How Running Changes Over 45


Honestly, I don’t think much about aging. The small lines appearing around my eyes don’t bother me (and I’m terrified of needles so Botox is OUT), I’m OK with the few pounds I’ve gained, and I adore the wisdom and experience that have made me who I am today. I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s if you paid me.

And I didn’t START running until I was 35 so really, I’m still a relative baby when it comes to training and putting in miles. But the reality is, my body is  46, no matter how young my mind feels, and I am starting to wonder what to expect in the coming years. And I feel like I’m getting a preview.

We are almost to the end of the training cycle for the Savannah RnR and it’s been a blast – truly. The running has been fun and enjoyable and I’ve had very few aches and pains. Until the last week or so.

My 12 miler last week was truly spectacular – great weather, felt great, and I was very happy with my pace. Everything is on track and I feel very well prepared with the race just  2 weeks away.

But this week I have been hurting. Not a particular injury or anything, just overall soreness that’s not making me very happy. So I went on an internet search and found this article from Runner’s World very helpful. Turns out, what I’m experiencing is basically normal. Maybe not fun or enjoyable, but normal.

Here are the subtle changes I’m noticing as I’m getting further away from 20:

  • Longer recovery – not sure how to tackle this. I know Jeff Galloway only advises long runs every OTHER week when training and this may be a good option for me.
  • Speed is harder to achieve
  • It takes me a lot longer to warm up – 3 miles in I usually start to feel truly ready to run. Yes, you read that correctly, I don’t feel warmed up until I’ve run 3 miles. Seriously bizarre.
  • I’m a lot more stiff and sore first thing in the morning (this may be true even if I wasn’t running)

One thing I do know – it’s not an option to stop moving. I’ve seen too many people over a certain age stop moving because it hurt and that’s NOT the way to stay young in your body and your mind. I’ll just need to change and adapt, and it may take me longer to achieve the same results.

I also know I need to step up my cross training – strength and flexibility are the less enjoyable sisters that must exist along with my running if I’m going to keep this thing up! I need to swim more, and am seriously considering yoga which I’ve never, ever done. There are lots of options and I’m going to need to start taking advantage of the other things my body can do aside from running!

running and I are in a long term relationship, and just like any relationship, sometimes you have to change your approach as you grow and mature.

I’m excited for this next phase. And I kind of like the word “Master” for our age category. Makes us sound AWESOME.

Are you an over 45 runner? What changes have you noticed and how did you cope? Would love to hear from you in the comments below.


Work Life Balance and Finding My Middle Gear

For the first time in 20 years, I am not working 40 hours a week. Well, that’s not true, I was unemployed for a bit, but anyone who’s ever been unemployed knows that DOESN’T count.

And it’s not temporary. It’s for a couple of YEARS. The plan, Friends, is for me to step back a notch to be here for our boys until they graduate high school. This means I am now primarily responsible for the following things:

  • Feeding everyone (grocery shopping and meal prep)
  • Household upkeep and maintenance (and cleaning sort of – we still have our wonderful cleaning people every other week. I am a brat.)
  • Being here after school and being aware of all school related things (grades, events, etc)
  • Working 15 – 20 hours a week at my part time job

Now, I actually enjoy everything on that list. But here is the problem: for the last 20 years of being a working mom, I have done all these things. Just really, really quickly and not particularly well. And I’m having a hard time learning how to slow down and do them with intention and a somewhat normal pace.

Yes, I know, boo-hoo poor me you should start a telethon for your poor self . . . it’s ridiculous and I am incredibly grateful for this time. But the problem is I can’t seem to slow down!

It sort of reminds me of when my brother and sister moved out and it was just me, my mom and dad. My mom couldn’t stop cooking for 5 people. She tried! She really did! But every night we would sit down to at least 30% more food then we needed.

Efficiency and multi-tasking, it would seem, are tremendous gifts, as all working parents understand. Things MUST be done quickly, preferably while doing other things, and we must move through tasks as fast as we can because we don’t know what the next moment will hold. Someone might throw up. Someone might not show up for the big project at work. A pipe might burst and your basement will flood (wait, too soon to be funny).

We do this is at work and we do this at home. Heck, we even do it at Target and at the gas station (I once challenged myself to delete 30 emails while I filled up my tank. No lie.)

And now, when I can slow down and take my time with my tasks (and bonus, do them with more accuracy) I am having trouble finding my middle gear.

Today, I worked on my home office/creative space. I refuse to call it a craft space because I don’t like crafts. At least I think I don’t like crafts. Maybe I do but I’ve just been in too much of a hurry to do them? Note: go to Michael’s to figure out if I like crafts. Oh, and bonus, in this space I can do things like pay bills sitting down. After 2 decades of doing it while the water is boiling for the spaghetti, this will be new.fullsizeoutput_1a1a fullsizeoutput_1a1b

This space is mine and mine alone, and here I can write and pray and draw (even though I stink at it) and basically find my true north. Or something. Or maybe I’ll just find some of the 100s of books of forever stamps I’ve purchased over the years because I can’t remember if I have any more left. I will literally have stamps until my great-grand children die at the rate I’m going. Assuming I can find them all. The stamps not the great-grand children.

And, in true form, in 2 years when it’s time for me to get back into the workforce full time again, I will forget how to be the efficient woman who can work 45 hours a week and still not get kicked out on the street because she forgot to pay the mortgage. And we’ll do the cycle all over again.

In ever season . . . . .