Monday, June 8, 2015

Celebrating National Running Day in Atlanta

So I've been meaning to write this post since last week and I never actually got the chance to, however, I want to tell you about National Running Day!  National Running Day is one of those made up days that gives people an excuse to do things.  Like last week was also National Donut Day, so of course I ate a donut.  But anyways - back to running day!

Let me tell you about my Tuesday and Wednesday 36 hours of running.

Lately on Tuesday mornings I have been meeting up with my friend Shay to run in the mornings before work.  We meet at 6:00 a.m. and do between 4 and 6 miles.  It started once just randomly and we decided to keep it going.  It's now one of my favorite runs of the week and I love starting my Tuesdays with the morning miles and conversation!  This past Tuesday we did 4 miles.

From there I went about my day at work, having a grand old time.  And then post work headed to the skate park where the running group I am a part of holds our Tuesday night sprint workout!  The sprint workout totals less than a mile and to me, it is more a social and fun evening than a real workout.  Yes, there is sprinting involved but there are also friends there and it is generally just really fun.   All of this is part of a "normal" Tuesday of running for me.  Morning miles then a fun night of sprints in the evening. Here's the one picture I took at sprints on Tuesday.

After sprints I then took a break... for a few hours.  And then now, here is where the madness starts.  Because Wednesday was "National Running Day" the local big running coordinating group and organization, Atlanta Track Club, was hosting a midnight run.  They wanted to be the first organized group run of National Running Day on the East Coast.  I thought it sounded like fun and I hemmed and hawed about whether or not to go, but then one of my friends made the decision for me and told me, "You're going." and I am not one to disappoint!

So at about 11:15 p.m. I head out of the house for my 3rd run of the day!  Well, technically the run would be on Wednesday...

The only other time I have run this late in the evening was during the Ragnar Relay last year and that was a drain on my body so I didn't know what this run would be like!  There was a good amount of people from our running group that was showing up for the race so the atmosphere was really good when I arrived and we had some makeshift dance parties to keep our energy up and to keep ourselves awake!  Right at midnight we took off for the run and did 3 miles, running out and back on a route through Buckhead, which is a neighborhood I have run in in the past.

It was funny to be running at midnight and it's crazy to me that it was still so hot that late in the evening and there were still plenty of cars out.  These are things that are way different than midnight in the Northeast and the last midnight run I had done!  Because it was an out and back, it was fun to see everyone and it was really cool having such a big representation of our running group at this bigger Atlanta run.

The run was a fun experience and I am definitely glad that I did it!  It was also really fun that Shay and I did all of the runs throughout the day together as well.  I hesitate to ever call myself a "runner" because I would NEVER have done all these runs if it weren't with other people.  I wouldn't have done any of them without any other people.  Running is something I love because of the socialness and the community around it.  I know that might seem crazy to those who see it as a solo sport.  But to me, running is about the connections that I make with other people through running.  And yes, of course, the connection with myself and the confidence, strength, and ability to eat extra food without guilt.  But I keep at it because of the people.  And once these people are your friends, if you're like me and give in to peer pressure too easily and have FOMO -- well, you're done for!

I didn't stick around too long afterwards and immediately went home for a much needed shower and went right to bed.  In the morning I had an early meeting, a full day of work, and then I came home to get more rest went for another run.

Yeah.  I know.  I am not not normal.  But I had a great 5 mile run after work along the river.  It was immediately post rain shower so the air was fresh and really nice!  I didn't take any pictures after that run, but I will tell you that I did go home and eat and then SLEEP.  Sleep is really magical when you push yourself to being completely exhausted before you allow yourself to get any, guys :)

Anyways, that was my Tuesday and Wednesday last week that was incredibly run filled.  I DID take Thursday off before lacing up my sneakers again, and although it was tiring and a lot, even for me, it was a great way to celebrate the unofficial official "National Running Day" and my I-guess-I-can-call-myself-this "runner" status.

Hope you guys celebrated the holidays last week as well!  And yes, I mean National Running Day and National Donut Day.  Because I did both!

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