I could tell you about how the first three miles of my race on Sunday were actually downright pleasant – that the skies were overcast and there was a breeze that, coupled with the 9 a.m. start time, helped me forget that I was running on a day expected to reach the 90s. That the sun came out during the loop back, which wound us through the surprisingly quaint town square of Foxborough and past cheering fans waving signs. That there was a glorious saint of a woman who sat on her lawn in a chair, grinning as she squeezed the handle on her hose and sprayed us grateful runners with ice cold water as we moved past.

But I’d rather just tell you about the end.

After six miles, my friend Kim and I (who had wound up running within sight of each other over the course of the entire 1oK) kept telling ourselves to converse a little bit of energy. “Wait for it. Wait for it,” we repeated as we watched the lights and stands of Gillette Stadium grow larger and larger. We held back as we ran past Bill Rodgers, who was cheering on fans near the back entrance to the stadium parking lot. We held back as I tried to find “Crazy Train” on my iPod, settling for “Motownphilly” instead. And we held back as we wound our way around the final bends…

…through Gate 8…

…and as we approached The Helmet.

And then, after slapping the side of The Helmet like we’ve seen them do from our various spots in the stands over the years, Kim and I emerged from the tunnel, arms raised, and then booked it. An all-out, leave-it-on-the-field 50-yard dash where we blew past our fellow runners and raced each other to the end. We crossed the finish line at the same time. Kim unleashed her best Randy Moss and we dropped to make Welker-approved snow angels in the endzone (verdict: awesome, yet scratchy and HOT on the turf in July).

That dash – and 10K that preceded it – left me breathless in the short term. It put me out of commission later in the day, when I took what was supposed to be an hour-long break from barbecue and revelry and fell asleep until 2 a.m. But it was a moment of pure fun and adrenaline in which I had such a sudden spike of runner’s high, feeling strong, powerful, and amazingly alive.

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