When the Sun Goes Down

There are plenty of things I’d happily do after 6 p.m. Drink a beer? Yes, please. Drink a beer on a rooftop bar? Absolutely. Drink a beer on a rooftop bar … in Brooklyn? It’s been known to happen, but I reserve the right to complain for the entire first round about having to leave Manhattan. At least you know my terms.

Oh hey, Manhattan. I cheated on you with your ironic cousin, Brooklyn.

But while happy hour joins “eating dinner” and “sleeping” as acceptable post-6 p.m. activities in my book, the idea of running a road race at the end of the day has never been at the top of my list. That is, until now.

Tonight, I’ll be joining 6,000+ of my closest friends in Central Park for the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, a 3.5-mile race held over two days in New York to promote “health and fitness, teamwork and camaraderie in the corporate communities across the U.S. and abroad,” according to a statement from a senior vice president who did not testify on Capitol Hill today. The event, now in its 35th year, takes place in cities across the globe, and will be coming to mine in T-minus 90 minutes.

I’ve never before laced up my racing shoes after 10 a.m., so I didn’t know how to approach a day’s worth of activity and eating ahead of an evening starting gun. I skipped my morning jog and started the day with a carb-filled bowl of flaxseed oatmeal (a solid start), only to give in to a lunch of delivery Thai food when the rain made a trip outside unpalatable (we’re all human.) I usually run short morning races on an empty stomach and long morning races on a toast-and-peanut-butter-filled stomach, so we’ll see whether gallons of pad see ew does the trick. I’m thinking not, but rice noodles have been known to work miracles*.

*False.

So runners: how do you prepare for an evening race? It may be too late for me today, but I promise I’ll store your good advice for later. (And then likely disregard it when the Thai menu gets passed around the office again.)

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