• Runnin’ Down a Dream

    Posted by on October 21st, 2012 · Comments (8)

    I am still way too down after the Yankees ALCS showing to talk about baseball or the Bombers. Right now, as far as baseball goes, if it’s not my 8-year old’s travel team, I don’t care…

    But, I will talk about something else now.

    This morning, I ran a 5K race.

    For a lot of people, that’s not a big deal. But, for me, it’s somewhat interesting. And, here’s why:

    I never, ever, in my life, was a “runner.” It was just not my thing and I had no interest in it.

    But, once I got myself into very good shape, back in 2007 when I was 44-years old, I decided to give it a try.

    Back then, people were always telling me “Oh, you must be a runner” (based on the way that I looked).  And, it didn’t stop…as I kept hearing it for a few years.

    It started getting annoying to keep saying “no,” and, that drove me to hit the road and give running a try.

    It was in January of 2011 that I started the “The Couch-to-5K ® Running Plan.”  At that time, I was 48-years old.

    It was hard for me – but, again, I was running for the first time in my life at age forty-eight.

    I finished the “C25K” program in March of 2011.  Afterwards, I started running my own personal 5K’s – until I decided to run my first “real” race in November of that year (when I was 49-years old).

    Counting that first race, and the one today, I have now run seven 5K races in the last eleven months.  And, I usually finish well within the “Top 30%” of overall finishers and my average time in the races is 25 minutes and 24 seconds.

    I’ll turn fifty next month and I plan on continuing to run 5K races.  (I’m scheduled to run two more before I turn fifty.)  My goal is to get faster.  But, again, for a guy who never ran for 48 years, and who just started, I think I am doing pretty good.

    My kids asked me today “Why do you run?”  And, my answer to them was the obvious one: I want to improve on my cardiovascular health – just as I am always looking to improve my nutrition and strength, watching what I eat and going to the gym.

    What’s the point of sharing all this? Hey, if I can do it, starting at a pretty late age, anyone can do it. And, I offer that with the hope that it helps you – in case you were thinking about getting out there and starting running too.

    Comments on Runnin’ Down a Dream

    1. KPOcala
      October 22nd, 2012 | 1:45 am

      Steve thanks for the share, hopefully more of us old-timers can learn that indeed, it’s usually mind over matter, when it comes to getting into shape. Just be careful of the ‘runners’ high’, and wreck your joints. Please keep us posted on your progress, sometimes it’s more mind cleansing than even the Yankees.

    2. October 22nd, 2012 | 6:57 am

      @ KPOcala: It’s my pleasure to share, again, with the hope that it helps.

      FWIW, I have a friend who runs triathlons – and has done them for a long time. He think I actually am better off starting running this late…as it’s saved my knees years and years of wear and tear…

    3. nwyank
      October 22nd, 2012 | 10:33 am

      Steve – awesome, thanks for sharing. I love hearing your type of story.
      Been running for many years, done a few marathons and many shorter races. Now I’m trail running and enjoying the fresh air, softer tread, and variation.
      Running: the single best way to keep a base of fitness. Don’t be deterred by fear of wrecked knees, etc. Most recent studies show running is GOOD for joints. Sure you might get injured, but that’s true with all sports.
      Born To Run. Check it out of the library. A entertaining and educational read.
      Most of all, congratulations and keep up your pursuit. It will serve you well in many ways. Proud of your, brother!

    4. October 22nd, 2012 | 12:18 pm

      @ nwyank:
      Thanks! It’s always great to hear encouraging words from someone who is a serious runner, like you. I have no idea how someone does 13.1 much less 26.2.

      ANYONE who has done a marathon has my respect.

      And, I will check out that book!

    5. nwyank
      October 22nd, 2012 | 2:33 pm

      Steve – you can certainly do 13.1. Eat well, keep your weight down, follow a 3 month training program. Hard, yes, but doable.
      Full marathon is tough, no question. But you don’t need to think that far ahead unless it’s a personal goal of yours.
      5K’s are cool. You’ve already proven you can follow a plan and complete the event. Even if you never went further you get major credit from me.
      FWIW there’s nothing impressive about me. I’m right behind you in age, and am decidedly average in just about anything.
      Don’t laugh: there are many over 50 competitions, like the Huntsman World Senior Games every year in Utah. I’ll see you there in a few years!

    6. October 22nd, 2012 | 3:08 pm

      My biggest issue is pace.

      I’m usually around 25 minutes on my 5K’s. But, I know some people that run 5K’s in 35 minutes or longer. Recently, a friend just finished a 5K in 42 minutes.

      When I got home, I told my wife: He did a 5K in 42 minutes? I can WALK three miles in 40 minutes. How the heck did he “RUN” 3.1 miles in 42 minutes?

      I really don’t know how some people find that gear.

      I have two gears: My running speed and stop – and nothing in between. I need to find that gear below running speed that allows me to keep moving faster than walking (or stopping).

      But, that’s always been my issue in life – I’m either in full tilt or nothing at all.

    7. #15
      October 25th, 2012 | 9:00 am

      Steve,
      Late to the thread…

      I’m a recovering marathoner and current half marathoner. My wife and I will run our 4th consecutive Disney World 1/2′er in Jan. Got some work to do between now and then. Been waiting for the cooler weather to hit in Houston. I’ve always had a pretty thick frame and it’s never stopped me from running and enjoying it. My best Marthon was 4:00 flat ~ 20 years ago, and I ran 2:17 for the 1/2′er in Jan. 2012 in a very heavy crowd. Could have easily cut 10 minutes off if I had started with my pace-crowd rather than in the back with my wife and 15 year old daughter (her first!). Put me in the ~ 37th% of my 50-54 age bracket with a lot of slipping dipping and sliding.

      One thing… Don’t chase the clock too much. Sure, once in a while it’s good to push yourself and see where you stand, but I’ve watched too many runners get clock fever and end up hurting themselves. The right music can help you modulate your pace.

      I remember my first marathon very vividly and consider all of them right up their with my degrees in terms of accomplishments. You can find out a lot about yourself out there around 22-24 miles.

      As I was walking into the convention center after just finishing my second marathon at the 4:00 mark, they were right in the middle of the awards ceremony. Wrapped in a space blanket… I walked past the 5 foot 4 inch, 135 lbs guy with the winners trophy in his hand and thought to myself… “Okay Buddy, you’ve had nearly two hours to rest… I’ll wrestle you for that trophy right now!” Wouldn’t have taken long.

    8. October 25th, 2012 | 9:54 am

      @ #15:
      A 9-minute pace marathon? That’s impressive! And, I see your point. I’m actually afraid of what I would find out about myself at the 22 mile mark. I might need a rubber room after that one. Then again, it would be a shock if I ever tried 26.2 – since I just started doing 3.1

      I’ve always said, if I ever do 13.1, it would be at a fun place like Disney! Good luck in January!

      Never mind the five-four guy. It’s the guys who are like six-eight or taller and with four foot long legs that freak me out. There’s always one or two of them in my races. It just seems so unfair how much they eat up with one stride.

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