4 key and simple steps to take as you start to make a runner out of yourself.
On Sunday, January 27th of 2019, the FitBit Miami Marathon took Miami by storm. Runners from all over the world came, ran 13.1 miles or 26.2 miles of Miami’s most scenic spots, before going back to their wintery abodes. In this post, we would like to let you know that running full marathons at 60 is not child’s play, but it depends on who you ask.
This yearly and long-awaited event marked the 17th annual Miami Marathon, but for me, Javier Salmon, it marked something extraordinary. Something so special in my life’s book of “personal records” I can only paraphrase it by saying that “This one was a doozy!” Yes, yes… I know, not what you expected.
It was emotionally charged and loaded with expectations but that unfortunately were a no-show at the finish line. I will tell you some more about my finish, in just a bit. Stay with me…
These races are fun in that they provide entertainment value as well as a feeling of accomplishment to keep the vigor engaged.
Locally around Kendall, with the many weeks leading up to that date, we tend to train a little harder. Let me be clear, we train, not necessarily with the expectation to come in first or second place in our age group (even though that would be great) but more so, to have a chance to enjoy the people, the ambiance, and the out of town runners. If we are being honest, we sometimes get ahead of ourselves and can’t stop the temptation to compete with our hardest critic (ourselves) and well, we land flat on our face, sometimes. I tell you, there is nothing easy about Running Marathons at 60 but once you get going, there is nothing to regret.
Run Club meets once per week, usually on different weekdays to catch up on the week’s happenings and do a fun run at our own pace. Frankie Ruiz, the founder of the Miami Marathon and Runclubnetwork.com operates and hosts the most popular and welcoming Kendall Run Club in Kendall. With various sights to visit in Kendall, let it be known, West Kendall Baptist Hospital (my stomping ground) is where you can find the best people (wink, wink). You will also find like-minded people there to enjoy a good run and eachother’s company. As they say, good people find good people.
The overall experience of being a runner and eventually a marathoner has its merit, but quite frankly, has selfishness to it which is why it can be hard to explain. Everyone’s experience is so personal. If you have never pushed your hardest to do something as simple as to place your left foot in front of the right, close to 17,000 times in a single run – well, you should.
For starters, it requires a pact of discipline and commitment from the most important being in focus (that would be you). Once you come to realize that the goal is so much deeper than whether you should have a Nike or Adidas sign on your back, it is extremely rewarding.
Actually, I am in my 60’s. And in my 60+ years alive, I can not remember something so rewarding as running. Lets just say that it’s something that you will eventually grow into.
Once you have made the commitment and you have the willpower to start, you go through different phases, and these are what made me transcend to the marathoner degree.
- You start with a 5 block run around your neighborhood. Do that a few times until it feels natural, great!
- Then you can progress into a 1 miler. Once the 1 miler seems like child’s play, you “buckle it up Charlie” and sign up for your first 5-kilometer run or the famous 5K race!
- These races are fun in that they provide entertainment value as well as a feeling of accomplishment to keep the vigor engaged.
- Once the 5k starts paying you in health, you start to get the gusto of it. You begin to experience the benefits of an active life: sleeping better, eating well, better moods at work and at home, and the additional stamina that brings it all together. All of it begins to “line up”. Now another set of rules begin to play out. Eating is now nutrition, your running apparel is now your running gear, drinking is now hydration, your shoes are now the BEST investment you could ever make realizing their importance in keeping your body healthy and preventing any pesky injuries.
Before you know it, you begin participating in events here and there and you become part of an amazing running community you helped to create. I’d like to say that runners act like bats…under the cover of the night – they move, they train, they build a family.
Sooner than you know it, the FULL MARATHON race starts peeping its ugly head – the race that offers its audience of 25,000+ runners from across the world. The excitement of running 26.2 miles in one shot, at the beginning of mostly everyone’s training seems humanly impossible, but if I could do it at my age of 60 something, not to mention this was my 5th marathon, I am a testament that any human with 2 legs and their willpower can do it.
As for right now, it is all about the lessons learned. Each race is a new experience: Weather, hydration, shoes, gear, time-keeping, etc. They are all given special consideration and play an important role in your overall performance, not to mention the race day expectations.
As I mentioned at the beginning, this race was a doozy. Neither my projected time, pace, or even the weather came to pass. They all fell by the wayside. But on the other hand, I am privileged and honored to have surrounded myself with triumphant running friends that knew half way through that I was struggling. As a gesture to their “guajiro,” a guardian angel (my dear friend) sacrificed her own time and pace, and gave me the energy, words, and courage to continue. It was to her sacrifice that I can count this metal as my #5, put it in my book, and mark it as DONE.
Get running my friends …. Running Marathons at 60 is not Child’s play, but I hope to see you out there under the cover of the night and I hope afterward, I get to share a very COLD beer with you, too!
If you live in the Kendall area and want to make a runner out of yourself, be sure to check out some awesome free run clubs in Kendall at www.runclubnetwork.com.
Written by Javier Salmon