I started running in 2015, when I was 44 years old.
My motivation to start running was to quit smoking. I had tried the pills and the patch, hypnosis and acupuncture, cold turkey and wild turkey – nothing had helped me stop smoking.
Then one night, I watched a movie called Happy with my oldest son.
At some point in the movie, the narrator said that a person gets the same endorphin rush from running as he would get from smoking a cigarette.
I decided the next morning I would try running. I threw on a pair of ratty old sweatshorts, and sneakers better suited for lawn-mowing than running, and hit the pavement.
I wheezed and gagged and coughed, and a block later, had to start walking. I ran-walked a mile (mostly walked), but the feeling I had when I was done was better than any cigarette that I smoked.
I told myself I would try running for 30 days – if I was a smoker at the end of those 30 days, I was done quitting. I’d just resign myself to smoking the rest of my life.
Well, running worked.
I’ve largely been quit smoking since August 2015. Every now and again, I have a slip and smoke a cigarette, but I can honestly say I have licked the habit.
And replaced it with a new addiction: running.
I run about 1,000 – 1,500 miles a year including about 2 dozen races. Mostly the races are 5k and 10k races, but I do a few half-marathons, and one marathon, each year.
As of 2019, I’ve run three marathons.
I ran the New York City Marathon in 2016, Chicago Marathon in 2017, and the Three Bridges Marathon in 2018.
In 2019, I am running the Marine Corps Marathon for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS).
And, in 2018, I joined a team of 2 dozen runners who ran the 250 miles from Washington DC to New York City to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day.
As I have continued running, I realized that runners over the age of 40 have important considerations that other runners may not have to worry about.
Our bodies break down a little faster. They heal a little slower. The sins of our past – smoking, eating, drinking, etc., – come back to haunt us as we work to improve our running.
And I’ve found another pattern in runners over the age of 40. We like our running to mean something. We run for charities and non-profits, and use our running to raise funds for worthy organizations.
I became an Athlete Ambassador for the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). My youngest son is diagnosed with Down Syndrome, and I want to support the work NDSS does to fight for inclusion and civil rights for individuals with the diagnosis.
Most of the time it is an altruistic motive to help others through our running. But, sometimes, running for a charity is an ‘easy’ way to gain entry to a coveted race that we might not otherwise qualify for (like the Boston Marathon) or win a lottery spot in (like the NYC Marathon).
My goal for this website is the following:
- If you are over the age of 40, I want to encourage and motivate you to start running, in the hope that it changes your life like it did mine.
- If you run for a charity, or do a fund-raising run, I want to give you the tools to have a successful fundraiser. I’ve raised over $17,275 in 3 years of running, and have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work. I’d like to share that with you.
- I plan to review running toys and gear that I enjoy.
- I will review races that I run throughout the year.
If you find value in this site, please drop me an email and tell me about yourself. I’d like to get to know you, too.
Thanks for joining me on The Over 40 Runner.
P.S. – If you are a runner and have a tattoo, send me a picture by email. I love to see the creative things folks do when they put ink on their body.