I had email'ed Janine (my personal trainer for those of you new to my blog) about doing hill training today. Because of the weather, we had not done hill training in a long time but simulated intervals on the stationery bike. The weather report said it would be sunny and in the 30's and my daughter and I had checked out the roads and the hill yesterday. I laid out my running clothes last night and was looking forward to training with Janine and my daughter (also a part of Team McManus - www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus).
Ruth Anne woke up this morning with a wicked head cold; Janine email'ed and then called me to tell me she wasn't feeling well. The temperature at 8 am read 18 degrees. My gut told me that I had to get out there and do my hill training. The marathon is 12 weeks from Monday which means that we have only 9 weeks left to train. Even as I type this, the excitement flows through me - it is the excitement that I said YES to God almost a year ago now when Janine asked me what my next health and fitness goals were. By 10 am it was 22 degrees but the forecast said it felt like 13 degrees with the wind chill. As I started to 'warm up' I felt the cold wind embrace my face. The sun was shining and I saw clumps of snow fall from the trees. At one point, there were 3 plops of snow clumps and I knew God was telling me - this is what you are supposed to be doing.
After a five minute warm up, I began running to where the hills are being very cognizant of the snow and ice patches and asking God and the angels to guide my footsteps. I arrived at the hills. Last Spring, they had once loomed so large as Janine took me there when I could barely run for 10 minutes consecutively. She told me - you're gonna have to run hills so let's start now.Today, I dug in and I did 8 hills consecutively and then ran home. At one point during this training run, I felt and thought "I hate running in the cold"; I then realized I needed to chant a new mantra and I told myself, "I love running in the cold...I love running in the cold" and it got me through.
I listened to Kristen Chenowith's As I Am CD on my iPod. I knew that since I was alone (Tom - the third member of Team McManus had biked last night to get in his mid week training) I needed to know that I was in fact, never alone, and needed to hear God's Voice speak and sing through Kristen Chenoweth's voice of an angel. It worked! When I got home, I was sore - just a week ago, my body had run in 80 degree weather and here I was doing hills in the cold. I told myself - no worries - you need to do a good stretching session, drink a lot of water and have a banana followed by a long hot shower.
As I was drying my hair, I visualized what it is going to feel like when Team McManus crosses the finish line with friends and family and strangers cheering us and embracing us and I began to cry as though I were living in that moment. I know we are going to do this. I also reflected on how, during the recovery from many orthopedic surgeries, I would 'joke' that I was not going to run the Boston Marathon this year. I would also watch people train for the Marathon and there was a place deep within me that wanted to do it. And here I am - just shy of 12 weeks from when the starting gun of the 113th Boston Marathon will be fired. We have some great races and a benefit concert coming up (www.firstgiving.com/ballinthehouse), but in addition to getting the training runs in, it is crucial that I spiritually prepare for the day. Each morning, I quiet my mind and tell myself to stop creating, planning, thinking and just be One with God. I breathe in and out feeling God's breath and my breath as One. I let God bathe me in glorious light and love and I ask God to cleanse the toxicity of feelings and beliefs which no longer serve me. I give thanks for blessings great and small and focus on how God is so evident and active in my life. I ask that I feel and join with God's power for the highest good of myself and others and to know that all is truly well and in Divine order if I just let go and let God and walk in Love and Light.
It is wonderful to share my journey on the Road to the Boston Marathon which is a wonderful metaphor for being on the Road of Life - training myself for endurance, going through the literal and metaphorical ups and downs of training, challenging myself, stretching myself, giving to others and growing in the likeness of God.