Thursday, October 20, 2011
My declining physical prowess
At age 28, when I was still competing in amateur wrestling, I could run three 5-minute miles in a row. For context, that means I could've kept pace with the leaders of the NYC Marathon for three miles before dropping out, exhausted, while they continued on at the same pace for an additional 23 miles. Still, it's faster than most people ever run, and I was proud of that.
By age 38 I could still run three 6-minute miles in a row--or one 5-minute mile, but only if I didn't have to walk the following day. My feeling was, that's still pretty good for an old person, and I was happy with that.
Now, at age 48, I have achilles tendonitis, hamstrings and calves that pull if I move too suddenly, and the first five minutes of every run are spent mumbling, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch" until the adrenaline kicks in.
So I'm almost giddy to report that I ran three miles at 6:27 pace last week, and a 5:57 mile yesterday. Frankly, it doesn't even seem all that fast when I'm doing it, but it's like driving an old sports car at 65 mph--you know it probably could go faster, but why tempt fate?
By my calculations, in ten years I will be writing a blog entry saying how excited I am to have run a 7-minute mile. That will be perfectly fine with me.