Running With A 66 Year Old

May 31, 2013

Last weekend, I woke up at 6am to run a 5K. I ran the race in decent time and managed to place 1st in the 20-30 age range. That was great…but I was beaten by a 66 year old man named Herve. I trailed him the entire race, until the end when he blew ahead. I tried to keep up, but his aged and weathered muscles just flew like the hair that was once on his head. 66 YEARS OLD!

This guy was thin, super wiry and really intense. He was sharp and was one of the wisest people I have ever met. Herve ran all his life. He said that long distance running is a waste of time, speed training and short distances is where he’s excelled. He used to be a World, National and Regional running champion. When he was 50, he ran a 5K in under 15 minutes! That’s insane…for anyone…let alone a 50 year old!

I asked Herve if runners today are better than runners 50 years ago. He said yes. I asked if all the new running technology was good for the sport, he said, “whether or not it’s good, it’s here.” That’s a good point. It’s here. This new way of living, technology included, is here and we have to deal with it. Herve talked about reality, memory and perspective; he talked about how some people will look back on the 5K we just ran and remember it differently from what really happened. “Some will change the outcome in their heads so that they remember the day being better or worse than it really was. It’s very hard to be in the moment.” That’s some wisdom.

I love running. It forces me to focus on what’s literally in front of me and constantly check in with my body. If you run, bike or walk, you have to be alert and aware of what’s around you and there’s a good chance you’ll learn something. Also- if you’re running a race, talk to someone older than you (even if they do end up beating you)- it’s totally worth it.

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