Saturday, July 05, 2008

You Wear Me Out

This morning, Doug stayed home with the girls so that I could go on a long bike ride. I did the 40 mile Roswell Ride with a guy from my tri club. He was very nice and insisted that I wasn't holding him back speedwise - he said it was the blue margaritas he drank last night. So, we did the 40 and he left to go home because of the houseguests. I did 10 more miles on my own after taking a pit-stop at the park. Ladies, men don't ever stop to pee. I just don't understand this but it's true.

Regardless, that's a new world record distance for me. 50 miles! Whoo!

Anyway, after lunch (but still pre-shower), I took the girls to my parents' house because (1) they wanted to see us, (2) I had to pick up the beer cooler, wading pool and slip-n-slide from yesterday's party, and (3) Doug was brewing so I thought it would be good to give him a break. Note to self - no one drank the Hefeweizen. Apparently, no one else likes Hefeweizen either. I thought that we could foist that part of the Sam Adams Summer Pack off on my family because some of the other stuff looked good (Summer Ale, Pale Ale, etc). Not so.

While we are watched the girls run screaming around the house, my dad engaged me in the "wearing your body out" discussion. Again.

Dad: Aren't you worried that all of this activity (running, swimming, biking) will wear your body out prematurely?

Me: [thinking - "wow, I'm really worn out right now so it's not a good time to discuss this"] Well, theoretically maybe, but I think it's far healthier than being a couch potato and gaining weight.

Dad: Yeah, but couldn't you do some research on what happened to people who used to be athletes are doing?

Me: Well, triathlon is a young sport (30 years?) so there aren't that many old triathletes.

Dad: OK, runners then. There are lots of old marathoners. All of that pounding has to wear out your body. The swimming is probably OK.

Me: Sigh. Yeah, I could do some research on that.

So, I tried to do a little reseach on that and there is a lot of info on the internet about what older runners are doing but not much about whether they still run. Except for Jeff Gallaway, of course. I'm sure that has done a show on this so I'll report back if I find anything. In the meantime, I might get Jeff's recent book for dad to read. Too bad I didn't think of it while we were talking. I'm bad with extemporaneous speaking - always have been. That's why I don't do litigation.

Anyway, I'm thinking that even if I have exercise-related problems sometime down the road, thoughtful training (not injuring myself, getting enough to eat and sleep, etc) is probably going to be a better thing for me in the long run than not doing the training. Of course, I do get crazy without my endorphins so that is definitely part of the equation for me. I should have mentioned that too. And the getting to eat whatever I want (within reason) because that is a huge motivator. I'll bet that elite athletes are not thinking about the delicious cereal and coffee or pasta that await them at the end of their long run or swim, but that is definitely what I'm thinking about.


Wes said...

I personally believe, that lowering your resting heart rate, will add years and years and years to your life, all other things considered (like disease, accidents, etc).

Jarrett said...

When I look at the number of older people still doing races in the Indianapolis area, I'm not at all worried about the "high impact" of running. I hope that when I'm that old, I'm still ambulatory.

Kevin said...

Look at how many older folks were out there on July 4th doing their 20 or 30 something peachtree. If you are recovering properly and not going all out all the time, which is almost impossible anyway, I would think you would add to your life

Charlie said...

I also in the camp that there is more good than harm in being active. The old time runners are out there all the time...they aren't racing for an overall podium placing but they are out there running. You always hear the bad about so and so had to get a knee or hip replacement but you don't hear about the 60+ year olds who are out racing almost every weekend and there are quite a few up here who are beating 40-50+ year old runners. And doing the TRI thing with the swimming, biking as well as running, I think keeps your body even fitter.

Happy Running,

Dorothy Gould said...

Couldn't agree more with what's already been said. As long as you are staying healthy, your training can only help. Like you, I always feel the endorphin rush, and that alone makes me a happier, thus better wife, mother, friend, etc.

Eric B. said...

Fellow tri-sucker, Eric, here. I've seen people over 70 finishing triathlons, and they looked pretty comfortable and happy. My father is in his sixties and does marathons each year; he has a lower resting heart rate than I have. He's been running and biking (and some swimming - a couple tris) for decades. He's been active for longer than he's been a dad.

As long as you don't overdo it, injure yourself, or go in for crazy supplements, I don't see any long-lasting problems with exercise.

In fact, NOT running can be harmful if you keep up with swimming and biking. Many young, male cyclists have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. This happens because the long hours of cycling leaches calcium from the bones, and cycling is a no-impact exercise. The impact on your bones during walking and running strengthens your bones, helping to stave off problems like that.

That's my two cents, and I'm totally unbiased - just ask me!

Cheers, congrats on the LONG swim race, and good luck on the LONG SC tri coming up.