Thursday, December 06, 2012
Yesterday I wrote about my innate sense of “good enough.” I should also add that I try to train so that I CAN hit another level when I need or want to. I refer to this pace as “escape the mugger” speed. There’s another gear in reserve. I know it’s there because occasionally I’ll take off with the field in a race and not realize until the 1 mile mark that it was a personal record mile. That’s not smart in a race, but in case of danger, that’s when to give it all you’ve got.
Growing up in Brooklyn I was taught early on to minimize my chances of being a victim.
I learned to:
Walk confidently and with purpose
Not walk close to buildings or parked cars
Avoid known dangerous areas
Be aware of my surroundings
Even now I never listen to music when walking/running outdoors.
My Mom told me to sing when walking home from the bus stop at night.
“Muggers never bother anyone acting STRANGE!” LOL
I don’t know if any of this was responsible, but fortunately, I never had to deal with a mugger. However, my daughter did. When in college and out running on a Sunday morning, a guy got out of a parked car and grabbed her. She fought him off and ran to the 7/11 for help, returned with the police and they caught the guy.
So along with my “good enough” reasonable pace, I also do interval training and strength training too. I know there’s no way to be 100% victim-proof, but I want to give myself every chance I can. I’m not naďve. I know I’m not faster and stronger than your average criminal, but maybe the extra effort needed can discourage him.
It’s the same mindset that makes me lock the deadbolt on my door. I can’t stop a determined burglar, but if I make his job more difficult, maybe he’ll decide it’s not worth the time and trouble.
In any case, I want to do what I can for my health and also for my own safety.
Be careful out there!
(Thank you to LOLATURTLE whose comment on yesterday’s blog entry prompted my topic this morning.)
Edit: There’s one more time I’ll go for that higher gear. If in the last tenth of a mile before the finish line, I see a woman who looks like she’s in my age group, then you’ll really see me kick it in. I really do like to win stuff.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
I want to be healthy, active and fit. I want to make my grandchildren proud, but how I feel at the end of the race, or workout or even at the end of the day matters to me too.
I certainly don’t want to feel like I’m about to drop dead. I once said that my goal is to be able to smile for the camera at the finish line.
So how hard do I push when I see the finish line ahead? I’ve been told that I don’t “leave it all out there.” When you see me happily running around after the race is over, talking to anyone who will listen to me, I understand where people get that idea.
I think I’m a competitive person. I want to do well. I even want to win stuff, but I have this innate sense of “good enough.”
My weight is “good enough” (right in the middle of recommended BMI).
My running pace is “good enough.” I’m not any slower than I was 25 years ago, so I guess that counts as improvement.
My weekly mileage is “good enough” (15-25 miles per week)
My run/walk ratio is “good enough. Even at my best, I walk 1 minute in every mile even though I could push through. I sip water, wipe my nose and check my heart rate (I am a senior citizen, you know). In Saturday’s 5K (32:15) I walked a total of 8 minutes. It’s a tough course.
Come to think of it, this attitude extends to other areas of my life as well.
When out and about and need to eat, I’ll choose Subway. It’s not perfect, but “good enough.”
When there’s absolutely nothing in the fridge to cook for dinner, I’ll choose a Healthy Choice steamer. Again, for me, “good enough”
I don’t beat myself up about lack of planning either although I will resolve to update that grocery list.
Probably this also explains why I never had or will have a perfect body. I never was or will be an adult champion athlete either although I was pretty good as a kid.
There’s only one problem with “good enough.” As society lowers its expectations of what’s possible to achieve in weight and level of fitness, am I just buying into the false self esteem?
I’ve written before about how vanity sizing in clothes, bigger dishes, bigger furniture and supersizing of portions have distorted what we think of as normal. A whole generation is growing up thinking that there’s something wrong with women who wear size 0-2-4. That’s what healthy weight women used to wear, but it was called sizes 8-10-12. That group includes Marilyn Monroe!
There are even “age graded” calculators for race times. Based on my age and gender my 32:15 translates to a 24:02. That makes me feel good, but doesn’t alter reality.
“Good enough” is absolutely fine with me as long as I don’t deny reality or define “good” as the lowest common denominator. Maybe I can be better than I am? I wish I had considered this 30 years ago.
I wrote the above post before reading the following article.
Scary title – “One Running Shoe in the Grave” Yet upon reading it carefully, I think this is one more sensational attempt to make me feel good about not putting in too much effort. The article contains relevant research about the VERY FITTEST OLDER ENDURANCE ATHLETES! 99.9% of us are NOT in that category. More than 30 years of sub 8 min/mile pace and more than 25 miles per week? Is anybody here in that group?
Often after weight loss women hear “you don’t want to be anorexic do you?” I hope the title of this article doesn’t become another excuse to justify sitting on the couch.
Monday, December 03, 2012
There may not be any great calorie burn, but it’s sure a strain on the muscles. It’s easier to walk or even run.
Saturday began with a 5K that went very well. I followed that with the town’s Christmas parade. DH & I got there early with chairs that we positioned just behind the curb where kids traditionally sit to catch the candy thrown from the floats.
I was all set for a relaxing time watching for our grandchildren in the parade when people standing behind us started smoking, lighting up one after another. I know it’s their right to do that, but it sure impacted my plans. So I discreetly as possible picked up my chair, put it back in the car and found a smoke-free place to stand. DH followed soon after. That’s not the 2.5 hours. At least there I could walk around as I tried for the best view I could get.
That evening was our choral society’s Christmas concert. First 1 hour of rehearsal standing on steps in concert position, ˝ hour rest and then 1.5 hours of the concert with only a 15 minute intermission to sit down. Oh, my aching back and shoulders. Even the music folder was getting heavy, but I kept singing. This is a great group and we sounded terrific!
I was still sore on Sunday morning but Sunday afternoon was another concert performance. At least there was no rehearsal, just another 1.5 hours of standing still holding my music folder.
Maybe my back was strained already from Thursday night’s fall? Or maybe it was a sign that I need some back strengthening exercises? In either case my first priority this morning is to make an appointment for a massage.
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