I just turned 32.  To celebrate, I wanted to run 32 miles.  I've heard of a lot of cyclists (and a few runners) that celebrate their birthdays with coordinating mileage and it sounded like a great challenge--and if I ever wanted to do the challenge, I should probably attempt it before I get any older!  

The longest I have ever run in my life was 19 miles, so I knew a consecutive 32 wasn't really possible.  I decided to set really flexible rules for myself; the only thing that mattered was completing the mileage on my birthday.  I knew several marathoners that advised walking during their races, so I figured it was ok if I walked some as well.  And I wanted to enjoy my birthday, so that meant a celebratory breakfast with my kids and date night with my husband.  I wasn't quite sure how the mileage would work out, but I accepted the challenge.

Here's kind of a breakdown of the day and my thoughts about the segments:

6:00 am: 5.1 miles on the dreadmill at the gym. (i loved getting up early; it made my day feel longer and gave me more confidence that i had enough time for the challenge.  this was perhaps the hardest segment because the treadmill was directly in front of a wall and i couldn't people watch, which i really love) 
7:00 am: back to the house to change clothes and eat belgian waffles with the family (best breakfast ever.  endorphins in full effect and i had zero guilt about indulging in extra butter)
9:00 am: 10.8 miles on the OSU cross country course (definitely my favorite segment.  we live about a mile away from the course and it has it all: wide open fields, hills, woods.  i can see why it attracts a lot of local runners)
11:30am: lunch outside with my feet propped up on the table (ibuprofen for dessert) (i used to think eating alone was awkward, but now that i have two toddlers i recognize how blissful the silence can be)
1:00 pm: 16.1 miles on pavement/sidewalks (i ran from our house, "across" town, around a small lake and home.  i love how accessible our town is for runners.  i used our house as home base and didn't bother to bring water or snacks with me.  BIG MISTAKE.  i totally bonked when i got to the lake.  i was miles from home with no money and no nutrients.  fortunately the lake has several water fountains, but i had to walk 3/4 mile to get to one.  i could not believe how low energy i was.  i drank a few sips, walked to the next fountain and drank a bit more.  when i got back to the house i grabbed two water bottles and slowly rehydrated while walking.  i had around 5 miles left and i was so mentally and physically exhausted!  i managed to run/walk the last few miles, but they were very hard!)
4:30 pm: stagger back home

post run----sprawled out on the driveway
I posted this shameless selfie on instagram just after I finished my run.  I am truly thankful for the filter that made me look 300% better than I felt!

As far as recovery goes, I'm feeling pretty good.  I took three rounds of ibuprofin and I have a small popped blister on my left heel, but otherwise I'm doing great.  My "schedule" has me running 5 miles tomorrow and lifting weights, after two full rest days I think I'm up to it!


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