async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

I Have Found the Fountain of Youth and It's In The Weight Room

A few weeks ago, I had lunch with a runner friend of mine, another woman who happens to be in my age group. We were talking about how much we are struggling with running paces that just a few years ago were easy for us. Getting older sucks for runners, especially women runners. The number of finishers in the women's' 50+ age groups drops dramatically, especially after age 55.

It is a well-known fact that endurance begins to decline after age 40 for both men and women. Stride length and speed decrease as well (source). Flexibility also decreases. But most importantly, muscle mass and strength decline. Women lose up to 30% of overall strength between the ages of 50 and 70. For women, decreases in estrogen and testosterone after menopause affects the ability to maintain muscle mass.

What if I don't want to slow down? What's an aging woman runner to do? Besides giving up on running? Is rocking in the rocking chair an endurance activity?

I refuse to accept the common wisdom that equates growing older with frailty and weakness. I'm not ready to call it quits and if you're reading this, you probably aren't ready to call it quits either. The good news is you can keep running into old age and maybe postpone or at least minimize some of the inevitable effects of aging. But you do have to change the way you train. Put on your running shoes and head to the weight room. Yep, strength training is the key to staying youthful.



Sunday, January 28, 2018

Who's Old? I Mean, Cold?

Finally, this cold month of January is coming to an end. We've had decent temperatures this week and with 2 weeks to go before the Mercedes Half Marathon, I needed some good runs. For the most part, the pavement was clear and I was able to pick up the pace again.

Before I start my weekly wrap-up, I want to give a big shout out to Teresa, who blogs at Finding Fabulous at Fifty. She ran her first ever marathon this weekend, the Mississippi Blues Marathon. That's 26.2 miles IN THE POURING RAIN, y'all. All the while battling foot issues. She finished strong and I am so proud of her. Please be sure to go over to her blog or Instagram and congratulate her!



Thursday, January 25, 2018

Runfessions: January

Here we are again, standing in front of the runfessional. Yes, it's the last Friday of the month and it's time to clear our running conscience of all that is staining our runners' soles. Nothing to runfess? That's a runfession right there. Come on in. I promise you'll feel so much better and lighter on your feet!



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Why Are All the Best Running Songs About Getting High?

Disclaimer: I do not want anyone to think that by writing this post that I am in any way condoning the use of illicit drugs. 

Why are all the best running songs about getting high? I'm pretty sure most of you've probably never had this thought. I'm also sure it will be no surprise to most of you that I have thought about this. With plenty of time to myself on my last long run, I settled into my pace and my music. I pondered this question while listening to my current favorite running song, appropriately titled High by the alternative group Sir Sly.
"It feels good to be running from the devil, another breath and I'm up another level, it feels good to be up above the clouds, it feels good for the first time in a long time now..."
Maybe you're reading this and you're thinking, "what is she smoking?" or "did she finally accept that medical marijuana from her rheumatologist?" (she offered, I declined) or maybe "I don't know what she's smoking but I want some of that".

Or maybe you are just rolling your eyes. Maybe you listen to pop music when you run or maybe you listen to nothing. But I bet there's a group of us out there who listen to music and run not only for fitness but for the entire experience. Running isn't just a physical act, but a feast for the senses. Running is a mind/body experience. Yep, I grew up in the 1970s.

Life isn't always a peaceful, easy feeling. Maybe you're like me and you run because you are high strung and need an outlet. Road therapy, right? I don't always solve the world's problems on my runs, but when I do, I do my best thinking when I'm running.

Then there are those times when you don't want to think. Sometimes, you need an escape from the reality of life. Music is and has always been, for me, the perfect escape. Running to music? Even better.
"Swallow me whole, finding my peace of mind." ~Sir Sly. 


Sunday, January 21, 2018

January Thaw

This post contains affiliate links.

In spite of the bitter cold that we've all been complaining about, once again this month we are experiencing a January thaw and it feels so nice! What also felt nice this week was being able to cut back on my miles a bit. Who doesn't love a cut back week? I also enjoyed some CrossFit and yoga and lunch with Marcia where we caught up on life and all things running and blogging.



Friday, January 19, 2018

Book Review: The End of the World Running Club

Disclaimer: I received a copy of The End of the World Running Club from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

I originally picked up this book last summer, thinking it would be a great read for the blog book club. At the time, I read it about 25% of the way through but the story just didn't grab my attention. Fast forward to the present. I joined a running book club on Facebook and guess what book they were reading for November? I decided to give The End of the World Running Club another chance and long story short, I am so glad that I did!



Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Foot Pain: A Runner's Search for Answers

Disclaimer: This is an update of a post I prepared in 2014. I received a pair of Oesh shoes in exchange for my honest review. 

When you tell people you are a runner, what is the first thing they say to you? Does it have something to do with ruining your knees? If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that running is going to ruin my knees, I could retire and move somewhere warm. Can I put it out in the universe and say emphatically that I've never had issues with my knees?

What I have had problems with are my feet. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Most studies report a force of 3x body weight on the feet during a run. That means for this 125 pound runner, my feet absorb 375 pounds with every foot strike. So it's no wonder that my feet sometimes beg for mercy! Actually, it's amazing that they let me run any sort of distance.

Since we ask so much of our feet, it's important that we take good care of them. That includes proper footwear. I've got some experience here, having had more than my share of issues with my feet over the past couple of years!