Friday, April 25, 2014


I’ve paid my money—lots of, $110.00!—to run the Orange County Half Marathon next Sunday, May 4th.

Why did I do that?

My legs are still tired from the L.A. Marathon. I have shin splints. First time I’ve ever had sore shins for a whole month after a race. 

My top speed seems to be 11-minute-miles. Terrible pace for a half marathon. 
I’m in the habit of finishing half marathons at the two hour mark. That means I used to do nine-minute miles. 

My enthusiasm, after L.A. decreased with every week. At first, I kept my mileage up around 13 miles each run because I knew I had this half marathon coming up. My enthusiasm decreased with every week. Last week’s runs have been 8 miles, no more. Next week I’ll do less. 

Perhaps I’m having trouble recovering from L.A. due 50-mile-weeks I put in as I trained for the marathon. That’s a lot of mileage. 

Its true that the 85 degree heat at the L.A. Marathon killed me in the last few miles, but I don’t think the leg cramps I suffered weeks ago would be responsible for my present dead-legs.

AND HERE IS THE KICKER: Jake my coach, an engineer does exhaustive research on everything. A few weeks after L.A., he ran along beside me and went over the figures proving that people slow with age.

I can’t quote him exactly, but I remember too well the point of his statistics. There’s a downward curve for all runners past a 60 and even steeper tumble past 70. 

Another coach, John, fell apart at 70, saying he just couldn’t get his legs going any more. I ignored John’s pronouncements of doom because I thought he wore himself out racing  too much. I figured all those fast miles were responsible for his running demise. We never see him anymore.

In my case, one bad sign is the fact that I’m falling behind younger people whom I used to beat. Today I ran with Muffy and Jan who always out-ran me for the first two miles, but, in the final stretch I would pass them by half a block. 

I’d walk back to meet them. Now they walk back to retrieve me. 

Have you ever wondered if your head was playing tricks on you? Maybe I heard Jake’s and John’s comments on aging too clearly. Maybe my mind is slowing my legs.

However when my head commands me to move fast, my legs don’t respond. 

My time at the O. C. Half Marathon will tell the tale. I’m not looking forward to the finish.

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