How To Celebrate Turning 31

Today was my birthday and a couple of weeks ago, I thought that, to celebrate turning 31, I should run 50K for my birthday. For runners and those that know their distance conversions, 50K equals 31 miles. It is the shortest distance that is considered for mainstream ultra-marathoning. Distance races have numbers like 26.2 miles (marathon), 50K (31 miles), 50 miles, 100K (62 miles) and 100 miles (before getting into the really long distance events). So, running a 50K when turning 31 seemed like a good idea!

Bad part was that there were no official 50Ks taking place since this is a Tuesday. Other bad part is that I really haven’t run on the road since I hurt my foot since the treadmill surface is easier on my foot. Put those two together and that meant that I would be running a 50K on my treadmill (have only done that twice before on my own treadmill).

I started out not feeling at all good. The really bad part about being one floor down from your home when you run is that it can make it that much easier to quit. 🙂 Not feeling good made me want to chuck it at 2 and 3 miles. I kept pushing through since I had already told people that I was going to do this (that always helps). My only goal was to keep a steady pace, so I started out at a 8:34 pace (7 mph). I adjusted it a little bit up as I approached various milestones along the way. I took a couple/few breaks to use the restroom and grab some food, so it was not as a race would have been.

All-in-all, I had a fun time and broke my current 50K time record (for a race or training). I fulfilled my goal of keeping the pace steady and still felt pretty strong at the end. Here were the run stats:

  • Time: 4 hours and 22 minutes
  • Distance: 31 miles (50K)
  • Pace: 8:27
  • Speed: 7.1mph

Now, I have my 50th birthday run to look forward to. After that, 62 might be doable but living to a 100 might make my birthday run a little interesting!

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.