Subjects from stories I wrote five years ago wave at me, and they look older. My running coach is 57 and beats men half his age, including me, but he doesn't have much hair anymore. I went to get a haircut today, and I think this was the first time I saw more gray hairs than brown or black.
Most NFL players are considered graybeards at my age (38) or have long since retired with a limp. Most baseball players not on steroids are in severe decline. Playboy won't even consider a playmate my age.
Yet my obsession with age comes at a time when I haven't felt older. I've felt younger. In some ways, I've never felt younger.
Now don't get me wrong. I've noticed the training. The biggest change I've noticed is I can't do anything else that's even remotely taxing to my system. I went to the KU game Wednesday at CU's campus in Boulder, and I got home at 11:30 p.m. I know, right? LATE.
The next morning I was shattered. I could barely function for two hours before lunch. I felt as if I was hungover. Sad to say, I've been to bed before 10 p.m. both Friday and Saturday lately.
This marathon training is turning me into a senior citizen.
Yet I went 8 miles Friday and for 14 Saturday. I've run more than 13.1 once in my life. I did not go for 8 the day before. But today, Sunday, I not only felt great, I ran a 5K. My legs felt tired in the first mile, and I took it slow - my time was 24:57 - but that was, I have to say, easy. I remember just a few years ago when 24:57 would leave me gasping and wrung out for three days. I wasn't even remotely sore.
It only gets harder from here. I've got a fallback week - in runner speak that means I only have to run 10 for my long run - but this is also the week Kate leaves for Vegas starting Friday, and I'll be raging solo until Monday afternoon. That will be sure to wear me out. I'm also battling a bit of a chest cold that my wife swears might be swine flu (I ain't buying it).
Then I'll be running 16 for my long run the next week, and the miles will only go up from there. I can only hope I stay healthy.
But Monday morning, around 6 a.m., I'll head out the front door to start another training week. I'll start it with a tempo run, though it's really a race, trying to do my part to outrun Father Time.