Okay, so here’s how this went – I wrote up this entry *before* I went and did all the things. And then, today, I added photos from doing those things. So it’s a little whack with chronology or whatever, but I think you’ll get the idea!
It’s just a number. I honestly don’t have much opinion about birthdays. Half the time I have to ask my husband how old I am when asked. But this year I turn 40 and I’m using it as an excuse to do all kinds of things. The biggest being running a 100-mile race in October. Because I’m turning 40 this year and… why not run 100 miles to celebrate that? Well, that’s in October. That’s like… 3 months away. Today is July 11. I will most likely be driving/working on my actual birthday, which is July 16. Yesterday I found out I had an extra day off for my “weekend,” which is now (Thursday and Friday). So that means I have 2 full days off! Like a normal person’s weekend! But so last-minute. So naturally, I kicked into gear and came up with a Toots-style birthday plan. And I’m going to try to hit all the things on my list. Here it is:
- Run 40 miles (because duh, I’m turning 40, so what else would I run?)
- Swim in a lake afterwards (because it’s the best feeling ever to swim in a lake after a long, hot, sweaty, buggy, summer run.)
- Eat a greasy, delicious, drippy cheeseburger from the Hamburger Haus, which is one of those little local burger joints that’s only open in the summertime.
- Get a waffle ice cream cone from Kelley Country Cremery on my way home.
- Drink an ice-cold beer in the shower.
- Eat birthday cake. Which is going to be extra-special this year. You’ll see why!
So that’s a lot of things, but if I do them all in that order, I should be able to check them all off the list with pure enjoyment.
Running 40 miles.
As I mentioned, I chose 40 miles because I’m turning 40, and that makes sense. I mean, right? That’s what most people would do… It’s also a training run, because my 100-miler is less than 100 days away (99, actually). So to make the most of my time home doing these fun things while also getting in as much time with Adam as I can (finding this balance is always a challenge), I decided to start my run between midnight and 1am. This is like triple-duty, meaning I’m A) getting in fatigue training (I’ll be running this on little sleep); B) getting some more night-running experience; and C) getting time on my feet (and for more reason than just a training run, which adds to the fun). I thought I’d give myself 12 hours to do the 40 miles, which comes out to an 18 minute/mile average, which is more time than I think I’ll need, but it’s self-supported, and I want to take some breaks, take pictures of flowers and my feet, yell at bugs and have fun and not worry too terribly about time, yet it’s quick enough that I can’t just hike the whole thing and take breaks and yell at bugs and take pictures of flowers and my feet. I think it’ll be a good balance. So that’s got to be a part of my birthday plan.
I’ve done a lot of training runs, fun runs, hikes and backpacking trips in the Northern Unit of Kettle Moraine. It’s a great place to train because the terrain is challenging, it’s single-track trail, it’s the Ice Age Trail, and there’s more reasons, but whatever, it’s just a good place not too crazy-far from home that I can get into the woods for hours and hours on some amazing trail.
The swim: One time I went for a long run and it was so freakin’ hot that I was completely drenched in sweat and the bugs had eaten me alive so I was covered in welts, blood splatters and I had dead deer flies caught in my salty hair. I stopped at Mauthe Lake Campground and jumped in the lake in my running clothes while all the beach-goers in their cute bathing suits watched me like I was a crazy person. It felt so amazing that I had to keep my mouth shut so I didn’t make orgasmic noises after resurfacing from my first dive into the water. It was just so exhilarating. So that’s got to be a part of my birthday plan.
The burger: Then one other time I stood in line behind 15 other people in the hot summer sun at this cute little outdoor burger shack in Dundee, WI while motorcycles grumbled past at an almost constant rate and little kids with dirty faces from last-night’s s’mores chased each other around the picnic tables. It was a perfect, small-town Wisconsin campground-area summer day. I made my order, sat at a picnic table and ate a burger with a crusty bun while I ignored the stream of ketchup-mayo-grease concoction running down my forearm until I was done. Then I licked it off and looked around to see if anyone saw me do it. But I didn’t care if they did. It was a really, really, really good burger. So that’s got to be a part of my birthday plan.
The ice cream: I love ice cream. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, I would choose ice cream. There’s this place that is on my way home called Kelley Country Creamery that has this super-delicious ice cream, and again, one time after a run I decided to hobble inside for a waffle cone. I don’t remember what flavor I got that day, because I know I wanted a scoop of every single one, but I sat outside trying to watch the cows graze in the field while I ate it. I say “trying to watch the cows graze” because my eyes kept rolling back into my head in pure, innocent, ice-cream-induced bliss. I might have a problem. So that’s definitely got to be a part of my birthday plan.
Summer means shower beers. Well actually, so does winter. And spring. Fall, too. Shower beers, if you haven’t experienced one, are great. You should really try it if you haven’t. There are even really cool beer-holders that you can install in your shower to hold your can while you suds-up your hair and whatnots. I have the Sudski, which I placed on the back wall (opposite the shower head) and up high so the water doesn’t get into the can (or glass if you’re having a shower daiquiri, which is also very nice in the summertime). Those that know me or follow my Instagram have seen photos of my shower beers. Next time you go for a hot summer run, bikeride, or just got done doing some grueling yard work, and you’re all sweaty, dirty and hot, grab an ice-cold beer and jump in the shower with it. The warm water and cold beer combo are something to be experienced. If you don’t drink alcohol, that’s okay, too. I’ve used cold seltzer water, and that really hit the spot. Soda would work if you’re a soda person – the point is… get something cold and bubbly and take it in the shower with you. It’s one of my favorite things to do… so… that’s got to be part of my birthday plan.
This isn’t going to be just your normal birthday cake situation. I had Adam order me an 8-inch double-layer german chocolate cake from Manderfield’s, which is an amazing freakin’ local bakery, and I’ll pick it up on my way home after my run tomorrow. The thing is with cake… is it’s really good. Have you ever heard the comedian Jim Gaffigan say the line, “do I sit in it? Or do I eat it?” Well, that’s kind of how I always feel when I eat cake. I usually carefully slice off dainty little pieces with my fork, then slowly slide it off into my mouth and eat it slowly, trying to really savor the moment, because we’re all always trying to not eat a whole cake because we’re adults and know that it’s not healthy and cake is “bad for you” and you should only have the 1/4 of a sliver of a piece because of all the reasons. Well, for my 40th birthday I’m saying f*** that. I’m taking this delicious, professionally-made, yes-I’m-going-to-say-it moist cake, and I’m going to absolutely destroy it. You’ve all seen the one- or two-year old in the high chair eating their cupcake, right? They dig their hands right into it. They shove it into their face. They get it on their forehead, some lands on the floor for the dog, and most of it, maybe, gets eaten. That’s how I’m going to enjoy my 40th birthday cake. I’m just going to shove it into my cake-hole (because cake > pie) and not give a single crap about anything but enjoying everything about it. This, I think, is going to be the highlight of my birthday. I’ve been thinking about this one for months and months. So, that’s got to be part of my birthday plan, too.
Let’s do this 40th birthday thing! I’m um… pretty excited. Cake.
Tonight I love birthdays.
A video I put together with clips from all these things throughout the day. Cake destruction is toward the end.