This past Wednesday was my 29th birthday (or maybe just the first of many 29th birthdays? 😉 ). It sort of snuck up on me, and I was almost surprised when I got my first birthday card in the mail the Monday beforehand. Time just flies by these days, and my own birthdays now just don’t seem as exciting as they used to be. Maybe next year will feel different since it is the big 3-0.
Mother Nature gave me the best birthday present ever, though – 5 glorious days of fall-like weather! I took a half day on my birthday itself because of a dermatologist appointment (my biggest fear = skin cancer), but finished up quicker than expected there, so I had the opportunity to get in a 7-miler in the beautiful weather. Later that night, Brian, two of our good friends, and I went to see Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center. It was so funny/raunchy/irreverent! The four of us loved it, though I’m not sure it’s for everyone. In order to enjoy it, you’d have to have a sense of humor about organized religion. Even if we all had hated it, though, the Kennedy Center is an experience in and of itself. This is my fourth or fifth show there, and its beauty still amazes me. We are so lucky to live in the DC area!
The rest of my birthday week has been relatively low-key. Brian’s parents were in town this week and we celebrated with a dinner out on Friday, but it was a wee bit tainted by crabby children. I guess this is what we signed up for when we had them!
Yesterday I had my long run of the week – 15 miles! This is a personal distance record for me since my longest was just over half marathon distance. What’s scary/exciting is that most long runs from now until the marathon itself will be personal records for me. I felt great through mile 9 or 10 (maybe even a little longer), but once I hit about mile 12, I was ready to be done. It felt like I was SO FAR from home at that point. This was the first time I’ve run from our house to (and around) Burke Lake (I ran an 8k there last November), and seeing it at mile 7 was like seeing an oasis. It is so pretty, and I wasn’t actually trying to get there so reaching it was a surprise. I just spontaneously set out to explore the South Run trail, and boom! There was the lake after about 1.5 miles. It will be a nice place to get other long runs in because it is nice and shaded. It is a lot of trail running, though, which slows me down, but it is gorgeous. I did around a 9:44 min/mile pace (perfectly respectable long run pace), but 15 miles alone was a struggle, so for the next long runs of 17/18/20 miles, I will hopefully have a buddy (Danny!).
Also, I underestimated how far I ran around the lake and ended up overshooting my 15 mile mark. Luckily, I hit the Starbucks near our house a little after 15 miles in, so I stopped for a chocolate milk & a smoothie and called Brian to come get me, ha. I just couldn’t fathom running another 1.5 miles home! I am not sure how I should mentally feel after running these longer runs, but immediately after this one, I couldn’t fathom ever running 26.2 miles and was even craving an ice bath (how messed up is that?). 15 was hard, though I know some day I will think 15 is a breeze! Can’t wait for that day…
Last but not least, a sincere thank you for all of the birthday wishes – it is always so nice to hear from friends both near & far and old & new!