39 and Holding on Tight

By Princess Alana

Well the day has come that I am officially holding on tight to my 39th birthday.


I can’t help but reminisce and reflect on how lucky I am to have a wonderful family, a vocation in teaching and a great group of friends. Fortunately, as well, I have been given a clean bill of health after experiencing some unexpected issues which has substantially side-lined my running performance, most notably at the Around the Bay 30K relay held a couple of weeks ago in Hamilton. My most important birthday gift is health.  And, although Jodi can attest that I despise odd number years, I have never been happier to reach another milestone.


It is also time for me to write my bucket list for the next ten years.  Looking back on my 30s, my biggest and proudest running accomplishment that was on my bucket list was running the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  And, while I don’t see any trips to Disney in my upcoming future, I still have some special plans on my fitness bucket list:

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1) Coach Jenny Hadfield’s latest article in Runner’s World really made an impact on me.  A group of my local BRFs are vowing to commit to at least 30 minutes, three times a week – starting tomorrow.  Many of us who did not brave running in the cold, experienced health issues, or who have broken up with our elliptical/treadmill have ended up in a running rut. So, with good friends and a simple running plan outlined in Jenny’s article, my first goal on my bucket list for this year is to stay committed to my running plan.

Running Plan:

-Warm up for five minutes. (Warm up’s are so important and an area that I usually overlook.)

-Run and Walk by your body. (Alternate running until you hear your breath and walking until you catch your breath for a total of 20 minutes.)

-Stick with 20 minutes. (Keep the total running portions of the workout to 20 minutes until I build up to 20 minutes of running total.)

-Finish Happy! (Running happiness leads to consistency and develops into habits.)

-Be the tortoise, not the hare. (I am not at the point in life that I am racing for a PR. I am focusing on keeping it one step above my fastest pace.)

-Finish with a 5 minute cooldown. (Aiding in the recovery process, I often overlook this important part of running.)

-Run to infinity and beyond! (I am looking forward to getting back my base and running longer and covering more distances, although I expect to keep my running distance around the 10km to 15km mark.)

2) One of the healthiest and happiest benefits from running is that it has affected my family in the most positive way. Probably the most important note on my bucket list is to be a good mother and partner. This year, most of our race weekends are family friendly. I look forward to Beating Beethoven with my little running partner in tow.  I also am looking so forward to our traditional Sydenham Lakeside running event.  I hope to create life long lovers of daily physical activity through authentic activities.


3) More BRF getaways!  I really feel like I was robbed from what was supposed to be my spring BRF getaway at the Around the Bay. So, high on my list is to experience a great girls running weekend! (And, yes, Begonia – we so need a race together!)


4) I am a wonderful motivator of other people.  This year, I am going to listen to my own motivation and let my actions support my words.  After creating an amazing daily physical education opportunity for students at my school to participate in daily circuit training, I am going to participate right along side.


5) I don’t know if it has to do with getting older, but I really appreciate my relationships with amazing women even more. I just want my BRFs to know how much they are valued for their support, strength, and perseverance. I so look forward to running many more miles along side the amazing women I call my friends.


You might be surprised that my bucket list plan does not include a list of dates, races or PR times.  For me, I hope to strengthen relationships, appreciate friendships, and create priceless moments.

So, happy birthday to me. 39 isn’t so bad.

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Tell Us: What is on your bucket list? Please share!

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