Think Kit prompt – “If you could meet someone new in 2013, who would it be? Or would you rather spend more time with someone you already know?”
While on a casual 8 mile run this past Friday, a friend of mine, to whom I attribute a great deal of my running knowledge, expressed his concern with never being able to run as fast as he did a few years ago. He was verbalizing the inevitable decline in running fitness that comes with older age, that wall of performance that gets slowly constructed as the years pile up like bricks. Mind you, he’s like 33 or something.
Yeah, I’m with you, that’s just ridiculous. 33 (or whatever) years old and he’s acting like he’ll never run a sub 2:22:00 marathon ever again, despite the novel of superior performances written by a slew of runners far past his age. Myself, being 36, scolded him relentlessly, because he was inadvertently implying that I too was on a downward trajectory of performance, which I REFUSE TO BELIEVE.
I refuse to believe it, because I simply DON’T believe it, but maybe with a vehemence that lays bare my own concerns with “aging” – though I should clarify that “aging” for runners is akin to counting age in dog years. We may not be “old”, but our ability to run fast “ages” quicker than other life functions. So 40 years old in “runner years” is like 90.
Anyways, it’s still absurd and I intend to be another example proving the converse. I’ve recently mentioned various injuries or issues after hard workouts only to be met with, “you just can’t recover like you used to as you get older” types of comments, of which I viciously lash back in response. I am entirely unconvinced that recent “injuries” are due to parts wearing out and breaking down, of which I explained further in other posts.
Again, I refuse to believe all this, because there is someone I need to meet, someone I want to meet THIS YEAR. That someone is me. That someone is that other runner elusively hiding out within me, being consistently and quietly fed workouts and long runs, just waiting to come out and transform that other runner that currently inhabits this body.
I want to meet the runner that can run a sub 2:25 marathon, that can go a whole season of training on a path of continued progression, that can knock out sub 5:00 mile repeats and have more left over, that can kick out 10 mile marathon goal pace runs whenever asked, that can race smart and do what is necessary to be in the best running fitness of their life. I want to meet that person because I’ve been looking for them since October of 2009 when they ran their best marathon so far.
And that is always the dilemma of running, believing that the person who ran faster than ever before is not the deeper runner within you, that there is another runner still locked away, just waiting their turn.
I want to meet that person this year. I know they are there. I know they aren’t ravaged by the stresses and deterioration of aging, but instead just quietly being fed, waiting to come forward and show themselves. I hope you get to meet them to.