Race Recap: BAA10K

29 Jun

This race was less about running, even less about running hard, and much more about participating in the first Boston Athletic Association event since the Boston Marathon in April.

It was not my fastest 10K but it was 8 minutes faster than the BAA 10K last year (to be fair – I was only a couple months back into running after 3+ months of IT band injury last year).  So it’s not like I’m suddenly and miraculously much faster. I’m still a middle-of-the-pack runner.

Unlike last week where I came in 2nd in my age group in NH…this race I managed to finish top 25% in my age group.  Oh, Boston, and its 5,500 runners for a 10K….

Based on my PRs, I’ve come to realize that I run slower on routes that I know well.  I don’t know how to explain that except that maybe its harder for me to mentally “race” on courses that I often run for training?  Regardless, this is not a course to PR on.  First, it climbs Comm Ave up past the Agganis Arena and my old BU stomping grounds.  It is quite a decent climb but when you turn around, the view of the Prudential and John Hancock are pretty fantastic. And running downhill makes you feel faster for the second half of the race.  Second, and this is a huge second, it always seems to fall on a horribly hot and humid day.  When I stepped outside at 7 AM to bike to the start, I was wearing a race singlet and shorts.  Sweat dripped down my arm before I even got on my bike.  Never a good sign. The race course is almost completely unshaded and climbing a hill in blazing heat with thousands of other runners isn’t too fun.  On the downhill portion, I could feel heat radiating off my skin, and I also passed a number of runners with heat stroke.  That’s pretty serious for a 6.2 mile run.

For me, crossing the finish line was actually not that emotional.  Possibly because there wasn’t any water in my body with which to cry. But then I sat down on the hill, waiting for a friend, and I thought of the Boston victims and the challenges they still face and the fear they have to fight against and I prayed for them and their families and all the emergency workers who were involved. And then I felt ready to move on.  Not to forget, not to stop working through these past few months, but finally ready to walk past the Collier Strong memorial I pass daily at work without feeling sick to my stomach, to run on Norfolk St without nervous glances at the house, to run races without first checking the location of the bomb squad.  Progress – it feels good.

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