New Kid in Town

Well. When I started this running-grandma blog, there was one grand; now there are two, two precious girls.

I am 54 now, still running.

Recently, in a meeting not related to running, a leader suggested we all consider the “whys” of what we do. That is, we were encouraged to remember the reasons we started a certain practice, review the reasons, see if they were the same, modified or needed to be completely rehauled.

So I’m asking myself, “Why do I run?”

When I started running, around age 32, I was concerned about my appearance. I simply wanted to lose weight. Slow and self-conscious, it took me years to say, “I’m a runner” because I couldn’t justify my form and speed.

In the mid-1990s, in a long season of depression, I ran because I found that vigorously pounding the pavement left me feeling … that’s it–left me actually feeling, no longer numb. I believe the exhaustion and the sun helped heal me. What a gift running was!

Throughout the years, I ran to prove something to myself and probably to other people. For instance, I have been proud to note that the little girl who hated phys ed and did not excel at athletics is now active daily and pretty fit, while many of my peers stopped moving long ago. Occasionally, I see my old gym teacher in public. He doesn’t remember me, but I remember him and his less than supportive comments. I’ve been tempted to approach him and tell him about the irony of my running, but that’s silly. It’s enough that I know what I know. I know what I’m capable of, and that makes me smile.

I also ran to meet tangible goals: distance, time, new routes, 5ks, halfs. I never ran to get faster. I just kept plodding along. I was competing against myself for the feeling of achievement, not winning.

I ran for the euphoria of a good run and for the pride of enduring when it was awful. There were years I ran faithfully, years I ran fitfully. But I never stopped, never gave it up.

So, have my reasons changed? There’s still a part of each that I mentioned above in why I continue. Right now I’m training for my 3rd or 4th Indy Mini. I just bought new shoes, and I’m in a really happy place: I’m fit, my weight is healthy, I feel good about being able to do what I do at my age, I still enjoy the euphoria and even the occasional disappointment. And I have no qualms calling myself a runner–simply because I run. It’s what I do, part of who I am.

However, there is one reason I run that is fairly new. Last week, we were playing with our 4-year-old granddaughter in the yard. She wanted to “run races.” Just like that, I was transported back to my childhood, when the neighborhood kids and I ran races all the time! Our granddaughter and we ran several races, changing our “teams,” changing the route (like around the house!) When each race finished, she grabbed us around our knees, squeezed her eyes shut tightly and hugged with all her might. We jumped, we cheered, we panted, we raced again!

She doesn’t know we’re old. Well, she knows we’re older than she is, yes. But I asked her once to guess my age, and she said, “five.” So she thinks we can run just like she can, run like the wind. I do not want to disappoint her. I want to run and play with her as long as I physically can.

And now there are two. The second girl is not yet crawling, but soon she’ll be on the move, and one day, she’ll say, “Let’s go! Let’s run!” and I intend to do just that. I’ve always said, “I want to be the reading, baking, rocking, running grandma.” I hope our girls will always remember the joy we shared in the times we grabbed each others’ hands and ran through the spring grass like we were young, all of us.



Sniffles: To Run Or Not to Run?

Sneezing, honking, tearing through Puffs like they’re soap bubbles … it’s a new year’s cold, everybody! This is putting a big wet Puffs blanket on my plans for getting started in 2015 like gangbusters. What do you do?


2014, Over and Out

IMG_0498Happy to record that I met and slightly passed my running goal for 2014. The average pace and number of miles is not exactly staggering, so I’ll hide refrain from posting the numbers. Let’s just say the mileage is between 300 and 1,000. But I think I have a fairly challenging life regarding finding time for running. I’m either watching my grandgirl or helping my mom. Or doing the usual things like bathing and laundry, laundry and cooking, and laundry and laundry. Plus, I’m 52, so aches and pains are more prevalent now than 20 years ago. Despite eating pretty well and taking supplements, I have less energy. There is a difference between 32 and 52. And I just can’t run at night. Physically, it’s nearly impossible.

I didn’t meet my half-way mark at June 1, like I planned, so I used the second half of the year to play catch up. That was rough, too.

But I did it!

And maybe more important than the number is the fact that I set a goal and met it. I actually set a new year’s resolution on this date last year, and I kept it. So now I know what I can do. I know what is possible. I’m looking forward to attaining more goals in 2015, small and large, one literal and figurative step at a time.


Tricks of the Grandma Running Trade


Every day my granddaughter takes a nap, sometimes for 30 minutes, sometimes for 2 hours. I never know what to expect. Since she arrives in the mornings, it’s difficult for me to get a run in before she gets here. Thus, I’ve been striving for a nap time run for some weeks because I just can’t run in the evenings after she goes home. I think my perfect hour of running (I was going to say, “Hour of Power,” but that has been taken by a TV pulpit)  is about 10:00am, which only happens on the days I don’t have her. 

The problem is, her room is directly across from the exercise room, and the treadmill is noisy. OK, my footfall is noisy, too.

So once I rock her and lay her down, I haul an air purifier from the other end of the house that I use at night mainly for white noise. I crank that thing up just outside her door so that the air in her room doesn’t get dry. 

Then I either turn on the TV, muted with closed captioning on, or I listen with buds to music. So all there is to hear is the hum of the purifier mingled with the whir of the treadmill. So far so good. Many times I’m able to get in 3 miles, so I can’t complain. Well, I can always complain about the Midwest winter weather, but that doesn’t count!





Tying Up the End of a Running Goal


Some Sundays are leisurely; some are not. Today was not. The holidays are winding down, but we had an impromptu family gathering at our home this afternoon. And then our little granddaughter got sick. 

About 6:00pm, I remembered that I had not run my allotted miles today which will tie up my running goal exactly on December 31. 

I didn’t feel like the treadmill at 6:00. I was tired, and my legs are a bit stiff from not stretching. But because of that goal I set almost 365 days ago, I got on, got it done. Sloooowwwwly.

Oh the power of a specific, measurable, attainable goal. Uh, that should work for weight loss, too, right?


Grandma Was NOT Run Over by a Reindeer

I’ve got a new design!
Still here! Still running. In fact, I’m closing in on a goal I set for myself in 2014: 500 miles. After announcing that, I immediately want to apologize for or rationalize this goal because it’s not much compared to others’. However, it has been a challenge for me in the context of my life, and I’m proud to say I’m going to make the goal (unless tragedy befalls in the next 3 days.) My first goal was 250 miles by June 1, which I failed to meet. So most of my mileage was made up after June. Today I am 11 miles away from my goal.

Underlying joy: *I GET NEW SHOES!*

We have re-purposed one bedroom as an exercise room, with an elliptical, treadmill, mat, weights and TV, so now I’m all set for the winter. I survived the holidays and kept running. No reindeer hoof prints on me.

Now I’m contemplating goals for 2015. I’m actually excited to set goals because now I know they’re attainable. I can do it!