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…
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.