This morning I was awakened to my wife calling me from her early childhood convention in Florida to wish me a happy birthday. Only a runner wouldn't mind being called at 6 AM on a Saturday morning after a long, busy week teaching. Why? Because today I'm starting the first day of my 29th year with a 29 kilometer run. Maybe someday I'll get up to miles rather than kilometers, but today 29 kilometers is plenty.
I'm not the first person to think of running a distance on my birthday that correlates with my years of life. The race director of Boston pulled off a 57 mile run on his 57th birthday this year. I'm hoping that this can become a tradition for me as well. I told my dad last night that if I stick with the kilometers rather than miles, I won't have to run a marathon until I'm 42.
So this morning I'll put on the Cornhusker running shirt my sister sister sent me for my birthday. Then, I'll head out the door for an 18.0197646 mile run. I'll run down to either the trail by the Minnesota River or the trails at our regional park. I'll enjoy the sunrise, the cool fall morning, and the colorful leaves still left hanging on the trees.
I'll reflect on the years I've been blessed with--a wonderful wife, a supportive and caring family, a house, a job I love, and the ability to tie on my running shoes and head out the door. I'll think about the wonderful group of friends, runners, coworkers, and students that have been placed in my life and thank God for all of it and more.
The sun rises in less than an hour. I'll let you know how it goes.