Yes I am a runner. In fact, a very dedicated runner! But the one thing I have discovered since turning 50, it’s easy to get discouraged. The days of running 21 minute 5K’s, 45 minute 10K’s and PR’s in the half and marathon distance are probably in the past. Not probably, but are a fond memory. I know I should be grateful, and I am, but it’s still a hard fact to accept, I am slower than I was. In fact, my early and mid forties don’t seem that long ago. It wasn’t that long ago I was running some really strong marathons qualifying for Boston. But the truth is, I am now approaching my mid fifties, and just, not quite as fast as I wish I was.
But there is also good news! I am BLESSED I can still run. I can still “put one foot in front of another and cross two lines,” some wise words a friend shared with me, and other runner friends, many races ago! So I am forever grateful! Hell, I am grateful for so much more than that, to be honest. I not only can still run, for the most part I am finishing in the top of my age group.
The Sioux Falls half marathon is not only a beautiful course, but it’s where my brother lives so having family along the course is extra special. It was my second time running here, finishing 1:50 last year and 1:52 this year. You can read more about it here.
I also ran a couple 5K’s and a 10K this year, finishing quite strong. Again not as fast I want to be, but placing in each race. Geez why am I so hard on myself? I have no idea, but I am.
I ran a 24 minute 5K in Excelsior this past July with my hubby and brother. We had a blast and although I was hoping for a faster time, I did ok finishing third.
You can read about my 10K here. It was HOT and HUMID, but I finished with an unofficial time of 49 minutes. I actually ran a bit farther than I needed too, but it turns out, I wasn’t alone, and I still placed third?.
Yesterday, on Halloween, I had the best fun ever! It was little William’s first 5K race and we had a blast! It was wet and rained the entire time, but he was a trooper. His parents finished together with a very respectable time!!!!! Seriously, pushing a stroller up hills, through puddles and even what seemed like a lake once, isn’t an easy feat! They did GREAT! We had so much fun, we decided to make it an annual tradition!
Me, I ran the best I could, and again I was pushing for a faster time, but running through puddles of water, made it a bit more challenging. Have you ever tried running a sub 8 minute pace on a curb and not falling off into ankle deep water. Geez…..Scary! I was also trying not to fall flat on my face as I cruised down the hills. Even more SCARY! It was a bit slippery and I was terrified I was going to face plant. To make matters worse, my boobs felt like watermelons and hurt like hell. I really thought I was done with this monthly business….ugh! Sorry, TMI.
In any case, it was a FUN RUN, but I am also convinced the faster runners were running elsewhere that morning because I came in 20th over all, 4th female, and first in my age group, and I didn’t run it that fast.
So what does all this have to do with Yoga? The one thing I have learned as an aging runner, is I am even more thankful for my many years of Yoga experience.
There are so many reasons I practice Yoga, and there are so many reasons I run, but the number one reason for both is the same!
Yoga reduces the physical effects of stress on the body. By encouraging relaxation, yoga helps to lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. The interesting thing is I feel more relaxed after a run too! Related benefits include lowering blood pressure and heart rate. My resting pulse is lower than 50! I check this frequently the first thing in the morning before a run, especially when I am running by feel and my heart rate monitor, via pace. Yoga also improves digestion and boosts the immune system, as well as easing symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, asthma and insomnia.
So this is just one reason I practice Yoga. But it just happens to be my number one reason I run! Yoga and Running are my Stress Reliefs! Life can get crazy, but I find starting my day out with a run and a bit of Yoga late afternoon, makes for a less stressful day.