Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Comparisons are Odious

I am trying to re-wrap my brain around my running and training - and age and weight. It is so hard to be reality based when thinking about any of these things.

OK, I KNOW I am 55 years old. I will be 56 in December. This is a hard and fast fact.

My weight? I am not disclosing this number. But I will tell you that I am 5'7" tall, and wear a size 12. It means I am moderately large, but I don't have to go to specialty stores to buy clothing and that means a lot to me.

I am training to run my second half-marathon. I am 4 and a half weeks out from the race. My first half-marathon was in May 2007.

At the age of 55, I ran my first half-marathon. Starting at a mile high and heading upwards in elevation through the whole race. I never posted my time because I felt it was inferior. But I looked at it again yesterday. And I am going to post it, dammit!
13. 1 miles
3 hours, 14 minutes, 43 seconds
1489 out of 1696 finishers
17 out of 41 women in the age group 55-59

I have decided that finishing in the top 50% of my age group is a good thing. I think even being a PART of that age group is a good thing. I think that even STARTING that race was a miracle. FINISHING it is only a bonus.

I am in relatively the same shape now that I was in for that race. I will be fine in the Denver Marathon. I am not trying to win anything. I am just interested in being part of the deal.

Coming to terms with your own aging is a kind of a tricky process. You don't want to lay down and decide you are too old to do anything, but you also don't want to be the person clearly in denial about where they are in life. I just want to be the best Mary I can be every single day.

Thanks for being here you bloggers, I think you are all wonderful! You inspire me every day.


The One and Only Tigger said...

Mary, lets get something strait, age is only a number that means nothing. You easily have many decades ahead of you, but what you do now will dictate what you are capable of doing then. You did great for your first 1/2 marathon. You should be prould that not only did you toe up to the starting line, you also got to see the finishline, I am certainly envious of you. Keep up the great work and remain an inspiration to me to keep on running. Do you have any salsa left?

Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Top 50%? How about top 40%, girl! Not only did you beat over 200 other people who finished, you beat a few million people who didn't even start. Simply putting on a race number makes you a winner...a great time or placing is just gravy...ummm...gravy. Sorry.

Just keep doing what you are doing and enjoy it. Don't worry about people who don't understand why you do it. These are the same people who are the reason they put a warning on a pack of matches that says "contents might catch fire." I'm not kidding, look it up. Some people are just that dumb.

As for age, that's just a state of mind.

Debbi said...

Yeah, what they said. Especially Chad, who pointed out that you beat a few million who didn't even start.

I was 55 when I ran my first half, as well. What a cool thing to do in mid-life! I'm still knocked out that I did it, still knocked out that I enjoyed it, still knocked out that I've already registered for three more races.

I'm not wasting a minute comparing myself to anyone else. You and I will never win one of these things, but we'll have a helluva good time every time we finish a race.

Michelle said...

Guess what, Mary? I think YOU are pretty great, too!!! :-)

I have yet to do my first HM. You are an inspiration to me!

Marcy said...

Mary are you crazy?!?!? That is AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!!! 17 out of 41 women in the age group 55-59 ?!? I could only hope to be that good when I'm your age!! I think you're A LOT better runner than you give yourself credit for :-)

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

I'm in the camp that believes you're in the top 5% at least. There are LOTS of folks who wouldn't even think a half-marathon, much less train for and finish one. Be proud of what you've done. I always thought a half-marathon was a big deal, but now that I've done one myself...I'm REALLY impressed that you want to do another. Not sure I want to...

I'm getting more and more comfortable with going my own speed, myself.

Adam said...

I sometimes think about my slow time, but then think about all the others that just sit on the couch.

Joe said...

Ditto everyone else!! You rock with that age group result, on an uphill cool!! Not to mention the gazillion people who don't even bother!!!

Enjoy the prep for the next HM. We're with you all the way!!

Wes said...

Ahhhhh... Makes sense now. That was the clicking sound I heard. The one that things make when it all comes together. Good for you Mary. Let's not forget that we are a community, and you are an important part of that. Oh, by the way, you and your times, they ROCK :-)

ws said...

I was thinking about this exact thing when I read Javamom's post yesterday. running seems to be totally personal and if you enjoy it, who cares what time you finish. and, just finishing your half marathon and wanting to go and do another is a huge accomplishment. doing that makes you the best Mary you can be...

J~mom said...

You totally rock Mary!!!!!! I love this post!! You are an inspiration for me!

Sue said...

Hi Mary, Agree with what everyone else says! You are streets ahead of those who never contemplate evening putting on a pair of running shoes!