My favorite way to celebrate my birthday (or anything really) is by running a race. One year I WON a 5k on my birthday weekend. (I astounded the good people of Taylorsville, NC with my blazing 8-minutes-per-mile speed. The old lady I out-kicked didn’t know what hit her.)
Anyway, my good friends at Pacers have obliged me for the past few years by having a race on my birthday! (but not, ahem, by making sure the field was small enough for me to win) For the first two years, it was a 10k, which I was only able to run once, because people love to get married in faraway lands on my birthday. But the 10k went down this enormous hill on Wilson Boulevard and then right back up it. Ugh.
So this year, they scrapped the 10k and put together a half-marathon, which is my A#1 favorite race distance. I was stoked to run it; my plan was to do it at my target pace for the full marathon I was supposed to run on May 31. Of course I got hurt, so I ended up running the 5k with my sister instead.
But the 5k was awesome. You pretty much just run straight down the enormous Wilson Boulevard hill. Kate and I were rocking 8:40 miles pretty effortlessly, which was exciting for me after last week’s struggle to maintain 8:50s. We ended up running 27:15 (the course does flatten out for the end). Then we strolled back to meet our mom as she came in. (It was Mother’s Day after all.) Then I introduced my mom to lovely race director Kathy Dalby, and sweet talked the rose guy into giving my mom a flower, even though she didn’t have an “It’s My Day!” sticker on.
As we drove past the half-marathon runners coming in on 110 on our way to brunch at Carylyle (most crowded. mother’s day brunch. ever, but with balloons!), I said, “Thank God I’m not running a half marathon today.” Cause the weather was fine, and I’m sure the course was ok (though that 110 stretch probably sucked), but really, nothing can beat running downhill as fast as you can for 20 minutes and then going to brunch the day before you hit the big 2-7.