Tag Archives: older runner

Running Past 50…and without injury ;-)

Ida Keeling, 95 yo–Fastest running nonagenarian: kick it sista!

So, I’ve got another birthday coming next week which will officially make me an old lady…sorta. It’s all in one’s mind, right?  I’m going surfing for my birthday, so I’m guessing my mind is unawares of the milestone before me.

I got to thinking the other day during a quick morning run that I’ve been running now for about six years, steadily. Some days more, some days less.  Some days hills, some days flat waterfront.  All days involve an attuned awareness that I ain’t no spring chick, and if I want to run again tomorrow, I need to pay attention to my path today.  I’ve got a weird chronic thing with my feet, it’s not fasciitis, and as bad as it gets, it’s always back to normal the next day, but that’s about all.  So, pushing a little, paying attention, pacing…it’s works for me.

I don’t know many runners who haven’t had injuries of one kind or another.  I know a lot of runners that have stopped running because of injuries.  So, on the eve of another milestone,  I just want put it out there: First, do no harm and Second, live to run another day.  Anyone else out there balancing runs with the goal of running injury-free same time next year?  I’m sort of tempting fate by even writing this, and if I do injure myself, it will be an interesting path to deal and heal, yes?

 

Nice article on running, injuries, sport, and those funny shoes that look like lizard feet

Good article in the New Yorker that reviews the short, brilliant careers of a couple of marathoners, and the propensity for injury in the sport.  Born to Run is an easy read that skewers modern running shoe companies, and perhaps for very good reason.  Heel strike runners sustain more injuries than any other style…but as the article points out, the complexity of running, the way you hold your head, swing your arms, clench or relax your hands…on and on…all these things impact your body in a run.

Take a look at the Running Life blog post here, good quick read.

Runnus Interuptus

running yogini

Last summer we did a very ambitious overhaul of our garage and living spaces…re-org and clean out, renovation and remodel.  It was hugely successful and we so enjoy the many fruits of our many labors.  But….

The old bod took a beating in the process.  We had an improbable time-frame to deal with, and big big plans…I was so exhausted physically that running took a back seat.  Everything did, actually, at least for a while.

It took a long time to recover from that and some things–a weird ping in my shoulder, that little curve in my back never came back like it was–were just not right thereafter.

Recently I’ve had the insight to return to yoga…I used to be hard core about yoga until running slowly took precedence, finally beating it out entirely as my preferred activity.  Mistake, that.  I was so stiff after that summer project–and it just never seemed to get much better.

Running and yoga sometimes don’t work  so well together.  Sometimes those muscles you’re stretching like so much warm taffy actually work better when they’re a little less flexible, or little more taut. But I felt like the magic of yoga was likely going to be the only thing to get me back in my body, so I began practicing daily. It felt so good, it hurt like hell.  At the same time I’ve cut down my runs to about 25 minutes–good little runs, some hills, interesting paths–but not too strenuous.

When I get back, I do 25 to 50 minutes of yoga to follow on the run.  It’s working–that’s the big news.  I’m actually starting to feel right in my body again, and am going to continue this approach for a month.  I don’t run every day, usually every other day, but I do do yoga everyday.

It’s good.  Sometimes the same old routine just doesn’t cut it, and you need to reboot, as it were.  I’ll be back to my old running routine by Spring, I think,  but in the meantime, yoga is working its magic.

Running after 50: this is some crazy shit.

So, I’ve written before about my trials and tribulations with heel pain and such. I’ve written about the question of shoes, no shoes–Chi Running and the fantastic you’ve-got-to-read-this book Born to Run. I tried barefoot running and was amazed to feel the difference, it really grabbed my attention–but basically barefoot running is out of the question where I live.  It just didn’t seem a reasonable idea.

I have been struggling with heel lifts prescribed by a podiatrist, stretches, running shorter, running on soft ground…all kinds of things, with pretty underwhelming results. I was  And then a friend dropped by a month ago or so wearing what looked like old fashion tennis shoes.  Low heel, minimal support or construction–very simple.  I asked him about it and he said he loved them–wore them for traveling because they’re light and could run in them as well.

not the prettiest shoe, but simple, easy, lightweight, low impact

The simplicity of this shoe got me to thinking. And thinking about the premise of Born to Run–that our over-architected shoes are damaging our feet and making running a lot harder than it really is.   So, I researched the retro shoes that are coming back on the market and gave one pair a shot.  I ordered Asics Tigers and when I got them, I was dubious.

There was practically nothing to them–they were flimsy, lightweight, they almost felt too cheap–how could I run in these?  So I didn’t.  I just lived in them for a few days, and I have to say: my feet were happier than they’ve been in a long time.  So it was time to take them on the road…

I did short runs at first, and found that even though I felt a little vulnerable in them, I enjoyed my runs more.  I stayed with short runs for a couple of weeks–low hills, mostly flat, easy stuff.  And then last week, for some reason, I decided it was time to test these puppies out–I was feeling good in them.  My feet felt strong, balance was good, I felt light on my feet.  So I did one of my more ambitious routes, one I rarely do anymore but I like.  I ran for 45 minutes, doing hills and trails, and felt like I could have gone further.  A few days later, I ran for an hour and the next day, my feet, though tired, did not feel damaged.  In fact, considering the work out, I think they felt pretty good.

In the meantime, I heard McDougall on NPR talking about Born to Run.  At one point the interviewer asks: so really, what’s the secret.  Are shoes (or no shoes) that important?  Yes, he says, it’s not magic.  We really were born to run.  Our feet are amazing.  Our feet adjust to our needs, our over-architechted shoes are doing serious damage.  (check out his blog here)

I’ve never run an hour like this; I actually felt like I could have put in another chunk of time.  But the more I thought about it, the more it sort of made sense: I grew up wearing flip-flops.  I never wore these over-architected tennis shoes until I was in my 50’s.  I don’t have structural problems, my stride and strike are both neutral.  I have duck feet–meaning thin heel, big toe box–that do better when I’m striking on the ball rather than the heel…so, if the shoe is made to strike the heel, it’s going to hurt, right?  Right.

Well, the experiment continues…All I can say is that I’m amazed.  Running has taken on a whole new dimension for me.  Oh, and I forgot to mention–I wore my regular Adidas shoes the other day and could barely finish 20 minutes.  I had shooting pains in my heels and felt like I was running with big boxes on my feet–it was insane.  So, I’ll post again in a month and update with news.  Later gators.

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.

Running past 50: 3 great points

I received a comment the other day (from Reva) on a Running past 50 post I wrote a while back, and really appreciated it so thought I’d share it with you all:

I am a 57 year old female and have been running, on the treadmill for about 9 months. The last time I ran seriously was in high school, many moons ago. I began running because of health related issues: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, over-weight not wanting to be medicated the rest of my life. Plus I wanted to live to dance at my grandson’s weddings.
I run on the average of 2-3 miles at least 5 days a week, and guess what? I am beginning to find myself addicted to running. One of my solstice goals this year is to run a half marathon. I’m on the verge of believing I can do it. Recently I have begun running on the treadmill barefoot and found my endurance improve and I do not need to hold onto the sides of the treadmill, not once. Within the next few weeks I will be taking a step outdoors and try trail running with my son. (I am blessed to have 40 acres behind my property that is wild) I am looking forward to more adventure, and better scenery than stored boxes in the garage.
I have also found that doing a little yoga, sun salutations, help in the ache department. One thing I have noticed since I started running is my hips do not hurt half as much, in fact I have stopped taking the ibuprofen. Part of the running barefoot is to see if I can eliminate the pain by ibuprofen on the balls of my feet instead of the heels. It’s working. I’m glad to hear others in my age category are learning to enjoy the movement of our bodies in the form of running. Thanks for a great blog.
You go, girl!  I thought of you yesterday during my run and your goal of a half-M actually inspired a little spurt of energy in me, thanks!  I tend to think of Jan/Feb as the “slack tide” time of year–that in-between period, not the bluster and blow of Autumn, not the urgent push of Spring, just a
quiet time; drawing some energy from Reva’s goal was a good thing.
There were three things about this comment that I found of real interest:
  1. Take back your power: sometimes this notion gets a little overblown and we think it needs to mean something huge.  Not so.  In this case, the 57 yo woman looked at the trends in her life–high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a little more weight than she wanted–and she decided to make some changes.  That’s it right there: take an inventory and adjust as needed.  That’s how you take your power back, and it’s enlivening, and it’s difficult, and it’s one of the few things worth doing on a continual basis.  Whether it’s running, or acting on that impulse to dance or learn to cook or take up photography, or even just change how you get to work, really, these things light up your brain.
  2. Start small and build from there: seems to me the best way to guarantee you won’t go as far as you can is to go too fast too soon. You’ll likely hurt yourself, set the bar too high and disappoint yourself, judge yourself too harshly…the list goes on.  A better path would be one where you set out to explore, just investigate what this running is all about.  Keep it short and simple, be aware, enjoy yourself and let your body do the rest. After all, this is a new thing for the old bod to adjust to–give it time, and it will not disappoint.
  3. Partner with your body: Reva has done several things of real interest in her exploration of running.  She’s kicked off her shoes and run barefoot!  She’s incorporating yoga, she’s moving from the treadmill to trails (huge difference!), she’s paying close attention to how her body responds.  Personally, I’d love to know how she came to the barefoot idea as I worked with that this summer and have found significant benefits to running barefoot, as well as letting my tennis shoes break down and the muscles in my feet build up.  But the point is: work with your body.  Those articles in Runner’s World mag, everything they tell you at the local running store, the stuff you find in blogs and whatever—all good and well, but bottom line, experiment and investigate with your own body–you’ll know soon enough what works, what doesn’t, what’s worth short-term discomfort for long-term gain, etc.
This past year marks my second year of running consistently outside; I didn’t realize that until I read my journal summary of 2008–when I quit the gym treadmill for streets, parks, trails, sidewalks. This past year also marks some significant changes in how I run and think about running:
  • it’s now an embedded part of my life.  Some days I resist it, most days it’s a high point of the day.
  • I believe as the title of the book suggests that we really are Born to Run.
  • Hills are where it’s at.  That surprises and pleases me since I live in a very hilly part of town, and I previously shunned them for an easier flat run.
  • Since hills are where it’s at, I also tend to take walk breaks–very short, but still…I used to judge myself about that, but now I just enjoy the hills and take a breather as needed.
  • I run a little slower, but I run a lot longer.  My body seems to like this a lot.

I’ve received a number of comments from women who are taking up running later in life and want to say: Thanks!  I love hearing about your adventures, tips and tricks.  Happy New Year and see you out on the trails!

Happy New Year!

Running past 50: still going….

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….

Yesterday I went for a quick run that ended up lasting an hour.  It’s not like I haven’t run for an hour before, but I’ve only run for an hour or more when I was trying to reach a goal.  Yesterday….ahh, yesterday I just kept running because it felt so damn good, because the day was brilliant bright and chilly, because within running distance of my house I have two parks with excellent running trails ready and waiting, because the music on my shuffle was superb….it just all came together for an awsome run that just kept on dishing up great views, good trails, and winter endorphins.

Towards the end of the run, as I headed down to the path along the waterfront, the view revealed itself: sun blazing, glinting on the water, the snow on the Olympics bright and beautiful, it all took my breath away to a degree I nearly started to cry–it was all so perfectly unexpected.

Now today I look out the window and see the sun starting to burn the fog off the Salish Sea and think: wow, it would be so cool to have that run again!

But it doesn’t work that way, and I know it.  Every time I’ve tried to recreate a particularly fabulous run, or surf experience, or dinner date, or just about anything that peaks in a surprisingly wonderful way, it backfires.  It just doesn’t work.  Who knows all the ways and reasons something comes together in every way now and then?

So, I’ll probably head out today, and will probably start on the same route, and will probably have a secret wish in the back of my head that today’s run will be as good as yesterday’s, but bottom line: just run.  That’s all.  And be grateful every step for good health and a lucky life.

Oh and one last thing: after several months working on my stride, following the tips in Born to Run, the last week I’ve really started to notice a change: I have long stretches of running like a kid, back straight with weight forward on the mid to upper part of my feet, arms loose and pumping.  And guess what, even after a long run, the next day my heels are not bothering me so much at all.

Also, I’ve let my tennis shoes break down and taken the little wedge out of the heel…this summer I practiced running barefoot, doing laps around the soccer field in the park.  I have to believe it’s working: the coordinating muscles in my feet are super strong, taking some of the stress off my heels!

Born to Run is on my top 10 list of books this year, for sure.

Running after 50: working within limits

Sure, I’d like to think I have no limits, it’s exhilarating. It reminds me of the Fool card in the tarot deck. Don’t get me wrong: the Fool is a good card. Mostly. It indicates the potential of doing things that are ill advised but coming out richer for it–richer in experience, knowledge, wisdom and sometimes just plain richer, you never know. So understand: the Fool is a good thing.

The Fool: it's a good thing with the potential for bad.

The Fool: it's a good thing with the potential for trouble.

See–the guy is just about to step off the cliff. Not so good, even the dog is yapping “Look where you step, you…Fool!” But the idea is no venture, no gain.

So, why do I bring this up? I’m not in a limitless place in my running. I made a decision a little while ago to postpone my half marathon plans for a while because stand-up paddle season is here, as is the annual garden-and-ibuprofin two month festival and what I’m finding is I just can’t cram it all in…my poor bod complains too mightily, especially these fasciitis prone feet. And as I’ve said before: I’m in this for the long haul, which means taking care now so I can keep running for a long time. Boring, I know.

But it’s pure math. Training for the half-m would take more than the 18 to 22 miles I run weekly now.  It would take recovery time between runs, if I do it right.  And it’s right in that space between runs where things get messed up.  If the weather is gorgeous, I’m going out on that board, come hell or high water.  And I’ve already experienced what happens when I board and run back to back.

A dear friend of mine was surprised to hear I had forestalled my half-m plans, and not happily so, I could tell. It made me feel a little bad for a while. Also, I just came out of a couple of weeks of feeling bad, post-decision. Turns out a lofty goal for a newbie runner such as a half-m offers is a very motivating thing–gives you this energized identity, this get-up-and-get-out-there motivation and conversation piece that builds energy at every turn. It’s a rush. Exhilarating.

Well, I’ve come out of that funk, and am enjoying my running as much as ever, if not more. The pressure is off, the funk is gone, it’s just me out there running, trying new routes, digging my tunes, loving the blustery weather–being a body in motion. The really great thing that the half-m push did was get me to 7 mile runs and beyond. I love and look forward to them on the weekend. Adding hills and new routes during the week keeps me working on my speed, the weekend runs keep my mind geared towards a longer run and all that it entails.

I still have it in the back of my mind to do a half-m next January or February, leaving me plenty of time for recovery before the paddle surfing season comes around.

Running after 50: what I learned in the Big Snow of ’08

Yes, you can run in snow and ice.  I’ve even read an article by a runner in Colorado who puts sheet metal 1/2″ screws in the soles of his running shoes to create “studded shoes” for ice running.  Yes, it can all be done and probably is done on a daily basis all over the frozen sections of the world.

And I learned some stuff in the Big Snow of Seattle ’08.

I learned that no sweat in sub-freezing temps is a very good thing.  Sweat will become icy almost immediately, and that’s bad for muscles (and generally the whole system, doh.)

I learned that shorter strides is a good thing, that planting your foot firmly and squarely will help keep you from sliding unexpectedly. Of course paying close attention is also a pretty good idea.

I learned that yes, you really can sort of “burn” your throat if you are mouth breathing and the temps are super chilly and you’re not accustomed to those temps.

And on a related note: I learned that running in freakin cold ass temps while still recovering from a cold is a really bad idea.  Short term, you’ll feel great to have those endorphins coursing through your bod, and maybe your bod will even like the whole thing for a while.  Maybe just keep your runs short, and day on/day off for a while.  It’s an idea.

Instead, I ran while still recovering and ran nearly every day after, or took long long brisk walk/runs.  Upshot: I got sick again, and the second bout was way worse than the first.   I’m taking the hint: you really do have to think differently about things when it’s frigid cold, snowy and icy outside.  A different strategy, some care to the old bod goes a long way towards keeping one healthy.

Today, after six days inside nursing my cold, I’m going to go for a shorty short run which will undoubtedly have me wheezing and coughing, but I feel pretty strong, have some good energy and have promised myself to take it easy out there.  It’s all good.

Running in Snow & Bummin’ on Jobs

One of the great things about running outside (vs. in the gym on a treadmill) is that every day is different.  Every single day, there’s something new–a slightly different path, the weather, the angle of the sun, the birds, the other people out running…all different every day.  I love that.

Goldeneye Duck during snow shower

Goldeneye Duck during snow shower

So the past two days I’ve run in Lincoln Park here in West Seattle, even though we’ve got enough snow to make me think we were transported to some Mid-western town with mountains during the night.  Yesterday I ran along the beach which was icy and not relaxing even though it was staggeringly beautiful, then back up into the park proper where I learned that you can gallop full out in dry snow without worrying about slipping–it was a real rush!

Today I stayed up in the park since I knew the beach trail would be way too slippery to be enjoyable.  The snow in the park had a crunchy crust but was fine for running and I found that even in 20 degree weather, you can work up a sweat and feel that happy all-over warm that I associate with x-country skiing.  I’ve never run in the snow before, so this is a big new adventure for me.

On the Jobs front: Steve Jobs, that is.  There’s so much talk lately since it was announced that Jobs wouldn’t be giving the keynote at Macworld in Jan that his perceived poor health was going in the unwelcome direction of Worse. I don’t know about it, I can only imagine it must be hard to grapple with that kind of media attention to personal matters, but as (Fake Steve Jobs) Daniel Lyons discusses in this Newsweek article, Apple is Jobs and Jobs is Apple.  The fanatical fan base is as bound up with the mystique of Steve Jobs as with Apple’s to-die-for product line (count me in here).

I can’t imagine Apple without Steve Jobs, and as a mac user and Jobs admirer, I don’t want to.  Still, as Lyons points out, Jobs is not just a genius of mythical proportions: he’s human after all.

Running after 50: what was I thinking?

Last Saturday I ran 6.8 miles.  This was after a 6.4 miles run 4 days earlier, and previous to that by a a few days, a 6.2 mile run–a big leap from previous average of 3-3.5 miles, which I’d been doing about a week prior.  What’s wrong with this picture?

Okay, so since late June, I’ve upped my 6x a week to  3-3.5 miles more or less.  That was up from 2-2.5 5 times a week, so that was already a step up in the distance department, and it’s also about 18-20 miles a week.

Suddenly, after reading the Murakami autobio on running, I sort of got it into my head that it would be cool to see if I could run 6 miles, like he did every day at the beginning of his book.  He’s 59, and his book is a sort of chronicle of thoughts on running, and the practice of running itself.  When he decided to do the NY marathon, he changed from 6 miles a day to 10 miles a day and more.

The ease of adding more miles was enticing to me: if 3 miles feels this good, imagine what 6 miles must feel like!

So I tried 6 miles.  I actually ran 6.2, my own private 10K and felt really excited to learn that 1) I’d lived to tell the tale, 2) I felt pretty okay, all things considered.  As noted above, a few days later I went further, and a few days after that, further still.  At the same time, I tried to keep up my regular runs.

This last run on Saturday, while easier in some ways than the previous one, was also harder in another way.  My body really hurt later, and I was really tired (imagine!).  That same night, my body was still feeling really strange–can’t quite describe, just uncomfortable–it felt like there was excess energy coursing through me at the same time that I was really tired.

The next day I did a little research online and discovered this amazing fact that seemed to be shared by most everyone: if you are training to increase your distance, do so by 10% of your previous weekly run, for two weeks or more if needed, and then again, 10% x 2 weeks.

What I had unwittingly done was increase my miles by 100% over the course of 3 weeks.  I’m lucky I didn’t do damage, although my chronically sore heels are little more chronic now.  I do long stretches of yoga and stuff after my runs, even short ones, so I think the tone of my muscles is pretty good.

So, I’ve asked the ego-and-excitement driven me to step back for a while and let the more practical driven me to take the reins for a while.  It’s not easy, surprisingly.  Today I ran 3.4 miles and it didn’t feel like enough.  I threw some hills in for good measure and last minute, even though I’d planned to limit myself to 3 miles only, I threw in a couple more paths through the park.  Just couldn’t go back feeling this un-exercised.

I’m sworn to start over now and do it better, since I’m also sworn to stay as healthy and injury free as long as possible and to keep running.  It’s all good.

Running after 50: distance (part deux)

After running my farthest distance yet just the other day (6.25 miles), I’ve had plenty of opportunity to think about one’s own ideas about distance.

This last spring when I first started to increase my endurance and strength, I did so after my nephew suggested I start using the program described in Body for Life–one thing in particular: the running for 20 minutes routine, every third day.  What was revolutionary for me: alternating weight training and running made the days I ran even more important.  And shooting for a really good 20 minute run, with hills and flats, increased my own expectations of what I could do–I loved it.

Pretty soon, however, 20 mins wasn’t enough. Just about the time I pushed the time up to 25 minutes, I decided to try my first 5K.  The deal was, I switched from time to distance, but time running was always the necessary foundation and now, when I’ve pushed myself too hard and I feel on the edge of perhaps injuring myself, I switch back to time.

Distance feels better than time, for some reason.  Saying I ran 3.5 miles just seems like more of an accomplishment than saying I ran 32 minutes.

But knowing–and using the knowledge–that I can and should modulate between the two sometimes is a great thing to learn.  The other day, after running 6.25 miles, I was sore and tired.  The next day, my chronically sore heels were whimpering for some TLC.  Even though I was sort of excited by the thought of another big run, it was time to ease back–way back.  And build up again.  I ran for 25 minutes, an easy jog thru the park, and felt great–light on my feet and happy.

It’s important to pay close attention to this body that ain’t no spring chick anymore.  Working with it will help it to go the distance.

Running after 50: for the newbies amongst us

I’ve spent the last few years on this blog focused on environmental changes I can make by myself (My Life with Car series) here in my own home and my own life.

Oddly, among the changes my own environmental experiments have wrought, I count my three year old passion/torture: running.

For one year, I tracked my driving habits in order to reduce needless driving, use my bike more, use mass transit, combine tasks, what have you.  While lots and lots of changes–big and small–came out of that year, one change was completely unexpected: my addiction to running.

I’ve never been a runner–not ever.  And some would say, with my paltry collection of 5K bib numbers, I’m still not a runner (my neighbor has indicated that a 5K is not a race, as she can do it in her sleep.  Oh well.).  I recall back in high school going through the motions required for 100 yard dash tests and such, and not enjoying one second of it.

But that’s not to say I’m not athletic at all–I’ve been an avid bike rider for a long time, commuting to work, touring, stuff like that. And then there’s hiking, river rafting…I’m not a total couch potato, but running just has never, ever been on the agenda.

So how did this start?  I used to belong to a gym, and used to drive to the gym.  I really enjoyed the gym but over-use taught me the value of using different muscle sets.  One day I tried the treadmill and was astonished to find I liked the sensation of running–slowly, for sure, but still.

I kept at it and a 10-15 min run on the treadmill was soon part of my normal workout.  About this time, I realized there was something uncomfortably ironic about driving my car to workout at a gym when I live a block from a gorgeous park on the Puget Sound with great running trails.  One day I tried running down along the beach front–hello.  Running on ground is REALLY different from running on a treadmill.  But I liked it! I felt great afterwards.

And I was totally pleased with myself that even though I was over 50, I was sort of kind of picking up this new sport that seemed to be the realm of the long and lean (definitely not me.) This was three years ago.

running in the rain

running in the rain

After about a year of splitting between outdoor runs and the gym, my attendance at the gym had really started to decline. I made the decision earlier this year to cancel my gym membership and focus solely on running outdoors.  This was huge–especially since I view the Seattle outdoors during 6 months of the year to be uninhabitable.  But I did it.

This past weekend I decided that this journey which has honest-to-god changed my life was worth sharing with others who are over 50 and learning to run, or thinking about it, or curious or whatever.  So begins a new chapter in this blog: Learning to run after 50.