Take control of your brain health with Staying Sharp! Try it today.
by Carole Carson, AARP, September 18, 2008
Despite the absence of a track program for girls in her high school, Sara Freitas, 50, of Nevada City, Calif., inevitably gravitated to the sport. She began cross-country running, somewhat inconsistently, in her early 20s.
On a dare after the birth of her first child, Sara trained for a 20-km run. After a surprisingly good performance, she asked herself, "How much better could I do if I knew what I was doing?" She was hooked.
Sara continues to compete in races and has boxes of trophies to show for her effort. At 45, she ran her fastest race ever, competing against a former Olympian.
“I can't control what other people do in a race, but I can control how I perform," she said. "In this race, I felt invincible and was thrilled to race hard and hold on to the pace."
A soil tester by profession, Sara also coaches a high school girls' cross-country team. She lives with her husband, Mark, and is mom to two sons, Matt and Daniel. The sports-minded family enjoys mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, golf, and cross-country running.
Sara typically runs 40 to 50 miles a week in a plan that consists of two or three workouts, a couple of recovery runs, and a long run of 10 to 13 miles. "I run on trails rather than roads and use hills more than the track," she said, "to be nice to my body.
"People ask me," Sara offered, "how I manage to keep improving. I just work at consistency—making small, gradual improvements." Progress, not perfection, is her goal. "In addition to improving myself," Sara added, "I love coaching individuals who want to learn the sport."
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Members save 15% on medical alert service.
This tool helps you identify your pills by color, shape and markings.
Members can take a free confidential hearing test by phone.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at