My athletic goals have become rather modest in my old age: don't pull any muscles. But now I've decided to set my sights higher: I want to run as fast as a middle-school girl.
I haven't run a six-minute mile in several years. My body isn't used to running that fast anymore. My "fast" pace is now 6:45 for a 3-mile run. For a mile--probably 6:20. But that extra :20 is a big deal.
I can still run a six-minute-mile pace for a half mile and feel fine, aside from the heaving convulsions afterwards. The problem is the second half mile. My poor old muscles just don't have the oxygen. My legs refuse to go that fast. My lungs start burning. My arms go numb. My entire body becomes liquefied and melts onto the pavement.
It's as if my body has been replaced with that of a 51-year-old man.
But I'm not giving up.