Thursday, June 20, 2013

30 for 30

My 20s are officially over - I'm now 30 years old! And my 30th birthday couldn't have been any better. 

When someone asked me last week if I was excited for my 30 mile run last week, I responded "YES" so enthusiastically that she asked if I was being sarcastic. Nope. I was actually way more excited for my 30 mile run than Saturday's 10 mile race. Running far > running fast.

I was going to start super early, but then I lucked out with a day in June that didn't even hit 80 degrees. When I checked the weather Tuesday night, the temperature wasn't really rising too much, but the humidity was going to drop significantly throughout the morning, so I didn't start until 8am. 

Birthday selfie.
I went to a nice long paved/crushed rock trail. Half a mile in, I thought my grand birthday plans were going to be thwarted.

It looked like the trail was closed and I almost cried.
Appearances can be deceiving though, and you could go around and continue on the trail. It was surprising how many people were just sitting and watching guys cut branches with chain saws like it was prime entertainment.

People seemed surprised that I was doing this run all alone. I wouldn't have minded company, but everyone had stupid excuses like "It's a Wednesday, I need to work" or "I need to care for my children" or "I don't want to run 30 miles, that's completely insane". But I actually didn't mind at all. I choose this trail so I could zone out, not worry about traffic/routes/etc, reflect on my 20s, rock out to music, and listen to the sequel of the audiobook that I was obsesssed with during marathon training. 

The way it worked out (Eric was asleep when I left), I didn't speak to a soul on my birthday (barring cashiers/saying hello to fellow runners) until nearly 3:30 pm, and it was awesome. I know I am prone to exaggeration, but when I say that I'm an "introvert" or "homebody" this is not a drill. 

Even if this run had sucked, I feel it might have been worth it just to be able to justify all my weird little quirks like: absolutely despising when people speak to me in the morning, not wanting to eat lunch with people, preferring pjs on the couch to the bar, etc. Now I can be like "don't take offense, I just hate being around people, I even spent my 30th birthday running for 5 hours all alone and loved it". 

My solitude was disturbed when a dog started chasing me, and the owner obnoxiously asked me to stop running so she could catch it. I stopped, but she couldn't catch it, so I was just standing there. Then she asked me to help her catch it, and I was like "no sorry I'm terrified of dogs".  This was only at mile 12, so I was about to snap at her "um, look, I have about 3 more hours of running ahead of me, so I really don't have time to help you play dog catcher because for some reason you thought you were supposed to put the leash in your back pocket instead of on the freaking dog".

I didn't really set out to write a post about how I'm a weirdo. I originally really wanted to share a funny verbal montage of life in my 20s. Then I realized that most of the funny stories are from my "sow my wild oats" part of my early 20s, and can't really share them on a public blog. The rest is all pretty standard and already out there - moved to a new state, started teaching, got married, started grad school, etc, etc, who cares, boring.

Anyway, the run was pretty good. I just ran whatever pace felt comfortable, and included walk breaks (didn't pause the Garmin!) as needed. Mile 15 - 20 were tough and I took a walk break every mile. At mile 20 I refilled my water at the car (I did pause the watch for that), and really wanted to call it a day. Luckily, the best gift ever popped up in my phone and cheered me right up.

I'd already told too many people about the run to wuss out anyway, so I pressed on, and only took walk breaks every 2.5 miles from then on. Even with all the walk breaks, my final pace wasn't bad! It took me just over 5 hours.

After the run, I went to Wegmans to get stuff for my birthday get-together Friday night, came home, ate a Wegmans sub, baked cupcakes, and then it was time to head out to celebrate (with people! I do like hanging out with others at times).

Blue steel
You know what I learned? After running 30 miles, just one of these gets you pretty tipsy.

So I had 4. 
 Eric learned that me now liking chicken wings is not really to his benefit.

I didn't steal any.....this time.
 Carolyn even brought me big "30" candles! I baked chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes for the occasion.

The one with the red toothpick had extra frosting, I made it that way for myself and marked it so no one would steal it.

Chocolate cupcake, cookie dough filling, cookie dough frosting.
 Then we went home and I opened my gifts from Eric. He wasn't supposed to get me anything, since our cruise in August is our birthday/anniversary gift to each other, but he did get me a couple things. 

Most notable
 I got a bunch of other wonderful gifts from generous people but there's no point in listing them all and just alienating everyone due to jealousy. I'm sure everyone is already consumed with enough of that after reading about my 5 hours of silent running.

 What would your perfect day include? My friends and I actually discussed this in Tulsa, the only way this day deviated from my design was that it didn't include a beach. 


  1. Those cupcakes look amazing and you are a genius for the extra frosting cupcake.

    I'm not sure I would run 30 miles on my 30th, but I wouldn't mind a long run of complete solitude and not talking to anyone unless they were bringing me delicious treats and not staying for too long.

  2. As a fellow introvert and homebody I appreciate this post. I do not, however, appreciate you posting pictures of such delicious cupcakes in the middle of a Thursday. I'll just sit here at work with my stupid carrots and mope.

    Awesome run though! Truly long runs > fast runs

  3. That sounds like an absolutely awesome birthday - especially given how great the running weather was yesterday. And I totally understand how being alone for several hours just doing something you love is amazing. No need to be around PEOPLE ALL THE TIME.

  4. I think my perfect day would include napping on the beach in a hammock. Because I too like to avoid people as much as possible. I can't believe you ran 30 miles yesterday, look at you being all awesome and stuff! Happy Birthday!

  5. Perfect day would have have mountains, cookies, and start

  6. For an introvert like me, that sounds like a pretty wonderful day! How were the cookie dough cupcakes? I was so disappointed in the cookie dough cake I made earlier in the year!

  7. I want a cupcake. Right now. Congrats on your birthday 30! I can honestly say as a dog owner that the person trying to catch their dog is a moron. Leash goes on the dog, especially if the dog doesn't listen.

  8. Happy happy birthday!! I can't believe you did all 30 alone...I think I would have quit out of boredom. ;)

    Perfect day? Sleeping in, drinking coffee, long run at the beach, then laying at the beach. Then dinner with friends.

  9. Sounds like a perfect day.....Happy Birthday!!!! I am stunned by 30 miles in 5 hours LOL I would just die!

  10. when can we watch Katy Perry, the movie?? I can't wait! These are some of the greatest pictures on this blog post. Glad your 30th birthday was everything you dreamed of.

  11. when can we watch Katy Perry, the movie?? I can't wait! These are some of the greatest pictures on this blog post. Glad your 30th birthday was everything you dreamed of.

    My perfect day would involve laying on the beach, reading a good book, swimming in the water, a run in there at some point, and dinner outside with friends or family.

  12. Omg those cupcakes look even better than they sounded! I would have to agree that the perfect day would include the beach, and champagne. and those cupcakes.

  13. Happy Birthday and welcome to the 30s! I am also a homebody introvert. My perfect day involves a lot of solitude and some time with friends :) of course also a run, although not a 30 mile run.

  14. Happy Birthday! Awesome 30 miles and impressive pace! Oh and now I want a cupcake!

  15. Happy Birthday!! I just finished my run (NOT 30 miles!!), grabbed a shower and hopped online. Hungry. And read your post. And now I must go scavenge in my kitchen to find any scrap of chocolate that may be hiding in my cabinets. LOL. Seriously, congrats on the mileage, and happy, happy birthday!!

  16. I just realized that thinking a comment while I read your blog at 1am isn't the same as actually commenting.

    Your 30 mile pace has made me deeply concerned about our races next month, specifically about my ability to keep up haha

  17. Awesome job, and great writeup. Welcome to adulthood! :)

  18. Satisfied Wedding and welcome to the 30s! I am also a homebody introvert. My ideal day includes a lot of isolation and a while with buddies :) of course also a run, although not a 30 distance run

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  19. Happy Belated Birthday! I can't think of a better way to celebrate a birthday than with running, a few drinks, great dessert, and getting to spend time with family and friends. You never cease to amaze me especially running 30 miles on your 30th birthday.

    I'll have to let my sister know that Harrison has set the bar high for how a nephew should celebrate his favorite aunt's birthday. I love Harrison's sign!


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