My Last Day as a 39-Year Old

My wonderful husband completely and utterly surprised me last week with:

1) An unexpected visit from my parents, who live in England. When they walked through the door Thursday evening I freaked out!

2) A surprise party with friends and family Friday night. I thought we were going out for dinner with my parents, but SURPRISE!

He planned and orchestrated everything so well. He was up to his eyeballs in a proposal at work so I figured he hadn’t had time to plan anything. I have to admit that I also didn’t want to get my hopes up and be disappointed. Apparently he’d been planning this since July! No-one spilled the beans. A few friends avoided me the week before, because they were afraid they’d say something. I must admit to feeling slightly depressed, with no-one responding to me or answering my request to celebrate. I thought they didn’t care. How wrong I was.

When I’m asked if I feel 40, I don’t really know how to answer. Aside from the obvious fact that I haven’t quite reached 40 (one more day!), what does 40 feel like?

When I was in my twenties, working out was more of a mental battle than a physical one. My body was willing, but my mind was weak and would allow me to make excuses for not running or shorten my run if I actually made it out the door. Now, my mind is stronger, more disciplined but, unfortunately, my body is not. The battle these days involves more rest and recovery, less frequent hard efforts, and listening very carefully to what my body is trying to say.

In triathlon, I’ve been 40 since the beginning of the year, since triathletes must race the age they’ll be on December 31st of that year. So in May, at my first tri of 2012, I raced with “40” stamped on my calf and placed 2nd in the 40-44 division. The previous October I’d lamented not being in that age group at Ironman 70.3 Austin as it meant that my swim wave started 30 minutes later. But in August 2012 I wished I were back in the 35-39 age group because my swim wave at the National Championships in Vermont was an hour later than the 35-39s!

What’s most weird is running as a 39 year old while competing in triathlon as a 40 year old. It means I’m in two completely different age groups. I’m looking forward to being one age: 40.

My first race as a (genuine) 40 year old was to be Marine Corps Marathon, which was to be a training run for JFK 50, a race I promised I’d run as a 40 year old. Neither will happen this year. My calf tear is lingering as a result of my failing to allow it to heal properly. So now I must sit out, wait patiently, and train for Boston Marathon, my first marathon as a 40 year old.



By the way, there’s just ONE DAY left to enter my Kona Kase Giveaway! Your chance to win some awesome endurance nutrition samples!

Do you have a big birthday coming up? Just recently had one?

Thoughts on getting older? Wiser? Smarter?!



  1. Happy Birthday! Good Luck with your upcoming races!
    Ali recently posted..Healthy Mushroom and Asparagus CasseroleMy Profile

  2. I actually kinda like the age-up in triathlon, because birthdays never seem like a big deal by the time I finally get there. Since my birthday is at the end of the year (Nov 29), I always race a year old than I am.

    Sounds like you had a great birthday – what a wonderful group of friends & family! And your husband definitely earned some brownie points with a great surprise like that. 🙂
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..5 Tips for Marathon WeekMy Profile

    • Racingtales says:

      Hey Heather! You’re absolutely right…nothing like triathlon to make me feel 40 already… Yes, husband earned a lot of brownie points with that surprise!

  3. Happy early birthday! The older I get (32 this year) the more challenged I feel to be even fitter and healthier! Natural is the easiest way to fight the clock 😉
    Kat recently posted..Thankful Thursday – Needing happy prayers for HubsMy Profile

    • Racingtales says:

      Thanks, Kat! Very good point about staying fit and healthy…determined to still be running and doing triathlon for another 40 years!

  4. yay! happy birthday! i hope you have an awesome day! (:
    Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife recently posted..Cream Chipped BeefMy Profile

  5. Happy Happy Birthday!! I had no idea about the age up in triathlon. That was a super sweet surprise from your husband. I think that I like getting older but it definitely is a challenge as some things aren’t as easy as they used to be and healing isn’t as quick. But I am mentally and emotionally stronger. I hope that you have a fabulous birthday tomorrow!!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Blogger’s GuiltMy Profile

  6. Happy (early) Birthday!!!! 🙂 I hope that I am as fit as you when I’m 39/40. Cheers to 40, and to many, many more years of running, swimming, biking, and racing!! xoxo
    P.S. Had no idea you had a hamstring tear. Hope it heals up quickly. so sorry to hear. I’ve been having some weird calf soreness thing going on since my run a week and a half ago. Ugh.. Definitely know what you mean about listening to your body and making sure you give it the recovery it needs.
    Lisa Rini recently posted..Got2RunNow Product Review: EnergybitsMy Profile

  7. Happy Birthday!!! I am fitter at 45 than I was at 35. You are entering a great decade.


    p.s. wtg hubby!!
    Lisa (Mom to Marathon) recently posted..Rave Run: Pineridge Fort CollinsMy Profile

  8. Happy, happy birthday! Forty is such a big one. You are in a great place, mentally and physically and making 40 look really good! You’re right–we have to be a bit more cautious with our bodies over 40, but we can still get at it.

    LOVE that your parents came over and surprised you. That is the best!
    misszippy1 recently posted..Feeling a bit like Lance ArmstrongMy Profile

  9. I am so sorry that you will not be able to race this weekend, but secretly excited that Boston will be your first as a 40 year old. We both aged up! LOOOOOOOOVVVVVVE You Happy Birthday crazy lost girl!
    Lisa McClellan recently posted..Classroom Halloween Treats for under $1.00 eachMy Profile

Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge