Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Before and After

The week before my 69th Birthday I participated in the Texas Senior Games 5K Roadrace. I really hadn’t planned to write about my accomplishments in that race. Although the results would show that I improved from a 10th place finish last year to 7th this year, I was actually 2 minutes slower. The reason for my place showing improvement occured because there were less participants in my age group and also less overall participants.

A few days after the race I discovered the reason for the reduction of the number of runners. This year’s event was not a qualifying race for the National Senior Games and hence, less participants.  The serious athletics didn't come.

One possible reason for my slower pace was that my niece couldn’t come to run with me as a pacesetter. I ran alone with many runners ahead of me and a few behind me. Typical man, blame your own failings on others.  And I went too fast at the start, slowed down in the middle and lost my step near the end.  When I train on the threadmill I start slow and then increase speed gradually.

There are two more plausible reasons for my slower race speed. One reason is that I am carrying another 15 pounds of me, right there at my waistline. Although I lost a considerable amount of weight two years ago I have managed to gain part of it back. Blame it on cruises, holidays, parties and general loss of will power. A second factor is I am a year older. I had hoped that I would do better at this year’s Senior Games; perhaps that was a false hope. At least I thought I wouldn’t lose time. But I was smiling at the finish line; I was either happy to finish or pleased with seeing my wife at the finish line.

All this rambling leads to thoughts about before and after.

Before the Race

Before I was fast, now I am slow. Not true, I was never fast. Now I am just slower.

Before I was light and now I am heavy. False also, I haven’t been light since I left the army at 23. Now I am not as heavy as a few years ago, which is still a small positive.

Before I was athletic, now I am a sloth. False again, I never was athletic; I was merely active. Fortunately I remain active and my plans, hopes and aspiration are to remain active.  But my training in the few weeks prior to the race was inconsistent.

I think I will continue participating in 5K Roadraces where I find them. Either charity or just for fun walks will do. Perhaps I can lose some weight, find a pacesetter, buy better shoes, or join a training group to motivate me.

One can hope to improve, but to improve one must implement a plan of action.

After the Race

Any thoughts? See you Sunday in the park for a walk/shuffle.  That's my plan for now.

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  1. I will be there Sunday with you Dad. And Saturday, I may get new shoes.

    So proud of what you are doing and you motivate me.

  2. I think it's admirable that you are still running races. I have never been a runner, but I do like to walk. That said, though, I would never participate in any sort of event. Makes me cringe to think about it. So, you get big kudos for doing this.

  3. I think that you are great - for doing this. Thus you are an inspiration to me. I just joined a gym and I am actually going - big step forward!

    1. Inspiration is a limited quality. If it results in physical perspiration or mental activity then it is has achieved a worthwhile end.

      A word of advice about the gym: keep your activities simple in the beginning. Don't get overwhelmed with trainers, machines, clasess, time, speed or repetitions. I did once and it didn't last, when I returned it was with the basics. But do start.