I ran the streets of Boston again, for the first time since the Marathon bombing.
Thursday night, the JP Morgan Corporate Challenge. Twelve thousand people crammed onto the Boston Common. Eventually they would be spread throughout the tree-line corridors of the Back Bay. I started in the front. Ran fast, but within myself. I continued my plan of running at threshold. My heart rate danced around 175 beats per minute. I was burning hotter than I had planned and I kept telling myself to slow down. I felt comfortable until I cranked it up for the finish. I was in the 60’s with a time just over 20 minutes. I had run faster in the past. But I had suffered a lot to do it. Afterward, I drank beers with my co-workers and told war stories.
Sunday morning, the BAA 10k. Similar course, but further out, all the way to Boston University, then back to the Common. Hot, even in the early morning. Same plan as Thursday, but the heart rate wasn’t responding. Maybe I hadn’t recovered from Thursday. Or maybe it was the 50 miles I had done on the bike the day before. The legs were okay. But my heart rate would not climb above the low 170’s. The heat hung heavy on me and each time I pushed, I would get that throbbing in the back of my head. I focused on running with efficiency and good technique. I maybe found a new gear, a smoother stride and quickened my pace without extra effort.
I finished the top-70 with 37 minutes and 41 seconds. I didn’t set any records, personal or otherwise, but I ran a smart race and felt barely taxed at the end of it. I had started formulating a plan around running a marathon. It was starting to feel realistic.