Next month 397 adults over the age of 70 are prepared to run 26.2 miles in the New York City Marathon. Ginette Bedard is one of them. She also ran the marathon last year and she finished in 5:10:42, not a bad time for anyone but exceptionally good when you consider that Ginette is 82 years old. EIGHTY TWO!
Hell, I hope I have the good fortune just to live to see 82, and if I’m still able to run, well that will be a bonus.
I love reading the advice of some of the older runners and I always like talking to them at races. I ran a half one time and the lady behind me was 65. Her name was Barbara and when I say behind me, I mean she was on my heels the entire time. She killed it and I could hardly wait to tell her how much she motivated me when it was over. She was quite impressive.
Motivation is different for everybody. You just have to find what motivates you and go with it. Typically I’m motivated when I see results, such as new PR’s, that really helps, but lately I’ve been more motivated by the muffin top that crept up over the last year and needs to be eradicated. That’s what is working for me currently. It is what it is.
I’m also motivated when I watch the Chicago Marathon and see that Deena Kastor, at age 42, just ran a 2:27:47 setting a new master’s record and that of the top 100 women finishers, 9 of them were over 40.
There’s a man in my neighborhood who runs 4 or 5 times a week. I’ve also seen him at several local races. He runs with his dog, a hound mix who looks so happy to be out running beside his master that it always makes me smile. I’ve seen this man for years and only recently did I stop to talk to him.
He told me he was 76 and I was stunned. I thought he was around 60. I asked him what his secret was and he said that he didn’t really have one. He said he just gets up every day and moves. He said strength and flexibility are the keys to running as you get older and that if you keep those two things in check you can run forever.
It’s so nice to get advice from an older runner instead of the typical advice I get from the older people in my neighborhood which is more along the lines of, ‘you’re gonna wear your knees out’ or ‘if you don’t stop all that running your uterus is gonna fall out’. I guess they don’t realize how healthy my knees are or that I don’t really need my uterus anymore. In fact, if it fell out I’d just kick it to the side and keep going. Good riddance uterus.
I think the older gentleman in my neighborhood is correct, if you keep up with your strength and flexibility you can run as long as you want to and I believe you can also be competitive at any age. You might disagree with me but I don’t think Ginette Bedard or Deena Kastor would, do you?
Are you motivated when you see older people out running?
Are there a lot of older people who run where you run?
What motivates you the most to get out and run?