During my short adult life, I hadn't really commemorated my birthday until I turned 30 last year. When I turned 30, I had a casual party of about 25 friends, and Steve and I enjoyed a nice several days driving the California coast.
And while a party each year seems unnecessary, from here out, I do want to celebrate the joy of being in a great place each and every year of my life, and at the time of my birthday is a wonderful time to do that. With this approaching birthday, my focus for this last year has been about adding a beautiful baby into our family while pushing hard to do my best and strive for challenging myself physically, mentally, and emotionally -- and running has been what's made all that possible.
- I firmly believe happy mommy means a happy family - running definitely makes me happy.
- I firmly believe in getting outside your comfort zone - doing my first 25K while pregnant and then my pursuit of trailrunning in 2011 have shown me I can always do more.
- I firmly believe in never taking health for granted - I sometimes get choked up when I remind myself I'm in the best shape of my life. As someone whose medical condition at one point left them on disability leave and partially bedridden, this is a huge deal.
- I firmly believe in following your passion - I love being a facilitator for running outreach and providing venues for getting active. In 2011, I directed my first "solo" race (with no friends' help in race directing or support from a club or organization) with the New Year's Day Half Marathon, and have helped start a running club up in my area called the North Texas Runners.
For my birthday weekend of June 4th and 5th, I already planned on doing a 20 mile long run for my training for my first marathon. But I thought what a giant challenge it would be to try to complete 31 miles over those two days for my upcoming 31st birthday. I can say that my friend Blanca's recent celebration of 47 miles in 4 days for her birthday was a great inspiration.
The longest I've ever run in a FULL week is 32.6 miles. Yikes, so this is like almost my milestone week's worth of running in 2 days. And the longest I've done in one run is 19.75 miles, and I'm going to go for 22 for one day. So there's the perspective of this challenge.
So here's what I want to do, but please, I need help to conquer this challenge and I want to see all of you while pursuing this shared passion that is running.
June 4th - 22 miles. Two 11 mile loops. I'm thinking I'll set up Facebook events for each. I have a scenic 11-mile route I've used before that goes through east Allen. First loop starts at 5:30 and ends at 8:00. Second loop starts at 8:00 and ends at 10:30. Starting and finishing from Village at Allen, so my hope is that whoever finishes that second loop with me will join me in walking next door to the new In-N-Out Burger for a double-double and animal-style fries, or whatever tickles your fancy.
June 5th - 9 miles. A loop on the west side of Allen of trails and streets I run fairly regularly. It will run through about 9 neighborhoods. Start about 6:30 am.
Pace will be 12:45 min/mi with a walk break for a minute at the end of each mile. Hopefully I can hold that pace for a lot of this. And if I have to walk the whole freaking thing, fine, but I want to go for it. It's my birthday, and I'll challenge myself if I want to.
Please join me. This may not be your pace (although for most, it can be an easy run pace) but for one day maybe it can be, and I appreciate help for as little or as many miles as people can give. I broke the 22 miler into 2 loops so more people might come join me, especially for that second loop. And for all the times I've driven to Irving and Dallas to volunteer, cheer, or help with various running-related things, I really am hoping a one-time drive to Allen is doable for some people. It's probably no more than 45 minutes for most of my area running friends.
I love and adore my running friends, sometimes more than I think most of them realize. You all inspire me and motivate me, and understand the hard days and share the excitement of the great ones. What some of you call an acquaintance, I find I more readily count as a friend. Post here, post on my FB wall, tweet me, but please tell me you'll join me, especially because, yes, it's scary to put all this out there to the world.