So this weekend’s scheduled long run actually took place on Thursday night. Most the #TNR girls, including me, were off on weekends away so the idea was put forward to do our 18/19 mile run after work and bizarrely 6 of us (Leah, Lissy, Laureen, Katy and Hollie) opted in!?!
So then came the planning, packing and panic!
Since Christmas I have done a “long” run every weekend and so have perfected quite a nice little routine in the morning. Those who know me know I love a routine and so to plan for a big night run threw me off slightly, mainly to do with food (double breakfasts?!) and then … wait … work and then 19 miles of running plus a BIG event the night before (more on this in another post ;D)?!?!
So after getting in very late on Wednesday, after struggling to pass on all the free fizz and amazing cocktails offered, I got all my run kit out and managed a good 5 hours sleep. Once at work I proceeded to spend the entire day thinking about 19 MILES, 19 MILES that’s 30.6KM!!! I had a huge breakfast, followed by a protein packed lunch (plus carb loading had definitely taken place the day before too ;D) but when my alarm went off at 4:30 to tell me to eat my baked oats (baked at the weekend, put in the freezer and then defrosted during the day) the last thing I wanted was food and the looks I was getting from my office did not help! So I tweeted the lovely ladies Lissy, Leah, Laureen and Katy to see if they were sharing my experience. It appeared we were all in it together which spurred me on and I forced them down.
After thinking that I could feel niggles in every part of my leg for the entire day once I started on my 1.4mile run to meet the girls (my schedule is 1 mile more than the girls so I always run to meet them to make sure we all finish together) I actually felt completely relaxed and got into my running groove. We planned to meet at our normal meeting place and you couldn’t miss the ladies all in their fabulous BRIGHT FLURO (something for my “must buy” list) and we quickly set off east along the river. As soon as we started, after of course discussing the fact that we were all terrified about what we were about to attempt, everyone relaxed and the gossip started. THIS is why I love running, for me it has become such a lovely social thing. I adore running with these girls because they give me the support and confidence to achieve my goals! We all come from very different places, some literally, and yet we have so much we can relate to sharing all the highs and lows that come with training for a big event! The miles started to fly by and apart from a few hiccups with technology (my Nike+ app adding an extra 4 miles and my Nike watch watch stopping at 5.6miles) everything was going well.
Lissy had created an awesome route running 2 laps around the river which meant that we always had an good idea of where we were in the route … always good for morale! Plus running along the Thames at night does make for some extremely beautiful views! At about 11 miles, bearing in mind we had set off at about 7pm, time was ticking on and it was clear that we were all starting to go a little bit crazy so Laureen introduced the alphabet game to keep our minds occupied! This was a brilliant distraction from running and was also quite hilarious, it’s amazing all the words you know but when you are put on the spot to say a word beginning with H you freeze!!!!
With 3 miles to go we were on the home straight and so I picked up the pace – when I know the finish line is in sight I always seem to pick up my pace, I think it’s the idea the quicker you go the quicker it’s over! We sped through the final miles and jumped (sort of) for joy when all the watches beeped letting us know we had run the distance! This was an incredible feeling and perfectly celebrated with a HUGE group hug and even a little tear…quickly followed by a massive bowl of noodles courtesy of Wagamamas!
Now I have learnt that I am definitely not a late night runner! For me I always try and think of these runs as a planned catch up with my friends, it just so happens to be that we run whilst chatting! Normally this works perfectly fine as you sleep, get up and go but waiting all day means you definitely over think what you are about to attempt! I would NOT have got through this run without these ladies. From the pre run nerves being shared over twitter, talks of pre run fuel to the perfectly distracting catch ups on gossip whilst running and the mind games too ;D! It makes these scary achievements totally possible and dare I say FUN!
So are you like me and prefer an early morning jaunt or as Nike say do you like to “Own The Night”?