News flash:  Ms. V is 51 years old.

Now, I know what you’re thinking:  “Hey, didn’t you like milk this totally back in February?  Why on May 17th have you suddenly revealed your age…?”

Well, it’s like this.  I train and run primarily via the social networking of Twitter and this blog.  I talk to a LOT of people during the day about running, training, injuries, etc.  And, last week, I was re-reading the LA Marathon posts from March.  I found myself crying, and reliving it AGAIN.  Enough already.  really.

I didn’t even realize what I have been subconsciously doing:  Comparing myself to the fitness levels of people generally in their 30s.  I did NOT even realize this.  Because I ran Bay to Breakers this weekend, and it was hard at first, and I was in an 11 min. mile zone, and I was starting to beat myself up.  Then came Hayes Hill, and it was long, and I didn’t have time for negative self talk.  Just needed to get over the thing.  After mile 3, it was generally downhill and gloriously misty.  I focused not on the negative, but foot turnover, and getting in more footstrikes on the ball of my foot instead of the heel.  Oh, and watching naked runners.  That was fun too.

I chatted with my coach online last week, and he said “Call me”.  We started talking about leaving the past behind, and that this training cycle I was going to have a clean slate.  Bringing nothing but experience from the past.  So, around Mile 5, I started to think…Clean Slate…Clean Slate….

I finished with about a 1:30 minute PR from the first time I did a 12K in the spring of 2008.  I thought it would be so much better.  SO MUCH.  And, while people are generally happy with a PR, I wanted a 10 MINUTE PR.  I wasn’t feeling all excited or anything, but just ever so slightly felt the running bug come back.  When I got home, I saw the results…

VERY happy with this placement.

Top 11.9% 50-59 yr olds

Top 19.4% female

Top 28.8% finishers overall

When I saw these results, I started realizing:  I’m 51.  Look at this.  Top 12%?  That means that 88% of all the people in that age group finished AFTER me.  That 80% of the women finished AFTER me.  That 71% of EVERYONE finished AFTER me. 

And, while I’m not 30, I am starting to appreciate and embrace my experience, and yes…age.

  • I am a living textbook to my students.
  • I remember watching the Man Land on the Moon in 1969.  Live.
  • I have been in my profession almost 30 years, and love that I’m not defined by it.
  • I can share motivation with my kids because I have BEEN MOTIVATED to change.
  • I know what it’s like to be married, living with, divorced.  I like not being a child.
  • I have run 2 marathons.  At age 50. 

This may not be a newsflash to any of you…but I’m 51 years old…and I am getting better every day.

8 thoughts on “I’m 51. Who knew?

  1. i can only hope i am as awesome as you are when i’m 51.

    and btw – thanks for sweeping the pads this weekend!

  2. Ditto Naomi’s comment (minus the sweeping pad thing–I don’t know what that’s about).

    You rock, Ms V!

  3. Yeah IRONWOMAN!!!! I read this post and your prior one-I get down on myself too about not being “fast” but realize most of the runners I know are in their 30’s and I am not, I’ll be turning 45 this year and work my butt off. I may never be fast, hell, you are probably faster than me…but look-we are out there doing it with smiles on our face!!! HELL YES!!!

    Cant wait to finally meet you-hopefully it’s not at MCM but before!

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