I'm running tired, but I'm not tired of running.
I thought that to myself as I pushed the pace down Bedford Avenue last night, past the drunken hipsters with cigarettes limping out of their mouths, staring at me, mouths agape, "Is she running - at 12:30 in the morning?"
Yes. Yes. What else should I be doing? Well, usually I'm sleeping, so I can get up at 5:30 to run. But when Dee asked for company on a 35 miler at 1a.m. on a Thursday night/Friday morning, four others decided to join her.
Because I had some pretty tough runs the past week (hills, speed, tempo runs, plyometrics, heat, and I also ran 1hr40min yesterday morning), I decided to only run part of the "course."
Why night runs? During a 100miler, the toughest part of the race can be the night...it's later in the race, so you're slowing down. Your adrenalin levels have dropped. You get tired...yawning...eyes closing...you walk zig-zag-zig-zag. In my first 100, Vermont 100, I slowed down due to major blisters and could barely walk, much less keep my eyes open. Overnight runs on no sleep really help your body train. I also enjoy those 5 hour energy shots to keep me going. Wooooohooooo!
Zandy (training for Finger Lakes 50 Miler) and I ran over the bridge, catching up, about races, life. Then we met up with Dee (training for a 100miler in SD), Jacqueline (training for a 24 hour and The Beast of Burden 100 Miler), and Mike (doing Leadville again, the warrior). It was nice to catch up with friends.
Night in NYC can be magical. The skyline from the bridge is just beautiful. And there's few people around, so there's more room on the sidewalks for runners. It was hot, but much cooled down after dark and rainstorms. The moon and the stars were up there, somewhere beyond the edges of the buildings and heavenly rooftop parties. People tend to be more chill because during the day, they're stressed about work and their kids and how it's been months since they've mopped the kitchen floor. At night, most people are relaxed, maybe had a glass of wine or two or three, seeing friends, really being themselves.
We took a few photos...we talked...I felt like I was flying. I forgot about my super tight calves and my exhaustion and chattered on with Zandy and Dee and Mike and Jacqueline. I felt great.
I left everyone to go home - couldn't push myself as much as I wanted, at least not tonight. I ran alone, and when I turned back on 11th Ave, I saw a long street of lights - white and green. It was truly beautiful.
A woman sitting on a bench said, "Wow. You're badass. You're badass. Wow. A badass."
I took it as a compliment.