Ten years ago I took up running as a sport, and found that I really liked it. I ran two marathons, seven half marathons, and some 10Ks. All was good; I was meeting my goals and improving my times, until I hurt my knee. I had cartilage repair surgery, just before a major study showed that these surgeries worked no better than physical therapy alone. Ah well. That was five years ago, and I had several abortive attempts to start running again, always followed quickly by a re-injury of that knee. Finally, a slow and deliberate recovery coupled with weight training of the muscles around the knee allowed a comeback. This week I ran my first race in five years – the 3M Half Marathon.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. My goal was to beat 2 hours, so I chose a pace just fast enough to make that time and very carefully stuck to that pace through the whole race. I kept waiting to poop out, but the miles went by and I never did. My last two miles were my fastest, and I finished the race at 1:58:35. That’s only 4 minutes slower than my most recent 3M half of five years ago – an acceptable age-related slowdown!
Incidentally, I ran a 10K five years ago with the goal of running it in my age in minutes, something I accomplished to within three seconds. For this week’s half marathon I ran two 10Ks back to back, and the second one had a time of 55:11. That’s 30 seconds faster than my age! I’m back.