thing about getting old is so very true, it is a weird phenomenon. I feel that social media can sometimes help and other times make it more weird. I know I have aged, approaching 25th wedding anniversary and have kids in college … but I feel so damn GOOD all of the time it is at times a shocking jolt of self-awareness. Too many friends have died or are sick or struggle with chronic health issues (my wife’s joint issues and arthritis part of that list!). But … what we do is go to bed each night and hope to wake up to try again tomorrow.

    Also you talk about our comfort zones … oh, they are just so comfortable! :). I am very much a creature of habit, an I function very well in that ‘zone’ – Lisa says that she prefers to stay out of the way of my morning routine until I am ready for coffee :). But I also know part of it is what works for me – like running. I know I am not really progressing in any serious way (though my weekly volume has crept from ~65 to ~75 miles), and honestly I am oK with that. There are worse things to happen … and I can still run every morning.

    We are all aging … just at different points of the curve … 🙂

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