There’s Hope (& TOLT)

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This post is for those runners who have experienced serious injuries.

This post is also for those runners who approaching those advanced years. (You know over 50 or 60…)

I only started running at age 55.  In the beginning, I didn’t run in the winter nor did I run many miles at a time.  It took me several years to even attempt a half marathon.

But on December 29, 2011, I thought it was all over.

enjoying a very cold run on the bike trail (on my day off)

I fell going around a patch of ice and broke my left tibia and fibula. I had to have surgery and they put in a plate and 6 screws on one side and 2 long screws on the other side.  (I still have them in today.)

wore this boot for almost 4 months (non-weight bearing for 2 months)

I was told that I probably would not be able to run again and if I did, maybe just short distances.

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Well, I set out to prove the doctor wrong.

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It wasn’t easy because I overdid and wound up with a 2nd metatarsal stress fracture in my right foot that October.

back in the boot

I did heal and I did run some races including one half. But then 8 months after the stress fracture (in June), I broke the 5th metatarsal in my left foot.

good thing I kept those critches

no boot – just this fancy shoe

PRs Before the Injuries

5k – 27:30 (2010)
4 mi –38:02 (2011)
5 mi – 47:03 (2011)
15K – 1:36:08(2011)
13.1 – 2:22:39 (2011)

2012 and 2013 were obviously not good years for running.

Eventually, I did heal and have been healthy ever since. At the time, I promised myself that if I could ever run again, I would be satisfied with whatever speed I could muster.  I mean, I was told that I could not run again.  I was 60 years old now!  Being injury-free was much more important than PRs…

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Well, if anyone knows me, they know that I am competitive and stubborn. I became determined to see if it were true.  Would that serious injury prevent me from running fast?  Would getting older slow me down, as well?

PRs After the Injuries

5k – 27:11 (2014)
4 mi – 37:27 (2015)
5 mi – 45:26 (2015)
10K – 57:03 (2014)
15K – 1:31:25 (2015)
10 mi – 1:38:45 (2014)
13.1 – 2:08:59 (2016)

As you can see, the answer was NO!

So I am writing this post to show runners that you shouldn’t give up nor should you always listen to what others say. Because sometimes if you believe you can, then you will.

Remember though that there are injuries that will prevent you from running and there will be a time when age will be a factor in your speed.   Only you will know when.

Image result for hope after injury running ecard

yes, this will happen but hopefully not for a few years…


Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

thinking out loud

Happy Running!

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TOLT: PRs, Heat and Races

thinking out loud

Since it is Thursday,  I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

So here’s what I am thinking about:

  • Speed

As we are than halfway through 2016, I realize that 2016 is the first year that I have NO PRs.

I run a lot of races (40 last year) which means so many opportunities. I also run all distances: 5k, 4m, 5m, 10k, 15k, 10m and 13.1.  Again lots of chances.

In 2015 and 2014, I had 4 PRs but does it get more difficult as you age?

Research says:

The first study we’re examining is a 2010 survey by Celie et al. of nearly 200,000 participants in a 15km (~9mi) road race over a period of twelve years.1  With such a large number of participants, the authors were able to make some statistically powerful predictions.  Probably the best news is that for each year over 40, the runners in this study slowed by only 0.2%. That’s about one second per mile per year.

There’s more good news if you’re a woman: As runners age, the gap between men and women shrinks significantly.  By age 60, women have made up five of the ~15% difference in performance that separates the genders at age 40.  While both genders slow at roughly a linear rate from 40 to 60, men’s performance decreases more sharply afterwards, while women continue on a roughly linear track.

The study also parsed runners into “trained” and “untrained” categories, presumably from something like a survey question on the race’s registration form.  As you might expect, trained runners were almost 16% faster than untrained ones.  If you’ve got a keen eye for math, you’ll realize there’s more good news for women: a trained woman should be able to edge out an untrained man! (from https://runnersconnect.net/running-training-articles/how-much-does-age-effect-running-performance)

So you do get slower as you age.  But not a lot.

In Lore of Running, Tim Noakes makes the interesting observation:

that most of the best runners over age 45 are late starters. Your typical age-group record setter in the older masters divisions only started running in his or her late 20s or early 30s. A classic example of this phenomenon is Kathryn Martin, who started running at 30 and then rewrote the U.S. record book in the 50-54 and 55-59 age groups. (from http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/training/study-late-starters-run-faster-in-older-years_8283#CsWQzFlHo7SalU5L.99)

It is weird that Adult Onset Runners are defined as ones who did not run in high school or college and only started in their 30s.

But what if you only started running at age 55!!??

I guess I’m an OLDER Adult Onset Runner. And I can’t find any research on that.

So I plan to continue running – racing all distances (except the marathon) and whatever happens happens. If I stay healthy, a PR will be just gravy.

  • Heat

I can’t remember a summer this hot and humid.

And I like hot weather.  But I just feel like doing this:

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Not this:

Adirondack Distance Run

It was 93 degrees yesterday at 5 pm and I thought I was going to have heat stroke. Alyssa was understanding about my need to stop and walk.

  • Races

I can’t stop myself from signing up for weekend races even though I should be starting my training for my fall half marathon.

well at last $25

This Sunday is my third 5k of July.

Happy Running!  What do you think about age and speed?  Are you running in this heat? How about summer races?  Doing any?

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Wednesday Word: Ageless

Deb Runs

Every Wednesday, the Deb from Deb Runs will be providing a word about which to blog. Kind of like a nice little blog prompt. Posts can be fitness or health related, but don’t have to be, so really anyone can play along. Just be sure to link up with InLinkz on Deb’s main post, and share the love by reading and commenting on other’s participant’s posts.

This week’s Word is AGELESS

I love this word!!

That’s my goal …to be “ageless.”

And running makes me feel “ageless.”

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I am more than 20 years older than the women in this photo

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finishing a half marathon with a former student of mine (probably 25 years younger than me)

It’s running that bonds us runners, not age!! Many of my running friends are younger and some are older.  It doesn’t seem to matter how old we are.

Sometimes, younger runners beat me.  Other times, I beat them.

Register for The Biggest Loser RunWalk at www.biggestloser.com/runwalk

Sometimes, older runners beat me.  Other times, I beat them.

Lighthouse 5K

In other words,, I do not want not let my age define me and I want to be able to do anything I want (despite my advanced age.)

I never want to say “I can’t do that. I’m too old.”

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not too old to get goofy

In fact, I am much more active now than I was in my 20s and 30s.

me on Saturday

I am healthy and I certainly don’t feel my age. Yes, I am 62!! But I don’t feel 62.

I feel like I can run any distance that I choose from 5ks to even marathons.(I’m not saying I want to run a marathon but just that it’s not an age thing.)

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And I can even get PRs.

Last year I PRed for 5k, 10k and 10 miles.  This year, for 4 mile, 5 mile, 15k and Half marathon. I still feel that I can get better.

Stockadeathon 15k

Wouldn’t it be great to live the quote below?

Happy Running! Does your age define?  If so, how?

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Tuesdays on the Run: Running Role Models/Runners You Admire

Erika @ MCM Mama Runs hosts Tuesdays on the Run with April @ Run the great wide somewhere and Patty @ My no-guilt life

This week’s topic is: Running Role Models/Runners You Admire

At my advancing age, I admire those runners over 50 such as:

These Bloggers:

(Sorry I couldn’t list all the over 50 bloggers… and yes, you younger runners are inspiring too, but let’s face it, it’s easier for you. You’ll see!))

I love to read about older women who are staying fit, being active, organizing running groups, running races from 5ks through marathons.

and of course, older runners that I have read about:

  • Harriette Thompson who ran a marathon at age 92.

  • Joan Benoit Samuelson at age 58, who can still finish a marathon in less than 3 hours.

I admire any older woman who is out there running, fast or slow, alone or in a group.  I hope to be able to do the same for a very long time…

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running at age 62 years young

Happy Running! Who do you admire as a runner?

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday: That Elusive Speed

thinking out loud

So I’m linking up today with Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

I have been thinking about running goals and speed.

I was getting faster for awhile..

and then things slowed down for whatever reason.

Of course as we age, we slow down.

But what if we started running when we were old. Do we still slow down?

So it seems that if we don’t slow down then it’s a Win-Win.

After a few months of running, my 5k finish times went down to a consistent 29-30 minutes.

Fasig Tipton '10

Then all of a sudden, I was able to run 27-28 minute 5ks.

Malta 5K

Now, I am back to finishing at 29-30 minutes.

Betar Byway 5k

Did I slow down or is that where I should be for my age??

Am I going to get even slower? If so, I need to adjust my goals!!

The same thing happened with Half Marathons.

I finished my first one in around 2:26.

Naples Half  Marathon

Of course, eventually I got faster and finished one in 2:09

race_697_photo_14838667

Now, I am back to finishing close to 2:26.

Walkway Half Marathon
So will I continue to run at this speed? Or can I get faster?  Or as I age will I get even slower?

Just food for thought.

On another related topic….

I decided to run some 5ks this summer.

  • TEAM Sarcoma 5k on July 11 (this Saturday)
  • Silks & Satins 5k on July 24 (in 2 weeks)

Both take place in Saratoga – the first one in the park and the second in town starting at the race track.

How fast will I be? Who knows?

Happy Running! Do you struggle with race goals related to speed?

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#REALWomenMove

Go to http://www.skirtsports.com/ambassadors/ to read about the awesome ambassador captains

Part of my responsibility of being a Skirts Sports Ambassador Captain is posting every month on a different topic.

Last month, the topic was: (You can click on the links to read my posts.)

This month, the topic is what REALwomenmove means to me:

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  • REALwomenmove women are Real bodies.

When I was almost 55, I decided to join a running club and run my first 5K.  I had never done anything athletic until I was in my 40s when I learned to play tennis. Many people may have thought that I was too old and most of the runners in the group were indeed younger. But I quickly got addicted to racing and here I am, 62, and wearing running skirts (even if it shows the cellulite on my thighs.)

2009-2012

  • REALwomenmove women are Real inspiration.

Through reading running blogs, I have met some inspiring women.  Women who in their 60s are competing in triathlons and women who smile while going through their cancer treatments….

before the race

  • A REALwomenmove woman is proud of who she is.

Sometimes when I race, I win an award because I am the only one in my age group.  That’s ok.  I am still proud of my accomplishment.

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  • A REALwomenmove woman is confident.

When I first started running, I only ran 5ks. I did that for several years. Then when I had a serious health scare, I decided that life was short and I needed a challenge.  I decided to run a half marathon and I was confident that I could do it (despite my hubby’s fears.)

Half in Naples, Florida

  • A REALwomenmove woman do not judge other women.

Though my running years, I have run with many diverse groups of women – beginning runners, older runners, runners with young kids, slow runners, fast runners… No matter what, we are women and we are runners.  We support each other!!

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  • A REALwomenmove woman is comfortable in her own body.

My body has enabled to play tennis and even compete at state and national levels.

Now running has taken precedence over tennis and I have run over 100 races including 12 half marathons.

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  • A REALwomenmove woman accepts and loves herself as she is.

Yes, I am still uncoordinated and clumsy.  Hence, a broken ankle and a broken foot.  But I focus on my strengths and accept my weaknesses.

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  • To a REALwomenmove woman, an active life is important to her health and happiness.

Every time, I get injured, people ask “are you going to stop running now?”  I say “Hell, no!”

Register for The Biggest Loser RunWalk at www.biggestloser.com/runwalk

Being active is who I am.  It is important to my life. It makes me happy and it makes me feel healthy.

Be sure to drop by the Skirt Sports website to see how the Ambassadors move!

Happy Running! How do you move?

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261 Fearless

Each month, one of my responsibilities as a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain is to post on a particular topic.

This month it’s:

  • “261” and honoring the anniversary of Kathrine Switzer; the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon

or

  • Women conquering barriers

I wrote a post recently about women conquering barriers HERE – AGE being the barrier.

I can’t tell you how many times, I have heard women say:

  • I’m too old to run.
  • I used to run when I was younger…
  • I can’t run fast, I’m too old.
  • A half marathon at my age?
  • I don’t want to wreck my knees.
  • I don’t want to wind up needing a hip replaced.
  • Won’t you get arthritis?
  • Etc. etc etc

If you run, you know that none of this is true. There are so many runners at my age and older. Some are still fast and some are not.  It doesn’t matter. They are out there running and enjoying life.

I met Joan Benoit Samuelson several years ago.  She is so nice. She is still running marathons and she is still fast.

Kathrine Switzer is “fearless”ly still running at almost 70 years old.

You can read more about 261 Fearless on her site here.

So everyone be “FEARLESS” and run until …..

Don’t let your age be a barrier to fitness.

Happy Running!

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