|Sweet little angel-baby, Savannah Grace at 2 weeks old|
No, I'm not "old". Even though I'm a Grandfather of two awesome little babies who call me Papa J (you will call me Jim), at 45 I'm a young Gramps, and still pretty spry! But it seems like ever since I turned 45 last December, it's been more of a struggle than ever before to stay at my desired running level. I put a lot of pressure on myself to reach certain running goals, and lately they have just been difficult to latch on to. I think a lot of it is that I've been much busier at work, plus it was a really long cold winter, combined with a lot of family issues - good and bad. But I remember feeling this same way when I turned 40. Not depressed about the age or anything - but rather, like someone flipped a switch and made it more and more difficult to maintain. Like there were about 12 extra years on my shoulders that came out of nowhere.
|Ryder Jackson ... he's a SUPERHERO!!!|
I obviously realize that with age, I'm going to start slowing down. I mean, we can't fight the calendar forever. But endurance sports seem to allow the athlete to maintain fitness and ability for much longer than other sports. I know some runners that still run at top speed into their 50's. So at this point, I think I've got 4-5 more years of PR ability in me, which is partially because I started recording race times at such a late age compared to some folks. As I age one things for sure ... the desire is still there! I often think to myself that if I would have had this drive and commitment when I was younger, I could have accomplished some pretty cool time related goals. But the wonderful thing about age is that hopefully we learn from our mistakes and train much smarter. So even though the body doesn't recover as quickly as it used to, I'm able to still get effective workouts in by training smarter.
I have about a week and half before my marathon training for the Pocatello Marathon begins in earnest. And then after that I'll be prepping for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I'll be training for my first 3:00 marathon this summer. And those are the only two races I have on the schedule at this point. So hopefully I can focus solely on them without too many distractions this summer. If I let it, the age thing can become a distraction, but I'm excited to begin training again, and get back in shape for some great fall races ... even if Papa J's legs are one year older.
... be great today!