My birthday month is over, I guess that means I have to stop celebrating. It was a pretty great month. Here's a quick summary of all the awesome things: Marathon #20, Cinqo de Mayo drinks at my favorite Mexican place, dinner in Boston at the new Mario Batali Pizzeria "Babbo", Lawn on D night out with friends, Pub run in Waltham, road trip to Vermont to do my first mountain goat series race, my first DNF (a giant ice cream sundae, not the race), lots of unexpected birthday cards and gifts, volunteering for the Run to Remember, 2nd race in the mountain goat series, half marathon in Boston the next day, built myself a nice little patio for after work wine drinking, and enjoying that patio.
The Lawn on D thing was really cool. It's a open space a few blocks away from where I work in Boston and they have food trucks, live music, games, and various art installations including light up swings that are pretty fun. I went for the opening night and it was amazing.
Then the Sunday before my actual birthday I continued my tradition of doing something crazy and fun on my birthday weekend (duathlon, stair climb + marathon, ultra relay, 3 races in 3 places) and I ran my very first mountain trail race. I made a day of it and my friend Emilee joined me for the road trip. It was a 10K in Vermont called Sleepy Hollow and it was insanely challenging. I basically ran up and then back down a small mountain 3 times. The 3rd mile was such a steep slope that it took my 25 minutes to run it. After the race Emilee and I stopped at the Ben and Jerry's factory for ice cream. It was early afternoon and we hadn't eaten lunch yet so naturally we ordered giant ice cream sundaes. We both got the mini-vermonster, It was 4 scoops of ice cream, brownie chunks, hot fudge, and whipped cream. I am sad to say it was my very first "DNF". I "Did Not Finish" the sundae.
The following weekend I had another mountain race (part of the mountain goat series I'm doing this summer). It was a 10K up and then back down Wachusett Mountain, about 1000ft in elevation up for 3 miles and then right back down. This time instead of trails it was on paved road which I think made it a little easier. No thick mud and uneven terrain to deal with. The last 2 miles or so were on grass and gravel ATV trails, but they were dry so it wasn't bad at all. I felt great and finished the race really strong (I even beat a guy I chased for the last mile, even though he tried to kick past me in the last 50 meters). The next day I had the Run to Remember half marathon in Boston and I had very low expectations considering I run up a mountain the day before. The weather ended up being perfect and I felt really good. It wasn't a PR by any means, but I finished feeling great and was able to enjoy the rest of the day and the rest of the Memorial Day weekend not dehydrated or ridiculously sore and tired.
Monday I even did some yard work and removed a giant tree stump from my garden and placed a few pavers down creating a lovely patio space next to my porch. I got a nice bistro set with a table and two chairs and sat outside almost every night of the week with a glass of wine and a book just soaking in the sun and listening to the birds.
Although I didn't run that many miles in May, only just over 68 miles, I was too busy having fun to really notice I kinda slacked off. I need to get back into a solid routine of running and my goal this summer is to get back on my bike and get over my fear of being hit by a car AGAIN. I have 4 more races in the Mountain Goat series to complete and a couple of half marathons coming up. I'm also planning on checking off a few more items from my "to-do" list this summer. Coming up soon, I will learn to fly a plane. I might even learn to ride my unicycle or try walking on stilts. I have to look at the list again and see what sort of silly stuff I can accomplish on the days that I am not running. I'm still narrowing down my choices for a fall marathon and have a few ideas, but struggling to pick one so who knows maybe I'll do more than one or maybe I'll do something else entirely. I can't decide.