This morning one of my New York friends, Cat Bradley, was describing her first experience with mile repeats. Yeah, you know what those are. Run a mile at an elevated pace, recover with a slow jog (or walk) for a few minutes, then run another mile at an elevated pace. Repeat. For as long as you can do it. Ahh, such fun.
Now Cat is young. I am old. I used to do those. I still do speedwork and intervals when I’m able. But here’s the thing: my body won’t let me do what I used to do. It’s one annoying minor injury after another. Definitely age related. My latest is a calf strain that’s kept me from putting in the miles.
Last Saturday morning I was at the church working in the garden with our spring work crew and a block away, runners gathered at the starting line. The gun goes off and the hoard runs past. I so much wanted to be with them. I love those times when you push yourself and see where you are, see what you’re made of.
And I will again. This age thing has some benefits. One, you learn patience. I’ll be back. I’ll do those long Sunday runs again. I’ll do the intervals on my lunch hour. I’ll run a few of those Saturday morning races.
I also know that I won’t be as fast as I was five years ago. I won’t run as far as I did twenty years ago. And the good thing is, I don’t want to. I love running, but I also love writing, and playing my guitar, and being with my family, and having a relaxing breakfast on Saturdays.
Still, when you’re young like Cat, you have to do it. It’s part of finding out who you are.