Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another Year Older

Me, 31 years ago
Today is my birthday.

Today I celebrate 365.25 more days of proving my mom wrong that if you keep doing that you’ll grow hair on your hands and go blind eating as horribly as I do will turn my blood to gravy.  Sweet delicious gravy.

Now that I am no longer just 30 and am “in my 30s” I have officially started to dread birthdays.  No 80 year old ever says:  “Man, being 30 sucked, 80 is where it is at! I can poop, watch TV at volume level 9000, and complain about gas prices all at the same time!”  Thankfully though, I’m a guy and I don’t have to worry about maintaining a flawless completion as I age. As long as everything works like it should I’m just fine and dandy.  It’s a double standard but what can you....OH MY GOD I just caught my reflection and I think I have a new wrinkle.  Anyone have a good Groupon for some botox?

While I was obsessing over new body hair that wasn’t there 3 years ago and wondering if those lines were wrinkles or pillow marks, I got to thinking about my running.  Truth is I WILL slow down eventually.  But, until I do, I’m going to bust my ass squeezing as much speed out of my body as I can.

I really have come a long way in the last 6 years

I read an article a while back, that I cannot find for the LIFE of me, which stated the average adult runner has 6-7 years of hard trained progressively faster race times in their legs.  At that point, they will level off and any “gains” will only serve to hold back father time’s parachute and the grim reaper’s sickle.  Essentially, given consistently intense training you have 6-7 years of big PRs in you after which you’ll be clawing seconds.  Of course, with any study there are lots of things to take into consideration.  For example, if you run 10 miles a week for 7 years and then start running 60 miles a week, you’re going to set some massive PRs no matter your age. Same for losing weight. If you drop 50 pounds you WILL get faster. I’d also like to think that this general formula likely doesn’t apply to people who ran in school but instead only applies to “later life” runners like myself.  But, caveats aside, generally speaking I believe it.

As I type this, I’ve been running seriously for around 5 years.  My first marathon was in 2007 and I really dove in head first during the spring of that year.  So, based on my completely non MLA-sited source, I only have a few years left...and then I get slow (Or, at least I don’t get any faster) – unless I do something about it.

If I use the Boston marathon as my measuring stick, they might seem to back me up.  When I turn 35, I’ll get an extra 5 minutes for which to qualify for the race.  They seem to recognize that the average runner starts to slow down when they hit 35.  Again, if you START running when you’re 33, based on my 6-7 year rule, you likely won’t slow down, but someone who has been running their whole life is likely going to start to lose some go-juice.  Same goes with “masters” world records.  There are separate world records for people who do events when they are older than 40.

Fortunately, I’m rarely one to accept the status quo as gospel.  So, I’ll continue to further intensify my training to continue to get gains.  After all, for every study there are always outliers.  And I guess I’d like to continue to see how far the endurance speed rabbit hole goes. I’m not ready to make year 31 of life my victory lap of ever faster times – at least not yet.


Chad Chisholm said...

I used 3 of my years recently. Now I'm going back to the couch. I'll try to get the remaining 3 years of gains when I hit 40.

Runners Fuel said...

Happy happy birthday!!

Missy said...


Caroline said...

happy birthday!
bonne fete!!!

Sue's Ramblings said...

Happy Birthday Adam! Have a great year ahead! Oh forget the stats - you're over-thinking and analyzing!!!!

Yo Momma Runs said...

Happy birthday! Though I think I've already written that six other times in comments on other posts. It's almost like you're trying to take over every wife's job of having a month-long obligatory birthday celebration.:) I'm only on year two of running, and I think I'm almost ready to just start sloshing through races at a barely-moving pace while chatting with friends. That sounds more fun than feeling like death right now.

Gina said...


I stopped celebrating birthdays when I hit 41 - now it's anniversaries!

It started as a joke, my brother asked how old I was and just to be funny I said, I am celebrating the first anniversary of my 40th birthday.

Took him a while to get it but I'm on my 7th anniversary now and am thinking I'll start over when I hit 51

Running Librarian said...

happy birthday! Have lots of cake and beer! said...

Happy Birthday!

Meghan said...

Happy birthday!!!

Caroline Novak said...

Happy Belated! Love your blog, so creative and well-written.