Running into a new decade

Today's topic: Running. More specifically, birthday running. I know I'm not alone when I say that running on your birthday is as vital to the celebration as cake. It's like a victory lap for making it another year.

The Monumental Marathon is my favorite road race and every year my birthday is during the peak of training. One year I even had to do my 12 mile long run on my actual special day. And you know what? I loved it. Like a total loon, I loved sweating and exhausting myself for 2 hours.

My Fall 2015 training plan has me running back-to-back days during the week, so I was fortunate enough to run on the last day of my 20s and the very first day of my 30s. It seriously felt like a huge milestone, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little emotional during both workouts.

The last run of my 20s was a medium-ish run (I classify my runs as short, medium-ish or long) of 6 tempo miles and I don't know it was from the excitement of the impending birthday festivities or what, but it was probably one of my Top 5 Best Runs EVER. I'm not saying that just because it was fast. I'm saying it because it seemed almost effortless. I felt happy and appreciative of what I was doing. I knew I was closing a small chapter of my running career and I dunno, I was just grateful.

On Wednesday morning (my birthday), I woke up before the sun to steal a half hour of alone time before I went to work and my family came down to celebrate my Old Lady Status. I was uncharacteristically perky and awake when my alarm went off (because I knew there were presents coming?) and was eager to get outside.

As I stood in the garage zipping my windbreaker, I noticed that there was a bottle of wine tethered to my car with birthday balloons. Someone snuck in my garage the night before and tied wine to my car.

I didn't even hesitate.

"Ireli," I said out loud.

Then I opened to the garage and stepped out into the darkness. The first thing I saw were a bunch of white spoons shimmering in the moonlight. Someone snuck in my yard the night before and spelled out "30" with plastic cutlery.

Again, I didn't even hesitate.

"Ireli," I said out loud.

Then I was off. Laughing to myself and thinking of my silly, thoughtful friend, I made my way through a series of sprints in my neighborhood. Running so early usually upsets my body a great deal, but like I said earlier, I was unusually chipper. I had what I can easily call one of my Top 5 Morning Runs EVER. Good run or not, my 30s were off to an amazing start because they started with a run PERIOD.

I have so much anticipation for what's to come!