nike air max rosas Mavis Lindgren Is a Road Runner
Her first running suit was a home made dress and canvas shoes, which caused some commotion along the highway here. She was frail, a grandmother, and moving not that much slower than a Volkswagen. Cars kept screeching to a halt, figuring she needed a ride to the nearest telephone.
She was actually running from old age. Mavis Lindgren is 86, can still fit into her wedding dress, has completed 64 marathons since she turned 70 and intends to make this New York City Marathon her 65th. She usually finishes by dusk, in last place or close to it, but she has proved it is never too late to audition for the track team.
“I act my age better than she does,” said her husband Carl, 84.
She went a long time in between races: 60 years. A native of Manitoba, she ran the 50 yard dash at a church picnic when was she 10 years old, and then took a rather lengthy hiatus.
“Well, I don’t think they had a high school track team in those days,” she said in a recent conversation. “I went once to play football with the boys, and my teacher said, ‘No, I think that’s a little too rough for you.’ ”
For most of her adult life, she was a nurse and a mother of three. Her main exercise, she said, was knitting, although there was some slight forewarning of what was ahead.
“I was always a fast walker,” she said. “Why? I think because I had great desire to get places in a hurry. I’d be walking down the street, and I’d notice the funny look on people’s faces. I thought, ‘Oh, I must be walking fast again.’ My girls would say, ‘Mother, do you have to walk so quickly?’ ”
Her pace slowed drastically in her late 50’s when she was diagnosed with pneumonia five times during a four year span.
“Seemed like if I got cold feet and they stayed cold for two hours, I was on my way to pneumonia,” she said. Sickly Childhood
She chalked this up to her sickly childhood. She had had the whooping cough at age 2 “They treated it by rubbing goose grease and turpentine on your neck,” she said and a light case of tuberculosis in her early teens. And, in her adult years, arthritis had turned her fingers crooked, into the shape of the Mississippi River.
So, by age 62, she was feeling not a day under 70. Then, by chance at a seminar, she heard a doctor with a history of heart trouble advocate walking and jogging. workout the next day, and Lindgren’s life was altered.
Walking had always been her best sport, anyway. She was living in Riverside, Calif., at the time, and she began early morning power walks “before the smog set in.” Her gait would even turn into a mild run. At first, her jogs did not last even a block, but her resting pulse dropped from 74 to 54 and her bouts with pneumonia became extinct.
Her mileage also increased to the point that seven years later her son Kelvin an ear, nose and throat doctor entered her, without telling her, into a 20 mile run in Sacramento.
“You did what?” she said, having never run more than 15 miles. Flopped in Practice
She bellyflopped in one practice session, knees and elbows first. She contemplated calling off the nonsense, but she continued on. She finished the race in 4 hours 12 minutes, found herself mobbed at the finish line and found her son Kelvin flipping through a guide to the marathons. She was 70 now, and he entered her in “The Avenue of the Giants Marathon,” a 26 mile 385 yard race through the California Redwoods.
She finished in 5 hours 4 minutes 38 seconds, in a steady downpour, with Carl throwing an emergency jacket on her back and daughter Muffy throwing her a second pair of dry shoes. Nike caught wind of it and offered a sneaker contract.
The drawback: She had to deliver speeches at the award ceremonies. Lindgren had always been an introvert in high school, frayed into tears at the thought of public speaking, but the running brought a new personality seeping out of her. Now she never pipes down.
Her peak year was at age 73, when she ran her best marathon time of 4:34.08. Her training included 50 to 60 miles a week as she was finally out of her home made dress although the ensuing years made her wish also for knee pads.
At the Pike’s Peak 28 mile run in Colorado, half the race is up the mountain and half the race is down, and the descent is the more dangerous portion.
“I saw three men on stretchers, and a man with a broken leg,” she said. “And I’m thinking, ‘This is what happens when you do the round trip?’ Well, I started down and the path curved and my legs went out from under me. I was about to skid when a man and a woman who were coming up the path caught me out of the blue. A miracle.”
She fell and broke her wrist in another marathon but finished it anyway, with another person running at her side, propping the wrist up.
She got lost for 11 minutes in the Los Angeles Marathon because she ran the wrong way after a restroom stop.
“I’m not normally that daffy,” she said.
Her outdoor workouts are now down to three miles a day, near her and her husband’s three bedroom trailer here in Orleans (two hours Northeast of Eureka; population: 630). Their home is so high up a bluff that the mailman refuses to risk the hike. It is a marathon into town just to collect their packages. But the advantage is she trains at 1,800 feet elevation and has to worry only about a loose cougar who recently killed a family pet. A Different Path