(in no particular order):
- Run with younger women; it makes you feel younger.
All of these women could be my daughters but when I am part of the group, I feel like an equal. We are runners and cheer each other on. Age doesn’t seem to matter.
- Run races, you will meet awesome people; some will even become your friends.
Mary asked me to take a photo after a race over a year ago and we became instant friends. We have entered races together…we have supported each other through injuries. We found out that we have a lot in common, but running is how we first met.
- Running gives you energy.
I am not a morning person. I struggle to get out of bed. I consider resetting the alarm clock every time. But I have never regretted running before work. Even after the worst runs, in the worst weather conditions, I always feel GOOD! The rest of the day always goes better. I have MORE energy on the days I run than on the ones I don’t.
- Register for races, it will keep you running.
Whenever I feel that I don’t want to go out for a run, I register for a race. Then I know that I MUST run. In the beginning, I was running all my races by myself. I still enjoyed the experience. Running races is motivating. Running races adds to your shirt collection. Running races gives you some cool gifts (water bottles, magnets, raffle prizes, etc.). Running races gets you a free breakfast. Running races gives you a goal for improving your pace. Running races gets you out of bed early on weekends. Running races is a good way to contribute to a charity! Running races introduces you to others with the same interest – running. Running races is addicting (at least for me, it is)!!
- You will get faster (to a point).
I finished my first 5K (April 2008) in around 37 minutes and I was thrilled. It took me all summer that year to break 30 minutes. Of course, the next year, I wanted to break 30 minutes all the time. Well, that didn’t happen but I found that if you run consistently, you will get faster. Now I break 30 minutes most of the time. I even have a PR of 27:30!! I know I can be faster but not much. Realistically, I will not run a 5k in 20 minutes!! I’m ok with that.
- Age Groups awards are even more possible.
So… most of the runners in a typical race are younger than you. The odds are that you have a better shot at an award. I am not real fast but I have won many age group awards. Of course, this doesn’t always happen! There are a lot of FAST runners in my age group. Look at Joan Benoit Samuelson!!!!
- You can run longer races.
I didn’t figure this one out right away. I thought that since I was older, I could NOT do a long distance. Then I decided that I should try it. Life is short and what did I have to lose. So I ran my first half marathon in January 2011 (on my wedding anniversary) and crossing the finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life. I ran my 2nd that April and I plan to continue running at least 1 or 2 a year. What about a full marathon?? That I’m not sure about. It’s not that I think I can’t. It’s that the training is so time-consuming.
- You may get injured and then you will start stretching.
When I was part of the No Boundaries program, they taught us to stretch before and after every run. On my own, did I follow this?? NO!!!!!!!! Why? Laziness…no time…I don’t need to, etc. Well, I had my first running injury and it SUCKED!!! I healed and now before I run, I stretch. During my run, I stretch. After my run, I stretch. I think stretching is important and especially if you are older. I hope I remember this and when I am un-injured, I continue to STRETCH!
I don’t care that I’m 59! I’m wearing those cute tank tops and short running skirts!! I always dress for the sport. I have tennis outfits. Golf outfits. Yoga outfits! Workout outfits! So of course, as soon as I started running, I accumulated running outfits. For me, I feel like I do better when I look better.
- Read Blogs (or maybe start your own.)
As soon as I started running, I started a blog. I thought it would keep me accountable to my running. I would post my goals and write about my experiences. I could also keep track of the races I had run and my mileage. However, blogging is so much more. I learn so much by reading other blogs. They are motivating, entertaining and part of my everyday life. I feel like some of the bloggers are my friends and I think they are. I have even met some (Felice, Suzy, Amanda, Andrea) at races.
- Run all year round not just when the weather is perfect.
I HATE THE COLD!! When I first started running, I quit in October when the weather got cold. In the spring, I started up running again and it took a while to get back to where I was. So the next year, I joined a gym and when it got cold, I ran on the treadmill. I DO NOT enjoy running on the treadmill!! But it kept me in shape during those cold months. This past winter, I decided to run outside no matter how cold. And it wasn’t bad. I definitely prefer it to the treadmill. I still use the treadmill when it is raining, a blizzard or very icy. But for the most part, I run outside all year long.
- Use a Garmin.
I was resistant at first. I didn’t think I needed one. Then I got a Nike plus which tracked my distance and time. I used it until this past January. But it really was not accurate because it is not a GPS. I used it to train for my first half and didn’t know the difference. Now that I have a Garmin, I don’t know how I lived without one. I know exactly how fast I am running at all times. I know my overall pace. I love to download my stats to the computer to see the whole picture. When did I run the fastest, the slowest, where were the hills, when did I stop, etc. I did run my 2nd half without it and felt lost the whole time. Now I never run or walk without it!
- Those who don’t run will think you’re awesome.
or as they say: Even if you’re slow, you’re faster than someone sitting on the couch. Other runners know that it is mind over matter. You can do it if you set your mind to it. Those who have never tried think that I am a super hero for running 13.1 in freezing rain. I know that I am not and they could do it too. I was like them at one time — Awestruck by anyone who could finish a 5k.
- JUST DO IT!
You won’t regret it!