Tag Archives: run

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.
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Running after 50: Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Yesterday I ran 6.4 miles, a new distance for me. It’s a flat course, and beautiful–uplifting, so there’s a part of it that’s just awesome. But I was truly beat by the last mile, truly and completely. 6.4 miles is far for a bod that just last spring thought: I don’t think I’ll ever be able to run a 5k. Yesterday I ran my own private 10k.

One of the reasons I got hooked on running was to manage the enormous changes that my body and mind were experiencing as a 50+ year old woman. I know men go through a lot of changes after 50, too–I watch the commercials on TV, so I get it. But really, the whole repro-system de-activating itself is amazing and has lots and lots of ramifications. (And mind you, once things settle down, most everyone I know feels better than they’ve felt in years, so there’s that definite bennie.)

I’d read a few places that exercise would help with some of the more cumbersome changes, like metabolism and energy. So I joined the gym–and guess what. It helps A LOT

been counting sheep most of my life

been counting sheep most of my life

Most recently I’ve found that it’s helping with a problem I’ve had most of my life, but which is way worse after 50: sleep. Suddenly, the last coupla months, I’m sleeping the sleep of the dead. I’ve never, not ever, slept this deeply before and I love it–I feel like I could slurp it up like a good meal. I wake as if I had taken a long vacation–I can’t describe how delicious this feels.