How does running change as you age?


Dazzling: to impress deeply; to astonish with delight

Dazzling and running are not two words I usually put together. Sure, my race tomorrow will no doubt be dazzling with sunshine and heat, but I couldn’t find a post in that (and I’ll recap it next week anyway).

My running is not often referred to as dazzling, either. No Age Group awards, no races won, no superhuman paces going on, just a solid back to middle of the packer who keeps working on improving and challenging herself.

And then I found this quote:

The aged love what is practical while impetuous youth longs only for what is dazzling.— Petrarch

Were you dazzling as a younger runner?
Did you win more as a younger runner (age group awards, races, meets)? Did you set PR after PR?

I didn’t start until my late 40s, and while I may have been dazzled that I could run 13.1 miles, I sure wasn’t dazzling anyone else back there in the back of the pack.

Have you come to accept that you won’t be dazzling as you age as a runner?
Do you find yourself in the position of slowing down as you age? Are those PRs and dazzling fast races a painful (or happy) memory slowly fading away in the rear view mirror?

They say that you keep continue to improve your first 10 years of running, and I am fast approaching my tenth year of running — which is rather dazzling to myself if to no one else. But I see plenty of people who continue to improve, and so I try to ignore that little voice that says someday you’ll slow down, too.

I’m sure that little voice is right, but in the meantime, I still feel I have more improvement in me.

Have you come to value the run more than just dazzling others with your speed?
I had this conversation with another runner just this weekend. She’s very fast, but has struggled with injuries for a while. And she has come to the place where she’s just grateful to run, no matter how long or how fast.

I hope that when the inevitable happens to me, I embrace it with as much grace, and continue to give thanks for the simple act of running. I know I spend some time in gratitude for the fact that I can run on almost every run.

In the end dazzling isn’t about speed. Dazzling is about whatever makes your heart sing and your feelings lift. — Chocolaterunsjudy

Deb Runs

I am linking up with Debruns and her Wednesday Word

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Tell me in the comments:

Have you had a dazzling running career?

Do you think you value running more as you get older?

29 thoughts on “How does running change as you age?

  1. I struggled to come up with a “dazzling” post too! I have mine scheduled for tomorrow. I ran for a long time, but did not get serious about it or enter any races until I was in my late 40s too. As I get older, my running has definitely slowed down, but I think I appreciate it more. The number of women in my age group is dwindling, and I am so thankful that I can still get out there and have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting — there are lots of women in my age group here! I suspect I’m a little younger than you (although I don’t know).

      I started late in life, and am slow, so basically I had nowhere to go but up — but someday I know that will change, because I definitely hope to be running the rest of my life.

      That’s really interesting that you appreciate it more now — although I think as we age we often do tend to appreciate things more.

      Dazzling was definitely a tough word! I look forward to reading your take on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think I was ever a “dazzling” runner, lol, but I can certainly attest to the changes in running as I’ve aged. Running now is much different than when I was in my 20s. It’s even very different for me from just 2 years ago. Hello, menopause! I like what Laurie said–that even though I’ve slowed down, I appreciate running more because I’m still getting it done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As in “fast” is different for every runner so is “dazzling.”

    I didn’t start until I was 55 and I never intended to “dazzle.” And I still don’t. Yes I win age group awards but that’s not what keeps me running.

    I enjoy it even in 100 degree heat. LOL

    I don’t train because it doesn’t matter if I get faster. And I don’t want to get injured and I want to be able to run for a long time.

    I am lucky that I am getting faster. That will end so I am enjoying it while it lasts.

    We all say (as did that runner you mentioned) that we don’t care that we slow down. We care and want to be fast again but we have to eventually accept the fact that we are not..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dazzling was a difficult word!

      I want to be able to run a long time, too. If it were an easy run *maybe* I would have run outside (although not midday). It was speedwork — I am very glad I did it on the treadmill.

      I don’t enjoy hot runs, not even easy runs. Heat is not my thing — never has been, never will. So heaven help me tomorrow.


  4. I started running in my early 30s but I had no idea what I was doing. My goal was mainly to run and finish. 🙂 I was never fast either. Again, I just wanted to finish. Now I am focusing on getting a few PRs and to run a half marathon in each state. If all goes well, I should be done in 2020.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I played sports growing up, and I wasn’t dazzling then either. I was a good sprinter, and struggled with long distances at speed. That may be why it took me until my 20s and a couple years out of college for me to love long distances. I can run at my pace and just have fun. Then I did a Disney race and I was hooked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did not do a lot of active stuff growing up. I was on a swim team (because they would take anyone that could float) & I bowled — and that’s about it.

      I think it’s really common for HS track runners to not do long distances, at least from what I’ve read.


  6. I started running a little over 7 years ago, good to know I have 3 more years to improve, lol! I do wonder if I will slow down as I get older, but I’ve never been a “dazzling” runner when it came to paces. I just want to do this thing for the rest of my life, that would be dazzling to me!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I have reached the point in running where I’m grateful for the pure gift of it. Sure, I get an AG award now and then, or surprise myself with a PR on occasion…but I do not expect those “dazzles” every time I lace up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I dazzle with my unwavering determination 🙂

    I am like you Judy. I started when I was 40 and while there was a progression (logically) the first few years, after that it pretty much stays the same now. I’m a back of the packer. I have won nothing. And… I don’t care haha! I love that I CAN, I am amazed that I CAN and some runs I even feel like I am better, stronger (and in my head my middle fingers go up to all those who thought I could never do anything “sporty” / who never wanted me on their team). I am happy to know there is someone out there like me, dazzling themselves with each accomplishment 🙂

    have a great race!


  9. As I’ve gotten older I have done better in races, but I think that’s due to fewer women my age training as hard as I do (I train with women 10-20 years younger than me), and the fact that there are fewer women in my age group at most races.

    I agree that this was a tough word to tie into running and I started out in a totally different direction until I did a 180 with what I posted.

    Thanks for linking up, Judy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in an age group where there’s still quite a few women running — not that it really matters, at best I’m MOTP anyway.

      I don’t think I could keep up with 30 year olds! Although I do always look to see who came in after me in a race. Most of the time they are younger, so there’s that!

      I think you did an awesome post on the topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. In my opinion, dazzling, like many other things, is relative. When I was a much faster runner I didn’t feel dazzling because even though I was running BQs many in my peer group at the time were gunning for (and running) sub-3 marathons. I stopped chasing goal paces and finish times long ago. I run for fun now….and health….and because I still can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s definitely always someone faster, always someone slower. I also think it’s human nature to feel we’re not good enough.

      However, it was not an easy word to come up with a post for!


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