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.