Thirty & an anniversary

A huge thank you for all your positive comments on my last post about Kelly’s weight loss. I was so happy he let me share his story, and we both liked reading the responses.


Saturday is my 30th birthday. I remember when 30 was…old. It doesn’t seem that way anymore!

Entering a new decade got me thinking about past birthdays.

My parents used to throw me amazing birthday parties, and my mom always made and decorated the cake to go with the party theme.


My 1st birthday with the cookie monster and my sister!

On my 5th birthday, we flew to Disneyworld and spent time in the parks visiting our favourite characters!


Love the ’80s pants and retro Nike kicks!

I remember my 8th birthday. I got a new bike and sat on it, propped up against a wall, watching cartoons all morning while my parents and sister ran around the house preparing for my party.

Fast forward to my 16th birthday. My mom let me skip math class in the morning to take my driving test. There was a snowstorm that morning, but I passed!

On my 20th birthday, Kelly and I ran our first marathon: the inaugural Rock’n’Roll Arizona in 2004. We didn’t train well (just a couple runs over 12km!) but managed to finish hand-in-hand in 3:49:29.

RNR AZ 2004

RNR AZ 2004

Although it took us five years to run another full marathon, it was the start of something big.

On my 27th birthday we were in Florida after running the Disneyworld Marathon a couple days before.



I’m proud of where I am on my 30th birthday. I hit my stride in my 20s. I graduated from university. I moved out of home. I travelled. We got a dog son. We bought a house. I married my best friend. I found a career I enjoy. I got comfortable in my skin and gained confidence. And I have ran and biked thousands of miles.

Although I’ve been a runner for years, endurance training and racing has kept me going. I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been (well, not right now after the holidays!). And I love and appreciate the mental and physical benefits now more than ever before.

I have a few goals for my 30s.

I want to get better- at being a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend; at listening to my body; at relaxing and going with the flow.

I want to stay active and challenge myself to new distances and faster times. I love running, and it has brought me an immense amount of happiness.

I hope to still be running and crossing finish lines in my next 30 years.

Have you ran a race on your birthday? Any memorable stories from past birthdays?

39 responses to “Thirty & an anniversary

  1. Yay welcome to your 30s…. On Saturday!!! Life begins at 30! I love that Time McGraw song!

  2. Happy Birthday Abby!! I hope you have an AWESOME day!! It is fun to think back to previous birthdays…boy how time has changed 🙂 I’m very happy where I am today and wouldn’t want to relive previous decades.

  3. Happy (early) Birthday Abby!! All the best to you!!

  4. Happy Birthday, Abby! You’re going to ROCK your 30s even harder than your 20s!

    Do you think I could hire your Mom to make my daughter an Elmo cake for her second birthday? Cookie Monster is AWESOME!

  5. Runner Girl Eats

    Happy birthday!!! My birthday is the day after Veterans Day so there’s always a few races that I can choose from. Birthday races are the best! I def think I’ve grown into myself in my late 20s and 30 doesn’t seem old at all!

  6. Sophie @ life's philosophie

    Happy almost birthday! Seeing a quick recap of your 20s makes me feel like I need to step up my game!

  7. Happy birthday! It sounds like you have great goals for this next decade!

  8. Happy birthday (a few days early!!)!!! Your 30s are going to be even better than your 20s and the 40s totally rock!!!
    I haven’t run an organized race on my B-day but I do my birthday runs.
    And – I love that Tim McGraw song!!

  9. Happy birthday, Abby! I’m sending you birthday hugs and I hope this is your best yet!

    Wow! All I can say is, “Wow!” You ran a 3:49:29 marathon after minimal training with just a few 12K’s. I think that was the sign of things to come that yours and Kelly’s bodies are endurance machines! 🙂

    I ran a marathon on my birthday once. Bill finished a little before me and had time to make his way to the announcer’s stand and tell the announcer that it was my birthday. Once Bill saw me coming toward the finish line, he told the announcer that was me so the announcer could wish me a happy birthday as I finished. The crowd started cheering and it was soooo cool!

  10. Happy birthday! Milestone birthdays are always a great place to take stock. You have been at it since you were 20? That’s really cool. I have a friend who started triathlons at 18–she is now 48 and still going strong, taking names and kicking butt. I can see you there in 18 years, too!

  11. Happy birthday, and here’s to a fantastic next 30 years!

  12. Happy Birthday, Abby! I can’t say I’ve run any races on my birthday, but there is still time to aspire to that! As for memorable birthdays… I would say my 8th. I was in love with horses at the time (typical little girl, I suppose) and all my gifts were horse themed. I distinctly remember a pair of cowboy boots I got that year. I don’t I think I’ve ever been as proud (or excited) to wear something as I was that day. Ha ha! P.S. I love the photos in your post!

  13. Happy (almost) 30th Birthday! Honestly, when I see the recap of your 20s it inspires me to do much more with mine! And I am always amazed as to how long you and Kelly have known each other <– in a GOOD way of course 😀 Only you two would run a marathon in under 4hrs with minimal training.. beasts!! That cookie monster cake is absolutely amazing..I'm going to ask for one for my 25th birthday.

    I can't wait to see what 30 has in store for you!! Have a wonderful birthday weekend!

  14. That’s funny : I will be 30 on Sunday. Almost the same birthday 😉 So, I hope you’ll have a wonderful time Saturday !

    I would love to have the same positivism about entering my 30s… but I don’t. It scares me a little. And I am not as much accomplished as I would have loved to be at 30. Hopefully, this new year will help me accomplish more 🙂 It starts on the good path (even if it is a scary one also) : we moved from France to California.

    Anyways, have a good week-end and thanks for the inspiration I find in your blog 🙂

    • Bonne fête a toi, Marjolaine! (That’s about the extent of French I remember!) Hope you have a great birthday and even better year.
      That’s quite a move; I’m sure it’ll be wonderful once you get settled in! Where in California?

      • Thanks ! It was a great day. I hope yours was too.
        So far, I can say I LOVE the Californian weather 🙂 Seeing the sun every day is so good ! I am in Camarillo, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.

  15. Happy Birthday!!! I have never run on my birthday, but I do run marathons on the sundays before or after my birthday quite often. Also, embrace your thirties! I feel like I know so much more and am a better person because of my twenties, but I like the thirties a lot 🙂

  16. Happy happy birthday!!! It sounds like you have a very loving family and have had a lot great birthdays! I know the 30th will be best of all! I agree – we aren’t old yet!

  17. Happy dirty 30 Abby!!!! Great birthday memories!! I love the pic of you and Kelly in 2004! You look SOOOO YOUNG! I am almost 1/2 through my 30s and I can tell you they have been better than my 20s!! You are going to be very happy!! What are you doing to celebrate?! Last year I did RNR SF for my 34th, a sprint tri on my 29th, and a 10K on my 28th birthday. I love racing so of course I like to do races on my birthday!! 🙂

  18. ari @ whatarisaid

    Welcome to the 30s club! It’s not so bad here. And what a neat look back on your past birthdays. Meanwhile, have a great year and many more to come!

  19. Ohhh no big deal, you were able to run your first marathon with an amazing pace with minimal training..HA! Amazing!! Happy early birthday, your 30’s are going to be amazing!

  20. runnerbydefault

    Happy Birthday Abby!! I love the fact that you were already excited about bikes at the age of 8!! 🙂

  21. My most memorable birthday was my 18th: my parents threw a surprise party for me, with everyone we knew. It was amazing!

    I love your approach to hitting 30. It seems that everyone dreads it and it’s seen as something so negative. I didn’t have any of those feelings when I turned 30; it just came and went and now 34 is on it’s way! People assume that 30 is when you should settle down and have more responsibilities; the fun you had in 20’s is over. I disagree: the fun is just starting! And you have more money to do it 😉

  22. Happy 30th birthday! It was fun hearing about some of your memorable birthdays. I love racing on my birthday. In fact, on my 30th birthday I was in Mexico and saw there was a sprint triathlon going on and entered it (not having swam or biked in years), I borrowed a bike and completed the race! This year, I am very excited for my birthday because I will be running the Boston Marathon that day. It will be so special to me for many reasons, can’t wait!

  23. Happy early birthday! I loved looking at your flashback pics. I love that you & Kelly were doing races together from the very beginning, and that becoming a “dog mom” was a significant part of your life! Hope you have a fantastic 30th birthday and that the next 30 years are just as fabulous!

  24. Happy, happy early birthday!! Hope you have an amazing day and an even better year!

  25. I have not run a race on my birthday but I hope to one day! I just turned 31. I hope 30 is as good for you as it was for me. I loved 30!

  26. happy 30th to my baby girl! and wow silver in a 10k race today! so proud be your momma and biggest supporter!! and i’d be honoured to make a cookie monster cake for anyone who wants one!

  27. Happy 30, Abby! Hope your day was fantastic! My 30s have been my best decade yet… hope yours are the same 🙂

  28. I’ve never raced on my birthday but turning 30 definitely inspired me to run my first marathon. Happy Birthday! Enjoy the day and your 30s. Trust me…the are amazing!

  29. I hope you had a WONDERFUL birthday!! I’ve been 30 for awhile now and I can safely say that it’s the best decade of my life so far. I hope that it will be the same for you!

  30. Happy belated birthday! Guess that explains the DQ cake for breakfast! I agree with a few other comments, my 30s have been my best years so far.

  31. Pingback: Birthday weekend, a race and a certification | Change of Pace

  32. Happy birthday!!! And yes, you are old! Haha, JK. I hope to be racing the rest of my life!


    That Tim McGraw song is the best 🙂
    Your sister is taking a really hungry look at your cake… hopefully you got a piece before she did 😉 I love it! I feel like there must have been a cake decorating pan/set that you could use to make the characters (unless your mom did it on her own) out of a cake you bake from scratch. I seem to remember having a similar cake!
    It sounds like you had an AMAZING decade! Good for you! 🙂

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