The Older Adult Onset Runner


I say older adult because you are technically an adult when you hit 21.  I did not start running in my 20’s or my 30”s.  Not even in my 40’s.

I was 55 when I started running and almost 60 when I ran my first half marathon.

So how did I become a runner?

In my 40’s, I was going through a really  bad time. I was separated from my husband and a co-worker suggested that we learn to play tennis.

Mind you, I am not athletic.  In fact, I am clumsy and uncoordinated.  In high school, I was a social nerd meaning I liked to read and study but I had lots of friends. The same was true in college.

So my co-worker, Eileen and I took an adult ed class and learned to play tennis.  We were horrible but it was a great distraction from my depressing life at the time.

As with running, I dove into tennis 150%.  I played everyday, joined lots of teams and bought adorable tennis outfits.

group photo at 2.5 Nationals in 2002

The best part of tennis was the friends that I made. And though, I didn’t win often and might have been the worst player on the team, the friendships made during this time turned out to be life long. Plus I met my second husband on the tennis court. (It wasn’t until after we were married that he told me what an awful player I was. Lol)

we even go to Broadway shows together

And then running came into my life.

Ten years later, two of my tennis buddies decided that we should become runners.  My reaction was “Whaaaat? Why?” But I agreed and we signed up for a running class at a local running store. Every Monday, we attended class and afterward, went out for quesadillas and margaritas. Fun. Fun.

with my tennis friends after a race in 2008

As soon as I was able to run a mile, I signed up for a race. And I haven’t stopped since.

Of course at first I wore shorts. I only ran 5ks and but quickly discovered the bond between runners, both virtually and face to face.

After helping a beginning group run their first 5k and seeing them progress to 10k, 15k, 13.1 and 26.2, I decided to (secretly) train for a half marathon.

SRM’ first 5k – 2010

I bought my first skirt and gps watch. The race and the watch were a success but the skirt my hubby remarked made my hips look huge.

check out those loaded pockets

Luckily, I learned about Skirt Sports and haven’t worn any other brand since.

As with tennis, looking good is one of my obsessions.

In addition to the awesome product line, Skirt Sports provides its ambassadors with an amazing supportive network of women runners. I feel so lucky to have been selected as an Ambassador Captain the 4 the year.

Now back to why I run?

  • It’s not to lose weight. I have never had a problem in this area.
  • It’s not to maintain my weight. Even though I am heavier than when I was younger and have gained weight since I started running.
  • It’s not so I can eat more. I still love to eat and I especially have a weakness for pizza and ice cream.
  • It’s not to fill in the void in my life. I work full-time, have a husband and 2 stepsons, and many hobbies.

Running makes me happy. That’s it plain and simple.

  • I am happy when I finish a run or race.

  • I am happy when I reach a goal.

a half marathon PR at age 64

  • I am happy when I find a new route or visit a new city.

over the Hutchinson Island Bridge in FL.

  • I am happy when I make a new running friend.

Why has running replaced tennis as my sport Numero Uno?

When you run, you don’t have to worry about the score and disappointing the team or your partner. Running is not about winning and losing. You don’t have to schedule court time and you don’t need 3 other players (at the same ability level) in order to play.

You just get out there and RUN.

Running fits better with my life and as an older adult onset athlete, I am so glad to have started running ten years ago and at age almost 65, I plan to continue for as many more years as my health lets me.

completing half marathon #30 and winning an age group award


I’m also linking this post with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches’ Corner.

Happy Running! When and why did you start to run? Do wear Skirt Sports clothing?

4 thoughts on “The Older Adult Onset Runner

  1. I loved reading your history – for whatever reason, I thought you’d always been a tennis player! How cool that your tennis buddies have morphed into such good friends. That shot of you and your two tennis/running buddies – were you all wearing the same brand shoe? Too funny! It’s great to see that you can start running no matter your age – and it’s great to see how much you enjoy it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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