Monday, April 11, 2011

Decade, Not Decayed

Today, at 10:17 p.m., I turn 50 years old. In the life of a runner, it's a big deal to enter a new age group. In the life of a woman, 50 is just a big deal. Still, I feel better today than I did at 30; I'm sure it has a lot to do with child-rearing sleep deprivation and lack of any time to exercise adequately and eat properly. I emerged from the funk when I turned 40 and, frankly, things have improved ever since. Herewith, in no particular order (because who can prioritize such things?), are the milestones of my 40s, both good and bad.
1. I saw my two children through graduation from high school and into college.
2. I ran my first, and then my second, marathon, coming tantalizing close to qualifying for Boston the second time around.
3. I broke my left foot and had surgery on my right foot, the former revealing that, not only do I possess an incredible tolerance for pain, but osteopenia is a problem I have and there is little I can do about it--I am white and small-boned after all.
4. After many niggling injuries, I concluded that I needed to stop training exclusively for marathons and diversify. As a result, I discovered the joys, challenges, aches and pains, and ultimate triumphs of triathlon. After two years of training, I completed the Syracuse 70.3 Half-Ironman an hour faster than I thought I would.
5. I drank too much wine.
6. I met and married my incredibly supportive husband, who stands at the finish line, camera in hand, at all of my races. Being a stepmother is a challenge I have yet to master, but I haven't given up!
7. I found a cyst in my right breast that, after a sonogram, was deemed to be benign. Phew!
8. I developed some incredible friendships with women who have seen me through my fitness challenges and goals; among them: @Jade Barth Mills, @Patty Hendry and @Mary Fitzgibbons Klee.
9. I became a grandmother twice; OK, a step-grandmother, but still. . .
10. I ran a 6:59 mile three years ago in the Festival of Races.
11. After losing 30 pounds in 2004, I uncovered the muscles I had worked so hard to sculpt in my 30s. I had finally learned portion control.

1 comment:

  1. In my 40s, I got divorced, gained 50 pounds thanks to what happens to women in my family at perimenopause (every grandmother, aunt, sister, and cousin), lost eight years of running to agonizing foot pain, tore my plantar fascia completely, suffered through unsuccessful infertility treatments and lost my best friend. It's supposed to be a great decade for women, but it was a pretty crappy one for me. I started it with such high hopes too. I was excited to turn 40 -- and there were some positives -- bought my first house (on my own), ran a half marathon, climbed Algonquin for my 40th, climbed a whole bunch of other mountains, went to England twice (once paid for by work), and set a 5K PR. So not a total washout, but I sometimes feel like it was the lost decade. Not so excited about turning 50, but the first two years have been better than I would have thought. I'm stronger than I have been in years and the foot pain so far has been minimal. Enough to remind me that I'm limited to two runs per week, but that's better than not even being able to walk. And I'm finally a mom! Looking forward to being a great-aunt -- hopefully that will be the closest I come to being a grandma for a while (step daughters are still teenagers -- don't want that, thank you very much!) Oh, and being able to compete in the senior games! That's a hoot! (and that stepmother thing -- that's the hardest job there is -- much harder than being a mom).