Got your attention. Good.
When you are an active person like me, you often find that you can no longer do the things you used to do.
You are getting older.
You wake up, and things hurt.
It isn't because you ran a marathon the day before, or you completed a heavy workout session.
It may not even be because you slept wrong.
It's because your body is slowly breaking down.
When this happens (and it often does), I am reminded of what my dad told me when I was almost cut from the college softball team...
Sometimes, your brain can do what your body can't.
I was 20 years old when my dad told me that. I think he was trying to console me, but it had the opposite effect (as it usually did when we talked). It pissed me off. So, I worked even harder.
Today, when I got up and my shoulder is bugging me (I screwed up my rotator cuff many years ago), I remember those words, and it's true. Oftentimes, my body just can't do what my brain thinks it can. And if I can, it just isn't quite as fast, or efficient, or pretty as it used to be.
It still pisses me off.
Just 2 years ago, I ran my fastest Half Marathon in the spring, and my fastest 5k in the fall.
2019 was a great year.
Now, I struggle to run 3 miles at a 10 minute per mile pace.
And as I've blogged about before, I make more excuses.
Why all of the sudden is this happening to me?
Yes, I know I've reached the Big 5-0. Yes, I know I'm perimenopausal. Yes, I'm older.
So, why doesn't my mind realize it, especially when I want to go to bed at 8:30 shortly after the boys do?
I can try explain this, but I couldn't do it justice.
I've been trying to learn more about female endurance athletes and their performances later in life. There is a lot of information out there...but it is also hard to figure out what to listen too.
I've settled on a few that appears to have really focused on the female endurance athlete demographic. I've mentioned Dr. Stacy Sims and her book Roar. She has since expanded her study of peri-, post- and menopausal women athletes. Along with Selene Yeager, who is the host of the Hit Play Not Pause podcast, Dr. Sims has hit a nerve. Women have realized that just because our ovaries have shriveled up and died, doesn't mean the rest of us has.
The information out there is overwhelming.
But what I have discovered is that there are A LOT of us ladies out there, that refuse to just lay down and wait for the grim reaper. Instead, they have figured out how to keep going, and go Bad Ass as well.
I want to be one of those women.
Having my father in my head isn't a good thing, but the attitude that I developed has worked. I'm not going to just "get old gracefully".
Tonight, I met up with my faster, younger running friends to continue to training for a Half Marathon sometime this spring...hopefully. This week we began what would be the first of several weeks including "hill repeats" in our weekly workouts.
We started easy...a little warm up, then "only" 3 times up and down "Max's Hill" as we call it. It's not a long hill, but it can definitely take your breath away. Eventually there will be more repeats, as well as different hills around the area.
The first time was easy, then a little faster, last time faster still--not a sprint, but quick.
Running hills is never enjoyable, but I know the benefit from doing it.
The first 2 times were ok. That last time...even though it was hard: heart rate up, breathing heavy, legs aching. I was not too far behind my friends. And I wasn't going as fast as I could!
Small victory! Take that stupid 50 year old, Covid weight body.
Then a couple of miles around the neighborhood...and one more time up "Max's Hill"...you know, for good measure. 4.25 miles all done.
So, long story short...It sucks getting old, but I'm going to fight it every step of the way.
But I don't think I'm going to bleach my head again. I'm not sure what to blame that on.