The perfect present: a half marathon

I had a perfectly lovely birthday yesterday. Fun lunch date. Surprise peanut buster parfait delivery. Completely unexpected presents that were things I’ve wanted for such a long time and yet never would have bought for myself. My childhood favorite dinner cooked by my daughter. Really a wonderful birthday. And the best part? It’s not over yet!

This weekend I’ll be celebrating with all my family friends. Saturday I have special dinner plans too and the celebration continues even further!! (Hey – I’ve turned 40, I’m allowed to stretch this one out for a bit.) The birthday extravaganza continues another two weeks because on January 29th I’ll run the Tinkerbell Half Marathon.

Why did I pick a half marathon to celebrate this milestone birthday?

I am honestly in the best shape of my life. I can accomplish physical challenges that I never even dreamed of just three years ago. Seriously – on my 37th birthday I would have bet you hundreds of dollars that I would never, ever do something like a marathon or a triathlon. Yet, here I am having done both. To celebrate my birthday I can think of no better way than to set a challenge in front of me and blow it out of the water. I didn’t pick a marathon because at some point that race isn’t going to be fun – no matter how perfect the weather might be. But the half marathon? That’s just the right distance. It’s physically challenging (believe me, 13 miles is definitely challenging) but it’s not so hard that I won’t have fun with it.

I picked this race because it’s the first ever Tinkerbell race – fun! And it’s in Disneyland – fun! And I’ll get to see and hopefully take pictures with all sorts of Disney characters – fun! And after the race I’m going to play in Disneyland all day long – fun! I picked this race because it’s a challenge all wrapped up in a vacation and you guessed it – that’s fun!

I also picked a half marathon because the last time I ran one, it was my first distance race and there was nothing easy about it. Those last two miles were so. very. hard. This time I’m going to use the half marathon experience to prove that my 40 year old body is stronger than ever. And I’m excited about that.

I’ve changed my training schedule up a bit so I can do my last long training run today when it’s supposed to be near 50 degrees. (as opposed to this weekend when it won’t break the 20s) So today I will run 12 miles. Next week I will start tapering. The week after I will pack and leave for sunny Southern California. And in between I will try not to obsess or worry because this half marathon is a gift in so many, many ways.

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