I don’t really “celebrate” my birthday in the sense that I don’t have a party or go out or drink or do anything out of the ordinary, other than cupcakes courtesy of my department at work (which were DELICIOUS, thanks guys). With a few exceptions over the years, it usually feels like a normal day. I’ve almost always worked on my birthday, either in an office or at a photography gig, depending on what my career was that year.
Lately, I’ve made it a point to run on my birthday. This year was no different. I also like to take a cheesy, post-run, sweaty selfie on my birthday. Here are two years ago, last year, and today.
Last Wednesday, I went to my very first Harriers workout and really liked it. As my birthday is on a Wednesday this year, it coincided with what would be my second workout with the team. So that is exactly what I did this morning at 6:30 am.
After the 18-minute easy run to the meeting point in Central Park and some small talk with a couple members of the group, we set out for the workout. Like last week, it was on the short side because a lot of them are running a 5-mile race this weekend. It was like last week’s workout: 6 x 400 with a 400 jog in between. And thankfully it wasn’t so hot or humid this morning.
I hung back with a group of 5 dudes and felt comfortable going at their pace. This time, I did something I should have done last week, which was to shut off the auto lap function on my watch and record the laps manually. This way I’d have a much better idea as to how fast each one was.
I think the fast 400s were just slightly slower than last week’s, and the slow 400s were faster. Lesser extremes. My watch recorded our fast paces as: 7:20, 7:16, 7:58 (an uphill), 7:32, 7:38, 7:12. In between, the recovery paces were anywhere from 10:16 to 9:02.
This felt perfect to me. Just enough of a challenge without being impossible. I’m very glad there are people in the group who run at paces I’m comfortable with. If everyone ran 5:30 paces, I’m not sure what I would do. I guess just lag behind.
It was also fun to run with a pack of guys. I don’t care which gender anyone is, but maybe after all that time in elementary school running the 600 yard dash and wanting so badly to beat the boys, it’s cool that I can run alongside them now.
After getting back to the meeting point, we did some drills and strides. It wasn’t a super long workout but it was solid, and probably the best thing I could have done to start out my birthday.
We took a post workout pic. I like these folks. In fact, I thought that a good birthday present to myself would be to officially join the Harriers.
So that’s what I did.
Happy birthday to me.