Friday, August 20, 2010

Not feeling old when you are having fun!

I recently completed 6 races in 9 days, which is a little bit unorthodox in training and racing circles, but I had fun. At the completion of the final 3 consecutive days of  racing, I did a track workout of 4 X 1 mile. I wasn't even sure what would happen at the start of the workout, but I kept feeling better as it progressed. Then I realized that this was just a bit more running  (0.3 miles) than a full marathon, so I decided to add up the times.

8/9 Mon 5k 20:08 "Mine Falls"
8/10Tues 5k 19:32 "Dynamic Duo" Lowell
8/12Thurs 5k 19:37 "Cigna-Elliot"
8/15 Sun 7 miles 47:12 "Falmouth Road Race"
8/16 Mon 5k 19:56 "Mine Falls"
8/17 Tues 5k 19:48 "Coaster Toss" Lowell
8/18 Wed Track 4X 1 mile Track 6:20/6:15/6:10/6:05

I did 26.5 miles of racing and track work over 10 days for a time of 2:51:07. I have run marathons faster than that (not recently, though). I guess I used to be able to do in one day, what now takes me 10 days to accomplish! That must be a true sign of the aging (and slowing down) process.

There was an interesting thread on Letsrun last week titled "Older runners: When did you start feeling old?" I didn't answer, but barring discussion of injuries and imbalances and their effect on performance, the last two years have been eye-opening. It is a lot harder to move like I expect to be able to move and I am not just referring to running. I do hope to start feeling younger again and am making progress, but it does take a lot of work.

The good news is that you can still have a great time running and racing, even if it never looks or sounds that way. This week's Tuesday night 5k race in Lowell was called the "Coaster Toss." Ted Tyler took a huge amount of pictures at the one mile point of the race. If you look, everyone is smiling and having a good time. Why? For the simple reason that everyone was carrying a coaster. At this point in the race you had to throw it into one of three buckets. If you got it in you would get a prize at the awards ceremony. Give a runner something different and fun to do and everyone has a good time. Maybe that is why it is called the "Good Times" series. I was holding mine in my left hand and went to toss it about 10 feet to the barrel. It went about 10 inches and crashed to the ground. I ended up laughing, just like everyone else who missed and a lot missed. Only 8 runners out of 261 were "athletic" enough to get the coaster in the barrel. And I guess that is why we are all runners!

Post throw- I think that is mine on the ground next to the path.

Trying not to get hit- well maybe mine is the one a little further along on the ground. Still, it was an embarrassing throw.

But, at least I got a chuckle out of it!

The end of the race and back to a runner's grimace. But really, racing is fun, even if it doesn't always show on our faces!

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