I was at first feeling sluggish on Tuesday. We met at the MIT track at 7 for a run around the river. I had run 30+ minutes to get there, and I could already feel the heaviness in my legs. We ran a few slow laps on the track, made a group trip to the bathroom, and then we were off. We ran with the group for a few minutes, and then Laura picked it up. I tried to stay with her. Katie Fobert joined us too. We were swift, moving, passing groups of casual male joggers every couple of minutes. I think we even passed a guy on a bike once. We pushed ourselves just hard enough that we could spit out a few words every once in a while, even a sentence every now and then, but definitely no paragraphs. I kept telling Laura -- you can speed up and go ahead if you want to -- overly aware that I may have been holding her back. She would say -- thanks! -- in her super sweet and upbeat Laura voice. After a few miles at that pace, I think we were both keenly aware that if either of us slowed down or sped up, we were just making the run as worthwhile for ourselves as possible. We all have busy lives and limited time to train and run. Easy days are great when they're easy. And moderate runs like the one we had pseudo-spontaneously planned for Tuesday are great when you are pushing yourself much harder than you would were you running solo, but not so hard that you fall into a trash can trying to puke after the run. We runners are so type A -- always trying to maximize our time and calculate efficiencies!
Luckily, we stayed together for almost 40 minutes until we stopped at the Cambridge/River St. bridge. We picked it up a touch more the last 7 minutes or so, all the way to that bridge. We couldn't really talk at that point. We stopped at the bridge and Laura ran me back to Mass. Ave. What a doll! I kept going and just ran home -- it's so much quicker than taking the Red Line to the Orange Line. I don't think I realized till Laura and I split up that my hands were ice cubes. I kept making fists and then opening my hands to keep the blood moving. Then I thought -- gosh, I am such a wuss. There are those guys on Mt. Hood who braved conditions a gazillion times more treacherous. And within a mile or so, my hands warmed up. Amazing! It's really quite amazing how you can train your body and your mind to push you far outside your comfort zone when you are running. Eventually, discomfort is comforting. Odd, isn't it?