Fifty is fabulous, or so they tell me. Training for AR50 and subsequently running AR50 did a great job of keeping my mind off of actually turning fifty. I remember when I was in my twenties and fifty seemed so old. It is basically half of your existence if you are that lucky. I even received an AARP membership card in the mail just in time to remind me that yes indeed, I was fifty.
However, I think there is still a lot to learn on the road to turning fifty. I really need to be more patient with myself and try not to be as hard on myself as I tend to be. I have to remember that I am not the same runner as I was in my thirties. Which is something my body reminds myself of all of the time. I have put my body through a lot and I am in awe of what it has done and I am constantly trying to figure out what it can still do. However, I do find myself getting frustrated with what I currently can’t make my body accomplish, which is running consistently at my previous road pace.
My next big race is CIM, which is the California International Marathon. This will be my 7th CIM, so I know it well enough. However, I’ve spent so many miles on the trails these last two years, along with training for Way Too Cool and AR50, that I have to say my transition from the trails back to the road has been rough. It’s been difficult getting my road pace back and because of that, I feel that my overall enthusiasm for the road has diminished. I asked my Facebook friends if they felt the trails made them a slower road runner. Some people said yes, others no. But a lot of them just said the trails made them stronger. Well, that wasn’t answering my question. I feel the trails have made me slower on the road.
So my quest to repair my relationship with the roads again started with coming to terms with my current road pace. Getting my mind on the same level with what my body is currently capable of doing was the first step. I neèded to treat every run as a training run for CIM and just time on my feet. I also had to get rid of the race mentality. The only person I should be racing against is myself and not comparing myself to others, especially when they are 15-20 years younger than me. I just did a 20 mile race yesterday and had a much tougher time than I expected. But that’s okay, it just tells me that I still have a lot of work to do before CIM. Plus, it was good for me mentally and to get twenty miles on my feet. See, I’m being positive and trying to learn from it instead of looking at just the negative.
CIM is one month away and that scares me a little, which is not a bad thing. One good aspect is that I finally have a road shoe that I like after returning two pairs. I also know I can finish CIM, even if I have to slog it out like I did last year. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that though. However, I’ve decided my only goal this year is to complete it without experiencing my debilitating leg cramps that have haunted me in my previous marathons. They started at mile 16 last year and I hope to alleviate them completely this year. I am experimenting with drinking pickle juice while on the road, which worked beautifully for me on the trails. I carried it with me for Way Too Cool and AR50 and it seemed to alleviate my leg cramps. I also sipped it during my twenty mile race and didn’t experience any cramping. So this CIM I am not going to concentrate on my time, but just try and enjoy the journey and what this fifty year old runner can learn from it. It will be CIM or bust!!
Until next time……..