Tuesday, June 2, 2020

I Turned 30 Years of Age in 1995 and Celebrated With a 30-Mile Run

The year was 1995. I was working in a law office, was the father of two daughters (ages 6 months and 22 months), and was turning 30 years old. I had been running long distances for over 12 years at that point and was in pretty good shape. The morning of my 30th birthday, I opened my eyes and looked out the window onto a slightly overcast day. Just then, I decided I would celebrate my 30th by going out for a 30-mile run.

It wasn't planned, and I hadn't been logging big mileage in the months leading up to my birthday. However, I decided that turning 30 was a milestone and I wanted to acknowledge it by doing something substantial. I got dressed, put some water bottles into a hydration belt, and headed out the door. Having previously run countless miles around the area where I lived, I knew where particular mile markers were (5, 10, 15, 20 and so on). I decided to do a 15-mile out and back route.

I settled into a comfortable pace quickly and decided to simply relax and contemplate life after three decades -- which at the time seemed like a lot to me. I ran through the Montana countryside and didn't experience any challenges for the first 15 miles. Then, I turned around to run the remaining 15 miles home. That's when I faced a headwind which would slow my progress. Overall, I completed the 30 miles in five hours. Certainly not a record-breaking pace, but I was happy with it.

There are many runners who celebrate their birthday by logging miles or kilometers that are equal to the number of years they've been alive. For instance, David McGillivray, the race director for the Boston marathon, has been running his age in miles since his 12th birthday -- back in 1966. I must admit, after completing the 30-mile run on my 30th birthday, I entertained the idea of doing it each year on my birthday. This year would have been 55 miles! However, reaching the 30-year mark was the only time I would celebrate my birthday by running miles equal to my age. Now if I get winded on my birthday it's likely from blowing out candles!

Keep Reaching For Life's Mileposts,

Paul Staso