I heard something recently, I think it was over the television, that left me shaking my head, muttering, “I don’t think so.” The basic thrust of what I heard was that the person wanted to be racing for the finish late in life.
Sure, it sounds life a fine sentiment. Make a strong finish! But my experience running in the 5K tour this summer has me thinking that I’d rather not spend my last years that way.
Don’t get me wrong! I’ve been running pretty well this year. I’ve been able to mix long distance, middle distance, and speed work into my training schedule, and it’s been a long time since I’ve had a really bad workout. My race times have been great – I haven’t been over 20 minutes since early June. But in nearly every race that I’ve run, the third mile has been my slowest, taking all the effort that I could muster just to keep running. I cross the finish line dripping with sweat, gasping for breath, barely able to keep from collapsing.
I’d really rather not spend the last third of my life the way that I spend the last mile of a 3.1 mile race.