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“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now”

Saturday, June 22, 2013

So sang “The Byrds” in 1967 - Today is my birthday, my 66th!

It’s hard not to feel old.
Age group racing regularly puts me in the 60+ category even though younger people get 5 or 10 year groups. It’s like they’re telling me, “Sorry lady, there’s not many years left for your kind”

I’m the mother of TWO “Masters” runners (age 40+)
I’m the grandmother of 6 (ages 11-18)

Mass mailings want to sell me a “Hoveround” or insurance to take care of my “final expenses.”

No longer do real estate agents let me know about new offerings. Now I’m told about the new section opening in the local cemetery.

Yeah, I’m no spring chicken.

Still, I remember feeling much older. Five years ago at a local race I won a turkey not because I was fast but because I was the oldest woman running. I was only 61. True, it was December and 28 degrees with a light snow falling, but it was a bit of a wake up call.

People were all clapping for me as I crossed the finish line although my time of 34:20 was distressing to me. It was my personal worst and the turkey prize reinforced that. Perhaps I really was over the hill?
(Note that this is NOT intended as a put down to any particular speed. My personal best would be distressing to someone accustomed to running faster. We only compete against ourselves)

What could I do? I couldn’t turn back time, but perhaps I could slow it down a bit?
Maybe I could run more easily if I wasn’t dragging this extra 25 pounds around?
So began my weight loss/healthy eating journey. I realize that my story is different than most of those here on SP. However, regardless of how we began the journey, we’re all traveling the same road.

I’m 3 ½ years into maintenance now and my 5K times have ranged from 29 to 32. I know I can’t catch those youngsters ahead of me during a race, but maybe I can keep them in sight.

In the “I’m not making this up” department, here’s the photo of me trying to look happy in 2008. That’s my DD, sparker Hayburner, actually holding the turkey.

Here I am at the following year’s race - same bad weather, but 25 pounds lighter and 4 minutes faster.

No oldest woman turkey prize either. Now there’s only ONE turkey given to the oldest person running. That’s always a man.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Happy birthday, hooray for your existence! (and especially for feeling better than before! my dad likes to recount his story of how he felt better at his 50th birthday than he had at his 40th due to weight loss)
    1217 days ago
  • SUNSET09
    Happy, happy birthday to the woman who is 66 years young! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1218 days ago
    Just keep growing older and eventually, you'll get another turkey
    1218 days ago
    Congrats on getting your times down and for the sustained weight loss...... As a more "ahem seasoned runner"....I kind of enjoy when someone comes up to me and tells me I inspired them......

    ps it always surprises me how "old" some people a whole lot of years younger than me are!

    C U at the finish line !!!
    1218 days ago
    25 pounds less and 4 minutes faster in one year - AND letting the turkey go to a MAN are some serious things to brag about!

    I don't blame you for looking back fondly at the difference between the before "then" and "after" then. What a remarkable year - and congratulations for keeping it up several years afterwards! Here's to many more!
    1218 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/23/2013 5:49:48 PM
    You are a great inspiration! I am 67 and think I couldn't run if I had to get away from a snake, which I hate. You will push me to get off the chair and move. The first thing I need to do is get off this plateau and lose some more weight. Congratulations and hope you had a happy birthday.
    1219 days ago
    So glad I hopped on spark today...Happy Birthday!

    I love reading your blogs; they are always interesting, so real, and you are so sweet.

    I hope you had a great day!
    1219 days ago
    I have to say you look younger than your daughter. When your losing the weight and getting healthy, I believe that you can manage to look 10 to 20 years younger. Because as you get to where you want to be you "Beam" And your beaming in the pic with the DD.
    1219 days ago
    Age is a state of mind, as long as you don't state it, nobody minds! Happy Birthday my Friend! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1219 days ago
    emoticon I think your attitude is emoticon ! I admire you! It is funny how we "mature" as we age and yet many of us are in the best "shape" of our lives. Keep up the great running!!!
    1219 days ago
    I really do owe it to Sparks, and being able to get out and exercise more, when you commute 3 + hours a day, and sit at a desk another 8+ it is hard to come home and do anything but what is required to get back up the next morning and start over,

    back to HAPPY BIRTHDAY emoticon
    1219 days ago
    Happy, happy Birthday! I am so proud for you reading your blog - you have and are taking such good care of yourself. Have a wonderful day!
    1219 days ago
    Happy Birthday!!!! I'm 58 and know I'm "younger" than I was at 40 because I'm so much more active, have lot some weight, and take much better care of myself than back then. You've got many awesome years left!
    1219 days ago
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    Hope it has been a GREAT birthday! I'm nine years younger than you, and I don't get anywhere close to your times. You young 'un, you!
    1219 days ago
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    I wish I was able to run as fast as your current race times! My goal is to break 30 min. this year.

    1219 days ago
    Happy Birthday! This blog made me smile. At 60 I can feel the physical changes, but was just listening to the Byrds yesterday, and thinking about how 'in my mind' I am still young. Mental attitude is everything.
    1219 days ago
  • KANOE10
    emoticon Have a wonderful birthday! I will be turning 64 so I sympathize with you on the mailings. I get hearing aid adds also.

    I have more energy and am healthier than I was 5 years ago. I feel younger than i did when I was overweight.

    Keeping your weight off for 5 years is so inspirational to me. I love the way you decided to lose weight and increase your running speed.

    Have a great day, Spark Friend. I hope you had a good cup of coffee today.

    1220 days ago
    Happy birthday, kid! emoticon

    For the longest time, I'd thought that lyric was, bizarrely but somehow appealingly, "I'm younger then that now." "Than" makes sense! Wow, imagine that!
    1220 days ago
    Happy Birthday! emoticon

    Go on and be grateful for your YOUNG mature body, a gift you give yourself every day by taking care of it! Spark on! We're worth it!
    1220 days ago
    Happy birthday AND congratulations on 3 1/2 years of maintenance! I love reading your blogs!
    1220 days ago
    emoticon You're a huge source of inspiration to me! I love hearing about your running achievements. Keep moving!
    1220 days ago
  • DR1939
    1220 days ago
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And congrats on your achievements! You are inspirational!

    1220 days ago
  • LAC936
    emoticon from one Brooklyn born to another! Congratulations on the race.
    1220 days ago
    don't mess with us older folks .... we know where all the bodies are buried! LOL

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    1220 days ago
    Happy Birthday to you! You are awesome! Keep doing what you are doing and maybe you can win the turkey again! LOL! Be proud of it! You are an inspiration to many regardless of age.
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    1220 days ago
    Happy Birthday and congrats on the sustained weight loss.
    I often joke about being an old coot, or geezer, but actually I don't feel that way. Mostly I forget how old 66 years really is. It is kinda cool that youngsters think we're just oh so adorable for being out there racing at our advanced age, though. We do inspire those same youngsters..
    Keep racing against yourself, and continue to inspire, you are wonderful.
    1220 days ago
  • SNS1968
    1220 days ago
    Have a very Happy Birthday! May the sun be always in your face and the wind be at your back
    1220 days ago
    Happy birthday!!

    You are only as old as you feel. I've definitely "dropped a few years" over the past few years. I can't believe I'm 61 - I used to think that was really, really old.
    1220 days ago
    Wow, looks good!
    1220 days ago
    You are a very young 66, and I'm sure you out paced many younger than you!
    1220 days ago
    I just reached 60 a month ago and I really was struggling with that! This blog made me realize that you truly are only as old as you let yourself get! No more feeling sorry for myself because I am 60 - I will attempt to celebrate every single day instead!

    You go, girl!!

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    1220 days ago

    Comment edited on: 6/22/2013 7:16:32 AM
    emoticon Happy Birthday!! I can only say at 65 I'm probably the healthiest I've ever been in my life!! My biggest goal in life? To LIVE until I die!! emoticon
    1220 days ago
    who needs a turkey anyway! that time sounds excellent to me! My personal best after only 2 5Ks is 41.4 or something like that. I will turn 68 this summer - but hey, I'm still running/dancing/walking with no knee or hip issues - although I could stand to take off 10 pounds. It's sad that there aren't more people entering in the 60 and up categories. I am usually the only woman in my 60s...this year it was a Trader Joe's gift card. emoticon emoticon
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    1220 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Happy, happy birthday to you!

    emoticon emoticon
    1220 days ago
  • E1SPAG
    Happy Birthday! Good for you! You inspired me today - I will be 60 in a few months and want to be at my goal weight by then. I hope I can do as well as you. emoticon
    1220 days ago
    Just remember old age, experience and treachery will beat youthful enthusiasm every time.

    Make it a Great day!
    1220 days ago
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