30 Things Women Should Know

What about item 31? How about some help and consolation for those of us reaching "that age".

It's not easy when brain says "I'm still young" but body says "Think again!"

I know that Nature thinks it's a good idea to add a layer of fat to my waistline and stomach but I don't.

Is it possible to exercise it away or am I stuck with it for ever? Can I keep some tone to my muscles (eg upper arms)or am I fighting a losing battle?

I want to keep on running into and through my 50s but at the moment it's a big struggle.

I know there are many articles in RW about motivation and I have read them. Perhaps they are all written by men who just don't realise the hold that hormones have over a body.

There must be many women who have struggled - please pass on some help, advice, encouragement!!


  • Freda love - I'm 53 and running FLM for the 6th time on Sunday, which will incidentally also be my 30th marathon all told. Age is only a number, you can't do much about your genetic inheritance but you can stay fit - it's all in your outlook. You just need to stay positive, sure, you don't look like you did 30 years ago, nor can you run as fast maybe as you did when a kid. But there are compensations - I'm a lot more confident now than when younger, and a damn sight stronger! I moved into triathlon at age 42 and did my first Ironman at age 50. Looking at moving into Ultras now.Believe in yourself and the power of the mind - there's nothing you can't do!

    Post whenever you feel like, I'm here for you as much as possible. But not between Friday and Monday, o.k.? Just till I get back from FLM.

    Vets rule o.k.!
  • Thanks for that and have a great day on Sunday.
  • Ironwolf - never a truer word said!

    Freda, I'm in my early forties and although there are some things I'll never be able to recapture (i.e. no wrinkles) I do feel stronger, more confident (as Ironwolf has already said) and more positive than any time in my life. I'm sure taking up running has something to do with it which I only started 3 or 4 years ago at the age of 39. I also don't think that 20 or even 10 years ago I would have had the guts to go out running public, entering races etc....(with the full knowledge of being at the back of the pack).

    I also, like you, still feel really young in my head and a couple of years ago started doing things that I'd stopped doing when I had my kids....like going to gigs and playing the piano again after a break of 20 years. I'm sure a lot of the 'aging factor' is psychological...

    Please don't get too disheartened. I'm sure you'll get lots of encouragement from this Forum.
  • Freda, like you I still think I am only twenty,just a bit of a shock when I see a photo and realise I am 48! I have been running for over 20 years, now I have more time and am running faster and more consistently than ever! Just believe what your mind tells you, doesn't matter what you look like, but you will stay fitter and healthier if you keep running!!
  • I'm 50 this year and I've never been fitter and stronger since I took up running 5 years ago.

    This has had a powerful effect on all areas of my life, so I can truthfully say I've never been happier, either.

    However, a word of caution.....ageing is inevitable and I now find that I cannot get away with being unkind to my body like I did from my teens to my thirties - I mean xs alcohol, junk food, all-night partying, workaholism etc. In fact, to meet the running challenges I set for myself (and stay in the same waist-size jeans) I have to lead a very balanced, and some might say boring, life.

    I don't think it's boring - I'm doing my first fell race on Easter Saturday! Me! A middle-aged lady! A lorry drver half my age leaned out of his cab and wolf-whistled as I ran past yesterday - then looked gobsmacked when he saw my smiling, wrinkly face!

    PS - an upper body weights program twice per week keeps the arms from developing those underarm flabby "bingo wings".
  • LFVLFV ✭✭✭
    I'm fifty as well on the 28th of this month.I also sag on the tum (courtesy of an unkind surgeon's knife a few years back), which is a source of great annoyance as hitherto I had a flat stomach you could bounce a brick off. Underneath the muscles are still well hard, but the fat accumulates.

    Due to compartment syndrome and chronic hip disorder, I can't run and can only walk briskly for about 30 minutes without hurting, and I now have to wear permanent orthotics in all my shoes. Try fitting your Manolos with these!


    You're as young as the man you feel!!!!

    Try Canadian Airforce exercises but sloooooowwwwwwly (writhing around on the floor).

    Get an allotment and grow your own food. Soon gets the weight off and tones you up.

    Have wild unabandoned sox with or without the above man.
  • Unabandoned sox!!??

    Do you need a foot for that??!!

    Respect Steady!

  • Mrs Steady: are the young as the man you feel and Canadian airforce comments that are connected?

    Am telling steady!

    Ironwolf, you inspire me. I sometimes (for eg now at end of term) feel ancient and drained at 33. But it's great to know that I've elected a sport where age isn't a barrier to progress.
  • Hey Mrs Steady way to go girl, wild abandoned sox with Canadian Airforce, sounds interesting.

    Freda just keep doing it, you know you want to.

    And after all 50 is the new 40.
  • Sorry, bit confused, do you:

    - wear the sox while your doing the Canadian?

    - have the sox whilst doing the Canadian Airforce Exercises, or,

    - grow your own vegetables, whilst both having and wearing sox, with a Canadian young man....?

    All versions sound good enough to keep you young in mind and body!
  • 'doing the canadian'

    A new euphemism is born.
  • Most of the Canadians I've seen have been well over six foot and played ice hockey, can I have first pick of any volunteers that may come our way to try out the exercises with sox or otherwise.
  • ..apart, WW, that is from the small, tubby, Canadian I met some years ago on my travels who was disappointed that I didn't want to do Airforce exercises with him without our sox on....(but that's another story).
  • I read somewhere that if you have lines and wrinkles it shows you've been there and done that and had a life.
  • I get really fed up with the cult of youth.

    There are some fantastic looking older men and women nowadays and the wrinkles are all part of that. (Helen Mirren, Sting, etc etc). In my opion, all those celebrities who have had face lifts to look younger have taken away their expressiveness.

    This goes back to Freda's original posting (sorry we've all gone off on a tangent about Canadians and sox) that we shouldn't get depressed about the ageing process. There's nothing we can do about it other than to keep fit and happy. We should also celebrate our experience and maturity - which also allows us to be extremely silly without getting too hung up about it.

  • LestradeLestrade ✭✭✭
  • Oooooh! I love this thread! I'm 42 and um, more cuddly than I was at 22. But then, I couldn't run 100 yards then! Hah. Now I can run a coupla miles! Slowly, but surely. With my guru John Bingham in my head, and the hundred or so RAF chaps* who keep whipping past me in their 'my bun's are tighter than your buns' shorts (OH yes) reflecting in my wraparound shades, I just enjoy being out there and being fitter.

    And when it comes to fantastic older men, I would happily puff and pant for half an hour with Alan Rickman, thank you. And he's 57.

    *(I live near a big RAF station)
  • How about Lulu, she's pretty amazing, and looks better than she ever did when she was v young. And she got to work with Take That, so an all round role model.
  • Lulu uses botox!

    I flush and wrinkle... And she's older than me.

    But I m running (and walking)first (and last) FLM on Sunday, and trying hard to act my age.
  • She'd probably look pretty good without the botox though HW.
  • Helens x 2 (actually Helen x 3 cos' I'm one as well but we've already had that conversation)...don't you think Lulu's a bit, well, wierd??

    She's got a touch of the Peter Pans which you might be unkind and call denial...maybe I'm jealous...but I'd rather have a role model of, say, Helen Mirren (or maybe that's because she's also a 'Helen')....
  • I think Judy Dench looks fab, I agree about Alan Rickman, also think Roger Daltrey looks better now than he did in the 60s.
    I have to say I am always surprised by the age categories that people are in when they go up for prizes after a race, they never look their age.
  • LFVLFV ✭✭✭
    I also think Lulu is a bit wierd. I think Marianne Faithful is pretty good for her years and past. Just goes to prove that sox and dregs and rock'n'roll are not all bad! And I don't detect botox on that famously ravaged face.

    Oh and Steady is my toy boy - he is seven years younger than I am. However to keep him on his toes I always introduce him as my first husband.
  • Great thread - I think you're all great!!
  • Yes, and Marianne F's done a great track on the latest Jools Holland album called 'You've got to serve somebody'....
  • Oh Helen Wheels don't start acting your age you'll end up a boring old fart.

    My sister-in-law is the same age as me, we went to the same school, other than that we are chalk and cheese, she sits at home all day doing nothing, certainly doesn't do any housework, smokes, is overweight, has high blood pressure, doesn't have any friends, hobbies, get up and go, dresses like her mother would, and her worst crime is her 19 year old son doesn't know any difference and he is going to end up just like her.
  • Ran my firm FLM this year on my 40th birthday and had a great time. Running really well up until 2 weeks ago then found out had to have major abdominal surgery due to the big C. All fine now but please can somebody give me some encouragement as to when I can get back into training feeling abit down today (OK only 9 days after surgery!!) but everything was going fab. Surely someone out there can give me encouragement.
  • Hi Hes

    what op id you have
    id say you need at least 6-8 weeks off to let the scars heal, may be longer depending on what you have had removd
    good luck

    remember youll get fitness back quickly as youve been marathon fit in the past
  • Hes, when I had abdo surgery a few years back, nothing major (ectopic pregnancy), I started going out for walks as soon as I could. just round the block to start with then gradually increased it to run/walk. like Hippo says, your pre op fitness will help a lot. Does depend a bit on what you have had done but listen to your body and take plenty of rest and good food. You will get back to your previous fitness, difficult to be patient though isn't it?!

    Best wishes,

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