|I thought you were supposed to have fun on birthdays|
Today’s run (Bethpage State Park): 8.25 miles
It’s my birthday today, an event that used to coincide with Patriot’s Day, a Massachusetts holiday that was best known as the day they ran the Boston Marathon. Growing up in Massachusetts, I enjoyed the fact that I never had to go to school on my birthday, first because it was a holiday and later because we always had our spring break that week. It wasn’t until college that I had to attend classes on my birthday. I may have chosen not to go on those days just to maintain the tradition. Well that was my story anyway.
We went to a large family dinner last night and near the end I was presented with a birthday cake. It was very nice of my wife’s family to do this. The cake was selected by my brother-in-law who is a dedicated vegan. The cake was pleasant enough. I have no idea what it was made of but it tasted like a bran muffin with white non-dairy frosting. Yummy! Fortunately (or unfortunately) there were a number of un-vegan desserts available.
This morning I decided to celebrate my birthday with an 8.25 mile run on the Bethpage bike-paths. I bought an Empire Passport on Saturday and was looking forward to being waved through for my generous contribution to the park service but no one was in attendance. Oh well. I brought along my Amphipod hand water bottle and set out with a target of 8 miles. It’s been a while since I’ve done a run exceeding 6 miles but I expected it to go well since my aim was to run it easy.
I consumed a GU Roctane in vanilla orange flavor about 30 minutes before my run and I think it helped get me moving at the beginning. The skies were gray with some very light rain and the temperature was a cool 50 degrees. At around the 3 mile mark I grew concerned about my stamina on this hilly course but I decided that I’d simply throttle my speed below my lactic threshold level (English: slow down but not stop) if I grew too tired. I recovered some energy by mile 5 but I struggled with the last long hill at the end that I always dread.
It was a good run overall. I maintained a pace in the high 9:00 range despite the tougher sections. I’ll probably go even longer on a run before I return to work next Monday and begin my taper. I’m a bit sore from this run and yesterday’s speed work. Add a day of recovery and the result is improved conditioning. Happy birthday indeed.