For real. Seriously. Unless there's someone else on the Team in Training NYC Chapter Winter Season team who's over 47, I may very well be the oldest person on our team. I could possibly be old enough to be the mother of pretty much most members of our team. Actually, far from the age thing bothering me, I think it's pretty cool. I guess it kind of makes me a mascot of sorts.
The thing that I have to remember is that, especially after being 100+ lbs heavier for almost 20 years of my life, I am not 27 years old anymore. My body is not in the same shape as it was, and it will probably never be in the same shape as my much younger team mates. I sort of forget that occasionally, and have a habit of beating myself up over it. For example, as part of my Team in Training Fast Track mentor duties, I took a spin class back in the spring. I had to bail after about 40 minutes. I beat myself up over not finishing for a while. Then I realized something. Let's face it - taking your first spin class at the ripe old age of 46, after weighing over 300 lbs for a good part of your adult life is a lot different than taking your first spin class at 27, when you're in reasonably good shape. The fact that I survived 40 minutes of it is quite an achievement in itself! Three years ago, when I weighed in at somewhere around 275 lbs I don't think I would've lasted 5 minutes, let alone 40!
My recent training sessions have also proven that I'm in better shape this year than I was last year. I've had this feeling for the past few weeks that I'm nowhere near where I should be at this point in my training. Two weekends or so ago, I took Harlem Hill in Central Park uphill at under 14:45/mile, mostly around 14:30/mile. Last year when I did Harlem Hill for the first time, I was somewhere around 16:30/mile. I'm also not wimping out on hill repeats. This past week, thanks to some great motivation from a couple of mentees, I pushed it for an extra repeat up the hill, and it felt great!
I just have to watch that I don't start getting too cocky about my ability to finish the marathon because I've done it already. I think that's going to be the biggest mental challenge. Last year it was the fear and panic that I wouldn't finish. But I've been there, done that and know that I can do it now - even at the ripe old age of 47!