To celebrate my birthday last year, I ran a marathon. I didn't do as much this year but I was still active enough to not regret the cake I ate for breakfast. My day started way too early with a screaming 5:00 am alarm. I dragged my sleepy self to the gym and had a great workout with my trainer. Yes, she made it very special. Ow.
I had to work today (... like most days) but the day went quickly. After work Jeanette and I went for a walk around the Lafayette Reservoir. That sounds so -- so -- gentle, doesn't it? That just means you don't know the LR. There is an asphalt trail that surrounds the reservoir, 2.7 miles of uphills and downhills. It's very pretty. But we didn't just walk the asphalt, oh heck no. We took a little detour up a big freakin' hill, then up another hill, along a trail, and then down a hill. These were probably fire trails, muddy and cracked and lumpy and rutted. Our detour had our lungs puffing and our hearts pounding (thanks, pneumonia reminders!) and it felt like we had gone at least a few miles.
Nuh uh. It was a big old 1.3 mile trail detour, a whole .9 miles more than we would have gone if we had stayed on the asphalt. But what a detour! This is definitely the time of year to struggle up there. Glorious spring all around us. 360 degree views of rolling hills with a little suburbia peeking through. Amazing that this is less than 10 minutes from our office. We saw a hawk circling in the sky, a deer hiding in the brush, a turkey waddling through the grasses.
Our goal is to walk the entire Rim Trail, about 4-5 miles of trail up near the sky. With the days getting longer we'll still be able to do that after work before it gets dark and they have to send the tracking dogs after us. I'd tell you how slowly we were going but I don't want you all laughing so hard that you fall over.
Now THAT'S the way to celebrate a birthday!
As to the changes: good bye Utah Valley Marathon, hello Coeur d'Alene Marathon! After a very tough 15 mile run on Saturday I realized there was no way I'd be able to run a marathon, at altitude, with a 6 hour cut-off. That would give me no lee-way if my lungs gave out, or if I had a bad day. CdA is a much flatter marathon, at only 2500 elevation. Still higher than our sea level, but breathable. They offer an early start for walkers so I'll start then. While I hope to break 6 hours, I won't be frantic if I can't do it.
The biggest difference is I'll miss one of my scheduled/planned 20 mile runs, only getting in one 18 miler and one 20 miler. I don't really need that extra one, it's just something that I'd done for piece of mind, a mental thing. It also means I'll miss the first team training, but I've done that before too. There's an immense sense of relief with this change so I know it's a good decision. And hey, there's always the rest of the summer if I need to run another marathon!
How do you celebrate birthdays? Cake and champagne? An endurance run? Three weeks of party/run/party/run? Call in sick and cover your head with a blanket? Ignore the whole thing and beat up anyone who mentions it?