Every beat of my heart


Twenty years ago, a co-worker of my husband shared his interesting (but completely unscientific) theory of human physiology.  He believed that every heart was created with a finite number of beats.  When you use all the heartbeats up, that was it. Poof, goodbye.  You went over the rainbow post haste.

He used his theory to justify why he didn’t believe in any sort of exercise or physical activity. The faster your heart beat, the more of that finite store of heartbeats were used up. He believed those heartbeats were precious and needed to be conserved.

I wonder how that worked out for him?

No doubt he would have been horrified by me on Sunday.  I probably used up a good three months worth of heartbeats in six hours.  Yikes!

AGMA ran her second full marathon in her life.  26.2 miles.  That’s a lot of heartbeats right there.

What was I thinking?

Like my first 26.2 earlier this year, I was not fast.  “Not fast” being an understatement. As I wrote last February, I am turtle-like when I run long distances.  Or like the little engine that could, just chugging along.  I think I can, I think I can, I know I can, I know I can.  Maybe.

Little has changed since last February.

People still think I’m a bit off for starting to run marathons after 60.  To be honest, I still think I’m a lot off.

But, as you know, aging gracefully is not part of the plan…

My ass.

I’m careful. I’ve learned that there are certain physiological limitations of my aging body that demand some modifications and cautions when I run.  That’s why I do interval running.  Run-walk-run.

My muscles don’t have the capacity to work as hard or recover as quickly as when I was thirty.  I guess.  I was never really that physically active when I was younger.  A couple of 5K’s, exercise classes at the YMCA a la “feel the burn” Jane Fonda, racquetball and some tennis, but they were all short lived.

I kind of regret that…

But on the plus side, I didn’t really screw up my body by being uber aggressive at any particular sport or trying to out-downward dog the lady next to me.  Which is probably why I’m doing okay at running +60.  I’m a late bloomer.

Part of the “problem” is that AGMA’s drinking the Kool-aid of the Growing Bolder Facebook page.  Growing bOLDER. Get it?  Cute right?

Growing Bolder’s mantra is hope, inspiration, & possibility; that growing older doesn’t mean that you have to stop dreaming of new possiblities.  We can pick up old dreams or passions that were set aside during the busy years of work and family, or find new dreams to pursue.

And I promise, you don’t have to run a marathon to grow bolder. Or even a half-marathon.  Not everybody’s THAT crazy…  But you can still find new adventures to live no matter what limitations you might have.

Like The Golden Girls, we can still get into plenty of trouble.  Oh, oh – I want to be Blanche!

So two days after my run, I admit I’m still a bit sore. But not as much as you might expect.  Again, AGMA’s all about being careful…  Possibly excessively so.  I’ve got a lot of German in me.

And I’m experiencing a bit of the low-down, ain’t-got-nuttin’-to-train-for, post-marathon blues.  *sigh*

But I’m pretty sure it’ll all pass.

Until it does, I’ll just dream of using up even more heartbeats maybe zip-lining or kayaking.  Or maybe I’ll learn Italian or help people to register to vote or start delivering meals on wheels.

Or dream really, really big…

Running a sub-six hour marathon.


46 thoughts on “Every beat of my heart

    • Thanks!

      But I really don’t like swimming (high school swim class trauma) and I can’t ride a bike so the tri’s wouldn’t work out so well! Ha!

      And I am here to tell you that if you do interval running and WANT to run (that’s really the key), you can go any distance you want and live to tell the tale! It’s just that you have to have the passion. Or be nuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am having trouble wrapping my head around this. You run. On purpose?!? Wow. Didn’t know you were into extreme sports. I’ve thought about running a marathon, but the thought of how much the ER visit and subsequent hospital stay would cost keeps me from the starting line.

    Now I did participate in a marathon once. Yup, I was the guy at the water table handing out cups.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah – that’s what I keep saying on Sunday after I crossed the finish line as in “Wow – I’ll never do THAT again!” But it’s like childbirth – with the passing of time you forget the pain and only remember how much “fun” it is having a cute little baby! Kind of… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I couldn’t get over you running a marathon. A couple years ago, I decided to learn to run again and did the interval training to work up to 3k. When I did, it felt like a huge accomplishment so I immediately gave it up and went back to walking which is much easier. Way to go on completing the marathon! Again… WOW! Your blog is just great!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Walking is great!! And with my interval running, but bet I don’t go much faster than you walk. I think just as long as you’re out there doing something, it’s wonderful!

        And thank you for your kind comment about AGMA!! I hope you’ll come visit from time to time! 🙂


  2. So impressive are you. I love this post. And that you ran your second marathon…who cares how long it took ??? I wrecked my lower extremities early on. Stopped jogging in my 30’s due to knee/ankle/leg injuries. So, now I walk. Even at a slower pace, I can’t imagine marathon lengths.

    I saw a group of seniors gathered outside of a local gym, chatting and laughing and toweling off…I was so encouraged. Maybe the baby boomers are the generation that will not go down without a fight. ☺☺☺

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that – the generation that won’t go down without a fight! You could use that as a tagline for something…

      It’s amazing how many folks my age and older I know who are active! I think we saw with our parents how damaging being sedentary can be. And do whatever you can do because it’s certainly better than just sitting on your kiester (spelling on that??)

      Sometimes it’s really hard to get out there – like tonight… I’m supposed to go running but I don’t feel like it. Long day and I hate when it gets dark early. But I have a friend I carpool with and a running group who helps me be accountable. Without them, I’d still be struggling to walk a mile!

      Thanks for your comment and the wonderful thought of not going gently into the night! My ass! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Keep fighting that good fight, AGMA, so right about what we witnessed from our parents’ generation. I think the advent of TV, which almost seemed mandatory in the 50’s and 60’s was a bit to blame. They say that sedentary is as harmful as smoking . ☺☺

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So cool!! Who cares the time…. you crossed the finish line still standing (I hope) – Awesome. I actually married a runner and proclaimed in our pre-nuuptual “I shall not run”. (Oh, and I get everything if we divorce, except the dog… he gets the dog. Still, married for 23 years and going strong.) But, even though running is not on my possibilities list, I do have stand-up-paddleboard…. and I want to get good enough for a 10 mile round-trip to one of the outer islands where we have our cottage…. over open water. Right now, I fall off in slight ripples! Ahh, goals. Zip-lining is on my bucket list too! Let me know when you want to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m ready! Let’s zip!!

      I’m not great in the water (that’s why I will never do a triathlon. Oh yeah and I still haven’t taught myself how to ride a bike. Another reason…) but I’d be willing to give the stand-up-paddle board a go. It actually looks like fun!

      Congrats on 23 years without having to lose your dog! That’s an old dog there… We are 38 years into this thing, but if it doesn’t work out, I decided that he’ll get the cats. I’ll just get a new set of kittens and do cute videos of them for YouTube!


  4. This was the first blog-entry I read and it was exciting 🙂 And a marathon really is more than outstanding considering my 68 yo father cant even walk properly anymore – Im still working at passing the 6000metre-border and Im 18 so… my respect. I like when people don´t just say they are too old to be active. Sooo YOU ROCK! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for stopping by and reading AGMA! And welcome to WordPress!!

      I have an 81 year old guy in my running group who has had to “cut back” to only doing half-marathons! I bet if your dad started walking a bit more and doing some flexibility exercises, he’d feel better. Some folks can’t really do physical activities because of injuries or health related conditions, but if he’s just sedentary, it’s not too late for him to get out there and start slowly. You can be his cheerleader!

      Thanks again and keep at it!

      Liked by 1 person

      • well we try to motivate him but he just says he´s too old and that itd not be good for his bones and everything…
        But Ill keep trying 🙂 hes not very comfortable with the status quo either I think. Thanks for the cheering 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As someone that just finished her second half after being quoted a few years ago I wouldn’t run “less some fool was chasing me” I love this. Especially this part “And I promise, you don’t have to run a marathon to grow bolder. Or even a half-marathon. Not everybody’s THAT crazy… But you can still find new adventures to live no matter what limitations you might have.” Never stop thinking big and never too old to have new dreams~

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amen sista!! And congrats on the Half! Yeah!

      I love half marathons – I still have energy afterwards to party! Ha!

      In a way, I did the same thing. When I signed up for my marathon training group 2.5 years ago, I was ONLY intending to do a half (they would let us halfers train with them.) After I started, I told a marathon running friend who is one of my running mentors that I would NEVER, EVER run a marathon.

      Yeah well – she has thrown that up in my face twice – after each marathon I’ve done… 🙂 I’ve learned never to say never!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. For the last two years I’ve said to myself…. I’ll do a half marathon, I’ll train for it and it will do me good……. It still remains a plan as I sit here reading about other peoples accomplishments!
    One day… soon….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Have marathons are so much fun!! If you really want to do it and have the time to train, I highly recommend you first, commit and sign up for one. It gives you a goal. Then get connected with a running group who will help you be accountable to yourself. It’s the only thing that got my arse out the door on many a early Saturday mornings – I didn’t want to “wimp out” on the group! Not that they would have said anything but it was just the idea that they expected to see me. The power of the group is awesome!

      A year ago, my neighbor doubted she could run a 5K. I got her connected with my Getting Started Galloway running group and couple of weeks ago she ran her first 10 miler and was thrilled! I posted to meme on her FB timeline that said “There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them” to honor her commitment and determination!

      Let me know what you sign up for! I’m so excited for you!


      • I’ll have to have a snoop around and see what I can sign up for. Meanwhile I have started doing evening walks where I can. Being a shift worker puts me constantly out of routine,,,, not an excuse I know! As Summer is starting to make an appearance here I’m sure I will get way more active .. Thanks for your support AGMA, it means a lot!

        Liked by 1 person

    • You’re so sweet! Thanks! And keep on walking – it’s good for you too! You have many, many years before your metabolism stops (it actually seems to go in reverse!) and you have to worry about trying to get that belly fat off! Ha! Be careful – It really sneaks up on you…

      I’ll try to check your blog out soon. Right now it’s all I can do to write my once a week post and answer comments! Yikes!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. gee, I am impressed. I couldn’t run for 500 mtrs, except a Grizzly or some such wild beast were after me. And I still have some time in to 60, not as much as I’d like to have, but nevertheless. Maybe I’ll adopt that man’s theory about the heartbeats….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s a convenient theory to be able to pull out of your hat sometimes! Ha!

      And don’t be too impressed – I’m fully and totally convinced that anybody with okay knees and hips and ankles and feet (no injuries or chronic issues) can run a marathon if they want to. The key words there are “if they want to”! Not everybody is as crazy as me! It only took me 1.5 years after I started running to decide to do one then another 6 months to actually train for it.

      And remember, you don’t have to outrun the Grizzly… You just have to outrun the person next to you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Love that you are growing bolder!!! And it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you keep going forward and don’t just sit there! Vanbytheriver commented earlier “Maybe the baby boomers are the generation that will not go down without a fight.” I really like that! I think we are expanding the definition of healthy aging in an extremely positive way!

      And thanks for the applause for the crazy…


    • Oh – I’m so excited for you!! And honestly, I only run 3 times a week (the recommended training for a “more mature” runner.) Just remember to do the interval running (to start, run 15 seconds and walk 30 seconds) As your body gets acclimated to it, you can make the running interval longer until you get to running 30 seconds and walking 30 seconds. You will be amazed as to how good it feels (easy on your body) and how much farther (if you want) you can go!

      MJ, let me know how it works out!


    • I laugh in the face of danger – ha, ha, ha, ha! I go to a new doc next month for my annual physical and I’m fully expecting her to tell me how many heartbeats I have left… Or do look at me and tell me I’m nuts for taking up the hobby of marathon running at my age! Ha!

      Thanks for the congrats!

      Liked by 1 person

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