Ask A Marathon Mommy: Much Too Young to Feel this Old

Sharon is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a background in mental health, substance abuse, and child welfare.

“I tried my hand at being a work at home mom, but in 2009 I decided that being a stay at home mom is what works best for me and my family, at least for now. As my kids like to say, I’m “The Boss” of the family, which includes my husband of 9 years, two daughters (ages 4 and 6), and a giant goldfish named Princess Leia. My girls are beautiful and curious and wild and exhausting, and life is never, ever dull! I love reading, traveling, trying new restaurants, and shopping for bargains. I’m also training to run my first marathon in February 2013.”

Much Too Young to Feel this Old…

Well, I guess I kind of deserved it.

You know how whenever you dare to mention what a great sleeper your baby is, the 3:00 a.m. wake-ups begin again? Or how when you mention that no one in your family has been sick in ages, your kid comes home from school the very same day with icky green snot? Well, as you may recall, last week I wrote about my fabulous eight mile run. It was a breeze! I felt fantastic! And then sure enough…well, I’m sure you can guess where this is going. Call it a combination of tweaking my hip in a cross-training class, overdoing my Monday training run, and running on an unfamiliar treadmill…but by mid-week, I was feeling every single day of my 37 years. I was sore, achy, and a little discouraged.

It got me to thinking: Am I too old for this? Has this ship sailed? Is marathon training best left to career athletes and flat-bellied 19 year olds who are brave enough to run in just their sports bras?

So I took to the internet and did a little research. Turns out that the answer is NO. According towww.MarathonGuide.com, the average marathon runner in 2011 was 38 years old! Holy cow!!! The largest percentage of female runners was the 25-29 age group, followed closely behind by 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44. In fact, over 25% of all marathon runners in 2011 were women between the ages of 25-44! I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty incredible!

While we’re at it, did you know that less than ONE PERCENT of the U.S. population has run a marathon in their lifetime? How inspiring!

So, no. I’m not too old for this. Even when it hurts…even when I’m slow…even when I’m doubting myself…I need to remember that I am among my peers, that I am in excellent company, and that I am doing something very special. And that, I think, is enough to shave off a few of those pesky years. Now I just need to work on the sports bra.

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