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
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 ©