The Birthday Quest – 40!

birthday quest

Sometime last year, I had expressed an interest in doing something milestone for my 40th birthday. But along the way, I realized that other obligations prevented me from training for that century bike ride that we had planned on (sorry, Barry!). So instead, I came up with a different challenge – a quest, I called it. 

birthday quest

To run/walk my age miles in my birth month by my birthday. So to cover 40 miles in September by September 6th. 

I set out on the quest before I realized that 40 miles in a week was something close to peak marathon training months! But since I’d set out, I had to get it done!

September 1st – 5 miles on the treadmill 

birthday quest

September 2nd – 4 miles with Laura in the early morning and then 4 more slower miles on the treadmill at lunch time. (5 + 8 = 13 miles)

birthday quest
My 5am running buddies (although its been a while since the gang got back together)

September 3rd – We took a long weekend break at Smoky Mountains and while I was worried that I might not be able to complete my birthday quest, it was probably the best way to complete it. I had miles and miles of trails to run and hike, more importantly because I knew I’d be hiking a lot I wasn’t bumping up my running mileage from 20miles/week to 40 miles all of a sudden. 

We ran on a little trail by the road and then hiked up to Laurel Falls giving me a total of 9 miles. (5 + 8 + 9 = 22 miles)

Birthday Pile of Miles

Trails in Smoky Mountains

September 4th – We had a great hike to Grotto Falls and then explored a bunch of trails on the way out after a solid picnic lunch. The Garmin tells me that I walked about 7-8 miles that day!  (5 + 8 + 9 + 7 = 29 miles)

Birthday Pile of Miles


September 5th – Finally had a chance to get some miles in with Mr. FauxRunner. We went into deeper into the Smoky Mountains National Forest than the usual exploration near Gatlinburg that we’d been doing. Some cool hikes and a great view that day!  (5 + 8 + 9 + 7 + 7 = 36 miles)

Birthday Pile of Miles


September 6th – Not completely by plan, but it so happened that I had 4 miles left in the quest and I reached out to a couple of my BFFs, Barry and Barbara, for a rare after work run. As luck would have it, I had forgotten to take my running clothes. Barbara lent me a shirt and I had the black shorts under my work dress and walked with them. In flip flops 🙂

birthday quest

5 + 8 + 9 + 7 + 7 + 4 = 40 miles

Happy 40th to me! Although I don’t have any major plans for the year, I’m kicking back up dreams in October. Who knows where that is going to lead me to!

Happy Birthday
My Birthday Gift!!

Last year I did 39 miles on the bike with a brick of 3.9 miles run. The year before that I swam 3800 yards – that was my longest distance and wow! But this quest was something else, coming in the middle of no training cycle! 

Have you done anything wild or crazy to celebrate a big birthday number?


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