Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

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Spirit Unleashed
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Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:49 am

Here is a cool blog: https://bookladywalker.wordpress.com/20 ... mment-1078

So, for 2017, the year I turn 70, my primary goal is to do at least 7 ultramarathons, completing at least 70 miles in each one. Of course, these must be timed races, and the longer the better. I am seeking 48 hour races as my preferred choice but I will try several 24 hour ones as well. If conditions are excellent and I am in good form with no injuries and as long as the weather cooperates, I can occasionally handle 70 miles in a 24 hour race. Just to give myself as many opportunities as possible to achieve this goal, I will try to sign up for as many of these timed races in the southeast as I can find.

This will be a major challenge for me but I am determined to try and achieve it!


I met this lady in 2012. She can walk way faster than me!
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Dstew » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:39 pm

I have mixed emotions about such goals. If it is fun and she can do it without any lasting damage or injury, more power to her. But if it is merely to reach a completely arbitrary goal at any cost so she can pump up her ego, self worth and self importance than I have a certain degree of disdain for her. My recent personal experiences and epiphany have lead me to embrace the quote, any idiot can run but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a marathon. So to run that many ultras in one year, regardless of age, you really have to be a complete moron but again, if she can do it without really doing any lasting harm, then good for her. My mea culpa is that I ran 4 to 5 of the eight marathons I ran for anything but the right reasons and so I do not even what a guess as to what level of insanity that would entail. Even when I was engaged in such sick and twisted behavior, I was always appalled at the attitude of many ultra runners, not all, who because they soiled themselves as they staggered around the woods in 4:00 am or had to be taken from the race site by ambulance that this "achievement" made them, proved that they were somehow exponentially superior to me in every way. My response was that if I stabbed myself in my leg with a steak knife and then stitched myself up, would that out do their ultra? The irony and hypocrisy of my arrogance when comparing myself to those poor slobs who thought they were athletes by collecting a half marathon or 10 K is not lost on me.

I suppose what bothers or annoys me about such goals is that it is set as a noble and honorable quest to reveal one's true self and is above and beyond ego. But to me, that seems to be at odds with keeping a blog, only doing timed events and then there is the obligatory photos of the person at the finish with their medal. The blog, the photos and the medal are by very definition an exercise in ego boasting, not setting aside an ego. For me, the "pure" and uncorrupted approach would be to do that without a blog, without any sharing of the accomplishment and even possible, on their own without medals or buckles or timing mats. I do not begrudge anyone from basking in the glory of such accomplishments but for whatever reason, it annoys me when they also try and claim it has much deeper meaning.

I suppose all of this is why I do not run ultras or understand the appeal of such. I did run a 50 k race. As I type I am looking at the mug I got as it has a place of honor in my room. I am very proud of this accomplishment and in no small part because I had fun training after a rocky ego inspired start and had fun in the race itself. It was neat because it was longer than a marathon but there was actually nothing that much more special. Qualifying for Boston was much harder and "special" for me. The slower and much more relaxed vibe of the 50 K for me meant I was glad I did it but would never have to do it again. It was new, interesting, exciting to go beyond 42.2 K in a race but with my attention deficit, the next time it would just be boring and dull drudgery. Thus I do appreciate why one can easily dismiss my thoughts about this topic.

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Sun Jan 15, 2017 2:09 pm

If someone were to go look at this lady's blog, they'd learn about someone who walks. A lady who took up marathon walking later in life, like age 60. She has walked over 200 marathons/ultras. When I met her, it was at her first 48 hour race. She was all excited because she wanted to walk 100 miles and 24 hours was not enough time.

I love seeing people like this at races. My goal is to be just like her when I'm 70. Most 70 year olds can't walk 5 miles let alone 100. Many of the small marathons I go to, I find many retired people walking. To me, that is grand.

I recently became 58 years old. I do low impact walking and jogging most of the time. Am I protecting my legs from the damage of too much pounding? Of course. I love being out there and going. I don't care if I'm slow. I love getting AG awards even when I'm the only person in that age group; and I only get AG awards when there is less than 3 people in that AG. I am still going! Yay for me! I have a book of picture of me holding my finisher's medals. Yay for me! It is a celebration of life and being alive.

I meet many people who lose 100 pounds and do a marathon or IronMan. Yay for them. I see races full of people who aren't, never were and never will be fast athletes. But they got up and got themselves through 26 miles. Yay for everyone who does marathons and is proud of it!

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby La » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:18 am

I have no doubt you'll be like her when you're 70! She sounds a lot like you are now, she just has a few years on you, that's all. ;)

I keep repeating to myself, "I will not age like my mother has..." :(
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby ultraslacker » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:25 am

I love it and agree that I can totally see Spirit doing that. I hope I am still running when I'm that age too. If not running then definitely walking too.

In his book "the brain's way of healing", Norman Doidge says if there is one panacea in health, it's walking. :)


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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Dstew » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:56 am

Spirit Unleashed wrote:If someone were to go look at this lady's blog, they'd learn about someone who walks. A lady who took up marathon walking later in life, like age 60. She has walked over 200 marathons/ultras. When I met her, it was at her first 48 hour race. She was all excited because she wanted to walk 100 miles and 24 hours was not enough time.

I love seeing people like this at races. My goal is to be just like her when I'm 70. Most 70 year olds can't walk 5 miles let alone 100. Many of the small marathons I go to, I find many retired people walking. To me, that is grand.

I recently became 58 years old. I do low impact walking and jogging most of the time. Am I protecting my legs from the damage of too much pounding? Of course. I love being out there and going. I don't care if I'm slow. I love getting AG awards even when I'm the only person in that age group; and I only get AG awards when there is less than 3 people in that AG. I am still going! Yay for me! I have a book of picture of me holding my finisher's medals. Yay for me! It is a celebration of life and being alive.

I meet many people who lose 100 pounds and do a marathon or IronMan. Yay for them. I see races full of people who aren't, never were and never will be fast athletes. But they got up and got themselves through 26 miles. Yay for everyone who does marathons and is proud of it!

Everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner.



I have come to believe that running marathons and ultras is a quaint hobby where anyone who finishes an event, no matter how fast or slow has ever right to be proud of their accomplishment. When I finished Boston, I wore that jacket at every possible opportunity as my ego was boasted and my vanity shown through in its full glory. I was in the top 15% of the .5% of the population to do something and I was unashamed in basking in the glory of that. I earned that through blood, sweat and tears. I continued to pursue that feeling and little did I know that in doing so, I would alter my heart and as per the Haywire Heart book, potentially set myself up for a potentially damaging side affect of non-lethal arrhythmia. At a certain point, a healthy and positive pursuit can transform into something that has the potential to be unhealthy. That despite the very real risks noted, there are the constant stream of chronic injuries there is a mindless chasing of the horizon. The addict looking for the next fix. New research that suggests some do this not out of pleasure or joy but due to psychological issues involving low self esteem and they are addicted in a way no different then someone might be to heroin.

Running is great medicine but one has to take the proper dose. Intervals and/or HIIT has wonderful benefits to allow people to maintain their speed, to run fast, to control weight and long list of health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, etc, etc, etc. I can personally attest to the tremendous benefits of walking - the compression fracture in my back lead to weight gain and an 18% chance I was going to have a massive heart attack or stroke. A injury from running by the by. But I started to walk every day. Sometimes for a couple of hours with a nice break on those sort of adventures. I lost the extra pounds and this then allowed me to run, in a much more sensible manner , That then allowed me to do intervals. The result is I reduced my risk to 6% or lower and the bad numbers went down, the good numbers went up. I should add when I was running marathons, I was always on the edge between good and bad.

So from my personal experience and what I have read, go for a nice long walk and enjoy nature. But to ask me to admire someone who goes beyond a healthy and reasonable dose of "medicine". To increase the risk of some very significant health consequences. For them to say this is a spiritual journey absent ego and vanity and then ask me to ignore the hypocrisy of ego driven and boasting activities. I cannot in good conscience do that. I respect their right to do so but I cannot support such a venture in any way, shape or form.

Dave Scott was a legendary winner of the Hawaii Ironman. He spoke of how he would feel worthless if he missed a training session. He continued to train hard into his 50s and in his words "I still mentally have the same ... whatever it is. Stupidity." He had racing heart rate and was told by his wife to go to the ER. It was still racing but he could not miss his mourning run. He barely made it back home and was lucky they could treat the atrial flutter that had been the result of pushing himself too hard for too long. A lot of normal people have suffered some sort of heart damage and as one study showed, the two ways to increase your odds by at least 30% are do an endurance event very fast or very often regardless of speed.

My mother in law is 82, my father in law is 85. He walks every day, they both play tennis at a fairly high level at least 3 or 4 times a week. They are active, healthy, and there is no doubt in my mind that they are as mentally sharp as they are because of that. It is the friend who had a genetic heart defect raise its ugly head and does yoga five times a week at 6:00 am. Or my mom who is 79 and has a better grasp of her finances then I do and will go out and play nine holes here and there. Goes for small walks. These are people I admire, that I look up to as role models. Some person writing a blog so that they can post photos of themselves with medals after shuffling around the woods needlessly, pointlessly for hours is not. If they went out, did it without any fanfare, without an official race and in a sensible manner, that I could respect. But to applaud someone for doing something stupid and silly and due to good genes and great luck is still able to move, that will not happen. I should hasten to add I would never say that to them - my response is merely to the question, "is not what this person is doing wonderful and should be the object of admiration". My answer for all of the reasons above is no.

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby ultraslacker » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:52 pm

Nobody's asking you to admire anything. We all take our own path. Yours is different from mine. Not better or worse. Different. You do what makes you happy and we will do what makes us happy and the 70yo walker will do what makes her happy. It's not for you to decide that for her.


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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Habs4ever » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:28 am

I hope the 70 year old marathon/ultra walker has continued success and can meet her goals.

We have a 74 years old lady in our run group. She comes out to the track on Tuesdays for workouts, she helps with LTR, she does hill repeats, she does LSD's. I admire her for being dedicated to her health and fitness and hope she can continue for a long time.
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Dstew » Mon Jan 23, 2017 5:53 pm

In December 2016 and on a long run, my heart started race. This lead me to do some research and eventually buy the book, The HAYWIRE HEART. In thinking about a response to all of this, I also found some evidence that running more then 8 hours a week can be due to a mental illness or issue such as OCD. Thus someone is doing something that they rationalize, justify as "fun" but are more akin to a Hamster on a exercise wheel. One example is a person with anxiety will feel better running as in its simplest explanation, makes one feel warm inside and that eases anxiety. But if you exercise more then 8 hours in a week, it can make actual physiological and chemical changes that increase anxiety. Thus the person runs more to deal with the running caused anxiety and so on.

The point of this is that me expressing my belief, my opinion that someone doing multiple ultras or marathons should not be used as a role model or praised is based upon a solid scientific foundation. I should hasten to add, that the benefits of running 30 - 90 minutes a day are too numerous to list. Thus I am not saying "running" per say it bad, it is more that at a certain point, running becomes harmful, even dangerous. Not necessarily kill you dangerous but leave you permanently impaired with arrhythmia. And as noted by the one example above, too much running can leave smaller scars such as increased anxiety, depression or a "addiction" to running to the point one's life is negatively impacted. I see such a "warning" or again, at least the belief one who runs too much should not be praised and put on a podium no different than if someone where to say that they read about someone who went from the longest run of 5 K to doing a 30 K run. I can be done but it does not make it any less risky or stupid.

When I was doing the 5 Peaks Sport races, there was one gentleman who was 70 years old. You can see that he ran as hard as it could given the circumstances and always finished near the back of the pack. Not one person thought any less of him because of that and many, including myself can only dream of being able to run a race when I am in my 70s. In fact everything I am doing now, including hours of research and reading are ideally to be able to race but I would be content to be able to run on my own for as long and as fast I would wan to. These are my role models, not someone who is frankly going to be lucky if they do not do some real or permanent damage in what I believe is an ego driven endeavor. That is my opinion and again, I believe that is backed up by research and not some fantasy of what people would like to see the world.

I had thought about giving up running entirely but I love to run. The ironic thing is that I have never considered myself a RUNNER but that is an entirely different discussion. There was the myth and mystic of the marathon. That someone in the back or deep in my mind that if I did not run a marathon ever so often, I would be kicked out of that club. But I hated the dues, the long runs and worse, they were starting to have a real and negative impact upon me. But in looking into this issue, it is clear that running is one of the best exercises one can do. And there is some new thought at 90 minutes a day is may not be too much. Mix in some more moderate exercise such as cycling and weight training a couple of times a week and that will optimize one's health and functionality. The odd marathon and ultra may not be particularly healthy but at least at one time for me, it made me feel alive as opposed to just living. But to circle back to the original post - the argument that a 70 year old doing 7 ultras in one year is cool and my counter is not, it is foolish and playing with fire. They have every right to pursue that goal but if they put it out in the public sphere, if others suggest she is a role model or inspiration, than I also have the right to disagree. And that is what I am doing. And again, I am not saying someone just because they are old and slow are not worthy of praise or admiration. It is just I am reserving mine for someone doing it in a sensible and healthy way.




As a side note, when I was training for marathons and doing the 3 + hour long runs, my mood was not good. Irritable, grumpy and I could fly into a rage over nothing. When I was just running, none of that. I was not aware of the research with regards to the connection between mental health and excess running. Running is great but as with any medicine, the right dose for each person needs to be found.

From the authors of the study on excessive running and its impact on one's psychological condition. What I did not include is that there are those who can train for more then 8 hours per weeks for months and months. But then they can cut back, walk away. This applies to those who cannot:


Dr. Garber noted that frequent exercise of 8 hours or more per week may come at the expense of other things important for mental health, such as social interaction, family ties, and relaxation time.
"There are good data that rigorous physical activity for 30 minutes a day is fairly effective treatment for depression," Dr. Maidenberg said.
Yet, when a person feels that frequent bouts of exercise are a need, rather than a choice, then physical activity has the potential to be compulsive, he noted.
When exercise is a compulsion, it is likely to be seen as part of a constellation of symptoms in a mental illness, such as anorexia or obsessive compulsive disorder, Dr. Maidenberg said.
"If a patient says: 'I need to work out for 2 hours a day, and if I don't, I feel anxious,' that's an indication that their activity is driven by anxiety and not choice," he said

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby wellhunt » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:52 pm

Very interesting Dstew. I understand what you're getting at. And ultimately it is this older woman's (and all people's) right to do what they want with their body's. You can choose not to idolize or look up to her just as others can choose to.
I doubt that a 70 year olds goal of 7 ultras in one year is because she thinks it would be cool or that she wants others to think she's somehow better than everyone else. It's probably more of a "bucket list" thing... a goal that fulfills her life. I'm sure she understands the implications to her body etc.
I very much agree that running or any type of physical exertion is intertwined with mental health. The reason I have been getting into and staying with running is for my mental health. It is my medication and if I don't take it I feel it! Also if I overdo it I feel it too... fatigue and inability to run the next day leading to a sinking in my mood and behaviour.
Anyways the big reason I wanted to respond here to you is to say I get what you're saying. I don't see much here of people validating your voice. Lots of defensive replies. Which I get also, because this is a forum full of running enthusiasts and you're saying it's bad to run too much. Lol. Balance is the key. I don't know how many times I've been told that. I need to balance. Exercise being one aspect. Anything out of balance will throw off your life somehow.

I admire anyone who keeps themselves healthy and fit and strong while staying grounded.

Anyway I've rambled on enough. Peace ️ and love


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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Dstew » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:01 am

wellhunt wrote:Very interesting Dstew. I understand what you're getting at. And ultimately it is this older woman's (and all people's) right to do what they want with their body's. You can choose not to idolize or look up to her just as others can choose to.
I doubt that a 70 year olds goal of 7 ultras in one year is because she thinks it would be cool or that she wants others to think she's somehow better than everyone else. It's probably more of a "bucket list" thing... a goal that fulfills her life. I'm sure she understands the implications to her body etc.
I very much agree that running or any type of physical exertion is intertwined with mental health. The reason I have been getting into and staying with running is for my mental health. It is my medication and if I don't take it I feel it! Also if I overdo it I feel it too... fatigue and inability to run the next day leading to a sinking in my mood and behaviour.
Anyways the big reason I wanted to respond here to you is to say I get what you're saying. I don't see much here of people validating your voice. Lots of defensive replies. Which I get also, because this is a forum full of running enthusiasts and you're saying it's bad to run too much. Lol. Balance is the key. I don't know how many times I've been told that. I need to balance. Exercise being one aspect. Anything out of balance will throw off your life somehow.

I admire anyone who keeps themselves healthy and fit and strong while staying grounded.

Anyway I've rambled on enough. Peace ️ and love


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I do appreciate your response.

As noted, I am a little more sensitive given that I was one the biggest egotists you could find. I ran way past my limits and for the most part, I thought I got away with it. Hard to complain as I got to run Boston twice and in other races, finished, in my age category, 8 first place, 7 seconds and three thirds. Won age series title in the 5 Peaks twice and finished second once. Finished second in a race against the field four times and third once. Never won but these were very small field races and the "real" runners were at the longer distances but still, a wall full of medals. But the price I paid is that I restructured my heart and in doing so, significantly increased the risk for long term damage. I have chronic issues - left calf, right hip and a compressed fracture in the lower right part of my back - all from running.

But just the other night, I was out of dinner and asked by a young man who had done a number of half marathons, should he run a marathon. My dinner companion who had trained for but as not able to run the New York Marathon due to hurricane Sandy told him no. I said that it is something I believe every runner should experience at least once. But I added that if it did not feel right, then there was absolutely nothing wrong with sticking with half marathons and I went on to explain why I think the 10 K race is a wonderful challenge on its own.

One of the best running experiences of my life was doing a 50 K road race. I finished 239 out of 416 finishers and 21 out of 34 in my age category. In previous races, that would have been an unmitigated disaster and yet it was a perfect race for me. I was running two days after that race and I have the finisher mug still proudly displayed despite the fact everyone thinks I was crazy for running that distance. So I love speed, I love doing well, however, it is not the end all or be all for me.

I love running and I believe I have found a way to keep doing this for the next 20 years or more. So with my personal experience and what I have read, I just cannot sit quietly by as people are being praised for taking foolish risks to get a shinny object.

I was thinking that part of my problem is that I have been corrupted by cycling. And specifically by the MEC ride last fall. I did 101.9 K and I know that because of my Garmin not because it was measured out. Not a single person complained because there were no timing chips. Imagine a 10 K race that was 10.1 or a marathon that was actually 42.4 K and the howls of outrage from that. The first three who crossed the finish line received a small prize but not shirts, no medals, no fuss. I still had a runner's mentality - I was told I was 12th across the finish line. I wanted to confirm how fast I did it. Again, no timing at all so they could not say.. Out of how many. They were not really sure as they collected one part of the bib as you left and another as you came back to make sure no one was left on the course. To me, there was something very pure and noble about doing a ride and the only reward was doing the ride. As I was driving home, I did a really cool event and I did not need to get a shinny object as a reward for doing so. My only regret was that I was not more in the moment.

I have entered to 10 K races. I have no illusions that I will be competitive but I still want to test myself and see how I do stack up against my peers and the field. So a medal is unnecessary and clearly adds an extra expense where I would prefer a cheaper fee. This got me to thinking that walking around the woods is called hiking. But walk around in circles and do it overnight and that deserves a medal and recognition? I suppose this confirms my decision to cease doing endurance events and that I am not really a RUNNER but merely someone who runs and will do so in the odd race.

I really do appreciate all of the responses for that was very cathartic for me as I read the rebuttals and they only made me more convinced of my opinion. I cannot emphasize enough that I believe running to be one the best exercises one can do. I can only hope I can run for the next 20 years and do the odd 10 K race during that period. But I also truly believe that there can be too much of a good thing and that one can "over dose" on running and thus certain "achievements" are best ignored rather then praised and admired.

I am attending a talk about cycling at a performance center next week. By coincidence I noticed a post where an 84 year old client who was having his Vo2, etc re tested so that he could adjust his training schedule and paces. He was not looking for any recognition or praise. There was no "look at me, am I not special". His face was covered with a mask for testing and if not for the training facility posting the photo, no one would have ever known about this. To me that is amazing and worthy of praise but he did not provide his name. And a great lesson for a narcissist such as myself that running and even racing should be about the event. About being in the moment and not about recognition or reward. Enjoy the moment, bask in the glory of a good race but then immediately move on to the next run. Or at least that is the best option for me to protect myself against my ego and vanity and to engage in this activity in a healthy and positive way.

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby tayken » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:45 am

Astonishing....more and more older folks continue to push the boundaries. There is a lesson to be learned here, look after your body when you are young, as it's hard to just want to change the status quo when you are already mature.

This lady and Ed Whitlock will make quite the power couple :mrgreen:
On the books for 2017

Winterman 10km - (1st in age group) - Feb 19,
Chilly Half Marathon - Mar 5 (Done)
Around the bay 30k - Mar 26, (Done)
Limestone 1/2 - Apr 30,
Ottawa race weekend Voyager Challenge - May 27-28,
Spring Fling Toronto - June?
World Record Kilt Run Perth - June 24
Foam Fest 5k Ottawa - Jul 22
Pure Protein Night Race - Aug 12
Army Run Vimy Challenge - Sep 17
Marathon Du P'tit Train Du Nord Quebec - Oct 22

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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:27 pm

https://bookladywalker.wordpress.com/20 ... h-25-2017/

She got one of her goals: 72 miles in this race.
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Habs4ever » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:06 am

Spirit Unleashed wrote:https://bookladywalker.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/a-test-of-endurance-at-fort-benning-ga-operation-endurance-24-hour-race-march-25-2017/

She got one of her goals: 72 miles in this race.

I finally had a chance to read her blog post. She did well. 6 to go!
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Spirit Unleashed » Wed Nov 08, 2017 10:08 am

She did it! 7 ultras of 70 miles or more in 2017 for her 70th birthday.

Here is her race report: https://bookladywalker.wordpress.com/20 ... er-3-2017/

I want to be like that.
Athlete....Maniac 973....Marathon Maniac 6645
Live the most amazing life you can live - La
marathon runners are awesomeness personified - Ian
Bucket list: http://www.tassietrailfest.com.au/
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ultraslacker
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby ultraslacker » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:32 am

Similarly, someone posted this on QuickChick's facebook:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-amer ... -7-n722551
"You're an ultrarunner, normal rules don't apply to you." (Doonst)


First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. ~Epictetus

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Robinandamelia
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Re: Wow, 70 YO Lady's Goals

Postby Robinandamelia » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:21 pm

Spirit Unleashed wrote:She did it! 7 ultras of 70 miles or more in 2017 for her 70th birthday.

Here is her race report: https://bookladywalker.wordpress.com/20 ... er-3-2017/

I want to be like that.


Very cool...It's amazing how many "older people" participate in ultras. I find it inspiring. Hope to be one myself :)


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