Tomorrow I turn thirty-six, which surprises me more than it should. I really don’t think of myself that way and the reality of a year rolling over is rather a shock. I suppose no one really pictures themselves as a particular age (unless you’re just turning nineteen or whatever age is legal drinking/voting/getting killed for your country age wherever you are) which is why birthdays can either be a delight or a jolt to the system, depending on your perspective of a particular age.
Still, thirty-six isn’t such a bad place to be, really. I’m happily married, kid-having is done, I like what I do and my body more or less still behaves as it should. It’s this last part that I mention today, since just over two years ago, I started running. Last year we joined Athletics NorthEast Running Club (multi-sport club might be more accurate, since the group seems to act as a means of infecting runners with triathalitis) as a family and I was introduced by a bunch of lunatics to the idea of a “Birthday Run”. A Birthday Run is usually run on your birthday and you typically try to run one kilometre (poor imperial Americans have to run miles – ha!) per year of life.
This supposes, of course, that you have a hope in hell of actually running the requisite distance without hurting yourself.
I would have liked to run 36k tomorrow, but there were two obstacles. Firstly, the weather is supposed to be foul tomorrow and secondly, it wasn’t part of my training plan. I want to be able to run again this week and if I tried 36k, without training properly for it, I’d probably be off my feet for the rest of the month.
So I ran today and I ran a fraction.
Last year I ran half a kilometre per year, for a total of 17.5k. I was coming off a foot injury and that was my first really long run since sometime in February (when I hurt the foot). This year I wanted to do better, since my most recent injury is completely resolved. My longest run this spring has been about 17k, though, and 36k might just be pushing it a bit too much.
Today I ran 24k, in beautiful sunshine on clear, dry roads and enjoyed myself thoroughly.I even remembered to bring a camera, although the light turned out to be almost to strong for good photography.
I had an optimistic what-if dream that, after the 24k, if I still felt fine, I’d do another loop I had devised for the 36k total, but by the time I hit that 24k mark, there was a nagging ache in my left knee (which wouldn’t bend properly) and the outside of my right foot (site of last year’s foot injury) that told me that if I wanted to run again this week, I’d better pack it in soon. So I settled for two-thirds of a kilometre per year and went home happy.
On a different note, tomorrow I should be able to get pretty close to the final stages of that ocean/rocks/trees piece, a fact that thrills me no end! The tree fabrics have been over-coloured and are now dry and ready to heat-set and embellish. Everything seems to be on track. Famous last words?