Movin’ On Up

So that was it, the Magic City half marathon; my last half marathon in the “old man” age group. Next time I race I will be in the “old as hell man” group. And you know what? I am looking forward to it. Yes our culture is youth obsessed and many people dread the thought of getting older. But if youth is all about possibilities I feel young because running has taught me that even things that sounded crazy just a few years ago are still possible. I mean I just ran the freaking NYC Marathon for the second time pushing 60, and I couldn’t have done that at 40 or 30 or even 20. Best of all, moving up in age means I have a better chance of winning some races!
This is the third time I’ve run the Magic City Half Marathon. I like to run races I’ve run before to keep tabs on my progress. My goal is always to do better than last time, and I was able to accomplish that this year. I finished at 1:51:09, about a minute and a half ahead of last year. My first time I ran it in 1:47:17, which was good for 3rd place and at the time, was a PR. Now I know that at some point my times will decline just from getting older, but I don’t see this Magic City trend as owing to that as much as I do to marathon training. After my training for the TCSNYC Marathon last year I found a considerable drop in my speed and it was reflected in the nearly 6 minutes added to my time in the Magic City event. I was pretty disappointed by that and coupled with my miserable experience in my first marathon I was convinced that my progress had come to an end. Since then I have bested my times in 4 repeat races including a 5 minute improvement in the NYC Half Marathon, and I set a new half marathon PR of 1:45:46 the week before that. So in that context, a minute and a half improvement in the Magic City Half marathon is a good sign. And 1:51:09 would be the winner in the next age group up.
Last year I faded a bit towards the end of the Magic City Half Marathon. But just as I got to that point Sunday the TV theme song “Movin’ On Up”, came up on my I-Phone (I know, I know why is that in my music library) and helped me pick up the pace (it IS an energetic song whatever else it might be). I was gaining ground on the 1:50 pacer I had lost a ways back and tried to keep him in sight as we neared the Birmingham Barons stadium and the finish line (I love races that end in stadiums). I never did catch him, but I didn’t finish far behind, and I beat last year. I’m movin’ on up, and I’m excited to see that possibilities are still ahead of me.

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