Commentary: In 24 hours I turned 70, became a grandmother

There's a difference between being a 69-year-old runner and a 70-year-old grandma.

For me it was one day.

I celebrated my 70th birthday on Nov. 12, and my granddaughter, Jules Maggie, was born on Nov. 13.

My daughter, Rachel, a marathoner, finished strong in childbirth, sticking to her birthing plan: a natural childbirth.

Minutes after Jules joined our family, Paul and I joined Rachel, Jason and Jules in the delivery room. Circling mom and baby, we experienced a transformative moment and gave thanks for a healthy new life.

I stayed with Rachel and Jules until the weekend, when I left the little family to themselves for a few days.

Came home, and before unpacking, I ran to Huntington Dog Beach and back for a total of 18 miles. My running schedule will be unpredictable for a few weeks, thus the unusually long run.

Jogging along the boardwalk, I took stock of my pledge to Daily Pilot readers to score a first place in March's Los Angeles Marathon. Officially turning 70 seems time for a progress report.

First, Jake: Sam's illness continues to be of paramount concern, so emails about my training seem irrelevant. I await Jake's pearls but don't ask.

Next, the pain in the ball of my left foot: I've had physical therapy, two doctor visits, a podiatrist's treatment and new orthotics. The pain's still there.

Last week, as I ran the Castaways, a lady I know only as my dentist's receptionist called out, "Be careful!"

"Why?" I called back.

"You're limping," she answered.


As I type this, I think the pain in the pad behind my toes has lessened but sometimes it jabs a reminder as I run or even when I'm lying down. I wear my "toe-buddy" separator all the time, have traded my flip-flops for lace-up shoes with orthotics and ice my foot occasionally.

When I told a nurse-pal of mine that I hesitated to take another course of ibuprofen because two doctors told me to stop after a week, she said, "Inflammation is not good for you. Ibuprofen takes care of that."

Sounds correct, so I'm considering following her example and taking ibuprofen pre- and post-workout.

The issue of first place: Depends who shows up that day. I hope to maintain my time of under four and a half hours or do even better. However, last year a 70-year-old finished L.A. in just four hours. I hope she sleeps in on March 9.

The workout plan: Jake once said that 50-mile-weeks build endurance. I just completed my first 50-mile-week.

Catherine gave me a new track workout. Judy, who is much faster than me, is graciously pacing me at an even 10-minute-mile. I have a nice little support group but, like my daughter's natural birth, it's completely up to me on that March day.

Newport Beach resident CARRIE LUGER SLAYBACK is training to run the Los Angeles Marathon at age 70.

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