Tuesday, July 27, 2010
It's My Party and I'll Run if I Want To
Tomorrow is a big milestone for me. It will be my 30th birthday. Like all big occassions and events these days, it is bittersweet. Smiles and sadness in seemingly equal measures. I continue to marvel at the fact that I've managed to continually surround myself with amazing, loving and supportive people in my life. For that reason, I have so much to celebrate. So, that is what I choose to do.
My plan for my 30th birthday to was run my age. 30k (18.6 miles). It seemed like a fun thing to do, and bonus points for an early marathon-training long run! Since my birthday falls on a Wednesday, though, and the Queens Half-Marathon was this past Saturday, just four days shy of my birthday, I thought it would be fun to kill two birds with one stone, run the half-marathon and then just tack on another 5.5 miles to hit 30K.
On race morning, when I woke up, it was already 83 degrees. I slathered on the sunscreen, got myself together, and woke Jeremy up for some pre-race kisses. He smiled up at me and in his best Adrian-to-Rocky told me, "Win!" I smiled back, "I will!"
After an adventurous cab ride through the uncharted regions of the Bronx, I finally made it to race, where I met up with a few Twitter friends at the start. Amy, Maria, TK, Mary and I started together but after a mile or so, I kind of zoned out, put on my headphones (still feeding my ears a fairly steady diet of Faith No More) and just ran comfortably. It was definitely disgustingly hot and I was really feeling it by the 3rd mile. I made sure to stop at every aid station, sip some Gatorade and water, and dump a cup of water on my head. And wouldn't you know it, by mile 8 or so, I felt like I was cruising. I knew I had a lot more running ahead of me that day and I felt great. Just past mile 9, I saw Erika's bright yellow socks up ahead. I sped up to catch up to her and ran with her for a bit.
I kept running and as I kept running I got more and more excited for the rest of the day, to complete my 30K and then head out for beer and nachos with friends. When I crossed the finish line (2:02:54, 2nd best HM), I was all smiles.
On the subway ride back to Manhattan, I met up with Erika again, and Baker who told me they'd join me later for beer and nachos. I got to Central Park and headed out for a solo 5.5, still smiling. It was hot, I was tired, but I didn't care. This was my celebration, just for me.
Later, over a few beers, several plates of nachos, tater tots, some cupcakes and about 74 glasses of water and lots and lots of laughs, I looked around the table at my friends, new and old, and family that joined me (and did not complain about the fact that I probably smelled like a hockey player's gym bag) for my crazy little party and realized that I am really very, very lucky.
In spite of the sadness of the last three months, I have so much to celebrate.