Hey, that is Julia Mancuso’s tag on Instagram, not mine.
Some of what you’ll find on her photo page (with a paragraph describing the scene…)
And back in 1974, I won my first JV shot put competition with a throw of 33 feet, 10 inches (12 pound shot); but I never got to 40 feet. The better varsity throwers were throwing 55-60 feet (in local meets). :-(
I had no speed across the ring.
But this brings back memories.
And, even as a failed shot putter, I could run a 5:58 mile.
Weights only: I slept late (until 6:20!) and got to the weight room late.
pull ups: 5 sets of 10, with hip hikes and Achilles and rotator cuff as rest
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 3 x 185, 7 x 170 (tired on the last set); ab routine
(sit backs, twist, crunch, vertical crunch; 3 sets each) as rest.
incline press: 10 x 140, 6 x 140 (very tired on the last set)
dumbbell military: 3 sets of 12 x 50 lb.
rows: Hammer: 3 sets of 10 x 210
curls: 2 sets of 10 x 57.5 pulley, 1 set of 10 x 70 machine
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 160
Note: I super setted most of the stuff after the bench; I was tired during my last sets.
I felt strong on the bench but didn’t push for that extra last rep.
Degradation with age
In the locker room, I talked to a former university basketball player; he is now in his early 80′s.
I asked him when he started to notice the decline in his physical abilities: he replied “mid 30′s”.
My guess: those who know how to push themselves notice the decline earlier than those who are merely active but don’t test limits often.
Here is how it worked for me:
30′s: I noticed my mile time getting slower; that 5:30 became a 5:40. 5K, and even the weights were roughly the same.
40′s: early 40′s, my mile took a big hit (breaking 6 became VERY difficult, then impossible) and the 5K started to slow: the half marathon and marathon stayed ok until 2001 (early 40′s).
Now: everything is slower and weaker (in my early to mid 50′s). Master’s athletes told me to expect it; in fact the former basketball player that I talked to, who still looks good and still works out, told me that now that he is in his 80′s, getting out of a chair is harder than it once was.
Someone who was (is) fit told me that when he got into his 70′s, he had to quit taking the 4 flights of stairs as it took too much out of him (to be able to teach).
Degradation of others
A friend (who racewalks) was on a plane to a race where she encountered someone else going to the race. She was asked “are you going to run half-marathon X”? He reply: no, I am racewalking it with someone.
Travelling on a plane of race people can be either great or suck. A gal just said “oh you running Nike?” Me: “Race walking.” “Oh” she said with a snotty tone. “You slow walkers better stay out of my way! I run!” Her anticipated time – 3:15:00. And yes I do have her face memorized. I promise to smile when I walk damned strong & proud past. Don’t mess with Shep!
No, that is NOT 3:15 for a full marathon….”I run????” OMG.
Yes, my walking friend passed her easily and had a friendly reminder for her.
But seriously folks: unless this 3:15 “runner” was making a joke ….goodness. What is wrong with people?
Yes, I’d say something about “hey you walker, I hope you don’t slow me down” but I’d be sure and say it to my friends who can WALK a half marathon at 7:45 minutes per mile and a marathon at 8-8:30; I’d say it to people who I knew were way faster than I. (note: an Olympic medal contender racewalker could do 6:20-6:30 for the half and 6:50-7:00 for the marathon).
For the record: since 2010, my walking half marathons have ranged between 2:22 and 2:40; my single half marathon run was 2:01. (power walking; I can no longer legally racewalk as my right knee does not straighten 100 percent of the way)
Ok, anyone who reads my blog knows that I work out very regularly and that I continue to participate in endurance sports, weight lifting and yoga.
But look at the above photo.
I find this downright insulting.
Why? Well, I certainly agree that working out regularly can increase one’s odds of being healthy as an older person. But that is all one is doing: increasing one’s odds.
An untimely disease can easily lead one to the left photo; since 2007 I’ve had three 50-60 year old friends die of cancer. ALL were fit for most of their healthy lives; one even ran a sub 3 hour marathon at 50 years of age…all had finished multiple marathons.
All were slender and stayed with it as long as they could. But this idea that someone who ends up on the left is certainly to blame for not doing things right is sheer nonsense…in fact it is insultingly stupid.
Workout notes Ok, no spandex butts here. I did sleep in until 7:30 (late for me) because I was up late watching the men’s 50K racewalk. More on that later. Then I caught a couple of boxing matches prior to getting out there.
My walk: 2:17 for 10.1 miles; I did the Cornstalk 8 mile course (two 3 mile out and backs on the hills) in 1:48 and finished with a flat 2.1 mile “out and back” down Moss in 28:30. It was cool and overcast….very pleasant and not much traffic. It wasn’t much but it was better than zero. While I was heading out two university cross country runners (male) just blew right past me; I may have well been standing still.
So, what about the stories?
Hmmm; the data mining software must have picked up that I am a male that likes to run. I wonder if the fact that this is a butt-shot (panty lines too) is a coincidence. Of course, she is probably at least 20-25 years younger than I and I probably couldn’t stay with her anyway.
Even if I were single, the women I would aim for would have a bigger ass and a whole lot more lumps, bumps and cellulite. It isn’t as if my middle is a six-pack; my middle has the consistency of a Shar Pei dog.
Yep, here is another cute spandex butt. But the story here is the message. At this time in my life, this message is FALSE, FALSE, FALSE.
It wasn’t always so. I remember ballooning up to 320 pounds. I reduced to 230 pounds and started to “run” again; it took me 24 minutes to “run” 2 miles (3.2 km). Yes, now-a-days, I frequently walk that distance faster than that (though it is an effort) and I remembered how it felt when I worked from 24 minutes to 12:45 (as a runner).
But that message is simply false for me now. When I do a 5K race these-a-days, I tell myself “ok, you’ve run from 24:35 to 26:10 on your “normal” days, so pace yourself”. But deep down I think that I am going to “finally shake this malaise off” and pop off a 22 or a 23 minute 5K. You know what? It isn’t going to happen…at least not this year and probably never. My mind still says (19-20) but my body says “no”. The reality is that my accumulated injuries has put me in a position to where I have to limit my training.
But…I can still train some…and I can still run and many people my age can’t.
Now about the Olympics
Here is story three
I watched the women’s 20K race walk. (you can see it here) I can say that the women AVERAGED 42:30 per 10k….WALKING. The race itself: watch, or at least watch the last 5 minutes (say from 40 minutes on the video onward). I didn’t have a clue as to who would win until the last 100 meters or so.
What does it have to do with spandex butts? No, not this (which I DID enjoy)
Not this either (note the yellow warning paddle being issued)
But rather this one:
and though this isn’t a butt shot:
In the last two photos, at least one walker is getting lapped (laps are 2 km long, or 1.25 miles long). Can you guess which one it is?
In the first of these three, neither walker is a medal contender.
The story here: at this level of walking (or running for that matter), only the skeleton-skinny athletes have a chance; being close to “normally slender” puts you at an insurmountable disadvantage.
Oh yes, there was a men’s 50K walk as well, which I also enjoyed (3:36 was the winning time!). You can see that here.
First of all, I know that this is a demanding sport. Its future in the Olympics: though I don’t know the ins and outs of international athletics, I’d say that as an event in “athletics” (track-and-field) I’d say that its future is secure because China and Russia do well at it. Those are two large, powerful countries that have influence.
But the United States will never be good at it (our lone 50K walker finished TWENTY EIGHT MINUTES behind the winner). That is a bit like our top marathoner finishing 16.5 minutes behind the winner…or finishing in about 2:25. Note: our top marathoner actually finished in 4′th place overall. My point: we probably shouldn’t even send racewalkers to the Olympics as we are not competitive.
I don’t see that changing. For one, race walking is NOT an NCAA Division I sport. So where would the talent come from? It won’t really catch on with spectators either. Why? Well, I remember one comment from the race; the main announcer said that he couldn’t see the difference in technique between the winner and one of his early chasers (someone who won a silver medal in the 20K walk). His opponent got DQ’ed; two of his red cards were for “bent knee” violations. I had to slow it down to a still to even get a hint of what was going on; it turns out that the DQ’ed walker WAS locking his knee…but doing so just a tiny bit late. Only a top race walk judge or expert would have caught that. The difference was too subtle for the casual fan to catch.
Another thing: the technique is too difficult for the average fitness person to master; only those who have some natural flexibility and who are willing to do hours of technique work have a chance. So there simply won’t be large fan base from “casual” race walkers; this is unlike the marathon where thousands of 4-5-6 hour marathon “runners” have at least a little interest in the competitive sport.
Sure, *I* like it, but I am a failed master’s racewalker who has an appreciation of what is going on, and I’ve always loved to walk.
(winning a half marathon powerwalk in 2003; time was 2:17; the previous year an Olympic caliber walker won it in 1:41)
Oh goodness; heptathlon vs. beach volleyball. Whew…..
Ultimately…….I need more data. :)
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