I recently read two completely unrelated articles that gave me pause. One I could relate to and one not so much. Maybe not so much that I couldn’t relate but that I didn’t want to. The first article was from Runner’s World by Marc Parent. He calls himself an average runner. Relatable. He did not start running because of some grand reason — not homeless, not jobless, no cancer, no demons chasing him. He just runs because he wants to live longer. Again relatable. Mr. Parent has no plans to run a marathon. He is content with his 5Ks. He admits that when he first started, he had grandiose visions of running ultras, but that didn’t seem to last. He just runs.
I didn’t start out as a runner. I was a walker. I walked because I quit smoking and didn’t want to gain 500 pounds. My daughter came along for the ride. We didn’t think about running. But one day we decided to run for a block. Then it was run a block, walk a block. Pretty soon we just connected the dots and before we knew what was happening, we were running. My husband suggested a race. We laughed. He had run a few races himself years earlier and suggested the Renaissance Run. We reluctantly agreed to give it a try. No winners here, but we were hooked. More 5Ks followed. I ran a 10K leg of a marathon which for me led to doing a half and then the full. For me it was a natural progression. Not for my daughter. She did start running halfs and finally did one full marathon. That was it for her. She has bragging rights. I did five full marathons before menopause stepped in and stopped me in my tracks. I now am content to run halfs. I do have a competitive streak though that comes out whenever someone mentions training for a full. I get edgy. But honestly, I am happy to complete a half marathon. No ultras for me.
I get up and head out for a run three to four days a week. I have been sick and injured –probably just about every injury a runner can have including a broken ankle which happened on a run. Once I’m healed, I am back plodding down the road. Sometimes it is hard to get out the door, so occasionally I don’t. I skip it. But the next day, there I am, running. Running just makes me feel happy — sometimes just at the end of the run. So, yes, Mr. Parent, I can relate to you. Some runs are just not fun, but hopefully they are adding years to my life.
The other article I read was about dressing your age. Most of it I liked. Be trendy — carefully. I’m not 16 anymore. No leggings as pants. Agreed. But then the author (I didn’t catch her name) basically said no tights even with dresses. Disagree. I don’t care for pantyhose. That feels like it ages me unnecessarily. Kate Middleton may get away with it, but no thanks.
She argues against athleisure wear. I understand that on some level, but I will still wear my sweat pants to Wal-Mart. I don’t have chic athletic wear anyway. It’s all sweats and race shirts for me. Reluctantly agreed. She may have a point.
She really lost me on skirt length. No mini skirts. I don’t wear mini skirts, but she suggested midi skirts. Definitely not agreed. I am short and a little chunky. Midis make me look even more uneven. Then she went farther to suggest wearing pumps with it. Is she crazy? That just seems like a really dated look, like one my mom wore. I wear my skirts just at the top of my knee. I don’t think they’re too short. My friends might disagree, but they’ve never laughed in my face.
Maybe I don’t want to acknowledge my age. I’m old enough to be a grandmother, but am not one yet. I don’t want to look or dress like a grandma. Or act like one. I know that grandmas can still run and travel and have fun. I know that I am ridiculous.
I plan on running my half marathons and wearing above the knee length dresses. I want to live a healthy, long life. While there may be no more marathons, there will certainly be no midis. Maybe if I live to 100, I will wear longer skirts. But maybe I won’t.