Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Did you know there is an ongoing surge in older runners participating in Marathons?
According to BostonGlobe.com there was a record surge in registration of older marathon runners in the 2012 Boston Marathon!
Over the past decade, the number of older runners participating in the Boston Marathon has more than quadrupled. A record 596 runners age 65 and older had registered for the 2012 race, 47 of whom are age 75 and older.
The oldest man to run in the past decade was Jerzy Kuszakiewicz, 87, of Granite Shoals, Texas, whose finishing time was an impressive 5:19:01 in 2002. That is one minute faster than the time it took this 66 year old to complete, in my 1st Marathon this past November.
Last year, more than 83 percent of the starters aged 65 and older finished the race.
By now, surely you have heard of Fauja Singh, the 101 year old man who recently completed the London Marathon. I mean, come on, 101 years old? Now there's a role model for ya.
Is it safe for social security recipient aged runners to compete in long distance events? I think so.
Most people 65 and older are more vulnerable to injuries such as stress fractures and tendinitis, because of the increased brittleness of bones, reduced elasticity of tendons, and atrophy of muscles. They also tend to have reduced aerobic capacity and heal slower than younger runners. That being said, I believe the benefits of running outweigh the risks. Careful and smart training will certainly reduce the incidence of injuries. This applies to runners of all ages.
Hopefully more mature runners are more aware of possibilities of injury simply by virtue of being on the planet a bit longer than their ripening counterparts, and will use this wisdom to train safely.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
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Sunday, December 23, 2012
We (DW, me and the dogs) are heading out later today to see the kids and grandkids for Christmas.
Yesterday, DW was cooking! She made a huge pan of lasagna. Baked two different kind of cookies. Okay, the kind that are premixed and you plop them on a baking sheet, but still. She baked a Christmas themed cake, too. With sprinkles on it. Sprinkles which will be applied later tonight by my youngest granddaughter, with the guidance of DW.
While she was at it, she used the leftovers from a baked chicken we had earlier in the week, and made a chicken soup. I love that chicken soup, loaded with egg noodles and fresh vegetables. This soup will be for dinner tonight with the family. The lasagna is for Christmas eve.
This way my daughter won't be bothered cooking. And DW loves to cook and prepare dinners for family. So, everybody wins.
Yesterday I had 3 chocolate chip cookies. Still warm from the oven. I was tasked with taking them off the sheet during cooling and placing them on a rack for further cooling. I couldn't resist. Okay, I could have resisted, but I rationalized that
1. It was the Christmas season and 2. I do believe in moderation not deprivation. (something I was reminded of while reading Brooklyn_Born's blog yesterday).
If ever there was a time of year to cheat a bit on food intake, probably Thanksgiving would be pretty high on the list. But, I did fairly well during that holiday, but the Christmas baking and cooking day reeled me in, and I caved.
I also ate several fruit slices, and had a few beers, 3 to be precise. This is what happens, You give in a little and then you throw caution to the wind. You've taken that first guilty step, and the rest of the trip is easy.
Oh no, I am not beating myself up. I just understand the process, and I went with it. I know who and how I am. I will be back on schedule soon enough. I exercise hard and eat right. 'Almost' all the time. I am in shape and feel good about myself. But, I am in full disclosure mode here, and want you to know - I think it's okay to indulge oneself. FROM TIME TIME, I put that in capitals. I don't want to imply indulgence is a good thing. Because I do not believe that. Indulgence will kill happiness.
So my friends, I might just drink another beer or two on Christmas eve, I will enjoy my wife's wonderful lasagna with buttered bread. A regular sized portion, no gluttony necessary. I think I've had enough cookies, though. See? Moderation!
I'm still an athlete in training. I will resume my 'sensible' diet immediately after our family visit.
All this typing to say " moderation in all things" is, in my opinion, not a bad way to live.
Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.
Monday, December 17, 2012
I was a really skinny kid. My best friend was fat. The kids next door were all solid muscle, and I noticed it.
Even then I was aware of my body. My chubby friend told me I was "lucky" to be so thin. I didn't feel so lucky.
That was the first time I observed skinny envy. As for me, I had a massive case of muscular envy.
I saw those ads on the back of the comic books. "Hey SKINNY, Yer ribs are showing'" where Charles Atlas offered his program to get you to bulk up so you could kick sand in the face of the bullying musclehead.
As a teenager, I looked like the skinny kid in the Charles Atlas ad.
I worked out with weights, half heartedly from time to time. Actually I was strong. I could always lift a lot of weight, and sometimes more than the bigger guys. But, I didn't look it. I was still skinny.
I got serious when I was around 25 years old. I developed a plan, and stuck with it. I've never been far from a workout since then. Sadly I never got big and muscular. But, I learned a lot. I learned about ectomorphs, endomorphs and mesomorphs, too.
I was not the 'classic' ectomorph as they are typically tall, but not always. Tall ectomorphs include guys like Clint Eastwood and Henry Fonda. But, Bruce Lee at 5' 7' is another fine example of an ectomorph. Ectomorphs are "hard gainers".
Then you have the muscular guys, Arnold, Lou Ferrigno, and Sly Stallone are classic mesomorphs. Lastly, the chubby guys are the endomorphs. You can name your own there.
Anyway, I continued to work out, now knowing I'd never look like Arnold, Sly, or Lou. I was a hard gainer for sure. But I kept at it.
Then - I got older, my waistline got wider. What?! I always had a 28" waist, why are my pants getting so tight?
I found myself actually thinking about how much I ate. And how many beers I drank. Curses. I am skinny and fat at the same time! I work out. Hard. And I am getting a waistline.
I kind of gave up on looking great in a bathing suit, and ate and drank what I wanted. I work out, I'm healthy, decent chest and biceps, screw the love handles, I gotta have my beer and treats.
So I kept on being ignoring my real health and soon enough, I got to be 170 lbs. That was my wake up call. I started dieting, and that didn't work, I would always gain it back. You chubbies know what I'm talking about.
Time passes, and I thought maybe I should start jogging. Nah. I couldn't see myself doing that. Those joggers are just a bunch of show offs, showing the world how fit they are. Screw that. But, Vic, you know the amount of calories you could burn? C'mon, give it a try.
And I did. Oh my God! This stuff is hard! It must work. Stubborn mode kicks in. I'm gonna learn to run. Lots of walking, and a little running, I am now running more than walking. One day - hey, I've run a half mile without stopping. I gradually increase. I time myself. 5K in 36 minutes. I'm so proud, I call my grandson Joe, a X-Country runner and all around jock. He congratulates me and says it's a great time for an old guy. Yeah, no respect, even my grandkids call me old.
These days Joe is always asking me how I'm doing and encourages me. He helped me get started with this running.
Y'all know the rest of the story. I found Spark People. A place to get some feedback - brag a little, commiserate a little, and get fantastic support no matter how poorly I ran, or how stupidly I trained, someone was always there to urge me on. Someone recently laughed when I mentioned how I get "lovebombed" just for running and being old. Well, sparkers lovebomb me continually. Thanks for that.
So, my friends, chubby or skinny, we all could use some help. Contrary to what you've always believed, being skinny isn't a bed of roses either. I got bullied a lot by being thin - we do get tired of being called skinny. Doesn't bother me now so much, but, it sure did back then.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Seems like old times again. Today was my first longish run since I did my first marathon in November. Took it easy for a while just to rest the old bones and make sure I was ready to do another. I had a half marathon last week as a training run as well.
So I did 15 miles this morning. Weather was kind of cool when I started out, about 60F and got warmer, 70F by the time I ended.
I started out really slowly, using the first mile as a warm up. Ran one of my usual routes, so nothing really cool happened in the beginning. It is getting to the point where I have a lot of people waving at me. In cars, or just out in their lawns puttering around. That's kind of cool. I think I'm a regular sight for them now.
I have tried a new section of town, where I am out in the open more on a more public road. Nice - different scenery, but it's out in the sun, and I don't care for that too much. I got pretty warm out there today. 70 degress doesn't seem very warm, but at mile 13 and 14 it is for me.
Oh, one interesting thing happened. I heard sirens coming at me, as I chugged up a hill. Couldn't see until the last moment that it was a Firetruck with the lights flashing. And right behind it was another small firetruck with Santa and Mrs. Claus! I yelled "Hey Santa!" and some kid (elf?) with them threw a handful of candy at me. I kept running, but there were some little tykes in a yard who thanked me when they saw the candy being thrown. I don't think Santa's helper would have seen those kids, so I am glad I yelled to them.
I didn't feel like this was a good run. I got tired soon, and never really got a second wind or anything. Just felt kind of blah, but that's fine. They can't all be special. And in retrospect, I have been pushing myself with the marathon and half marathon fairly close together, and then starting up training again fairly soon. Not being a youngster, I am walking that thin line hetween training hard and training too hard.
My strategy for this marathon is to not run for time again - I aint't that fast anyway. Just get out there and have a nice run. It is a very small venue, I think they had just under 300 marathoners and around 600 half marathoners last year.
Although this is a small marathon, the competition is very good. The track must be cleared by 6 hours. According to the records of past results I will surely be one of the slower runners and will probably be on my own a lot of the time. I think I'll like that. It's the way I train. All alone. Perhaps without crowd support it will feel like a training run and will slow me down. So, I've decided to just relax and enjoy it.
I get so much support from my family and friends! They all know that I've signed up for 2 more marathons already. This one and the Savannah Rock N Roll again, which will be my 3rd. I'll get my crowd support fix there! People just love to see old folks pushing themselves. So, my times don't matter -- I get love bombed just for running! Who knew?
I just wanted to lose a few pounds, which I have. But who knew I would get to this point. Run a marathon. Do another 3 months later? Never would have thought that possible. But, I think it is.
Thanks for reading and have a great day.
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