“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Do runners really age?

August has been my biggest mileage month since I started running over 2 yrs ago.  I topped it out with 106.5 miles.  I am amazed at my body....let me rephrase that...I am amazed at how well my body has held up.

     Last night, I had a conversation with a runners in the Fleet Feet No Boundaries running program I help coach.  She is in her late 50's and she asked me at what age she should stop running....It was the oddest question...she said she was worried that at a certain point running might become more difficult in her age or even harmful to her body.  She said she has noticed that she is running slower lately and thought it must be a sign of her body aging.  I had to think about it for a while. 
I have been at many starting lines shoulder to shoulder with men and women well into their 70's, 80's, and even 90's!  My thoughts have always been "that is going to be me someday."  I have never given thought to the fact that it is inevitable that I will eventually "slow" down.  There will come a day when my body will fight speed.  That does not mean that I can no longer run, it means that I will have to redefine what running is to me.

I told her that if she wanted to run than she needed to continue running. She is healthy and able bodied.  If she has a heart to run than age should not dictate to her whether or not she is a runner. 
I found these essays by a man named Dr. George Sheehan they are worth reading. He wrote for Runner's World and his essays are very inspirational to all runners.
"The race, however slow my times, remains an ever-changing learning experience. Whenever I race, I learn something new about myself and those who race with me. I will never be 32 years-old again, but it no longer matters, because I've learned that winning doesn't matter, it's running that counts. And when I push to the limit, I am a boy again-an untried youth listening to the wisdom of my body."
~Dr.George Sheehan 

I am thankful for my body that God created.  I am thankful for the ability I have; God's ability in me.

Grace and peace,


RockStarTri said...

There is an 81 year old guy who races every week. I have to work to beat him. As long as the doc says to go for it, I don't think there is an age limit.

Lisa said...

I want to be "that runner" some day, the old lady still out there!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Great post! I love that quote at the end. At my last half ironman I ran by a lady that was 73!! I told her that she was an inspiration to me. I hope to still be out there running and doing tris when I'm her age!

Irene said...

We have a lady in our track club who must be in her mid 70s or so. She goes to and participates in just about every local event. She is in great shape. She's not as fast as a 20 something, but she's right there in the middle of it all. She's also a member of our track club's masters team. I hope to be just like her. :)

gmontalvo13 said...

i hate it when "older" people pass me up! i sure want to run like that when i'm old!

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Allison aka Scooty's Mom said...

I got passed up by an older fellow today in my race and I thought to myself how I hope I am still trotting along at that age.

Anne said...

I want to be that runner too...considering I only started running at age 50 I certainly am not ready to stop yet! :)

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