Shrug and chuckle

Getting old is a revelation. Stuff happens. Some of it is even good. Better yet, some of it is kind of funny.

My general condition is actually improving. I’m down under 160 lb. (72kg), approaching my proximate goal of 155 (We’ll see what happens once I get there…I ran at 143 in my 30s.) I’ve been staggering around in the dark over the winter, getting in a fair amount of slow mileage. Paul and I are still walking every morning, and I often sneak in another plod in the afternoon.

But a few days ago, it was warm enough to imagine the coming of spring, and I headed out for a shuffle unburdened by long pants and jackets and hats and gloves and buffs. I just went. And for a while it felt good. And then it didn’t. Somewhere just past 2.5 of a projected 3, I stopped, realizing my old bod must be operating under new rules with regard to how long I should wait to run after eating.

Stopping, except for a necessary equipment adjustment or an actual injury, is something most runners just don’t do. I certainly don’t. This was a major personal embarrassment, a failure of character, a Real Flaw.

Then I got home, did some digital button-pushing, and discovered that my first mile had been a 7:17. Well, 7:17 used to be a warm-up pace, but these days it qualifies as blinding speed. It’s both way faster than I thought I could go (Wow!) and—obviously—way faster than I should have been going (You idiot!). The real issue, though, is that I seem to have lost all sense of pace. People who run a lot develop a pretty decent built-in feel for how fast they’re going. But though I’m working on it, I’m no longer a person who runs a lot, and my ability to do this has clearly atrophied. Why wouldn’t it…every other part of me seems to have. (My brain’s been fried for years.)

What can you do?

Basically nothing. Just shrug and chuckle.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.