Don’t Be Blindsided By Lack Of Body Awareness As You Age Or You’ll Beat Up The Only Body You Have

Hi folks! Thanks for stopping by!

Blinds destroyed by FitOldDog's Labrador retriever so he could look out of the window.

No good deed will go unpunished. This is what our ‘rescued from the pound’ Labrador did to our blinds to look out of the window. Do you want your body to be like the blinds on the left or those on the right as you age? Awareness is key!

I suspect that improved body awareness applied to safe exercise for better health can open the road to enjoyable endurance racing and an active old age.

In my last Ironman race a few days ago I had the opportunity to watch the runners, because I missed the bike cutoff (thank goodness, but that’s another story). There was a consistent feature of these runners that caught my attention, especially the older ones, pain. Many were struggling along, some limping, and clearly it was not fun. Given, the bike course was hell on wheels, literally, but I don’t want to run like that, I want to run like Roger. Who the hell is Roger, you might ask?

The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson

A truly great book, and well worth reading for anyone, athlete or no athlete, old or young, male or female.

In 2010, I had my best ever Lake Placid Ironman race performance, with a time of 13:34, but I was dropped at mile 137 by a guy called Roger. He pulled up 40 minutes on me from the bike leg, and another 12 in the last three miles of the run, to win the Hawaii slot. As I was headed for abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery in a couple of weeks, unbeknownst to me at the time, this all worked out for the best. An image of this guy, who I never met or saw again, is burned into my brain. As he came by me I noticed the age 67 written on his calf and realized that my chance for a slot was over (I didn’t care, I was in too much pain due to an aneurysm I didn’t know I had). Most importantly I observed how Roger ran. He was relaxed, light on his feet, and clearly having a great time dropping me to win our age group. In fact, he achieved a Boston Marathon qualifying time, 4:07 (if I remember correctly), which is pretty rare in the Ironman.

I don’t want to limp the run, or struggle along. My goal is to run like Roger, so I plan to work on that. Several ideas are brewing in my head.

Like Mark Sisson says in The Primal BluePrint, if the exercise isn’t fun and good for your health, don’t do it. He should know he placed 4th in the Hawaii Ironman one year, before retiring from the sport and advising against it – interesting man.

Roger proved that what I want to do can be done, even in older age groupers. I’m not in a hurry to qualify for Kona, I just want to do it right and enjoy the journey!

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.