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Dear Global Running Day,

Thanks for giving me an excuse to demonstrate my special brand of (running) crazy on June 1, 2016.  Four runs in less than 24 hours… maybe a little extreme, but the potential for midweek fun overrode good sense.  

GRD Bib 2016
A day of running needs a bib to commemorate it. Coach Amy hooked me up with one.

I planned this day a couple of weeks in advance.  I knew that when you went from National Running Day to Global Running Day that big things were in store (and less sleep, more miles, and great memories too). OK so by plan, I registered for some events and tried to decide on my “How to Stay Awake at Work on No Sleep” plan.

Luckily, I didn’t really have to do much work to find my events.  The Atlanta Track Club hosted 3 free group runs on GRD:

Midnight Group Run: We were the first group run in the United States on Global Running Day

6 AM Group Run: We Skyped with the Kembla Joggers in New South Wales, Australia (It was a global run…)

Noon Group Run: 12 hours later back at the Track Club (not the first time and hopefully not the last time)

They were free and I love a good deal. So, I hit them all up. Yes all of them…they were free and all that jazz…still thinking I’m a bit crazy? That’s ok, I recognize that I can be at times (but I have at least 3 other people who are with me. If there is a group, it’s not crazy right?!?!).

The Warm-Up – All Comers Track Meet (with Boot-camp):

My GRD fun actually started 6 hours before the first group run at the Atlanta Track Club’s All Comers Meet, my GRD began to take shape.  It was hot and had a lightning delay. A group of us considering the midnight run had high level strategy meeting to determine how to fuel for the night ahead…ok really we were just trying to figure out where we were going to eat before the heading to the Atlanta Track Club offices for the 1st group run.

Mellow Mushroom met the open late and gluten-free options criteria. Not going to say it was the smartest option before a group run but then it’s a theme for the day right…? Before dinner, I got in some miles to keep my RW Summer Run Streak alive.  Even better, while hanging out, 5 brave runner did a Mizuno Monday workout (doesn’t everyone do a workout in between races…o.k. maybe not) by the track.

I moved from the track meet to the midnight run with a pizza stop in between.

The Main Event begins – Midnight Group Run:

The Midnight run is my favorite event of the day.  Who doesn’t like to say they are the first? This group run is sort of like a participation in a flash mob without having to dance or lip sync or come up with something super clever that goes viral and gets you on the Today Show or Good Morning America.

The Midnight run is great! No really it is fun!  It feels a little crazy without being extreme mileage crazy.  As a person who always had an enforced bedtime, it gives me a small thrill to be out past my bedtime. (Ok, so I still give myself a bedtime, but my mom was way better at enforcement… I so need more sleep!)

GRD Midnight w/ Rick Bodane 2016
Rick and me after our midnight run for Global Running Day 2016

The hardest part of the day is trying to get some sleep in between the Midnight run and 6 AM run.  I got home around 1 AM, and I needed a shower, some hydration and sleep.  The problem is that I was still hyped from the run.  I’m not one of those people who uses exercise to tire myself out immediately. Nope, I get energy for the next couple of hours. So at 1 am when you have to get up at 5:15 AM to make the next run this is a problem!

Brad and me after the Midnight run 2016
Brad and me after the Midnight run 2016


I tried to sleep…really I did, but I got a nap…2 hours. I took a calming cooling shower and dried my hair in order to keep from reminding my body what it feels like to be a college student after an all nighter. I was prepared for this problem from last year even though I was in denial. I knew I could make it to about 3 PM on very little sleep and no caffeine. I guess this is how those ultra runners run for 24 hours straight?!?

Event 2 – 6 AM Run with the Aussies:

I made it to the 6 AM run and made the group picture too!!! I may or may not be notorious for missing the group picture…even when I’m on time.  It was fun to see those who couldn’t embrace the thrill of running in the middle of the night (‘cause let’s be real, a midnight run really is a middle of the night run!). We Skyped with runners in Australia.  

We ran from the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park on the Atlanta Beltline. I hung with one of my favorite training partners, Susan.  Not going to lie, we heard the accent and had to check out the video feed (stop acting like the accent doesn’t get you too).  The harbor they showed was cool too.

Run Leads at the GRD 6AM Group Run
Atlanta Track Club Run Leads at the GRD 6AM Group Run
~Photo Credit Christy Sharp~

Off to work I went with a stop through at the gym to shower. (I was asked when I showered during the madness… Really? Of course I showered…3 times actually in the 24 hour period.)

Event 3 – Hot and Sunny Run with Friends:

Next up on the agenda and the last of the organized group runs was the Noon run.  As I sat in my team meeting, I questioned if I would be able to make the run.  Every time someone asked another question, I squirmed, checked my watch, and thought, “Come On!!! I have a lunch date with some asphalt!!”

Luckily, the meeting ended and I bolted. I was prepared for this possibility…I know that everyone was going to have something to say or ask in the “short” meeting. Sports bra under the work clothes which included a maxi skirt. I made the parking garage change (maxi skirt allows for capri pull on without flashing…nope I haven’t done that a time or two!).  I missed the group picture (by 2 seconds…) but had a great time in the 1000 degree heat with 27 other runners.  

In case you were wondering: I was able to confirm that Noon runs during the summer in Atlanta will not become the norm for me.  It was just too hot. I was pretty sure my shoes were melting into the asphalt. Plus heat stroke is not a good look. So maybe it shouldn’t have taken actually attempting to run at noon in June in Atlanta for me to come to this conclusion but hey you never know… See above, I led with the potential for fun overrode common sense.

The exciting thing though was 4 of us were just crazy enough to hit up all 3 of the GRD runs put on by the Atlanta Track Club. I was the only female!

Bob, Jay, Jay and myself as the 4 who showed up to all of the GRD group runs. Photo credit: Atlanta Track Club
Bob, Jay, Jay and myself as the 4 who showed up to all of the GRD group runs. Photo credit: Atlanta Track Club

Returned to work after another gym shower. Nope, I didn’t fall asleep. (See above, exercise increases my energy…)

The Cool Down:

I finished my GRD by putting on my run leader hat and helping Peachtree Road Race training participants celebrate GRD and get in speed work.  I didn’t log any miles. Did you really think I was going to run again?  Ok so maybe the thought passed through my mind but my body protested. After all Wednesdays are my rest day.  Instead I warmed them up, cheered them on and stretched them out. I stretched and stretch some more. It was a great end to the day

I love pushing myself to the limits. Running, walking, training, racking up miles is a large part of my life. Immersing myself in running for a 24 hour period is how I celebrate the sport that has given so much to me.  Year 2 of Global Running Day (formerly National Running Day) went down in the record books. I kept the streak alive. It was the second year of challenging myself to make all the offered runs. Challenge issued, accepted, and completed. I think 2 years in a row means it’s a tradition. Next year, Global Running Day will see me pushing limits and having fun.

Telling It…(because someone may join me next year for all the fun Wednesday, June 7, 2017 to be challenged in new ways),


P.S. Check out the amazing video that confirms why I keep showing up.


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TJ Tells It | COPYRIGHT © 2017 · TJ Hadley

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