Monday, September 8, 2014

Middle Age Ain't So Bad

Ready, set, GLOW
2014 Glow Run
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

Before we start, yes I'm aware that "ain't" isn't a word, but it's my blog and I'll use bad grammar if I want to.  (And I just ended a sentence with a preposition).  

Anyway, when I turned 40 a year-and-a-half ago, it really didn't bother me.  In the months leading to the big birthday, I blogged and vlog my feelings about entering a new decade. Truth be told, hitting 30 was harder for me. 

Not long before I turned 40, I started running.  More accurately jogging fast.  Well kinda fast.  I entered a few 5Ks and my only goal was to run the 3.1 miles without stopping to walk.  It was something I could never accomplish as a teenager when I ran cross country.  Then nearly two decades passed and I could probably count how many miles I ran on both hands.

My first half marathon
February 2014
I recently ran in a 5K in my town.  For me, this was just another race.  I've done several 5Ks and even a half marathon.  I just aim to get in under 30 minutes when I run a course like the one here in Carterville.  But I had a strong desire to finish in the Top 3 of my age group (40-44) and get a medal.  I never earned one in my cross country days, so I'm probably over compensating for that.

As the gun sounded at this most recent race, I looked around at the wide variety of runners and walkers.  I'll be honest, I was motivated to beat some of the younger guys at the event.  I didn't realize just how motivated I was.  When my app (Runkeeper) gave me my first update at five minutes, the voice told me I had run 0.62 miles. Usually I'm between 0.52 and 0.56 miles at that time. I was moving like I'd never moved before.  

The weird thing is, I thought I'd wear myself out as the humidity was thick enough to cut with a knife that night.  But I chugged along.  I ended up finishing in 24:56, with a pace of 7:59 per mile. I finished fifth out of 20 in my age group and 35th out of about 245 runners.  I was more than pleased with my performance, and even though I didn't get that top three medal, I achieved a personal goal. That to me has proven to be more important than a medal collecting dust.

I was also impressed that night that the overall male and female finishers are over the age of 40.  The male runner is 51, the female is 48.  They've shown me that hard work and dedication pay off and I hope to improve my own performance.  The 2014 Carterville Twilight Glow Run has rekindled my running spirit as I continue to move toward my goal of 600 miles by the end of the year and look ahead to another half marathon in 2015.

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