Running has become a real pleasure in my life.  Who would have thought?  I couldn’t have seen this even a couple of years ago.  Last Sunday I ran the Swanzey Covered Bridges Half Marathon–a beautiful course that goes through four historic covered bridges in southwest New Hampshire.  I ran it last year, too–my first half marathon–and this year I beat last year’s time by almost 20 minutes.   I don’t consider myself highly competitive, but I do like to continue to improve.  Not sure I’ll get back to the 9 minute miles I ran in my late 30s, but what’s to stop me from trying?

There aren’t a lot of women my age who run, at least not competitively.  At Swanzey this year, I was one of only two  in my age group (and the other lady beat me by a few minutes).   Even at the Hollis 5K, which attracts over 1000 runners, I came in third of only nine.  Where is everyone??

During the week I run the Minuteman Trail that runs between Bedford  and Arlington, MA.  It’s a lovely, flat trail–a rail trail converted to pedestrian/biker use by the Commonwealth— that’s peppered with bikers, walkers, runners, and rollerskaters.   One of the highlights for me is the “Arlington Meadow.”   It’s surprising how much greenery and open land there is in suburban Boston.  (Alas, the season of running it is coming to an end, as Boston is on the eastern end of the Eastern Time Zone, and every day we are losing more light.)

There is a running group in Keene that meets every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. at Brewbakers, a local cafe.    Today we ran various distances towards Surry Lake Dam and back.   It’s fun to meet up with like minded folks and enjoy running (and coffee/breakfast after).  My half schedule this fall is ambitious:  four between September 30 and November 4.  But, fall is the most beautiful time for running here.

One of my co-workers from Mazda days is a famous lady in the running world–president of the 50 states Marathon Club and runner of over 350 marathons, including a number internationally.  Like me, she’s in her 60s and still going  strong.  We’ll meet up at the Manchester, NH half in November.  A write up about her in the Wall Street Journal is here;  sadly, her husband Gary, the gentle and lovely soul who cheered her on, passed of esophaghal cancer late last year.

Besides Lois, my inspiration is a guy that one of the Keene Sunday runners told me about, a man in his 90s who recently completed the Pack Monadnock 10 miler.  He was asked the “secret” to his success. “When morning comes, if I’m still alive, I run”  he responded.  What a way to look at life.


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