Birthday Workouts!

I had planned to spend the last few hours of being 40 on the couch: remote in the hand, laptop on the lap, and wine glass on the lips.


Instead I fell asleep on my daughter’s bed before 9pm and woke up this morning. How old do you think that makes me feel? I was even in my stinky bike clothes and smelled horrible, and had the light blazing in my eyes from her ceiling fan.

To be fair, I had a big day – I had bike commuted with my dad and that really wore me out! Bad traffic and security was expected in DC due to political-type events (we’re used to it here), so we figured it was a good day to ride downtown.

Bike commuting with dad

It was just over 14 miles into DC from where we parked, and it felt great! I loved cruising along the Capital Crescent trail into Georgetown and arriving at my office.

Ready to bike commute

After the work day, it was time for the bike ride home.


A little tougher on tired legs (and about 4.5 hours of sleep), but really freeing to pedal along as we crossed under the Beltway traffic.

Biking on canal

I asked my dad if there was any way to avoid riding in the roads getting back to the car, so we took a rail trail of gravel and dirt up to Great Falls, which my skinny-tire road bike did NOT like one bit!

Biking at Great Falls

Okay, in this pic there’s a railing there, but I swear there wasn’t one most of the ride and earlier on the terrain was rougher. I was totally freaked out riding along the trail, which had me pondering:

Would you rather ride in rush hour traffic on the road, or on a gravel trail where one false move would send you tumbling into the stinky Canal or over a cliff into the Falls?


The ride back was about 15 miles, so we basically rode 30 miles that day. I was glad to sneak in some solid cycling time on a weekday, which is typically hard to fit in with my schedule.

So then there was the aforementioned fell-asleep-on-my-daughter’s-bed-all-stinky, and since I was out like a light before 9pm, I woke up at 5am fully rested. I tried to go back to sleep for a little while and then realized – let the birthday workouts begin!

Birthday Workout #1: I ran 4.1 miles to celebrate my 41st birthday! It was a gorgeous day, although humid. I felt amazing – happy to be strong and healthy and in the best shape of my life at age 41.

Running on my birthday 4.1 miles for age 41

I walked into the house to a birthday celebration put on by my kids and au pair, and it was so incredibly lovely! The kids had made magnets, picture frames, and cards, and a breakfast-y cake!

Birthday Workout #2: To double up the birthday workouts, I headed to Barre3 on my lunch break – what a cool birthday treat to have a free barre class on your birthday!

 Barre3 free class birthday

Thanks for all your birthday wishes on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 40 has been a fabulous adventure and I’m ready for the next year!


What is your ideal way to spend a birthday?

Would you rather ride in rush hour traffic on the road, or on a gravel trail where one false move would send you tumbling into the stinky Canal or over a cliff into the Falls?

Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

Cynthia Steele is a runner, triathlete, & working mom of 3 little kids. She has lost 50 pounds through fitness and healthy eating and writes about fitting in all this crazy stuff while juggling work and kids.
Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?!

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  1. says

    Can I just say I’m jealous that you can commute to work on your bike? My commute is dicey in a car, much less on 2 wheels! Some of the paved bike paths around here are in pretty bad shape and it is like a trail ride. My bike doesn’t like it, and I take a lot of the impact in my wrists. Ouch!

    Sounds like it was the perfect birthday! This year I’ll be in Charleston SC with my sister for our annual sister trip. It just happened to fall on my BD in September. I’m looking forward to it!
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  2. Tiffany says

    Happy Birthday! How awesome is it to improve with age? You look great!

    I loathe my commute most days, even with altered hours to avoid rush hour BUT I never learned to ride a bike without training wheels, so even if it was a possibility to commute to work by bike, I wouldn’t know how! I guess I’m stuck commuting by car unless my life circumstance changes and I can somehow run-commute to work.

  3. says

    Good for you and happy birthday! A 30 miles commute is pretty impressive. I’d be tempted to do the gravel trail but ya tough call. I’ve been wanted to try Barre class. Maybe I’ll have to wait and try it on my birthday! My ideal birthday involves waking up early, delicious coffee then a hike (or I guess snowshoeing cause my bday is in February), followed by a delicious dinner and so much chocolate cake.
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    • says

      A hike would be amazing! I love the barre classes, I swear I have no affiliation with them, I just keep buying packages. It’s a nice way to get a full-body indoor workout downtown on a work day on lunch or right after work. Running gets me too sweaty to come back to the office!

  4. says

    If I had a dollar for every time I went to lie down with the kids in end of day workout wear, I would be swimming in money! Love it Cynthia welcome to the 40’s. I do not bike ride because I am to spastic on them and I would never ride with cars around me OR on a narrow road, so nope not me LOL. Happy birthday. I am turning 47 at the end of this month and I am looking forward to something shopping at Athleta for new workout wear :)
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