My birthday is coming up next week, number 4-3 to be exact. I always try to mark my birthday in some personal way. Since the birth of my first child, on my 31st birthday back in 2001, my birthday tends to be pushed to the side in order to celebrate his birthday. So, I tend to come up with something quiet, personal and only for me to mark the occasion. Sometimes it is just a little on-line shopping spree, hair appointment, massage, or coffee with a friend that week. This year I would like to mark my birthday with a special running goal. About a month ago, when I started thinking about my birthday, I thought I would run 4.3 miles the day of my birthday and invite some of my running girlfriends to join me, followed by a trip to the local coffee shop for some "girl" time. That is a very nice idea, and I still plan on doing that.
But, on my run on Tuesday, the idea to run 43 miles during my birthday week popped into my head. It seemed like a fantastic idea at the time. I love those moments during a run, when various thoughts pop into your head, in between singing along with Pink and Fun. (my 2 current faves). Sometimes these light bulb moments pass, and I give them no more thought. This one has been sticking there during the last 2 days. I even sat down last night, looked at my training plan from Train Like a Mother 1/2 Marathon Training Plan, and contemplated if I can work the extra miles in. It looks doable, even while taking my requisite 2 rest days. I just need to make sure to make them easy miles and not push the pace, which could cause increased chance of injury. I will be on week 6 of a 13 week plan. The scheduled long run is 14 miles on Saturday. My proposed plan looks as follows:
Monday 10 miles
Tuesday 6.7 miles
Wednesday (birthday) 4.3 miles
Thursday 8 miles
Saturday 14 miles
Total: 43 miles
It seems a bit daunting, but if I keep the miles "easy", and with alternating shorter and longer days, with the 2 rests days before and after my long run, I think I can do it. I have been running 30 miles/week (with many of those miles as tempo and interval training) so this isn't totally out of reach.
Important things to remember:
- stretching and foam rolling is necessary post run, not just an optional activity.
- icing my shins with the 110 % compression ice sleeves will be done daily post run to prevent those nasty shin splints that may crop up
- I will listen to my body, and any signs of injury I will back off and rest as needed
- this is a personal goal, and even though I tend to be stubborn when it comes to meeting a goal, the world won't end if it isn't met. Life can get in the way sometimes, with 3 kids, a husband, and all the demands on my time, running could be pushed to the side. Things like illness and weather could also derail my efforts. I will be kind to myself, no matter what.
Why am I setting this goal? I was just asking myself that as I decided to write down my goal in my Believe I Am Journal. I wrote that I wanted to set and meet this goal in order to celebrate my birthday, and to feel "alive and well". The "alive and well" thing is huge for me. As I age, my mortality follows me like a shadow sometimes. I know that sounds dramatic, and 43 is really not "that old". It can feel old when you have a family history of heart disease. My mother suffered a heart attack in her early 40s. She passed away from heart disease at the "young" age of 62. I do need to remember that she was overweight, did not exercise regularly, and did not eat the most optimal diet. Her father also died in his early 60's I need to remember that I am of a healthy weight, I exercise regularly, and eat a mostly vegetarian diet, with some healthy fish thrown in. But, I also have had issues with my heart, including Wolffe-Parkinson-White Syndrome. I'm not going to get into this during this posting, but I will share my story of that in a future post. I had ablation to correct that condition, and came away from it mostly unscathed. I see a cardiologist annually and am cleared to participate in vigorous exercise. No complaints here. Just stating all this to say that 43 does not feel so "young" when you are literally attempting to outrun your genetic makeup and mortality. But I'm going to focus on setting and meeting this goal to "celebrate" my birthday. I will run all these miles with joy in my heart, knowing that even as an "old lady" I am capable of doing it. So, questions: Have you set a birthday running goal? What do you think of my proposed goal?