Monday, March 10, 2008

Another Year Stronger

I turned 42 (gulp!) last week, making me think about age and its effect on athletic performance. Despite having three kiddies scurrying around, I started thinking maybe I’m getting “older.” Then a few sporty things happened to make me feel the downhill slide hasn’t started yet….

On my birthday I was busy-busy, meaning I didn’t get around to running until the end of my workday. I dashed out the door with no set plan—no intervals, no tempo, no route. Just see how and where the spirit moved me. When I finished, I looked at my Nike+ and was stunned—and ecstatic—to see that I’d run a little more than 5 miles and averaged about 20 seconds better per mile than I usually do on a tempo run!

Then on Saturday, my rowing team went out on the water for only the second time this year. Yet after a brief warm-up, we started doing 2-minute intervals (called “pieces” in rowing lingo) against two boats of junior rowers (a.k.a. high schoolers). Last season, the juniors had cleaned our clocks almost every time we raced them—and now they’d been rowing six days a week for the last few weeks. While we were excited to go head-to-head, we were managing our expectations, to put it kindly. The girls beat us in the first piece, but then the next two were too close to call. We had found our groove and I sensed that the other seven rowers in the boat felt as strong as I did. We spanked the juniors on the next few pieces—we were elated! During a water break, I said to the rower in front of me, “younger people get tired; older people get warmed up.”

Maybe I’m just getting warmed up.



Kate said...

Of course you're just getting warmed up! It's MALE runners who slow down, not females per the much beloved NY Times article. (At least in my circle of 30-40+ aged running friends).

Happy belated birthday.

Leah said...

LOVE it. I couldn't agree more. Hey, SBS, when's your bday? I turned 42 the same week as you! (2/28)

Kelly(M&M) said...

Happy Birthday! Congrats on a great tempo run. I really enjoy your posts. Did you decide on your training plan? You are definitely just getting warmed up. :-)

Nicole said...

Happy Birthday Sarah! I also had a birthday last week- on the 6th. I turned 38. I didn't start running until I was 33, so I don't feel I'm slowing down at all. I have no great physical accomplishments in my 20's to compare these years to. In my 30's, I had 2 babies, started running, ran a few half marathons and one full. Who knows what the 40's will hold for me, and for you!
Happy Birthday Fellow Pisces!