When Old Met Stupid: Pain Is A Ten Mile Race

I ran a ten-mile race on Saturday.

It’s Monday, and stuff still hurts. Not as much as it did Saturday night, and nowhere near as much as it did Sunday, but pain still exists.

This getting older stuff sucks. Years ago, NSAIDs, fluids, rest and heat/ice would have me up and about in forty-eight hours, like nothing happened. Now, the same treatments merely have me moving like a cross between the walking dead and the wandering wounded: slow, shuffling and with a seriously pained expression on my face.

It was not a good race, though I am proud to say that I did it faster than I did it five years ago. The cramps and disorientation hit me in the final mile, but by then, I knew the finish was close enough to walk. It took three quarts of fluid to get me even close to the edge of normal. The desire for food, never normally an issue for me, did not arrive for almost four hours. All that empty space was taken by liquids. And when I did eat, it wasn’t anything to be proud of: veggie burgers and a little cole slaw. Not the celebratory meal it should have been, since I think that’s the last time I will be attempting that particular running event.

I have to accept the fact that age + weight + stress + other life issues does not a good, fast, long-distance runner make. The weight is going down, but nothing changes the aging process. Stress is an up-and-down thing, and life issues in general come and go. Five and ten-kilometer events are certainly within range, but longer than 6.2 miles…been there, done those and actually do have the T-shirts. Which I never wear, by the way.  I don’t have much to show for my racing career except those shirts (well, OK, one first-place age-group medal from a few weeks ago. But I was one of only two in my category, which helped) so I treat them well. I keep them folded and in neat stacks on an open shelf in my closet. I look at them every day, to remind myself of

Some runs make you feel as stiff as, well...

how far I’ve come.

So, ten miles was not the smartest choice. I’ll live with that, and look forward to the shorter distances with less pain the next day, and the day after that. Oh, and I’ve already signed up for my next event, in three weeks. A ten kilometer event, with some elevation changes, no less. A different kind of challenge.

Photo courtesy of Nigel Homer/Creative Commons ©

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5 Comments

Filed under Aging, Running, Uncategorized

5 responses to “When Old Met Stupid: Pain Is A Ten Mile Race

  1. wherethedaytakesme

    That is one thing I want to do one day, not a full on race, but one of those run/walk, where I will be doing the walking.

    • nancymn

      I hated the idea of walking these things, because it seemed to take too long. Now I’m looking forward to the day when I’m old enough to use being old enough as an excuse to walk, rather than run. 🙂

  2. gramma

    So you don’t think it would be a good idea for me to take up running at age 71? Is that what you’re saying? It’s too late for me to expect to achieve a 4-minute mile? I should stick with gardening?

  3. I subject my aging body to similar pains–only mine come after an open-water swimming event. The great thing about getting older is that there gets to be less and less athletes in your age group. :o)

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