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It’s Madness, I tell ya!

07/17/2011

Midnight Madness!

Last night (this morning?) I went out way past my bedtime (way, way, way past my bedtime) to run in the Back on My Feet Midnight Madness Run. This 8.4 mile loop is part of the 20 in 24 event that features not only a 6:00 AM pajama run but a 24-hour ultra-race! Back in January I had decided that going forward I was going to pick events that were unique. Since returning to running, I no longer felt the need to toe the line at every local 5K road race. Being fast and bringing home the hardware (while fun as hell) were no longer my priorities–staying healthy and really getting the most of out running were. Besides being a fiscally responsible decision (with 5Ks costing anywhere from $20-$35 for less than 25:00 of running), I thought this strategy would keep me healthy. It was all about longevity.

So, keeping with this running resolution, I zeroed in a few races that would fit the bill. The first being the Pickle Runs in January and February. Run on snow and ice and the very hilly Ridley Creek State Park, these prediction races were half road-half trail and a sloppy good time. The Warrior Dash also fit, an event I had wanted to do since last summer. Completing the triad was the Midnight Madness. I ran the Central Park New Year’s Eve 5-miler back in high school and it was a blast! Even though I couldn’t partake of the champagne water stops, I remembered the magic of running at midnight. It’s really indescribable. So when I stumbled on this event, it was perfect. Now I just needed to recruit someone as dumb as me to sign up…

Enter my fellow Badass Mother Runner, Sue! It took very little convincing to get Sue to sign on. Her husband was more reluctant to send his wife running through Philadelphia in the dark, but after assurances to that it was very safe, we were all set to go. Sue and I became friendly through the Run Like a Mother facebook page after discovering we didn’t live too far apart. We had a lot in common besides running and kids (such as an aversion to fuel belts and a deep love of a cold beer on a Saturday night) and bonded quickly over emails that featured both the snarky and the supportive. We finally met at the Run Across America 5K in hopes of mutually stalking Dean Karnazes. He didn’t fall madly in love with either of us, but our heartbreak only forged our friendship (so sucks to you, Dean!!!).

Now here we were, simultaneously stressing about parking in the city and making sure we had enough glow bracelets. We needn’t had worried–we easily found parking in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum (facing the “Rocky steps,” how appropriate!) and we had plenty of iridescent bling. Since we are both marathon training right now (Sue for the Philadelphia Marathon through Team in Training and me for the Niagara Falls International Marathon through Team Cure), we decided to run this as a training run instead of racing. Also, it seemed like the kind of thing you wanted to do with a buddy.

And we were right! We chatted the whole way when all of a sudden, we hit mile 7! Wow–although we were hardly pushing the pace, the race was flying by! Then Sue said “You HAVE to look at that!” and across the water was Boathouse Row all lit up. It’s really beautiful and even though I have lived near Philly for a little over 3 years I had never seen it in person. But what better way–running on a cool summer night! Soon we hit the 8 mile marker and with 0.4 to go on a steady decline, we picked up the pace and crossed the finish line. And after a soft pretzel, some pictures, and a little chit chat, we headed home way, way, way past our bedtimes.

A few notes about the race: This event is extremely well organized. All bases were covered–from the ease of check-in complete with different color tech tees to pick from, bug repellent, and an array of light-up accessories to the extremely well-lit, well-patrolled course. Safety was definitely a priority and every runner felt comfortable running in the city in the middle of the night. The bag-check was very convenient and the amenities table was staffed by the very people the Back on My Feet campaign has helped–and they were the nicest, most gracious men and women. One man thanked Sue and I profusely for running to raise money for an organization that had helped him so much yet we were mutually appreciative of his willingness to stand outside all night long handing sweaty runners cups of water and bananas. Combined with the ultra-runners who were already out there for 17+ hours cheering for those of us doing one measly loop, it was quite touching.

I finally arrived home, showered, and stumbled into bed just before 4:00 AM, the time I am usually getting up to go to the gym. Brian, the most supportive husband a runner could have, let me sleep in until 9:30 when Sean and Amelia decided it was time for me to play with them. Then he went and got me a big cup of Wawa coffee. (How awesome is he?) Midnight Madness was crazy fun and I would definitely like to do it again next year. But for now I am going to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, eat massive amounts of popcorn, and then get some sleep!

Yesterday/Today’s Workout:
Ran 8.4 miles/1:18:35

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 07/18/2011 9:28 PM

    You know a race is awesome when you can’t stop talking about it 48 hours later. Thanks for running with me! Next year we should up the ante and do Midnight Madness AND the 6 AM Pajama Run or go all-out and run the ultra. Okay, just kidding about the ultra. But there’s always the relay!

    • Suzanne permalink*
      07/19/2011 4:41 AM

      Don’t think I haven’t already scoped out the relay options…

  2. 07/19/2011 2:30 PM

    I have a year to think about it, right?

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