Dopey Challenge - Week Ten
by, 11-10-2013 at 04:41 PM (1518 Views)
"No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged: each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about myself and others."
--Dr. George Sheehan
Last Saturday evening during the Wine & Dine Half Marathon, I had a young runner pass me about a mile from the finish. This isn't unusual in itself however her comment was. She said as she went by that I was her inspiration that night. When I asked why, she commented that she had used me as a rabbit and tried to keep up with me. I was selected because I looked like I was as old as her mom. And if she couldn't keep up with someone her mom's age, well, that was apparently a bad thing. Ouch...
I have to admit it; I’m a Masters Runner. In some races I’m actually considered a Grand Masters Runner. Frankly, there is nothing truly Grand about my running. I am neither fast nor gazelle-like. No, I’m not a master in terms of ability but in terms of age. A Masters Runner is one who is over the age of 40 while the Grand Masters are those over the age of 50. Yes, I am that old.
I had a birthday recently. It wasn’t a major birthday such as those that end in a zero but it was a birthday of note if only for the reason that I am now at the very end of my running age group band. In that five-year band, I’m in the ‘been there, done that’ category. The first couple of years in the age group, I was pretty consistent in my finish times. In 2012, in the middle of the age group band, I bumped up the running even more and took up Barre3 which helped with my muscle tone and flexibility. That year I shaved an average of 20 minutes off my half marathon finish times. In 2013 I’m watching my finish times slowly creep back up. Right now I’m trying to figure out if it’s an age thing or a too-much-sitting-on-butt-working-and-not-enough-time-out-running-thing. Frankly, I’m going with more of the later but as Dr. Sheenan pointed out, times will eventually get slower and slower as we age. On the positive side even the slower times are ok if only for the reason that I’m still able to run.
In late 2014 I will move up into the next age group band and with that move come benefits. I will be able to set a new PR for that age group. I’ll be the new kid again and with that designation comes new motivation to see what I can accomplish. As a metrics nerd, I’m always keeping statics on the races that I finish and it will be fun to track my progress in the new group and plot trends. I’m also looking to calm down the work situation even if that means taking a new role that is more local-based so I can get back into having a life outside of an office again. I'm counting the days until I can make it happen.
So this January as a Dopey Challenger, you’ll see me trotting along at a comfortable pace with the goal of finishing the events in good health and injury-free. Adding in the three Tinker Bell events the following weekend will be a challenge and a stretch but I can’t wait to give it a shot. I may be at the end of my age group band but maybe I can be an inspiration for another young runner to beat.
We’re in another step-back week so enjoy a shorter long run this weekend!
Here’s to continuing the journey to Dopey and to a successful training week.
Training Week Ten –
Monday November 11th – rest / Barre3
Tuesday November 12th– 4 miles / Upper-body strength training
Wednesday November 13th – 8 miles
Thursday November 14th – 4 miles
Friday November 15th – rest
Saturday November 16th – 11 miles (plan) – x-train (actual)
Sunday November 10th – x-train (plan) – 13.1 miles (actual – Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon)