I saw the girls. Four of them in their late 30’s. Dressed to the nines in matching running gear. One girl was in lilac from head to toe. They looked amazing. Glowing. Of course they passed me, cruising around a 10 minute mile, chatting. No one out of breath.
At first I started to feel ashamed. Here I am, trying to recapture my fitness from 2012, slogging out 3 miles at a 12:30 pace. Some runners would laugh at that. (Not my friends, but you know.) I really had to go to the bathroom, but I was unwilling to stop, trying to break the obsessive habit of a one mile stop.
I looked down at my ragged clothes, the gear I’ve been running in for about 3 years. My cut off Dollar Store socks for arm sleeves, my youngest son’s hat when he was a little boy. And, I didn’t even want what they had. I wanted what I had. I continued to my goal, trying to just. not. stop.
I looked up, and as they were getting closer, they all smiled at me. And then I realized. I never ran when I was 30. Or 40. My first marathon was 50, and 6 of them later, I’m 56 years old. I accept the limitations of my age, but I work within them too. I know I have to take Vitamin D. I must have estrogen and progesterone, or no one will get out alive. My hair is gray under all this color. I am over my goal marathon weight by 11 pounds. It’s hard. But, it’s not unmanageable.
I forgot how good it feels to run, eat oatmeal with blueberries, have good coffee. Week 1 comes to a close tomorrow with a long run of 5 miles. It’s daunting, but it will happen.
I am 56. I’m re-training my body and my will. Carry on.