Running literally all day gave me time to reflect on birthdays past and think of my family and friends for whom I am so grateful. Lots of memories flashed through my head: driving in a rainstorm to Red Lobster with my immediate family, looking at my new sticker book in the back seat of the car. Carving mini-pumpkins with my friends on the front porch of our Michigan farmhouse. Sharing yellow cupcakes with chocolate frosting and adorned candy-corn pumpkins (to this day, my favorite) that my mom had made for my 4th grade class. Going to my brother's house in Salt Lake where he had baked me the exact same themed cake: yellow cake, chocolate frosting, and candy-corn pumpkins on top. Hiking with my first dog, Roxie, at Park City Mountain Resort and taking in the fall colors. Hiking to the top of a Salt Lake mountain peak with my dogs and returning to the car to receive the last voicemail I would ever get from my ailing father, who had always in the past forgotten my birthday. Running 40 miles in the mountains near Pocatello, Idaho with one of my best friends, both of us in our hunter-orange safety vests. Tracking down the mailman in my neighborhood who had a ten-pound box of chocolate for me from my best friend in Germany. So many good adventures.
October can be a tricky time to have a birthday, in part because of the weather. But sometimes that weather can be the most glorious of the year. This year, it meant perfect running temperatures, golden foliage, snow-capped mountain peaks, and of course a little bit of rain (rarely does it NOT rain on my birthday). But the lesson I learned this year, is that you can't have rainbows if you don't have a little bit of rain. A metaphor for life, really.
42 miles of running in honor of my 42 years on this Earth. Quite symbolic. Quite simply ~ fantastic. Friends, cupcakes, cocoa, cookies, and running on the trails. I'll be looking back on this one (fondly) for a very long time.
|11 hours, 5 minutes. 42 miles.|