At 69 I decided to run a footrace at 70. I was 210 pounds of happy beer fat, had not exercised in ten years.
I kept a blog for the year so I would be embarrased if I quit.
I made it. If I can, anyone can.
11/23/17 -- 24:08 - Electric City
10/21/17 -- 26:05 - Lake Russell
10/21/17 -- 25:39 - Hyco Memorial
09/09/17 -- 24:18 - Chattahoochee
09/04/17 -- 25:50 - SENECA 3.21
08/12/17 -- 25:18 - Longhorn 5K
07/29/17 -- 25:38 - Doodle Trail
05/20/17 -- 26:09 - MOUNTAIN LAUREL
05/13/17 -- 25:42 - RUN FOR THE CHILDREN
05/06/17 -- 24:44 - Hartwell Dam
03/18/17 -- 24:29 - Race the Rainbow
02/25/17 -- 24:14 - Ram's Run
02/04/17 -- 24:50 - Run Your Ice Off
12/10/16 -- 24:35 - Dream Center
12/03/16 -- 24:09 - Reindeer
11/19/16 -- 25:41 - Townville
07/09/16 -- 24:21 - Peach
07/04/16 -- 23:56 - Fire Cracker
06/18/16 -- 23:54 - Cat's Cradle
06/04/16 -- 23:46 - Dave's Run
05/07/16 -- 29:22 - Hartwell
04/16.16 -- 22:51 - Raider Race
03/19/16 -- 24:09 - Be Prepared
Contrary to rumors, I have not yet died or competed in my last race.
Here is a post to keep this blog alive:
I was a town kid and very familiar with every nook, every road, every street in Chester, SC as that is what kids do.
I left Chester at age 18.
When I was past 40 Chester held a foot race that started and finished at the Powell Theater which I grew up in. For my age, was a decent foot racer and known to most of my peers in the Carolinas and Georgia.
This rare Chester race was special as my Pop came to support me. My Pop was a special guy, always had my back.
The field was loaded with great runners my age like Brewer and Jaggers, but I was inspired to show Pop I was not a total waste as a ?
I went out hard. The 6.2 mile race went out toward Foote Street School then doubled back towards the old Chester Swimming pool. It was very hilly which was a plus to me as I was strong not fast. As a kid, covered that area a million times on foot and my bike.
I was running alone after 3 miles. I was well behind the younger guys but ahead of the stars there my age. I was looking at low 36minutes for the race and not tired. I had kick left if peers over took me. I missed a turn and got lost. I knew my way back to the Powell Theater, but placed last.
I look on that as my biggest disappointment as a foot racer. I had a chance in Chester that day to be Pop's hero. He was always mine. No big deal for Pop as he always saw me as a winner. I missed a chance to prove him right. Who gets lost in their own hometown?
Re-started a tradition today?
Back when I was a real footracer always ran the Charlotte T-day 8K.
Afterwards on the way home played my first of the season (and favorite) Christmas album too loudly. After an 18 year lay off to drink beer, did it again today. Maybe I will be up for it again next year?
Today I ran in Anderson, SC which is the city closest to me. The weather was November cold just over 40 degrees - clear with Sunshine - perfect!
My Bride went along and did an incredible job with the camera.
You can see her work here:
Her photos showed me what I already know. All manner of people (size/age) finish well ahead of me. I spot them 40 years and 50 pounds, and they kick my ass. Bringing up the rear must be done by someone and I volunteer.
The RoadKill singlets are in and look excellent. RoadKill is our online group, all are welcome to join in no matter where in the World you live. RoadKill.run
They are as high teck as could be discovered. Here is a highly paid model, not a real racer with one on:
Unlike my last few races, this course was not too bad, elevation gain around 100' We lost elevation slowly for 2 miles. I began to panic at one point knowing we would have to go up.
I have no endurance, so uphill after I am tired is impossible. In training my weekly goal is 15 miles a week. I know what it takes as to training to race, so am kinda amazed that my fat ass and low mileage can even finish a race.
I ran OK. I finished 91 of 783.
Now that we get to choose gender as to how we "feel", I registered as a 71 year old female. Hey, I don't make the rules. The SC state record is 24:33, set 16 years back by the incredible Marge Hoffman. Now due to politics, she is history.
Here I am 200 yards out, near death, and headed home with my friend Donna.
In real life, today my friend Donna Presley ran 24:14, well under the state records of SC and Georgia. It will not count as a record as she is a Georgia girl, but WOW?!? Age graded that is 16:40.
You can't do that.
It is kinda cool that girls like these will take time to talk to me.
As to record setters, here I am with a few who have set state records:
Donna Presley, Judy Walls, and Dian Ford -> I may hang this photo on my wall after they autograph it. The photo was taken by my Bride who also has won hundreds of awards. These girls are STARS.
My spilts were: 7:40, 7:30, and 8:21.
Average heart rate was 134, 159, and 181. I don't go uphill well as I have no endurance due to low mileage. My mental effort was good according to my heart beat which was telling me I was at "Death's Door".
Results are here:
Here are Tony and Donna and ---me.
Yea, I do tend to pester people.
Tony and I are similar. Our times when we were real footracers (decades ago) were nearly identical. We could still get into the 16's in our late 40's.
The 'Tradition' has risen from history, hope I can make it back again when I am 72.
Before I whine about my race today, need to post this.
For a welcome change I had a photographer with me today. Unfortunately, also had a new camera and did not have it set up right. Many of the great photos my Bride took were too dark. I can develop most with Photoshop, but just don't have the time or interest right now as Clemson kicks off soon.
I have done a quick batch process on them. If you see any you like, I will develop them from the original large megapixel files. Email me, I am happy to do it. Nothing for sale here, just me having fun on my porch. I will have the camera set right next time as that is cheaper than divorce.
You can see the photos here:
If you want to email or post a comment here -- thanks.
I am just a hermit sitting on the porch waiting on my Fall Warblers to come by.
I decided on a whim to go to this race just 33 miles from my porch in Mt Airy, Ga.
Before the Sun rose my Bride took my photo. I don't feel as old as I look.
I ran my slowest race of the year, but I still had fun. The people were friendly, the race was done well.
After the race a guy interviewed me for quality control and asked what changes were needed. I told him to flatten the hills. My watch showed elevation gain to be 420ft . As I understand it, times were fast last year as the race was downhill then.
I did not have a bad race, this was just all I could do today. It was a small race, but I was fortunate to have a few people running near my pace. I hate being in a race when I get stranded and have to work alone.
Here are a few of the folks who kept me going:
Thanks for your help.
Here I am at the start (this blog is about me).
My problem is not that I spot these folks 50 years, it is the 50 pound beer belly that is killing me.
I did finish. Here we are with just yards to go (uphill of course):
They called me up 15 minutes before the gun fired and took my number. They gave it to this lady:
She represented me well.
I thought my old age had banned me. I said I did not need a number, but was told I could not run without one. Before the gun they found me one.
Race results are here:
Today will go down as a very good one "if" CLEMSON wins.
I have been down for weeks with a bad hamstring, not running much. In my last race believed I was on the trail to better days, and I still believe that. Today I ran poorly. I even stopped in the first mile to quit, but my friend Michael Kasha encouraged me not to do that. I jogged on, hamstring hurt like hell.
I wanted to do this race because it supports Police Dogs. I "kinda" like Police, and I love dogs. I was a cop in Charlotte for about 30 years and know the value a dog brings. Police Dogs are excellent! All dogs are excellent!
It was a fun day. My old camera broke and I am not yet used to the one I got this week. It seems to be a good one.
Here are some footracers I had to face today (they had more legs - not fair);
I was 29th of 176 excellent foot racers in 25:39.
The course was not flat but not bad (elevation gain 136). Next year I will do this race under 24 (thought I could today ). I just lack experience. My youth is showing.
My septuagenarian (geezer) peers ran well:
Kasha is running a Marathon next week. He is incredible!
Actually, Kasha and I beat all over 50 today. Us old guys are not yet holding up the parade.
PHOTOS cut to 1000 are here:
If you need an original cleaned up and in big megapixle size, email me - firstname.lastname@example.org Nothing for sale here, just another runner out on the porch with beer.
Results are here:
'Racing Toes' did a great job, and that is not easy.
Chattahoochee Mountain Fair 5K
First let me say a word about the beautiful lady who made quilts of incredible quality to raise money for animals with no home. I already liked her more than most people I know, but now she has a place in my heart. I will never die, but if I do, will probably leave what little I have to support critters. Unlike me, she is an 'Angle on Earth'. I'll add more as to this later and often. She and her husband also are the force behind many of these great Georgia Foot races. https://www.aaaraceservices.com
My last race was Monday, and being slow to recover at my age of 71, only did two 3 miles runs since then.
Today I felt OK. This course was acurate (unlike last week) and was 190 foot of elevation as opposed to 180 last week. It was an average race in North Georgia. North Gerogia is beautiful!
The first and last miles were hard with an easier middle mile and then a flat finish.
The race was small, and I recognized most of the mountain goats there. It was a fun day.
My splits were: 7:45, 7:48, and 8:15. That is not me dying off as usual, but more relects the course.
I did OK and am encouraged that I "will" get into the 23's in 2017.
Today my Bride took all the photos and did a good job. Remember these are are the cut down undeveloped versions and the originals are in "raw". Email me if you want one (no charge), and I will clean it up and send you a version suitable for framing. Photos are here:https://s1227.photobucket.com/user/yardcrap/library/Chattahoochee%202017?sort=3&page=1
K got this of me later. Unlike Belinda I am not smiling. I am hoping each step will not be my last.
It looks like I might not finish above, but I knew there was beer in the Jeep. Here is my heart graph after the ordeal of running my heart beat past 170 for too long.
This guy won the over 60 division -> Mike Kelly.
I suspect "race of the day" was Ena Weinstein who came in at 21:52. Age graded, that is "National Class" at 17:50. My age graded was identical and David Turner did 17:08. Computer guessing lacks as to reality, and ENA was "real", not some moral victory crap.
Here are many of the winners, but not me. I did win my age group and was 10th overall, but my Bride did not want my ugly self messing up the photo. This is the "photo of the day". These guys are the real deal.
Here I am with some "lovelies".
In my first race back, Melinda took me to school, but has had a hard time this year due to injury (happens to us all). Today she ran well. I suspect in no time she will be back in form.
Belinda ran well -> again
Complete race results are here: https://www.coolrunning.com/results/17/ga/Sep9_6thAnn_set1.shtml
My clock went off at 4 A.M. waking up me and my cat. I wanted to go back to sleep, but Percy made me get up.
This race was in Suwanee, Georgia at Lambert High School. They have an impressive place there. Even more impressive was the number of folks under 20 who showed up to race. I was 64th of 193 which sounds kinda bad until you see that 42 ahead of me were teens, plus there were many more kids running strong behind me. That is incredibly good and unusual. The parents there should be commended.
But, this post is about me, they can write about them (and post it here).
My goal today, as I try to someday get under 23 again, was "not to walk". I did not, but to be honest, there were times when I could have walked faster than I was running.
This was the typical North Georgia course, and the elevation gain according to my Garmin watch was 140 feet. The last part is downhill and then on the track, so I kinda like the course. My watch measured the course as long (3.16) with me hitting 5K at 24:48. My watch GPS is very accurate.
My splits were 7:57, 8:11, and 7:58, so I did not die off like last race.
I chose this race because 'RoadKill Mike Kelly' was racing there and invited me. He got first in his 60+ age group.
As all can see, I am still to fat to wear my old race singlets. I have dropped a few pounds in the last 5 weeks, and will keep that trend going. I am positive no one as heavy as my fat ass finished ahead of me.
All photos are here:
If you see one you like, I have the large originals in RAW, and can clean it up and email to you -> no charge. My main job is to sit on the porch, watch my Birds and drink beer. I have time to talk, so post a comment or email me.
So was it worth getting up at 4am? The cat says "NO". I live in a part of the USA (Blue Ridge Foothills) where most every view is scenic and a tourist attraction. Still, somedays you have to get up early to see things that will inspire you, and make you understand why the USA, and especially this part of it, is special. It is the people.
Results are here:
On that note, must again say that AAA RACE SERVICES is as good as it gets.
I was able to catch "Mrs. AAA" racing to her next position.
She and "Mr. AAA" make sure all have a perfect experience.
Mike is an old school foot racer who goes back even before my days. He lives across the river in Georgia. Together we are going to improve each other.
I ordered some expen$ive LED headlights for the Jeep and "WOW!! Leaving out before dark, the road was as bright as day. At 71, my vision is Ok, don't wear glasses, but these headlights are amazing. Racers (and me) need to leave home in the dark, and these are great.
Everybody does not need a JEEP or a Bride. I need neither and have both, consider them luxury items.
My time today was poor (remember this blog is about me), but on base with my current state. My body is now stronger, but my mind is weak. I walked a few times in the last mile.
I did OK. In my last two races, I did not not run hard, but a lot has happened since then.
Today I did run hard even if my time does not reflect that.
I am now healthy with no major problems. I started an 8 week program to get my miles up and loose 10 pounds. I am four weeks in. I have been running very slow and often on the treadmill.
I am on target. If I can stay motivated, results will eventually appear. I know how to train me.
The course today was about average. Here in the foothills, that means "not flat", but not up a cliff.
My Garmin said elevation gain of 104 foot. The temp was 75 and of course 100% humidity, but the fog did lift before the race. We all like cool, but don't think the heat and humidity slowed me at all. I am a "Son of the South".
My splits were 8, 8, and 9, so anyone can see my problem.
They did a good job with the race. In my bag was not just a t-shirt for the race, but also one from last year's race. I surely don't need more t-shirts, but ???
Age group awards were at 5 yr intervals, but only one in each. I think that is fair if posted, but that was not clear, so some who raced well were not recognized. It was no big deal to me as my age group was me and "FAST FREDDY" who stopped off at the local pub.
My main foot race competitor, the lovely Judy Walls was there. She again beat me with ease.
Results are here:
These days I rate races on "will I go back next year". I will, especially if Mike will.
My plan for this week was to open it up a little. This course made last week look easy, but it was good fun. I did not get too involved. I walked early and often and suffered little. The last 5 miles were up hill which is unusual on a 3.13 mile course. My AHR was 158, my time was 26:09.
My watch did a poor job as it showed no elevation gain in the last mile. That is funny!
Clarksvile is a beautiful small town. It would be a perfect place for Hollywood to make a movie. If I did not already live in a place as good, might move there.
Once again the 'Babes' lined up to have their photo made with me:
My Bride is not jealous. Yep, I have a beautiful Bride, how strange is that?
Here she is with just yards to go after crushing the 'Marine Corps Marathon'.
I met Sheri and Dan today. Us septuagenarians are still getting the job done.
"People" think "people" our age are ?? We are the same but with more experience.
Here is another -> this is a serious guy to meet on a race course:
Along the route today I raced in the area of this guy:
I would walk the hills as I did not want to suffer today. Then I would catch back up.
With the finish line in sight, many of my older friends were closing fast intending to dust me - again!
I pulled even with Marvin who was jogging in and asked him to take me home. He picked the pace up for me, and I maintained my place with a free ride in.
This photo of Randall and Kevin reflect how much fun today was.
Mike told me he actually read my last post. He goes way back as foot racer, did Maggie 20 times. I only got there maybe 10 times with a best of 27:50 at 45years. The young don't race like Perry and I did "back when".
Race Results are here:
Photos are here:
I know my photos are not the best, but they are free. Post a comment here if you approve or if you don't.
It would be fun to see if even one person reads this page. I need motivation - and friends as I am a hermit.
... but, I was going to jog this Saturday anyway, and there was a small race 15 minutes away at Shiloh Baptist Church. I decided to do my run there, but not to kill myself - just try to run a 9 minute pace which is difficult for me to do alone. I actually did 8:16, so good deal !!!
Rain was threatening, but me and the Jeep can handle that.
The course was tough with my watch showing 290ft elevation gain. That is a lot in 3 miles. No matter as this week I was starting slow and hoping to finish strong, the reverse of last week. I did that, and while my time was slow, had a good race and left ready for the next one. Instead of racing the clock, tried to keep up with other racers. I got passed on the uphills but recovered and got them back on the down. For the last .11 (down hill) did a 5:43 pace after a very slow uphill last mile.
Next week I'll keep the same plan and try to bring my time down a minute.
I would be remiss if I did not post as to AAA Race Services.
I have been to a few races they have done, and all have been 100%. That is very difficult, and my hat is off to them.
I knew some of the Georgia people ( I live in SC and my place is the border) today and of course they remembered my loud mouth. I live as a hermit and seldom get a chance to talk except to my 3 cats.
At my age, all are relieved when I am able to finish and the ambulance is not required to retrieve me. If I am a pest, people pretend not to notice.
Many are new to races and naturally are a little uptight. I am old with no ego, and have been to maybe a thousand, so ..... I tend to talk too much.
I re-met a Clemson grad who won his age group, and we agreed to race again next week in Clarksville which should be a bigger race. I do like Clemson people.
My favorite racer of today won the over 10 age group:
How cool is that?
While Melinda heals, I can still hang with her in a race, but that may change soon!
Mike won his age group. As long as I can finish before these guys pack up and leave, I am not holding up the parade.
This guy won, but I did spot him 60 pounds and 50 years. He ran great on a tough course.
RoadKill Photos are here:
Results are here: (posted later when they show)
..extremely early results:
I do appreciate all you YC friends being so quick and eager to comment on things interesting to me, which mainly is beer, birds, and music. There is also my attempt at foot racing.
Maybe if I explain the day as I see it, some of my friends who are not racers will take an interest. One does not need to play football, etc to be a fan and have fun with it. Roadkill Racers can be your home team.
Now that my physical and mental wounds are healing, trying to figure what was going on in this race.
The key to improve is simple, eat less and train harder. Easier and more fun is to blame things on other areas and try to solve those imaginary issues.
I know I am not in the shape I was a year ago and 15 pounds up.
I raced here last yeaar and intended to return this year, but a few days off did not want to. In the end I went, and glad I did as these things are always fun (except the racing part). It is a bigger race (415) and this year is now 39 years old. There are always good runners here.
Last year I was beaten by 2 of the 10 geezers my age who showed, but was limping in over 29 minutes with a torn hamstring. I believed this year I could get into the 25's which would give me a shot at 3rd depending who showed.
While my weight is up and my training is down (funny how that works out), I have no injuries to use as an excuse at the moment. Not showing would have been "cowdarice", so I went.
The weather was clear and cool and very windy with strong gusts coming off the lake.
It was a beautiful day to race across the Hartwell Dam. This course is flat, fast, and point to point. I can't think of a more beautiful and fun race to take on. If you are ever in this area, walk across.
These days I am getting to know a few folks, last year knew no one. I rode over on the bus with my friend Judy Walls. Lined up, and I got to talk with David Spark, Darrell Newby and Tom Wild. I had seen one of the guys from last year who beat me, but did not see him in the crowd before the start. The other I have not laid eyes on in maybe 30 years and have no idea as to what he looks like now.
The gun fired, and I was off. As usual I wanted to quit after 3 minutes, but did not. By 10 minutes I promised myself (yet again) I would never do this again. All my energy left and my demons arrived.
What happens is your heart beat rockets. Your body does not like this and your mind tells you to cut that crap out -> to stop -- NOW!!!
Sitting on my ass writting this, I have lots of courage and resolve, but things are very different when your lungs are working as hard as possible and still you can't breathe. When your heart jumps to max to pump the blood, and it is not enough, it gets kinda scarey.
Training is key. If you can experience these "death signals" in training (and in other races) on a regular basis, you learn you may not die today. You may, but maybe your mind is wrong. People believe the front runners are gliding along with the wind in the hair going for victory with less pain than they. In truth, front racers are in more pain because they have conditioned themselves to deal with more pain (and why they are "front runners"). Racing is not jogging. If at any time in a race you can "deal" -> you are not giving your best effort and need to press. Racing is about pushing the body into incredible pain.
I am really poor at that these days as I don't really train. I did many years back and reaped the rewards, but not as motivated now. That does not make the pain less, just my ability to deal with it. A race is not a movie. You don't just get inspired and deal with it like a movie star hero might.
So back to my race as not only do I like to talk about me, but it is what I know most about.
The course was flat, there was wind, but mostly cross wind, don't think it had much affect on my effort. The temp was good at around 60. Competiton and freinds were there to push one. The stage was nearly perfect.
So what happended to my old ass?
Thanks to modern nerd gear, I have some stats.
My pace slowed from OK to pathetic by the last ten minutes. By 16 minutes I had slowed to near 9 minute pace.
My heart beat was still near max, but I was going no where. That is sad. Why was that? WTF went wrong?
My effort was still there as the heart beat shows, I was not taking a break.
A 5K is not a Marathon. The muscles have plenty of fuel for it. Did lactic acid slow me. Yep, and that is really upsetting. I just don't have the base endurance. My leg speed is not too bad for a guy my age, but I can't hold it. Spotting the kids 20 years is OK, but not 20+ pounds.
The answer is to run more miles in training, but today decided to just grab a beer and sit on the porch and think about it all.
My problem may be that my yard is so interesting, it is killing my foot racing.
On the other hand, that may be true for my peers also as they did even worse than me.
I did promise my brain if it would let me fininish I would never put it to the test again.
Now with excllent beer on the porch, maybe I lied?
Comments are encouraged. You don't have to be a Foot Racer or a Baseball player or a Boxer to have expert opinions. I am a foot racer and know little about that game compared to College Football where I am the World's leading expert.