Tuesday, November 6, 2012

30k for 30

On Monday I celebrated another year of life by eating trout, roasted potatoes, and sharing a giant mixed drink with Laura at The Red Lobster. Then, we came home to watch "Modern Family" before going to bed. Instead of doing my 30k run on my 30th birthday, I opted to do it on Sunday. It's getting dark around 6 PM, so running 18+ miles after work, in the dark, didn't seem overly appealing.

I'm the same height as last fall.
It's been a great year of running. I ran over 2400 miles between my 29th and 30th birthdays. I set PRs in the 5k, 1/2 marathon, and marathon. I've been blessed with some natural ability, and am thankful I've had the time and support to train hard enough to make those PRs happen. Now, however, it's time to slow down a little. After averaging 75 miles-a-week this summer, I'm cutting back the mileage and balancing my life a little more.

 I know running is good for me--it's a huge stress relief, good exercise, and it gives me an excuse to get outdoors. Racing helps feed my competitiveness, and pacing gives me the satisfaction of helping other runners. But after three years of almost non-stop competitive running, I'm calming it down a little. I'm going to do more swimming, more walks with my wife, and more writing (not necessarily on this blog). Plus, with graduate school and a very demanding job, it's getting harder to make as much time to run.

A few weeks ago I had a nice little jaunt through the streets of Mendota Heights--I left from the preschool Laura teaches at for a change of scenery. The rain on my face, the pounding of my neon-green Brooks PureFlows on the pavement, and the hum of traffic let me decompress, de-stress, and relax. That's what I want my running to feel like.

Sunday, I ran 30 kilometers for my 30th birthday. Last year Laura was out of town. This year we walked around the track at the YMCA before I headed out into the cool November morning. Last year the weather was sunny and windy. This year it was cloudy and calm.  Last year I stopped to pet two golden retrievers. This year I stopped to pet a yellow lab.

The last year has been challenging, but satisfying. It's been a year of being blessed with family, friends, and more things than I need or deserve. I've hit a lot of my running goals, but I won't get them all.

I like where my running's at now. A twenty to thirty minute run most afternoons, some informal speed workouts on the soccer field across the street, some longer runs on the weekends--they'll be enough.

Happy Running!