It happened. I had another birthday. Yes, they come every year, but this was an important one. To me, far more painful than 30, or 40, or even 50.
I'm now 35.
When I started running at the age of 12 or 13, it didn't take long to learn about the BEASTLY female age group at 5k races... not the competitive high school runners, not the college age girls... But the 35-39 year old ladies.
Also known as the fast old lady age group.
This was not a title of derision... It was a title given after being schooled by these old ladies, race after race. And, believe me, they were OLD.
It was easy to spot them. Different from the aerobics queen and health club runners, these ladies had grit, a glint in their eyes, and saggy knees... And very often really cool outfits. (Much better than my 5k t-shirt from the previous weekend!). Inevitably, they would pass me in the last half mile or so, looking strong. At the finish, while I was crying or crumpling, they would nonchalantly stand around and talk to everyone... Because they seemed to know everyone.
Somehow or another, it has happened. I have gotten old. I don't think people even use the phrase "schooled" these days. My knees are definitely saggy. And now...
I AM a fast old lady... Maybe not so fast, but definitely in their category!
And to top it all off, I have strained my Achilles or lower calf. It seems that when you are in the fast old lady group, it is not a good idea to run 18 miles and weed eat for three hours one day, and then clean someone's house for 6 hours and try to go on a 6 mile run the next day. The injury description says "common in middle aged people."
The trainer is hopeful that we can get it well in time for the marathon. In the meantime, I get this cool kinesiotape on my leg. I'm thinking I might just get the outline tattooed on... It looks pretty cool. A friend of mine said, "it's kinda tribal, but the colors make it femine..." Maybe when I join the masters age group!