Friday, August 8, 2008


I woke up this morning to an NPR discussion of a man who had read the entire Oxford English Dictionary in one year. He and the commentator were discussing words. The first word I head as I opened my eyes was paracme. Paracme is - the point at which one is past one's prime. As a result, I spent much of the day wondering when that might be. I don't, for a moment, feel I have reached paracme. Sure my running has been at snail's pace lately, but I've never been very fast. Plus, four months or so ago (when I was actually pretending to train) my 800 times were as fast (slow?) as they were when I was training for marathons 12 years ago. And, hey I did as many pull ups yesterday as I used to do 'back in the day'. Not to mention, that I kicked the ass of a much much younger woman this very morning on my bike ride to work up 12th ave. (Okay, I barely beat her and she was wearing flip flops, a skirt and had NO idea there was a race going on, but I did beat her). So, there is no way I am paracme.

However, being early 40 something, I have been wondering about this lately. In the last couple years, I have started noticing a few little changes. And though it's hard to tell amongst the dye, I think my hair is starting to get some gray. I have always just expected my body to do what I ask - run as far, or as hard as I want, ride my bike wherever do yoga, lift weights, support it's self in pushups and pull ups. I guess I just keep expecting that. And maybe if I do, I will hold off paracme much longer than I might otherwise. Or maybe I keep expecting just as much and just throw a little extra rest in. How cool would it be to be doing pulls ups at 80?

Then there is Dara Torres - see above 41 year old Olympian. According to an article I read on her, "both elite and nonelite runners and swimmers could maintain personal bests until age 35, after which performance declined in a gradual, linear fashion until about age 50 to 60 for runners and 70 for swimmers. Deterioration was rapid from there."

Well, I think I'm going to join the Dara Torres camp, and maybe just pullups until 70!

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