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.