Throw Back Thursday: 2012 Bear Chase 50K

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Me running the Bear Chase 50K in 2012.

Sometimes it’s good to remind yourself of an earlier time that you stepped out of your comfort zone, especially as you prepare to push yourself again. ūüôā

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“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 276

Welcome to “Run. Work. Live. Repeat.”

“The secret of change is to focus on all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” — Socrates

If you are receiving this post today it’s because I was successful in converting my own blog, “Boston or Botox” and its content to my new domain name and site, “Run. Work. Live. Repeat.” (http://www.RunWorkLiveRepeat.com)¬† Hurrah!

For a while now I’ve been feeling like it was time for me to make a change with my blog and then God and the universe prodded me to do so. My response was creating this new site and domain name.¬† I also signed up to run the Mt. Evans Ascent Race today (gulp!) — which bills itself as “America’s Highest Road Race.” It starts at 10,600 feet of elevation and finishes at Mt. Evans, 14,264 feet.

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Photo credit: Wikipedia.com

The way I see it — you either gotta embrace change or run really fast in the other direction from it if you don’t. Climbing Mt. Evans will push my limits, and isn’t that what life’s about anything — changes and pushing the envelope to new places?

I’ll have more to post in the coming days. Thanks for sticking with me as I completed this transition.

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“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage yesterday: 7; Mileage for 2014: 269

 

You’re never too old to run marathons or anything else … unless you think so — part II

20140310_163119Brownie, our dog, is greying a bit around her muzzle. She’s older than we thought.¬† Our vet said the Aussie rescue where we got her probably stretched the truth about how old she was so she would get adopted.¬† It’s not a huge surprise really.¬† Most people want puppies over adult dogs, but she almost didn’t get a second chance because of her age. What a shame that would have been. She’s a great dog.

These days I’m contemplating changing careers, and I can’t help but wonder, what if, just like Brownie, my age makes it harder for me to get a second chance?.I sure hope that doesn’t happen, but I think it’s a valid concern. I believe we live in an age-obsessed society that often values youth over wisdom or life experience. This worries me.

For the last several weeks I have been researching going back to school to become a teacher (getting a post-baccalaureate teaching license). Under the best of circumstances, if I were able to start school by the fall, it would take me a year and a half to two years to complete. However, it’s likely I will need some prerequisites before I can start. This would push back the time frame more.¬† In either case, if I take those paths, I will be almost 50 years old by the time I finish!

I can’t lie — the thought of starting over again at 50 (probably surrounded by everyone in their 20s) freaks me out!

Growing older, however, can be freaky.¬† It often feels like jumping into the deep end of a cold pool. The initial shock can be harsh, but once you get used to it, it’s really not so bad. The way I see it is … time will pass and I will get older no matter what I do so I might as well make the most of it. Why not¬† follow a dream?

Like mothering and parenting, and being a journalist and a writer (which also have been my calling), I believe teaching is a noble profession¬† — and one that society sometimes undervalues, but it’s still worth it in my eyes. This, too, is keeping me going.

As I ponder my options it helps that I am a runner and a marathoner and very much an optimist who believes in grace to guide me. Plus, most of the time I don’t feel someone who’s just a few years shy of an AARP card. (Hey, Michelle Obama just got hers!) ¬† I know my driver’s license says that I’m that old, but I honestly feel much younger. I¬† am healthy, and happy, and young at heart and spirit, especially when I run. Having qualified for and run the Boston Marathon showed me just how much I’m capable of and that I can do anything if I put my mind and heart in it.

Being surrounded by other runners also helps me. If there is one community I know that doesn’t shun people for their age, it’s runners. Most runners I know embrace those who take up the sport and don’t fit the mold.¬† That’s especially true when you see young runners reacting to older ones. When I see runners older than me, I think,¬† “Hey, look at him (or her) and how strong he (or she) is.¬† That’s how I want to be when I’m his (or her) age.”

And heck, with running and racing, growing older or “aging up” as it’s called when you move into an older bracket when you race can even work to your advantage if you stay healthy and strong and even just keep going. (The age groups tend to get smaller with less competition.)

Ultimately, I believe I will overcome any “ageism” I might encounter, but just like how I’ve trained myself for marathons, I want to be ready for whatever comes my way.

When we got Brownie a few years ago, all she wanted was a home and family, and somewhere she belonged.¬† In essence, I think we all want this in life no matter where we go or which path we choose.¬† It wasn’t too late for Brownie to find her new “home”. Hopefully, with a little patience and fortitude, it won’t be too late for me either.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” — C.S. LewisC.S. Lewi

I’m not too old to take on this; the journey begins today.

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“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up those shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 213
C.S. Lew

 

 

You’re not too old to run marathons … unless you think so

michelangeloChange is in the air. Can you feel it and not just the cold from the Polar Vortex?

Welcome to Boston or Botox in 2014. Yes, I am a little late on the New Year’s thing. So what?¬† I have always been a late-bloomer of sorts and that is precisely why I am asking this question today, “Are you ever to old to (Fill in the blank)?

The “blank” can be running a marathon, qualifying for Boston, finally writing that novel that lives inside of you so the rest of the world appreciate it, starting your own company, changing careers, or living out whatever your heart desires and your dreams may be.

To answer that question let me throw out another great quotation for you to ponder:¬† “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.” — Henry Ford.

Goal-setting requires that you get your mind in the game first, but how do you do that?  That, my friends, is where it often gets as dicey as the roads here in Colorado after another hard winter storm.
If you are like much of the country these days, we’ve had a lot of storms to weather this winter. Whew! Those storms can be tough and so can jump starting your goals and dreams.
Whether we like to admit it or not, all of us get preconceived notions when it comes to aging, our bodies and our goals — from what we read, magazines and news feeds, advertisements, from what our family and friends tell us, notions passed down to us from generation to generation, yadda, yadda, yadda, etc., etc.
In the end though it comes down to this: How do YOU define yourself and what you want?
A few years ago Runner’s World did a cover story on the popularity of qualifying for Boston and my blog got mentioned in it. I was interviewed for it but the editors choose to highlight some other people’s quotes. The questions they asked me centered around why qualifying for Boston attracted so many women in their 40s. My answer, distilled down, was that I think the 40s are a time that many of us choice to redefine ourselves. I know I did, first by pushing myself to become a marathoner and then qualifying for Boston. These were huge mental and physical accomplishments for me.
Since then I have been searching for what’s next and I’m I honing in on it. Right now I am looking at going back to graduate school and starting “my second act.”. My first was as a journalist and newspaper. I am not ready to reveal all the details yet but I am excited about the possibilities I’m considering and energized by them.
It’s definitely had me pondering the question, “Are you ever too old to shift gears and start something new?” (i.e, Fill in those “blanks.”)
I don’t think so.¬† If you look around you can find proof and here’s an example. Check out this Youtube video on Johanna Quaas, who, at 87, worlds the Guinness World Record of being the world’s oldest competitive gymnast.

The way I see it, if Johanna can turn cartwheels in her 80s (Check out how strong her core is — dang!), surely I can accomplish a few mental flips and changes in my 40s.

I am not too old and I refuse to buy into that message. How about you? What are your dreams? What, if anything, holds you back? I encourage you to go for it.

Johanna surely did. Rock on, Johanna!

In the coming days I’m going to be exploring this theme more on Boston or Botox.

Get your “brave,” folks. You”re not too old, unless you think you are.

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“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

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Mileage today: 5; Mileage for 2014: 123

Pheidippides’ message ….



This past week has included step-down training for me. I’ve run fewer miles and it’s given me some much needed recovery time from higher mileage running during the previous weeks.

Step-down weeks allow your body to rebuild so ideally you can avoid injury and come back stronger.

We marathon runners are either a driven or cursed lot, depending on your perspective and penchant for your endorphin highs, so step-down work is challenging for us.  

Coaches or trainers, however, will tell you recovery or step-down work is as important as base-building in a training program.

The following humorous essay titled “Marathon” shows what happens when you ignore your body and step-down training. It came to me via my friend Cindy, who gave me this during the height of my quest to achieve a Boston qualifier last year.

The author is Simon Rich and it was originally published in Free-Range Chickens (Random House, Copyright 2008).

“Marathon” is told from the point of view of the legendary originator of the modern marathon, Pheidippides.

I think I channeled Pheidippides when I ran the Colorado Marathon in 2009 and ended up in the medical tent. Thankfully I faired better than he did, but his story exemplifies why step-down weeks are important. 

Enjoy!

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Marathon

In 490 B.C., a Greek messenger named Pheidippides ran 26 miles, from Marathon to Athens, to bring the senate news of a battle. He died from exhaustion, but his memory lives on thanks to the “marathon,” a 26-mile foot race named in his honor. I thought it would be neat to bring Pheidippides to a modern-day marathon and talk to him about his awesome legacy.

Me: So, Pheidippides: What was it like to run the “first” marathon”?

Pheidippides: It was the worst experience of my life.

Me: How did that come about?

Pheidippides: My general gave the order. I begged him, “Please, don’t make me do this.” But he hardened his heart and told me, “You must.” And so I ran the distance, and it caused my death.

Me: How did you feel when you finally reached your destination?

Pheidippides: I was already on the brink of death when I entered the senate hall. I could actually feel my life slipping away. So I recited my simple message, and then, with my final breath, I prayed to the gods that no human being, be he Greek or Persian, would ever again have to experience so horrible an ordeal.

Me: Hey, here come the runners! Woooooh!

Pheidippides: Who are these people? Where are they going?

Me: From one end of New York to the other. It’s a 26-mile distance. Sound familiar?

Pheidippides: What message do they carry … and to whom?

Me: Oh, they’re not messengers.

Pheidippides: But then … who has forced them to do this?

Me:
No one. It’s like, you know, a way of testing yourself.

Pheidippides:
But surely, a general or a king has said to them, “You must do this. Do this or you will be killed.”

Me: No, they just signed up. Hey, look at that old guy with the beard! Pretty inspiring, huh? Still shuffling around after all these years.

Pheidippides:
We must rescue that man. We must save his life.

Me:
Oh, he knows what he’s doing. He probably runs this thing every year.

Pheidippides:
Is he … under a curse?

Me:
No.

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Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 9; Denver to Boston miles cursed  logged: 1118; Miles left to go: 652.