Wednesday morning arrived and it was time to get back to work.
Ragnar Florida Keys was now 3 days in my rear-view mirror as I pulled on my running shorts, long-sleeve running shirt, gloves, head band, headlamp and medium weight gloves.
I stretched on the floor of our closet and thought about the 10-miler I had on the schedule. It was time. Time to go to work.
I was perfectly content to run easy on Tuesday, trying to work out the remaining soreness in my quadricept muscles leftover from this past weekend’s race. Some of it was due to that treacherous canal road run in the dark of night on Friday. Some of it was due to spending the better part of 30 hours folded into the second row of our van. Some attributed to the flight home to Texas less than 24 hours after my final leg.
But come Wednesday it was time to get on with things and start thinking about the road to Hopkinton once again. My goals for Ragnar were in fact pretty simple:
1. Run strong and turn in a great weekend of endurance training.
2. Come home uninjured.
I was able to accomplish both of those goals – and while my legs did not feel like they did before I boarded the flight to Miami last week – they didn’t feel too bad all things considered. With 17 days before our first of three half-marathons leading up to Boston – there was no time left to continue to feel sorry for myself or put off the inevitable.
Time to start training once again.
I decided on the most obvious and easy to follow route that I have for an early morning 10-mile run. An up and down 2-mile opening stretch in our neighborhood, another up and down 2-mile stretch to the Brushy Creek Trail, and then a 3-mile out, 3-mile back final stretch to the house.
A run that I have covered no fewer than 100 times, possibly twice that often.
Oddly after an easy mile at 7:29 pace, my legs fell immediately into a nice smooth rhythm. This was more or less Goldilocks pace. Not too fast, not too slow …. just right.
7:18, 7:13, 7:05, 7:18, 7:22, 7:11, 7:15, 7:12, 7:14.
I hit the driveway and I had run a nice, smooth, “no-look” 10-miler in 1:12:41 or just a tick under 7:15 pace.
I walked to the end of the street, stretched against the lamp-post and silently made my way back to the house.
I was no longer recovering from Ragnar, no longer a sore post-race athlete.
I was back to being what I was probably meant to be, long before I even knew what that was.
I was back to being a marathoner.
795.90 miles to go before Boston. Time to go to work.