On Sunday, I will, as have numerous other divas (divi?), be performing at Tanglewood. In my case, it is the finish of the Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon, bike, canoe/kayak, run. I am the run.

For weeks, I’ve been nervous about this. I became involved because a friend of a friend, a cyclist, had done the race with a good pair of canoers but a weak runner. The call went out. I answered. Specifically for a 5.5 mile run around the Stockbridge Bowl, with that Tanglewood finish. Normally racing 5.5 miles would be of little concern on the will-I-finish? front. For a month, though, my left knee has been bugging me. I’ve usually finished runs with it, including that nice 8-miler on Sunday, and when I haven’t it’s been late in a run in the interest of caution, not necessity. Yet, yet, there has been, and remains, doubt.

Second, a look at the elevation chart for the run leg showed a large downhill followed by a long, large uphill in the final mile.

Today we (the wife and I) drove to Great Barrington and on to Lenox for a look at the course, nervous about how steep that uphill would be.

Turns out (and I say this not having actually, you know, run up it) it doesn’t seem so tough. Hard, sure, but late in the run and not nearly as brutal as I feared. (We’ll see how I think Sunday.) The course itself is rolling, Central Park-like, which suits me just fine.

I write this after going for a run, and hence my optimistic tone. The knee ached in the first hundred, downhill yards. It passed, though, and on a rolling course with a solid mix of the up and the down, as I’ll see Sunday, I rode the adrenaline of being in a new place for just shy of 30 minutes and just north of 4.3 miles, and knew that if I could only own that pace on Sunday, a hard but workout pace, I’d be content. More important, today’s run gave me confidence that I might be able to run well. The run also had an Irish feel; a bit of a mist, not too warm, a head wind at times.

Now I’ve done it, committed.

Video from last year:

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