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Thursday, January 6, 2011

But I don’t “feel” old

People are always telling me that they feel “old”.  And I don’t feel old.  They tell me that their “old” body doesn’t work the way it used to.  I hate hearing that, because I don’t (or didn’t) feel the same.

And then that façade came crashing down . . .

When I was a kid, I was no “tom boy” (though I wouldn’t mind saying I was if I were.)  I was more of a “girly girl” – white buckle shoes, dresses, pigtails, etc.  But I also played in the mud, climbed trees.  I remember somersaults, cartwheels, quarter flips all summer long on the front lawns in my neighborhood.  I used to watch t.v. “standing” on my head!  And in an instant, I could bend backward (from a standing position) straight into a “back bend.”  I simply stood  straight, reached for the sky, bent back, and gracefully fell until my palms hit the ground, with my back arched and my feet remaining flat on the floor. 

As I talked about these activities with my oldest son last night (You know those conversations? “When I was a kid . . .  I didn’t have video games or even vcrs to entertain myself”,) he asked “What’s a back bend?” 

“Well, here, I’ll show you,” I boasted, to which my husband loudly exclaimed, “No, please No!”

I waltzed out into the hallway, lifted my hands up and bent back, just a little. My husband watched on, shaking his head.  Looking behind me as I prepared for this “back bend,” I realized that it was a long way between the floor and me now.  And this floor was hard.  I could hit my head.

“You’re not a contortionist anymore,” my husband said.

Okay, Okay, so maybe I need to work on simply falling into a “back bend.”

Not Me Wheel-Full-Back-Bend_slideshow_image 

But surely, I could lay down and lift myself up into a “back bend.”  No falling involved.  My head would be safe.

My husband laughed and warned, “Don’t do it!  Don’t do it!”  As my son watched on, curious to see what the heck a “back bend” was, I lifted myself from the floor while laying on my back.  And in the instant I tried to arch my back, an enormous cramp attacked my hamstring and I promptly fell to the ground. 

I guess I’ve been in denial . . . this body doesn’t work the way it used to.

But I still don’t feel “old.”  I just can’t do a “back bend” or probably even cartwheels across the neighborhood.  Heck.  I’m not even sure if I can do one cartwheel.  (Believe me!  After Calico, I’ll be working on that!)  I’m not sure yet about standing on my head.  I suspect there’s too much weight to rest upon my head for any length of time. : ))

I never see kids doing things like that any more.  Walking on their hands (I could do that too), standing on their heads.  In my day “jungle gyms” and front yard gymnastics were normal.

Such is life.  It changes.  That’s a good thing I suppose.  It’s just sometimes hard getting used to.

SO, all local trails remained closed today.  I talked with 2 kindergarten mother friends for quite some time after dropping my last boy off to school.  And then a minor emergency occurred with my middle boy (everything is okay), but I had to return to the school.  With much of my morning eaten up and work this afternoon, I had little time for a workout.  I knew what that meant:

Speed work.

Once a week.  That’s what I’ve been dedicated to since the last week in November.  I still hate it.  But I still do it.  Today, I ran my speed bursts on the local paved hills (right outside my front door) for a little over 2 miles.  The sweat began to pour quickly, and I doubted that I’d increased my speed any since I first started this torture. 

Surprise, surprise.  Back at home, after stretches, floor exercises and fifty jumps up onto the double-stacked railroad ties out back, I took a look at my speed work that is recorded in SportsTrack software.  Amazingly, I found that my fastest pace during these hellish speed workouts has increased (even after such a short time!)

I’ve only had five sessions and I’ve gone from a “fastest” pace of 8 something to 6 something.  I have to say.  I’m pleased.  Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m even going to come close to running a 6 minute mile at Calico, or even an 8 minute mile.  What it means is that I’m stronger.  And for that, I’m glad.  Very glad!  Five speed workouts over five weeks have given me, in my opinion, big returns.

Speed Training Date       Fastest Pace

  1. Nov. 30, 2010        8:38
  2. Dec. 7, 2010         8:58
  3. Dec. 14, 2010       7:41
  4. Dec. 23, 2010       6:48
  5. Jan. 6, 2011          6:44

Thank you readers for all your comments, suggestions and encouragement.


  1. Way to go there Gumby!! Good speed-work numbers.

  2. Gumby? Me? I tried a back bend again today (from the laying down position) & still couldn't do it!!! : )) I'm still glad though, can you believe slow ole' me doing even a portion of a mile in the 6 min. mile pace? I couldn't even do that when I could do back bends way back when!

  3. I am impressed you could do back bends ever! It is weird witnessing my body age. Injuries seem to happen from doing practically nothing and stuff takes longer to heal than it ever has before. My face skin is doing weird stuff.. I don't really like it. :P

    Speed training seems to be really working!! Those are impressive gains!

  4. We may be older, but there is no way I could have run 26.2 when I was "young"!

  5. Thanks Kate. I try not to notice the body aging (eventhough I have bought cream for age spots, to no avail! : )

    I am shocked at the increase in speed. I really feel lousy doing speedwork, like I'm not making any progress at all. It's good to have the garmin to see otherwise.

  6. True, True Glenn! I would have sat at the sidelines and cried after the first couple miles when I was "young." : )