2013 Running Diary #12: Running for Boston

The tragic bombings at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent apprehending of the suspects has dominated the news over the past week, so I don’t feel the need to cover that extensively. I just do want to say that I think those acts of evil were disgraceful and horrifying. I’m impressed with the swiftness with which authorities worked in bringing those responsible to justice. As many others have already said, this tragedy did not weaken us. It did not break us apart. Instead, it only strengthened us.

That said, my city’s been having a series of races called “Run Around Scranton” held on the third Thursday of every month. The courses go around the various neighborhoods of the city, often highlighting a business or restaurant. Last week’s run was retitled “Run for Boston” and featured a tremendous turnout, somewhere around 400 or 500 people. The line to register extended well out the door of the host, Scranton Running Company.

This month’s race was a 5K that followed along the Riverwalk/Lackawanna Heritage Trail. To show support for the victims of the bombing, participants were encouraged to wear any kind of Boston-related attire. I wore a Red Sox hat, but I saw lots of different things, from Celtics jerseys to Patriots hoodies. It was great seeing the turnout and how all these people supported Boston.

Like the other Runs Around Scranton, the competition in this one wasn’t particularly fierce, but the point of these isn’t really the competition. This one, in particular, was more about demonstrating solidarity and support. And in light of my groin injury, which was only about six weeks ago, I didn’t know what kind of shape I was in. Fortunately, a running friend of mine showed up and ran with me for most of the race. Once we neared the end, my competitiveness, for better or worse, took over and I pulled away from him. I won the race with a 16:49. The full results are posted here, but since the turnout was so huge, the organizers ran out of chip timers, so a lot more people participated than are in the results.

I was happy with my time, as I wasn’t sure I could break 17 given how recent my aggravation of my recurring groin injury was, and I also greatly enjoyed seeing the huge turnout of people who wanted to show their support for the tragedy in Boston. Because, in the end, that’s what the day was about. Not what kinds of times you ran. It was a show of solidarity in the face of tragedy.

Regarding my week as a whole, it was the best I’ve had since I returned from my groin injury. I had a solid progression run on Tuesday and then the race on Thursday. Yesterday, I ran 13.1 in preparation for my half-marathon next weekend. I went negative splits the whole way, finishing with a 6:37 pace. I felt good, the weather was much cooler after an oppressively humid Friday and I wanted to end the week on a good note, so I just went for it. I finished with 60 miles for the week, a total I have hit many times this year but have so far been unable to surpass. I’m hoping that after the half-marathon I can finally begin to build up my mileage. That about does it for this week. I’ll be back next Sunday with another update. Stay strong.

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