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2 men 2 women holding up 4 fingersDear Global Running Day,

You are my favorite. It is the day that some people try this thing called running for the very first time. It’s the day that some people return to running after a hiatus. It’s the day that those who continuously run renew their love with like-minded people. More importantly, it is the day of the year that I get the least amount of sleep and go through the most of my summer running gear.

Global Running Day 2017 was a series of events with my Atlanta Track Club people. Before I began this letter, I took a read of last year’s to see how it compared.  Surprisingly, it was very similar or maybe not so surprisingly. I went through a lot of clothes, took several showers, and made a lot of memories. But my 2017 Global Running Day showed me so much more.

Given that this is my favorite running day, I started planning a few weeks out with my registration for all of Atlanta Track Club’s events. It also meant I had to make sure I had enough gear and fueling plan.  I decided to roll the dice on work and not take the day off.  The reality of it is that even if I was off for the day, I wouldn’t have gotten any more sleep.

4 women in running clothes at track meet
Heather, TJ, Nicole & Susan 4×400 Party in the Back Relay Team June 2017

Like every well-trained runner, I start global running day with a warm-up.  I ran the 4 X 400 relay at Atlanta Track Club’s All Comers Meet on Tuesday evening with Susan, Heather, and Nicole. I had never done the 4 X 400 and surprisingly had fun.  Now don’t get me wrong, 2/3 of the way around the track, I realized that the humidity solidified the air. My lungs began protesting the change in fuel but I made it all the way around without stopping.  Thank goodness there was a lady on the back curve to remind me that I was over half way through.

The main event began at midnight.  Each year for the past three years, Atlanta Track Club has hosted the first run in the United States for Global Running Day.  Just like the previous two years, I got a kick at being at a midnight run.  It was actually a nice night to be out and about. While still humid, we had a nice breeze and no threat of storms. I did the Armour Drive loop once with Rick. I hadn’t seen him in a while and it was nice to catch up.  We chatted and I reminded him about his arms. It was like old times!  In true fashion, I spent some time chatting with other people I hadn’t seen in a while and laughing at the funny things that runners say every now and then.

It’s hard being Zoey sometimes!

I went home for my nap. Let’s be real, that’s what you call sleeping for less than 5 hours regardless of what time of day. Plus, I knew from last year I would be hyped up after the run. I figured I was going home to a very annoyed dog. Zoey was not happy that I came home for just a couple of hours and then left without her.   I was right! (I figured as much since she tried to stand in the door way to prevent my leaving in the first place…) Zoey let it be known too!

After I got in the bed 20 minutes after getting home no less, she climbed in her chair and began sighing.  She sighed in every way imaginable for 15 minutes. (In hindsight, I should have recorded it because who knew a dog had that many sighs…) Just when she had lulled me almost to sleep, she decided to shake her tags and flop in the floor with one last huff.  That began my not great nap.  Luckily, I slept poorly because I set my alarm for Saturday instead of Wednesday.

The 6 AM run on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail was the next.  It is very peaceful and calm that early in the morning.  Rick also came and we had another walk until I had to bolt to make the 7 am FitWit classes. Yes, I thought it was a great idea to return to FitWit after a week out on the same day I got less than 4 hours of sleep and had 2 more running events in the day.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a little cray-cray. In all fairness, it was really close (like I could have stepped off the Beltline to the gym. I didn’t. I drove over because I had to sign out…safety first. I didn’t want Blais to come hunting me down!) Plus, I didn’t need (or want) to be at work at 7:30am. Atlanta traffic meant I couldn’t make it home and back with minimal frustration… sooo. Amazingly enough, no running was involved and as I like to say I was already warmed up.

Run number three was the Noon Run at Atlanta Track Club’s offices. As I was starting to feel the workout (and maybe the lack of sleep), I took in another loop with more great conversation with Shana and other Atlanta Track Club staff. It was my yearly reminder that I’m not a mid-day in the summer kind of runner. It was cooler than last year but still 100,000,000 degrees. I was a little better prepared. I had on shorts under my maxi skirt along with the sport bra under my clothes.  It was easy to make the Wonder Woman-like switch (although I twirled and still had to pull of my skirt and swapped tops myself. Anyone know who I should call?)

Notwithstanding the twirling fail, I had some wins during this run. One of my favorite parts of this run was meeting some new people (and learning the names of others who I have seen and maybe even talked). Sonya, a fellow party in the back runner, paid me the nicest compliment. She told me that me being out doing my thing regardless of where I finished or if I was able to compete with the fast ones inspired her to show up and not stress even regardless of where she finished.  I LOVE this more than anything.  We had a great chat about how having fun allows for progress too. I can’t wait to meet-up and focus on fun and progress rather than perfection.  Also, Sonya, Martrice and I hit the Smoothie King for the free smoothie.

#GlobalRunningDay #AtlantaTrackClub #AtlantaTrackClubMember

A post shared by Sonya Blade (@blazing_1212) on

The cool down was In-Training for Peachtree speed training. I put on my 5th Atlanta Track Club in 24 hours and went to my regularly scheduled programming which happened to be the 4th event. I finished off with 1 loop of the Oval with Stephanie. (I’m also counting the half mile walk from the car up hill and the half mile walk back to the car up hill…just saying!)  50 people showed up with a mix between In-Training participants and people checking it out as part of their Global Running Day fun.  The positive vibe and can do attitude was infectious.  It was definitely the definition of a Global Running Day event!

Once again there were four of us who did all the events—Bob, Jay, Kristen, and me.

Photo Credit to Coach Amy Begley

I maintain that if there is a group (and four is definitively a group), it is not really that crazy.  Bob, Jay, and I did all the runs last year too! We were all feeling the late night and the multiple events but were having fun.

Last year, the most popular question was when did I shower? (Clearly people who didn’t know me very well so I forgave them.) This year the popular question was why are you doing all of the events?  Every time someone asked it threw me for a loop. I immediately think, “Why not? They are free and it just takes a little planning for me. I work really close by and could take lunch. Plus, the others were before and after work.”  It has become a tradition now. I sacrifice sleep and hang with my people. Biggest reason, it’s just plain good fun.

For me it is just plain fun. It checks a lot of boxes for me.  But as I was telling one of my friends, Amanda today, it embodies the positive #adulting for me. If you think about it, most of the #adulting posts are about the life events that are not so fun—laundry, flat tires, paying bills, etc. Well, Global Running Day for me is the fun part of #adulting. I stayed up past myself imposed bed time. I ran all day and hung out with my friends too. I went to work in between the fun instead of the fun in between work. I got to plan how to make to four different events that were pure fun.

Sometime it is important to do something just for the fun of it. Even more so, when it includes show a person what it means to enjoy the activity or shows your enthusiasm for an organization or activity.  Most important is having a fun makes memories that will help you through the not so fun.

I’m telling you have fun (and join me in 2018 on Global Running Day to laugh, run and inspire)!


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TJ Tells It | COPYRIGHT © 2017 · TJ Hadley

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