This September, I’ve set a goal to run 40 miles on my 40th birthday. I’d like to share my reasoning for this and hopefully clear up all of the “WHY???’s”.
Nearly 3 decades ago, my father ran 40 on his 40th birthday. I was only 8 (or 9), but I still remember the day he attempted and accomplished it. In my eyes, he was the strongest man on Earth, at least that day. It’s just one of those feats that you do not hear of many people attempting, let alone accomplishing.
During the next 3 decades, I obviously became a runner and fell in love with the sport. The simplicity of it (you can do it anywhere, at any time), the mental clarity it brings, the physical challenge of it, and more currently, the comradery with other runners has kept me in love. For myself, I’ve found the cycles of depression, anxiety, and all other bouts of mental disorders that I’ve dealt with in life have been alleviated with running. It’s the ultimate Prozac, companion, and religion, in my book. I find myself at peace and with a clear mind following a good run.
I’ve completed 15 marathons and countless lesser distance races, but I never felt that it was my greatest running accomplishment. Maybe it’s because marathons are so common these days and so many running that there are lotteries just to enter. I don’t know. I feel like it was just not enough. Then I turned 30…
I decided to see what 30 miles felt like on my 30th birthday. During my run, I got stung by a bee, my watch stopped working (so I don’t know my exact mileage in the end), and I ran out of water (and became majorly dehydrated). Even though the run wasn’t all pleasant, I finished. I did feel more of a sense of accomplishment from going out and running the 30 on my own then I ever have in any organized race.
So, that’s my running background. Now here are my other reasons for attempting 40 miles on my 40th:
- 8 hours or so of uninterrupted ‘me’ time. A luxury any mom of young kids would appreciate.
- To see what my 4 decade old body is capable of (a.k.a. testing my limits)
- Hopefully feeling a gigantic runner’s high (which is ultimately the best feeling in the world)
- Following in my Father’s legacy
- Becoming a hero in my children’s eyes, as my father became to me
- Being a role model and inspiring friends and family to aim for bigger goals
- Finally- I’d like to raise funds for charity, along with the miles, so that I can be super-motivated to complete all 40 miles. I’m going to choose a charity (yet to be determined) that I’m passionate about and ask family and friends to donate per mile I complete. I hope this will help me during those final miles, to inspire me to do something important to help people or animals (or both) in need.
During my training over the next 9 months, I’ll keep my blog updated with my training and my progress. First up, choosing where to run my miles and what charity I’d like to give to. Let the planning begin!