Three August Runfessions

When I began to write this post, I searched my blog for my last Runfession. I was horrified to discover it was at the end of May!

Three months without acknowledging guilt. Three months without confessing my running sins. Three months without absolution. I feel so unclean!

Let me unburden myself.

Meditations in Motion

My first runfession concerns thinking some very uncharitable thoughts about some non-running friends.

Readers, you can easily see by the lines on my face and the gray (or is it silver?) in my hair I am no spring chicken.

One question, however, I must admit to cringing when I hear from a non-runner is some version of this: “Aren’t you too old to be running?

Let me see…running helps keep me feeling youthful, energetic, and strong. It bolsters my social life and helps to satisfy my desire for adventure in a healthy way.

Running keeps my pulse, blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol low and improves my sense of self-confidence.

It has inspired travel, goal-setting, connectedness, and fun in my life.

Am I too old for all of that?

Would it be better if I sat on my front porch in a rocking chair and warned neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn?

Breathe, Laurie.

I runfess. I must will do better.

Meditations in Motion

My second runfession is this: when I love something, I tend to go just a teensy bit overboard.

Friends and family know during strawberry season (now sadly past until next May), I tend to eat fresh strawberries until they are coming out of my ears.

The first quart of strawberries I buy each year never actually survives the 10 minute trip from the farm to my house. They all get eaten on the way home.

I eat strawberries in my yogurt, in fruit salads, in pies, and in strawberry shortcake. In fact, when I was a kid, our family used to eat strawberry shortcake for dinner. As an entree.

I am the same way with my favorite running routes.

I have a 10K route I love that begins at the local rec center. One day years ago, I ran it just as the sun was coming up over the rolling farmland of Lancaster County. The scene was so beautiful that it made me want to run that route again and again and again, even if it wasn’t at sunrise.

I am sure my hubby and running partner is tired of the route, but whenever I ask him “Where do you want to run?” he often graciously says, “Want to run the 10K from the rec?

I do like to explore new running routes but a loved favorite is comfortable like a soft, well-worn sweater.

Meditations in Motion

My third and final runfession has to do with the return of joy to my running.

I haven’t actually told many of my friends about it yet.

I’m not sure if I’m afraid I will jinx my newfound happy feelings, or if I am anxious that the feelings are temporary and will go away.

I certainly wouldn’t lie to anyone and tell them I’m still miserable when I am not.

But I’m also not sure it’s the kind of thing you make an announcement about, either. Because of the restrictions due to the pandemic, the only person I was running with when the worst anxiety struck was my hubby.

I am just very, very grateful and relieved to be where I am now. One blogger suggested that she went through the stages of grief related to the pandemic and thought maybe the same thing happened to me.

I think she may be right.

If so, “Hello, acceptance. I’m glad you finally showed up!

See you next month for Runfessions.

 

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93 comments

  1. acceptance yes I know that feeling. I took her in, and it was peaceful til I had one two many thoughts and then a panic attack followed…. where was acceptance then? Eventually she came back

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No one should ever say: โ€œArenโ€™t you too old to be running?โ€ It is likely jealousy or wishful thinking that a person would utter such words – in reality, it is more like they wish they had the stamina you have to run as you do, or perhaps they wish they were as motivated as you to get out every day and run like the wind. You are back to your old routine and feeling as good mentally and physically as one can feel during this pandemic. I am glad you won’t let words take that prideful feeling away from you Laurie – ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post. And never too old doing what you enjoy.
    Can totally relate to the feeling of being content doing the same run. Im not a runner but have been doing yoga at home since March when I started working from home. Same routine every morning. Like running its meditative and the exercise good for my physical and mental health. Nice to explore new ways but there is something grounding and safe about the familiar. Especially this crazy year.
    Thanks for sharing and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I enjoyed reading your โ€œrunfessionsโ€ Laurie. I love the adrenaline rush in the spirit and body when returning to those activities that feed our body and soul. By the way, I love strawberries too. That feeling of putting on your favorite sweater is how I feel hiking my favorite routes. Keep on keepinโ€™ on!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I think I would have the same uncharitable thoughts about people telling me I’m too old for running, Laurie!

    So great you got your running mojo back! Maybe the race helped as well.

    Is that your running club on the happy photo?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m eating peaches in/on everything right now too. They are not bad either! And those young whippersnappers will just have to keep themselves off my lawn! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  6. I like the explanation that your slump was stages of grief related to the pandemic. I think a lot of us have gone through that without fully understanding what was happening. The good news is that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Glad you found your exit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Too old to run?!? Tell that to my 71 year old running buddy who we helped pace for a marathon on the York Rail Trail this spring when his actual marathon was cancelled and who, by himself, chose to run/walk another marathon 2 weeks ago!

    I have a 6 mile route around town that is a favorite as well. It’s got a challenging hill a little over halfway through it, so it’s always a good test of how in shape I am how easily (or not) I make it up it. There’s something about comfortable routes that just allow you to enjoy a run without thinking about where you’re going.

    I think the pandemic has caused mental distress for all of us. I’m not prone to anxiety (other than driving on busy highways/in unfamiliar areas) yet I’ve found myself experiencing some small bouts. I try to scale back my news watching/reading for a day or two when that happens and I find it helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a bunch of older running friends who are an inspiration to me. One lady in our club – a tiny German woman – ran a marathon in Greece the day after her 80th birthday! I want to be like her!

      There is a short but very steep hill in my 6-mile route. I have to admit, I almost always use it as an excuse for a walk break! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I can’t believe people would actually ask if you aren’t too old for running. Wow! I’m not sure how I would even respond to that other than I’d be so shocked by their ignorance, jealousy, or whatever prompted them to ask that, I’d probably be speechless.
    You can never have too many strawberries when it’s strawberry season! I pick them by the buckets!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello,

    You are never too old to do something you love doing. I do more hiking, my ankles and feet are not made for running. Keep on running. Take care, enjoy your day!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. NEVER TOO OLD… I always see runners out there that look like they’re in their 60’s – 70’s & those people are MY HEROES!!!!!
    I’m the same way about going overboard. When I’m IN – I’m INNNNNN

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Informed acceptance is where we all need to be if we are to survive this pandemic with our sanity intact. As for asking you if you’re too old to run, that’s just plain rude. Honestly I cannot wrap my mind around someone saying that to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Informed acceptance is always a good strategy. As opposed to the sign about the pandemic I saw in someone’s yard while on a run this week: “Don’t Accept the NEW Normal”. What???? Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I can’t believe someone (or more than someone) asked if you were too old to run! That’s awful. You sure seem to be great at it so I say just keep it up for as long as you possibly can; especially if it brings you joy. Thanks for sharing your runfressions with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I think you’re not ready to tell your friends about running b/c you just need a little “alone” time with running now that you’re back together;-) It’s a stage in the relationship and you will be ready to go “public” soon enough. Grrr…I would need to spend A LOT of time in the confessional if someone told me that I was too old to run. Yes they are saying something about themselves and not you but grrrrr…..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. You’re never too old to do what you love – especially when what you love also keeps you healthy. Strawberry season for us is over the winter – the Sunshine Coast produces most of Australia’s winter strawberries so we get them super duper fresh…and they are goooood.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wow, really? Maybe they mean “isn’t running too hard on an older body?” Obviously it isn’t (if done correctly), but I could see why someone might ask that. They probably are actually saying, “I don’t want to run and I’m using my age as an excuse.” Glad to hear that your running mo-jo is back!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I also run the same route over and over again – glad to know I’m not alone in this! There’s just something comforting about not having to think too much and just letting my feet follow the familiar pathways, especially as I run early in the morning and I’m not really ‘awake’ yet. I liked your runfessions. Glad you rediscovered your joy of running ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Laurie, I had to stop and remember my dad when I got to the part about your gray (or is it silver?) hair. He was prematurely gray (I take after him in thatโ€”thanks, Dad). But whenever we would say something about his gray hair, he would insist that there are no gray hairs. Only white hairs and brown hairs that look gray when mixed together! Anyway, I loved this post. And also that you keep running despite the people who ask dumb questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I love your dad’s way of thinking about his hair. He must have been a special guy. It is my plan to keep on running until I can’t. I have a lot of older friends showing me the way. Thank you, Lois!

      Like

  18. Ugh! I would be irritated by those age comments! I think the best reply is that running keeps you young. I would repeat a sunrise route for sure! Thatโ€™s one thing I really miss running from home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes… I have to admit to a little bit of irritation at the age comments. You are right – running DOES keep us young! Wish I had thought of that at the time I heard the negative comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  19. I don’t quite get the logic of not exercising or running or whatever movement you find joy in. I also believe those activities keep you young and healthy both physically and mentally. To each his own! I love that you have found joy in running again. That’s what it’s all about

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Runfession #1. Wow. People really SAY things like that?? Could there be something in the back of their mind that theyโ€™ve always wanted to do and now, maybe, now they use age as a excuse not to do it? Probably doesnโ€™t feel good. Weโ€™ve probably all done it in some guise. At least I have.
    One of the things on my list of Things That Inspire Me is โ€˜women older than me pursing things they loveโ€”with abandon.โ€™ So….thanks for inspiring me, Laurie!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. People really do say that. I am lucky that I have a lot of older running friends I look up to. They are running well into their 80s. I hope to be doing the same thing when I am their age. One friend ran the Athens Marathon the day after her 80th birthday last year!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Oh I’ve heard the “aren’t you too old to be running” thing from non-runners on more than a couple of occasions. I’ve also heard I need to “get a life”. To each his/her own I guess. To me age is relative and I’m going to run as much as I want for as long as I can. Thanks for linking!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you, Marcia. Luckily, I have a lot of older role models who are runners. They are still having fun well into their 80s. I hope to do the same and I hope you do too! Thanks for hosting.

      Like

  22. I seriously do not have routes. I go out & decide where I want to go as I run. I get bored really easily, and there are only so many “routes” in my neighborhood anyway!

    So far no one has ever told me I’m too old to run, although occasionally at a half they want to know who I’m picking up for.

    So happy you found your running joy again — may it stick around for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to decide my route as I run but Bill likes to have something mapped out ahead of time. We kind of compromise.

      Luckily, I have many older runner friends who are excellent role models for me. I see them running well into their 80s.

      I am so glad I found my running joy again too. It was gone for a longer time than I can ever remember. I was beginning to get really worried.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. SO glad to hear the mojo has returned! Mine has not ever really left completely, but there have been times when it was wavered a tad. For me, it’s not something that I can “force” its return; it has to happen on its own. I don’t get asked the “too old” questions, but my mom (I think I’ve told you about her pessimistic mindset) immediately tells me I shouldn’t run so much whenever something happens. I swear she thinks running is what caused my seasonal allergies (back before my allergy shots nixed them).

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad my mojo was found! You are so right – I just had to wait for it to come back. You can’t pursue it. Keep on running, Kim. I can’t believe running would have a negative impact on seasonal allergies! So many benefits to staying active.

      Like

  24. Ugh! That’s such a rude question to ask someone. I’m glad that you feel like your running mojo is back ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m the same way about strawberries and watermelon – I eat SO much of both in the summer months, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. It is kind of rude, isn’t it? So glad I got my mojo back too. I have been eating a lot of watermelon lately too. Note to self…don’t eat a lot of watermelon before bedtime. Too many nighttime trips to the bathroom!

      Like

  25. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found your happy again! I’m still struggling with anxiety–intermittently. Oddly, going to work seems to help alleviate that. Maybe not so odd, since I’m managing other people’s problems…

    I love strawberries but they cause some digestive issues for me. And that is all I am going to say about that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am tiptoeing around my “happy place”, Wendy. Hoping that it stays. I always found that the easiest races for me to run were the ones where I was concentrating on helping someone else finish. Going back to work seems like the same for you. Makes perfect sense!

      Like

  26. Even though I am not in the older population, people still give me a hard time about running all the time. Oh well! I love it and will readjust in the future if I need to. I tend to run the same running routes as well! Something comforting knowing where you are going and what the distance will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I am astonished that someone would ask that question about age and running!

    I’ve had some thoughts brewing–maybe a possible future post–about people trying to make us older than we are. I am in my early 60s, and to me, “old” is a couple of decades away, at least. Yet in the last couple of years, I’ve had people “helping” me, without being asked, take groceries from my cart and put them on the conveyor belt for me. I know I haven’t bought them yet, but it still feels like intrusion into my space. And I am not struggling to get it done. I usually say, “That’s ok, I can get it,” but they keep doing it! All I can figure is that my greyish hair makes me look to them like an old lady. Frustrating!

    Anyway–that’s beside the point here. You keep on keeping on! And I am so thankful your running joy came back.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Youโ€™re never too old to do what you love โ€“ especially when what you love also keeps you healthy. I actually don’t think age comes into it! Who says us silver, white or grey haired gals can’t do whatever makes us healthy & we enjoy!
    You have been such an inspiration to me in my healthier journey! ๐Ÿ˜€
    Strawberry season is in my backyard at the moment, our strawberries are producing a huge harvest even in our wintery Aussie cold here on the east coast!
    Great post Laurie, so delighted your verve is still there ๐Ÿ™‚
    Bless you,
    Jennifer

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, Victor, you ask tough questions. I guess I would have to go with running. There are many other fruits I like but no other activity I like as much as running. Blessings to you!

      Like

  29. Loved. This. Post. Eschewing proper punctuation:) I am so glad that you have rediscovered your joy and it shows in your sense of humor. How gracious of your husband to ask where you want to run! and how annoying that anyone would begin a sentence with those awful words, “Aren’t you a little old…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I often wonder what my mother (a former English and Latin teacher) would say about my liberal use of punctuation and my lack of grammar knowledge. It was in my brain at one time, but I just can’t remember too many of the rules anymore. I am very grateful for my continued joy in running!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Hi Laurie, I like your argument for running as we get older. We have a friend in the UK who only took up running this year at the grand old age of 75! And I don’t believe she has ever looked so good, youthful or healthy. She recently got herself a pushbike too, so that’s my inspiration to still be running into my later years… I must admit to not enjoying running new routes, mainly because we have a problem with loose dogs and I pretty much know where the dogs are and which are the ones to watch on my favourite routes… After not running for a while it was lockdown that got me to want to pull my running shoes back on again! I think the restrictions made me hanker for it again and now I am loving it

    Love this Runfessions item. It’s good to read someone else’s points of view!

    xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have a lot of older running mentors I can look to for inspiration in my running club. I hope I am still going strong 20 years from now! Good for your friend. She is inspiring! I’m glad you put your running shoes on again to.

      Like

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