Still a Runner

A Blog by Mary Lou Harris

65

Enroute to a trail run on a recent Sunday morning, I heard the radio announcer open the program hour by saying  “the hour glass turns.”  As he spoke, my dashboard clock ticked from 6:59 to 7:00 a.m.

The digits on the clock don’t turn back,  so I’ve decided to move forward with gusto.  From hours turning over to years turning over, sixty-five (65) is the big number for me this year.

In search of solidarity, I joined the New England 65 + Runners Club.  I don’t personally know any of the club members nor do I live in New England, but neither is a prerequisite. And, although I don’t usually run in singlets, I may make an exception for the shirt included in my  membership packet:

Another bold move of the summer was a decision to participate in the State Senior Games.  O.K., it’s taken me 14 or 15 years of eligibility to marshall my courage, but it seemed important to jump (or run) in this year.

After registering for the 5,000 meter and the 10,000 meter events, dates and track location were announced. The 10,000 would take place at 7:30 a,m.,  the day after my already scheduled late night flight.  Weather delays make my arrival even later – it’s 4 a.m. as I turn the key to my front door.  I make the decision, wimp or wise woman depending on your point of view, to be a no-show for my first event.

After some catch-up sleep, I prepare myself for the new experience of basically running a 5K on a track.  The 5,000 is scheduled for 5 p.m.  I line up with a mixed age group and race in 92 degree heat.  Here I am running on a standard track for the first time since fourth grade (12+ laps), certainly different from my road and trail running and racing.   I may not be at the front of the pack on road or trail, but I also don’t experience getting lapped (well, there was that one time – a tale for another post) or find myself lapping other runners.  

The result was not one of my better times (did I mention it was 92 degrees?), but well worthwhile to have the opportunity of running with a larger number of women in my age group than I generally see at local race.

Just like London (well, almost).

Although I don’t have the official results,  my Garmin says I did well enough to be eligible for the 2013 National Senior Games Cleveland 2013, here I (maybe) come!

So, I’m running in Senior Games, in senior singlets and senior age groups. 

I’m also running with my friends in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s & 50’s.  In future years, should my driver’s license be removed from my clutched hand, my younger running friends have given their assurance that I will have a ride to our weekend training runs.

Let my aging flag fly.

I’m an athlete. My shirt says so.

Of the many passions in my life, running burns brighter with each year.  I’m still finding new challenges and I’m still running.

Are you still running and what new challenges have you found?

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3 Comments»

  AthleteAgain wrote @

Congratulations on qualifying for the National Senior Games!

  marylouharris wrote @

Thanks. I have 10 months to get my courage in place and be prepared for the competition

[…] event in life. I can’t remember how I have acknowledged each of the first 64 birthdays, but 65 was different.  I remember that milestone, the goal – and achievement – of qualifying […]


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