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It's easy to be confident and brave when you are young, fit, healthy and people take you seriously. Try doing what you do in your 20's and 30's when you are middle aged (45 - 65), then we have something to talk about.
The majority of my running pals are over 45, many in their 50's and 60's. Not only are we met with many physical challenges due to our aging bodies & naturally occurring changes, we are challenged with time restraints, and juggling work/life balance. I can tell you from personal experience, we often lack confidence in our ability and often feel like frauds.
So be mindful when you see us lining up at all the big races, yes, we may be older, slower, not as lean as we once were, however, we are there with the rest of the best. Most of which are totally oblivious to our feelings at that moment, how our minds mess with us.... should we be here?.... what were we thinking?... We don't deserve to be here..... Despite all these internal and physical challenges we train, turn up and try our damn hardest.
My husband once pointed out to me years ago, an elite or younger runner may take 5 hours to complete an ultra, we are often out there longer than 10 hours, does this not demonstrate our incredible endurance, mental strength and determination? I had never thought of it that way.
I am not one for new year's resolutions, however this year, I have made a promise to myself to never apologise for my abilities or lack thereof, and to never say "only" 21 kms... "only" 50kms. I will line up with the knowledge and confidence that I too, have sacrificed time with my family and friends, juggled work commitments, trained hard and therefore also deserve to be at that Start Line.
So please do not feel sorry for us, but hope that one day, when you grow up, you too can be like us.
Here are my top 5 gear items that help me tackle training and race day:
1) The Ultimate Direction Hydo 3/4 Womens tights (perfect for ultras)