I have had a couple friends turn 40 this year and I’m so happy for them. I loved turning 40. It’s like you get to wear this invisible sign around from then on that says, “Shut up, I know what I’m talking about.” When people asked me what I was going to do for my big 4-0, I decided it would be a marathon. I conquered by first 26.2 at Newport. I’ve done many other long distance runs, marathons, trail races and even a 50K, but nothing has compared to that first, special event.
Today I turned 46 and am still on a surprise-running-birthday-party-high from this morning’s shenanigans (I can say that word, I’m 46 remember). As you probably know, I’ve been injured for most of the summer with plantar fasciitis and a cacophony of other foot problems, but have slowly worked my way back to 3-mile runs so far. My stellar running partner Leah (at TrailSmittenMom) and I planned to head to Pre’s Trail here in Eugene this morning and do an easy birthday 3 through the woods on our favorite barkchip path. Driving out there, I was in heaven. Tunes blaring, coffee warming my tummy, I felt like I was “back” in the running world. We headed out in the misty fog, chatting quietly about how serene and pretty it was when all of sudden, about 100 yards from the trail head out jumps Carolyn and Laura with birthday horns and fancy hats! WHAT?! Carolyn, sporting a leopard fuzzy hat, scarf and gloves, had a birthday card attached to her in the standard 4-pin race bib style. Laura was our photographer who quickly draped a red feather boa around me and started clicking away.
Oh, what a treat! After I caught my breath, we were off again down the path and through the woods, when YES, more girls jumped out, then more, then more! Next thing you know Wendy (in her classic pink attire) along with Maggie, Tana and Tanya approached with birthday glasses, more hugs and more photo taking. Debbi, dressed in a big bird mask, “flew” down from a tree to join us. It was OVER. THE. TOP! Horns blowing, feather boa flying, we headed down the trail in complete hysterics. We honked and helloed as we passed other runners, making sure they knew it was a birthday party and we meant business!
After our 3 miler that went by way too fast, there were more hugs and a party caravan to coffee and chit chat. Leah got me a gorgeous new running shirt and brought treats which, of course, included my culinary soul mate, cheeeeeeese. Not a detail was missed.
I can’t thank you enough, ladies, for the best birthday morning evah. It was especially sweet because I have been so missing running with all of you. I truly believe the joy of running (which, for me, is huge already) is doubled when shared.
46 is going to be a good year. My new invisible sign will read, “Shut up, I know how to have fun!”