longtime readers will recall that i am a big fan of new york times writer gina kolata. her writing is ok, but mostly i just enjoy saying gina kolata. and getting caught in the rain.
so it was with great interest that i read today’s article offering the blockbuster revelation: YOU GET SLOWER AS YOU GET OLDER!!!
my first thought was of my good friend sherlock and his lack of bodily functions. but ms. kolata has the goods. she talked to SEVERAL old runners, and they ALL seem to have gotten slower as they got older. the story is here.
the hook of the report is a table that allows you to predict your comparative pace as you age. if you punch in your marathon time from when you were 30, it will give you what your geezer time should be. not included in the table are the billion other factors that make it moot.
this seems depressing, like the gene test that shows when you will die and what you will die of. do you really want to know? i want to head out the door confident i can still become the gazelle i was in my youth, that regaining my speed is just a matter of losing a few pounds and adding a few intervals. maybe i’m just having a bad decade or two. once i turn 60, things will turn around. hope springs eternal. even if the springs have lost hope.
mary decker slaney says it best in the article. “for a long time, i thought there was still a way to get better,” she said. “but eventually you get to a point where you realize that is not happening. i couldn’t run, i could only jog and to me that was disheartening. but after about 10 years, i decided: ok. i will jog because i can’t do anything else.”
as if i could do anything else. after 37 years of repitition, you run because that’s what you do. it’s who you are.
what will my marathon time be in future years? will i even try a marathon again? beats me. i didn’t bother with the chart. today, i put on my asics, went out on the usual course, basked in the sun and sweat and happiness, and called it a day. i’ll do it again tomorrow. and the next day. and as many years as i can until it’s time. whatever the time is.
thanks anyhow, ms. kolata. but worry about the effects of aging on time? i don’t have time for it.
p.s. dogs may not be bright, but at least they’re smart enough to stay in the shade.