So yesterday was my big day! My 31st birthday. I’m not one of those women that finds the need to hide my true age. I wear that number like a badge of honour. I’ve earned it. Every single grey hair on my head.
I’ve always loved that there is a birthday song with my name in it. Yes, yes, I realize that Lisa Simpson spells her name different than me, but it’s still a fun and catchy little tune. And one that I enjoy having sung to me by random people every year.
So how did I spend my birthday? I lazed in bed until about noon, where I was served brunch in bed. Then I got up, went to the spa, came home to a candlelit dinner and…ok never mind. That didn’t happen. While it does sound lovely it was not my ideal birthday this year. My 30th year was all about setting goals and challenging myself so I figured the best way to spend my 31st birthday would be to complete one of my goals!
At the beginning of the year I set my goal to run 10k. As we started to get closer to fall and I hadn’t taken many steps towards that goal, I figured I’d better get started fast! So right before we left for vacation in August I signed up for my first 10k. It happened to be in my neighbourhood, on a beautiful path and it was on my birthday! Can you get any more perfect then that?
I was so excited that my parents decided to come and join us for my birthday and to cheer me on during the race. They were also my expert photographers and captured some great race pictures.
My goal for this race was to run the whole 10k. I ran 8k the week before and that was the farthest distance I’ve ever run. The course for this 10k was quite hilly so I knew that pushing myself that extra 2k on the hills was going to be tough. But I set my mind on that goal and knew it would definitely be a head game to make it. I didn’t care how slow I ran, I just wanted to make it the whole way. And I wanted to have FUN doing it. It was my birthday after all!
I downloaded a couple new songs and set up a fun playlist (click here to check out my playlist). My daughter, Ayla, and I tried out the playlist the day before the race by turning up the music and pretending to run to the songs in the living room. This was then followed by a dance party. Of course we had to make sure all the songs had a good beat and were all run-able, right!? A good time was definitely had and I was also super pumped for the race.
My birthday morning started with snuggles from my son, Izak. He hopped into bed with us and when my husband quietly reminded him that it was my birthday he got super excited and said “Mommy! It’s your birthday!!!!” When Peter asked him what he should say to me, Izak looked a bit puzzled and then with a big smile says “You’re welcome!”. Yeah, not quite what we were looking for but ultra cute and good enough for this mom. 🙂
After whipping up my favourite protein pancake with loads of fruit and some coffee I was all set to go. I got to the field and did the very embarrassing warm up dance. Then it was time to head to the starting line. I looked around at the other 10k runners and just kind of laughed to myself. There were only about 20 of us and they all looked like they did this often. Pretty sure I was going to be last for this one.
I was feeling really good during the race. I made sure I paced myself and didn’t push too hard. I knew the last 2k was pretty much all uphill and as I’m new to running a 10k distance I didn’t want to be walking those hills. As I was approaching the 5k mark I was pretty sure that I was the last person in the race. Then I did the turn around at 5k, looked back and thought, yup, definitely don’t see anyone else coming. I felt a little sad to be last but then shook it off and thought, it’s ok. My goal is not to be first, my goal is to finish. Keep a manageable pace for YOU, and have fun! So that’s what I did. Just after I had come to terms with being last, I came around a corner and saw two more people making their way towards the 5k mark, a short while later I saw one more person on her way. So even though I had come to terms with being last, I still felt a little better knowing that I wasn’t. 😉
The rest of the race was great. I passed one more person that started to walk the hills in the last 5k. At that point I felt much better about my choice to keep my pace slower in the first half. I knew I wouldn’t have been able to keep up a faster pace when the last 5k was definitely the hardest part of the course.
Being pretty much alone out there and really trying to keep it light and fun, I couldn’t help but start dancing a little bit when some of my new songs came on. So yeah, I was the strange girl that started doing random hand drumming/dancing moves to keep her going. Whatever. It’s not like I’ll see these people again. It’s not like it’s in my neighbourhood or….wait a minute. Crap. Oh well. If you can’t have fun on your birthday while running your first 10k then what’s the point! 😉
As I came towards the finishing line I couldn’t help but smile and think of everyone that was there to cheer me on. It really does give you that extra boost when you know that people you love are there to support you. I came across the finish line at 1:07:31 with a smile on my face. One more goal checked off my list and I couldn’t have been more happy to do it on my birthday.
So what did the rest of the day entail? Other than me REALLY feeling like I needed to take a nap? After the race, the sponsors had set up tethered hot air balloon rides and a bouncy
house for the kids. We took the kids up on a hot air balloon ride and then let them bounce around for awhile.
After that, we had more relatives come visit, flowers delivered by my fab and gorgeous friend, and park time with the kids. We made it out for a family dinner to Montanas where we all had fantastic meals and I also learned that it IS possible to take my kids out to a restaurant without screaming, crying or harassing of other tables. Who knew?! My parents then
embarrased me made my night by telling the waiter it was my birthday. Of course that means you gotta wear the moose hat and have a lovely and lively song sung to you. It also meant I got ice cream which I scarfed down ate in a very self controlled and lady like manner.
After dinner we then said goodbye to my parents and headed home. Kids were tucked into bed and my hubby and I sat down to watch a movie I’ve been really wanting to see: The Hunger Games.
It was a great birthday. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. My year of challenges, changes and goals finished by completing a long term goal and surrounded by my family. My heart was racing and full of love.
But perhaps next weekend I’ll extend my birthday and sleep in until noon, have my brunch in bed, head to the spa and have a candlelit dinner 😉