Running past 50: Getting better all the time…

I’ve been in a running slump for most of the past three months, partly because I had a couple of bouts (or one long bout) of the flu which really kicked my butt, but also because the winter doldrums seemed extra hard this year, and I just lost steam.

Today, I noticed that I had some mojo back, enjoyed my run a little bit more, cranked my playlist up a little higher, felt generally a little better. I made a decision this morning to do mano-a-mano battle with the lethargy that has taken up residence in my body-mind….I’ll run 5, and if possible, 6 times a week, come hell or high water. No more discussion in my head–this deal is signed.

I’ve also had some unexpected aches and pains that I’m contending with, but I chalk it up to reduced time stretching. So more attention to stretching, especially hamstrings, glutes.  I want to get back into hills, and they seem to bother my glutes.

Finally, a reader wrote me a month or so ago, but I neglected to respond (more lethargy.  Did I mention long, dark winter?)

I am very interested in how anybody my age manages to keep running.  I love to run fast, but I have to do a lot of slow jogging to warm up.  I don’t just let ‘er rip, because if I did I really wound rip up a tendon.  This has happened to me before, and you don’t want a torn tendon.  Especially in your knee.
Exercise is fun.  Dieting (and I mean all the time) is not.  When I was 45, I had to admit that I needed to lose 30 pounds, and I went on a diet, which was basically, eat a lot less food.  I managed to lose about a pound a week for about six months or so, and then it took another six months or so to get my digestion back to normal.  After I did that, keeping the weight off was not too bad.  It was just a matter of refusing to get sucked into eating too much, as I had all my life before I went on a diet.
Most articles on running will tell you you won’t lose weight running, but I don’t think that’s true.  It’s not the fastest route to losing weight–just eating less is, as Ian notes. But as your body gets older, and life runs the risk of becoming more sedentary, running can help in a big way towards keeping some semblance of good metabolism going.  Especially longer runs.  They don’t have to be fast, but long slow runs are a great way to maintain overall health, mental and otherwise.

6 responses to “Running past 50: Getting better all the time…

  1. this was v inspiring and i got down to something i too had been lethargic lazy over and did a no-deal deal with myself.
    so, thanks 😉

    • I just realized this was you Chris! shoulda realized…anyone not- lazy enough to use lethargic in a sentence was a tip-off. Run, Lola, Run!

  2. I have found that running is amazing for losing weight and maintenance. As a 53 year old runner, I have nothing to prove. Only enjoyment is the goal. I dream up new places to run, and then Imake it my goal to accomplish that. I never ran before, as I used to weigh over 100lbs more than I do now! Keep running, don’t let age determine your path!

    • right on. I’m still running, still growing my endurance, still having fun. What you say about having “nothing to prove” is so true, it’s an excellent kind of freedom to do something so good for you just for yourself–no external authority pushing you, it’s just you and the path. I really love that. thanks for leaving your thoughts!

      • Thanks for your post! I agree that it is an excellent kind of freedom… and, as an “older” runner, it’s a blessing to have the strength to get out and do what I love! I always gained my weight back because I never had a good plan. Since I found running, it has been just what I need to keep focused on healthy eating, etc. Cheers to running!

  3. Brava, Doree! I think I started running about the same time as you, 53 or 54, it sort of just “happened” during the long walks I used to take. Suddenly I just wanted to run, I had so much energy, so I started with little bursts of run during the walks. That was about 5 or 6 years ago and I never would have dreamed it would become as engrained in my day as it has. It’s just so naturally awesome. Cheers to running indeed!

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