Running races: part of the appeal wanes

Ok, one of the reasons those local running races appeal to me less and less is, well, simply, I cannot run anymore. The last time I ran, or attempted to, I could feel pain afterward right on the top of my shin; turns out that my right knee has next to zero cartilage left. It isn’t quite bone on bone but it is getting there. So, I’ve switched to walking full time.

But I can still walk fast enough to meet time cut offs, even on a bad day (at least for races in the 5K to half marathon range).

But there is something else going on. Of course, my times have slowed and I have no PRs to look forward to. But that is only part of the story.

In the days of old, well..there was a community of sorts in the groups I ran with in the races. No, I was nowhere near fast enough to run with those who had run for, say, a high school team (never mind college). But, in the days of my 40-42 minutes 10K runs ( 39:50 was my lifetime PR) or 19:xx 5K runs, the people around me were mostly younger and fit.
Now: those around me are a mix of reasonably fit old people, physically average middle age people and out of shape young people.

The ego pump that I used to get by hanging around the younger, fit crowd is long gone. Yes, I know; *I* have changed too; gone are the days were someone would see me and “know” I was there for the marathon or would see me for the first time and tell me where the weight room was, without my even asking.

That being said, I signed up for a 5K two weeks from now; it will be my first since October 2022 and my second “in person” race since the fall of 2019 (I did two “virtual” races in 2020).

Photos: 1982, 2000, 2012, 2014, 2019, and 2023.

Author: oldgote

I enjoy politics, reading, science, running, walking, (racewalking and ultrawalking) hiking, swimming, yoga, weight lifting, cycling and reading. I also follow football (college and pro), basketball (men and women) and baseball (minor league and college)

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