Racing at midnight

Somewhere between the 2nd cup of coffee and the 15 mini reese’s pb cups (yes, really) that I ingested Thursday afternoon, I felt the urge to race the 3k. Since the marathon back in November, my running motivation has been on the fritz, so I figured I should take advantage of this whim. After Tuesday’s rather brutal speed workout, I knew I wouldn’t be in peak form, but at the very least running the 3k (15 laps around the indoor track) would be a good workout.

Every other week during January & February, NYRR holds a Thursday night track meet at the Armory. The start time was set for 7pm, so I really had to hustle to make it there by then. I only had time for a 1/2 mile warm-up (not ideal), but I wasn’t too stressed out. My focus for this race was to 1) get in a good workout in preparation for next weekend’s 5k and 2) run with my teammates and have fun! The race itself was pretty unremarkable – the goal was to run 46 seconds per 2oom lap. I was more or less on target through the first mile (6:10), but then I slowed down. I finished the race in 11:44 (about 3 seconds faster than my outdoor 3k last June). I wasn’t thrilled, but for a workout, I’ll take it. I don’t love shorter races (I’d much rather race a half-marathon!), but I think it’s good to mix things up every once in awhile, you know?

My workout/race/travel/froyo buddy, Jacqui, nailed her first indoor race EVER. We were really happy (and sweaty) to be finished.

However, I still had one more race to do. My 3k finished around 7:30pm and I cooled down with an easy 3 miles. I knew I had a few more hours before my relay team toed the line for our 10k relay (10 people each run 5 x 200m legs), but, I didn’t realize a few hours would actually be more like 4 hours….

I don’t normally post photos of everything I eat, but I feel like fueling for a late night track meet is rather unusual, so I snapped some pics.

First up, a bottle of vitamin water (electrolytes!) and a banana (I ate this while I propped my legs up against a wall – to reduce lactic acid build up).

Followed by a picky bar (love, love, love these).


By 10pm, I knew we still had hours to go before the relay began, so I embarked on a hunt for something easily digestible. I went with my old standby – Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate. Mmm, sugar, mmm.

FINALLY, around 12:15am, my relay team’s heat was called to the track. Sprinting 5 x 200m legs after midnight was definitely an interesting experience. I’m not sure I’d like to repeat it anytime soon…I didn’t get splits, but I’d guess my 200’s were somewhere in the 37-40 second range? The best part of the night?? Our relay team name was “Will Run For Cookies”, so of course, we had to celebrate with some….

By the time I got home and showered, it was nearing 2am. I had a quick bowl of puffins + greek yogurt and an emergen-c before passing out.

Last night (this morning?) was definitely the oddest time I’ve ever raced, but the absurdity made it kind of fun! What’s the latest/earliest that you’ve ever gone for a run?

Hey New Yorkers! There’s a really fun and free event happening next weekend. Friday, March 4 through  Sunday, March 6 Peanut Butter & Co. is sponsoring an event called“The Nutropolitan Museum of Art.” There will be a ton of fun activities and best of all – everyone that visits will receive a FREE jar of peanut butter and a second jar of peanut butter will be donated to the NYC Food Bank. Win-win!

  • Sounds like an interesting night! The earliest I’ve ever ran was 5am. I wish I lived in NY, so I could go to that event!

  • That is a crazy late time to be running! I have to wake up at 3 this Sunday for the Princess Half Marathon but I’m been slowly getting up earlier and going to bed earlier to prepare=)

  • This totally reminds me on the world championships 2 years ago in the 100k. We were in Belgium and the race started at 8pm. It totally throws you for a loop to start so late. How do you fuel, rest, stay awake for goodness sakes. We did 5x20k loops (approximately). Luckily it was one of the longest days of the year so we had light pretty late. The best part was looping through these little towns where the race had sponsored concerts/parties, so the later we ran, the more rowdy the crowds got and the cheering was insane through the night. On my last lap around 3am, I even got a marriage proposal. It was awesome.

  • I haven’t done any late night craziness like you but there is a splash and dash series (750 m swim, 3k run) that happens once a month on Tuesday at like 5:30 pm. It’s kind of fun to go right from work to a race on a weeknight. The nerves get you all day instead of just a few minutes from when you wake up until you race. I like it.

  • You’re a bad ass plain and simple. I think I would have passed out in the bleachers before I could run again.

  • OMG, that is so crazy and I love it! Nice racing 🙂 The earliest I’ve run is around 4:30 a.m. in Central Park. Let’s just say there were a few suspicious characters encountered and it was a bit scary…

    Obvsiouly I’ve had the PB museum on my calendar for weeks – let me know if you want to go together??

  • That race is equal parts crazy and awesome. Not only was it an indoor track but that early in the morning?!? Definitely an experience worth having. And congrats on the race!

  • Dani

    Awesome job Meggie! Who was on your relay team? One of these days I’ll get the nerve to race an indoor race! Run soon?

  • Meggie

    I’ve told myself that if I’m ever a speedster like you, I’ll run one of those track races. Picky Bars are my go-to for EVERYTHING, esp running and studying. You must be running Coogan’s? I’m running that one, too. Hoping for good weather!

  • ha…that night just sounds like hilarious, random fun! races? cookies? puffings + yog at 2am? LOVE IT!!

    p.s. you are seriously my running inspiration. twerk it.

  • Ha, that’s hilarious yet fun:)

    Not sure on timing but I’ve done 3 Relays (the 200 mile kind) so I’ve run at all hours of the day at this point. Running at 3am is definitely an experience!

  • omg i SO want to come visit y’all in NY. that looks like so much fun 🙂 you are awesome X 3 or X4

  • That is crazy! I would fall asleep!

    I used to wake up at 4:30am to do my long runs before work. I still think you have me beat though with midnight racing 🙂

  • What a crazy track meet experience!! Seems like you had a lot of fun despite running so late! Great excuse to eat lots of chocolate in one day (not that anyone needs and excuse) That PB & Co event sounds so fun, I wish I could go!

  • Midnight, huh? I probably would have skipped the food at home and gone straight to passing out!

    I’ve never run past 8:00 pm, but I might be participating (possibly even around midnight) in an unofficial 50K that just one person is running here at a local park. A bunch of us runners are working out a schedule so that the 50Ker has people running with her at all times, and it’s expected to go late into the night in a couple of weeks.

  • I’ve had a race that started in the 5am hour, but never anything that late at night. What fun! 5x200m at midnight sounds like quite the experience.

  • ani

    LOL! you got a picture of the cookies on the benches!!! i hope you got one or two or three! 🙂

  • I can’t believe you raced!! TWICE! So proud of your 3K, and kind of jealous but also super not-jealous of the 5×200. Runners are batsh!t.

  • Veronika

    Great job in both of your races! I’m a junior in high school who runs cross country and track and most of our indoor track meets went from 3PM-10PM. I run the 3200m which is the second to last race, so the latest I’ve ever run a race has been somewhere between 8-9:30. I’m used to it though 🙂 In the summer when it’s really hot, sometimes I wait until 9PM to do a long run, but I’m never the only one out on the roads.

  • I would love to try an indoor track race one day…looks like fun!

  • Irene

    I did the Disney Wine & Dine half marathon last year which starts at 10 pm! It was a fun race and I’m planning on doing it again, but I was tiered by the time the race started and I still had 13.1 miles to go!

  • I don’t get who planned the race to be that late? I know littleracer’s blog talks about late races a lot, and I’m so confused as to why the races aren’t at 7:00 a.m. instead of 10:00 p.m. Is the lateness intentional — like “fun midnight race!!”?

    I like that you captured your fuel. I wouldn’t know what to do, I can’t sprint with ANY food in my stomach without getting nauseous immediately.

  • I participated in a midnight run last saturday… it sure is fun. I haven’t been to the armory in a long time… I should participate in some indoor events next winter.

  • @RoseRunner – the track meet was on a Thursday, so I think they have to start it after most people get out of work (~7pm). I agree though, that morning, would be a more convenient time to race!

  • I did a midnight trail run in Texas last summer. I was confused about fueling up for it as well so I went with froyo 🙂 Great job at your races 🙂

  • I once did a 10k that started at 11pm and it was such a weird feeling all day knowing that I had that race happening later…

  • Pingback: Sometimes you need a plan C | The Runner's Kitchen()

  • Pingback: NYC Half Marathon Recap | The Runner's Kitchen()