How do you know when it is time to stop? As I move deeper into my 50’s, I wonder how/when I will know when it is time to move on, to cut back, to change up my running program?
Running has been a part of my life for a long time. I am a morning runner – most of the time during the early morning dark hours. Running helps me stay healthy, process different situations, sweat out anxiety and worry, and solve problems. I have seen countless gorgeous sunrises as well as millions of bright stars and stunning full moons descending to the other side of the world.
I recently trained for and completed my 15th half marathon, the Trenton Half Marathon. I have also completed 2 full marathons – The Shamrock in Virginia Beach and the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC. While I was training fort his recent half, I realized that it was harder, that it took much longer for my body to heal, that I was sorer and stiffer and that I was taking more Advil than I ever have. I decided that it was going to be my last long distance run.
The fun part of the training and what kept me motivated was that I was going to do this run with one of my sisters, Sue, and two of my nieces, Grace Ann and Ellie. Another niece, Coleen, was running a half marathon in Greenville, SC on the same day. Also, this run was taking place in my home state of New Jersey, although it did cross over the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.
I am not retiring from running – I am not ready to give up all the benefits that it gives to me – especially a good sweat, but I am going to dial it down. I am really happy running 4-7 miles and so are my knees and the rest of my joints and muscles. So, I pass on the long distance running torch to my much younger nieces and nephews – have at it – enjoy nature, enjoy the healthy feeling, enjoy having some time to yourself, enjoy challenging yourselves, and mostly, enjoy a really good sweat!