On Saturday I turned thirty-seven, and if my birthday was any indication, the next year is going to be amazing. I really had a wonderful day. Since I had one of those coveted weekend birthdays this year I figured it would be only fitting for me to run a race. As you know, I just can’t say no to medal opportunities! So after searching for local races on January 9th I registered for the Southern California Half Marathon in Irvine. Due to the fact that I’d be running two Star Wars races at Disneyland one week later I would have preferred to find a 10K on my birthday because it would be less of a time commitment and much less difficult for my out-of-shape body, but I figured the half marathon would be OK. (I’ve never actually run two half marathons a week apart before, even when I planned to. Last year I skipped the OC half the weekend before the Tinkerbell half, and then the Wine & Dine half at Disney World was shortened to 6.7 miles the weekend before the Avengers half at Disneyland. Ask me again on Sunday if so little recovery time was a good idea or not!) However, the morning started with me not wanting to get out of bed to go to the race. It was my birthday and all I wanted was to sleep in! Fortunately I was able to drag myself to the race in just enough time to pick up my bib and get to the start line by 8 AM. And I’m so glad I made it because I ended up running my second fastest half marathon! For most people a time of 2:41:10 wouldn’t be impressive, but it’s less than two minutes behind my personal record (at the Avengers half in November). The course was flat, the weather was perfect, and I felt great (except for the last mile or so which was miserable for some reason). I must admit that the finisher’s medal for the Southern California Half Marathon wasn’t too exciting, but running that race was the best way I could have spent the first part of my birthday.
I had a celebratory breakfast at McDonald’s on my way home from Irvine. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to give up my McDonald’s Egg McMuffin habit (more on that in a future post), but I made an exception for my birthday. Actually, all of the diet improvements I planned to make in 2016 were postponed until after my birthday. There are some things more important than healthy foods! I was tired after my race and parking myself on the couch for the rest of the day was the most appealing option, but I was meeting some friends at Disneyland that evening to celebrate my birthday. Beforehand I had a dinner reservation at Carthay Circle restaurant in California Adventure. It’s my favorite restaurant in either park. I’ve never had a bad meal there. This time I got a cauliflower salad appetizer, a crispy duck with chestnut gnocchi main course, and a sticky toffee pudding with pineapple sorbet for dessert. It was so delicious! All three of the dishes were amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a better meal at Disneyland. When I finished dinner I met my friends and their adorable kids for some Disneyland rides. Birthday hugs from the three little girls was about the best gift I could have gotten. Even though I didn’t stay for the fireworks that night, I still I stayed up way past my bedtime. But it was worth it. I had an incredible birthday and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year brings.