Lacing Up at 60,  Motivation

It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does….

The race was a great success for me personally!     As I sit here the day after, my leg muscles ache, the  joints  a little stiff, but no pain.  I’m  simply tired in general and  savoring the satisfaction of a deed well done!   The several days leading up to the race were emotionally varied—-excited and surprisingly quite nervous.   It made me realize how I intensely alive  I feel when I challenge myself, which hasn’t been too often lately.  I didn’t sleep well Saturday night, even after a relaxing early evening dinner with Marc, Brian and Emily—-a healthy pasta/chicken dish, a great deal of gatorade, water, and no  wine.    The busy-brain was alive and very active from  3 am on, thinking all those weird distorted thoughts we have late in the night.   I got up, had a light breakfast, and did everything I normally do before my regular runs, with  the exception of today pinning on my  racing number…how excited I was! Kathie arrived at 6 am and like two giggly girls, we headed off to the race.    Found Brian and Emily right away, and checked out the early morning happenings and  several  costumes—leopards and cavemen and women—-after all it was  the Jungle Run.          Kathie left us for her  10K and we got in the crowd for the 7 am shotgun start.   I was off, my Ipod set to my running music,  and  Bruce screaming Born to Run! Up a  short hill, through a charming old neighborhood, we headed  out on reasonably flat surface streets to Winchester Blvd.   Marc surprised me and cheered me on at Lark and Winchester. I was feeling terrific (nothing like adrenelin  coursing thru the system). Brian had warned me to run my own pace and not get caught up  with the group, or I’d tire out too quickly.    At the 4 mile mark, I’d been running an 11 min/mile–about a 1-1/2 minutes  faster than my usual mile pace, so slowed down some.  We ran to the  Campbell perc ponds and back along LG Creek trail, which I know so well.   Then  up  a steady, not too  steep incline to Vasona Park, thru the park and onto towards the Lexington Dam.  Wearing the GPS/Heart Rater monitor, I was careful not to allow my heart rate to get too high. As the day  began  to heat  up, I was running  up  the steep grade towards the dam, in dusty gravel and in full  sun.   Once I got to the turnaround cones and  headed back downhill on the final 2 miles, I knew I was going to make it.   As I ran  the path towards the finish at the high school, I saw Brian and Emily holding up a “Go Mom” sign and cheering me on!   Their sign and smiles  of encouragement gave several people a chuckle and really warmed my heart! Turning onto the  track for the final lap, there was Kathie (she’d finished her 10k at a wonderful pace and patiently waited over an hour for me to show up) and   Marc  standing next to her, both  smiling, waving and cheering me on!   How wonderful is that!   Kathie joined me and we ran the final lap together  to the finish—-chatting about  whether  we’d do this again!   A bit too soon  to tell.   Picked up my pace as I ran across the  finish line and my time flashed 2:44:53!!!   I made it, and well under 3 hours!   Felt great!   Emily and Brian had both finished at 1:54….admirable times!   Seeing them, I wish I’d done this years ago.   But I have done it now…. and may well do it again!  

A few insights   on this entire experience….my vision of doing a 1/2 marathon at 60 (something personally challenging with a due date) required that I prepare, with a  running plan, share my questions and concerns with others (mostly Brian, Emily and Kathiel) and that I join this  new world filled with young, strong and really  fit runners. I learned to be content exactly where I am  at this time in my life and with my body as it is.   I have never  truly appreciated  the wonderfulness of my body except briefly  after  a health problem.    I am so grateful  and love each working part, the joints, my feet, even that  balancing thingie in my head that kept me from tripping, and especially my heart which at this age, coulda said, “are you nuts?”  and just stopped!   But it didn’t and everything worked with precision, moving   me through the world faster and longer than I ever thought possible!  

Lastly, I saw so many different body types and ages of   individuals, and  felt  we were all happy, excited compadres  in this event together, yet each one running our own race.   Isn’t that what life really is?    We’re all in this world together,   individually  moving along  our own path at our own pace.    

What an experience!!! What a glorious time in my life to be alive! And yes, I will do this again!


  • Brian

    As I already told you, I am so very proud of you, ma! When I saw you coming down the final stretch into the high school track, I couldn’t believe you were moving so fast. I was skeptical that you would run a lot of it, and end up walking most of the race, but you came in well under your predicted time.

    Dont think about whether you want to do it again right now. For right now, just enjoy the accomplishment.

    We’ll see you next week for the Wharf to Wharf. Only 6 miles, no problem for you………..

  • Kathie

    Enjoying the journey through physical challenges with you.
    Running brings a new frontier to our lives at a time when
    “firsts” are few and far between. Congratulations on a
    great 1/2 marathon. Thanks for doing it again in October
    so I can do it for the “first” time! That Helen Ready song
    comes to mind!

  • Becky

    You still have all the energy I remember you having at 20! And you still wear me out. Congratulations on this new first.

  • pinskerinc

    Wow! Loved the narration. Congratulations! Now turn your love into a story . . . who knows, even a book:) Love, Dick

  • Lesley

    First of all, let me just say a big congratulations, you deserve it!!! I would rather read you than Atlas Shrugged. You have got a book in there somewhere, I just know it. Sparky, you didn’t get your nickname for nothing, I can hear your enthusiam right through the computer screen. You go girlfriend.

  • Kris

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so very proud of you girl. What a fantastic accomplishment for you. Can’t wait to hear some of your future challenges that you share. Love and Blessings and Health. Kris

  • kim n

    Way to go! Beautiful Story, I enjoyed talking to you at Dr. Lisa’s this week. Maybe see you at Rock and Roll.

  • Leslie VB

    Hey Auntie Sherry! I couldn’t believe it when Brian told us you ran a half marathon! Just thinking about it made me tired! It’s such a fantastic accomplishment and we are all proud of you! Keep it up and I hope to see you the next time I’m in the area!

  • Derek

    I thought running a half-marathon in my 20’s was a cool accomplishment… nothing compared to what you did! Ma, you say we inspire you but you are the one that truly inspires. Keep up the hard work and the new adventures!



  • Daniel Tam

    Hey, what an accomplishment! Congratulations! Its very inspiring reading your blog. As always, you write so well. Like someone said, there is a book there somewhere.

  • Gayle Crossley

    WOW! whatta woman! This is so fantastic – you are an inspiration! Congratulations!


  • Holly berry

    What an inspiring read! Your adventure articulates an important piece I am coming upon in my forties, that to appreciate whatever we happen to have at any given time, and to not waste our days in comparison, is to finally learn how to be happy now. Thanks for sharing your personal ‘wins’!

  • Kathleen

    YOUUUUUUUUUU are so amazing and I admire every single step you took to arrive at your goal! I have only done ONE marathon…(speed walking) and that was enough for me. 🙂 YOU inspire us all and I can’t wait to connect in person and celebrate YOUR success!
    Rock on girl ~ Hey the Pink Lady is having a “seniors variety show” here in Hollywood…Maybe you have a new goal to attain! Do ya sing?
    Love ya ~ so glad it was you and not me!

  • Dianne Clark

    Sherry – you are amazing! Taking on such a challenge and something you’d never done before is so impressive. Add in all the preparation and “advanced planning” that required makes it all the more meaningful. I am really inspired by your accomplishment and hope to use it to make some changes in my exercise program. Love the blog – another new venture!

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