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Speaking of, I was listening to "Only a Game," when they were discussing this study about older runners. A lovely thing to hear on the cusp of my 42nd birthday, let me tell you. Blend that with the knowledge that my dad, a runner from his 20s, had had a heart attack despite being in fantastic shape.
After I got over my initial panic and despair, I reminded myself that these are runners who go too fast (ha ha!), too long (ha ha!), and have been running for many years (ha ha ha!). I also reminded myself that, despite being obese for decades now, my resting heart rate and blood pressure are amazingly low (which has annoyed more than a few doctors).
But is this the end of my long-term marathon dreams?
Here's the plan, as I see it:
- I will set myself the tentative goal to run at least one marathon before I am 50. And if that's the only marathon I ever run, I'm cool with that. If I get to 50 and have only done a half marathon, that's okay too. At this point, a 10K would make me happy.
- Not right now, but in a couple years it might be time to change up sports anyhow. The focus of the study seemed to be on running. What about cycling? That will require a little more investment, but at least I have good sources and the jerseys are cute. Or maybe martial arts? Now that I have tried running with some success, my mind blooms with possibilities.
- As with anything, I have to listen to my body and talk with my doctor. I am an individual, not a study group. In a lot of ways, this is like when we decided to finally get going with our family; according to studies, I was past my prime, there were physical circumstances that made it more difficult, and we should have given up. But after some effort, we have a child and a pretty awesome one at that. If I only have one kid and only run one marathon in my life, I am far from failure. I'm far from failure now.
But getting back to actual reality, I have two races this coming week--a virtual one on the 5th and a in-person on the 8th. Both are 5Ks, of course, so no danger there (she said in her sarcastic tone). Right now I'm concentrating on making decent time (maybe under 43 minutes each?) and figuring out what to wear in this continually fluctuating climate.