Friday, March 13, 2009

Twenty Miles

One year ago, when we first took our training outdoors, I would run for 30 seconds and then walk for 4.5 minutes. Early on, my trainer Janine took me up a hill and told me - you better get used to it. I remember my heart rate would go up to 163 just from a simple jog. And here I sit after being out in the freezing cold - starting out at 10 am 16 degrees including wind chill for over six hours and having run and power walked T-W-E-N-T-Y M-I-L-E-S!!!!

When my alarm went off at 7 am, I could hear the wind and feel the chill but it was sunny so I knew my husband and I had to get out there for our 20 mile long run. Ruth Anne had done her 19 miler on Saturday because she knew she had class today and we could not run tomorrow because it is the day of our BIG benefit concert to put us over the top of our fund raising goal. I awoke in the wee hours of the morning thinking about the concert; the head of the tech department at Brookline High School had not gotten a sound person yet. I also knew that Ball In The House, our professional a cappella group needed to plug in their own sound system. As I began to obsess over this, I suddenly decided to let go and let God claiming that God would take care of everything and everything would work out exactly as it should. I of course visited the scenario of needing to cancel the concert and realized that we do live in a Universe of contrasts; if I don't experience the darkness, how can I experience the grace and glory of the light. I also had an amazing AHA moment in the wee hours of the morning - I allowed everything to fall onto my shoulders, feeling responsible and then being blamed if anything went wrong. Well, I realized that I am surrounded by caring and loving people including my beautiful family and extending to a community of loving, supportive friends who are going to make sure that everything goes smoothly. And so, I drifted back to peaceful sleep releasing all of my cares to God.

When I awoke this morning, there was a voicemail from the head of the tech dept. As it turned out, we did not need a sound person because Ball In The House does their own sound from the stage and yes, there are two towers on the side of the stage where they can plug in their sound system. God made sure we did not have to pay for a sound person we did not need (and we were going to have to go with a professional sound person due to some scheduling conflicts with the high school students and staff). That having been resolved, time to focus on the run for the day.

I saw the temperature and decided to just ignore it. The cold is the arch enemy of a person who suffered from post polio syndrome but I am a new me in a new world and so, it was time to prepare for the run. Our event coordinator had suggested we start the run at 10 or 10:30 to simulate Marathon Monday. I had my toast, juice, water and then oatmeal and then before we left at 9:45, ate a banana and half a bagel with more water as I will in the Athlete's Village on Marathon Monday.

We got to Marathon Sports around 10 am. We decided to do a long warm up since it was freezing outside and then decided we needed to do more power walking than running. These last several weeks we have done intensive training - a half marathon, followed by a 19 mile long run within the week and speed drills and hill training. We had done a 15 minute mile for 15 miles last Saturday and done cross training on the bike as well as speed drills on the track. If we were going to survive 20 miles in the cold, we had to pace ourselves.

And so we were grateful for the sunshine and asked God to please change the direction of the wind; God listened and changed the direction of the wind so we had headwinds both coming and going. I'm so glad God has a sense of humor. This was a training run in every sense of the word as we went farther than we ever have before and braved the cold longer than we ever have before. I truly believe that there is a Divine Order and the weather is going to be 48 degrees tomorrow and even warmer on Sunday. But we were meant to test and challenge ourselves and do our training run today in preparation for the 26.2 mile run five weeks from Monday.

I now sit having a cup of tea after a great dinner from Bertucci's of eggplant parmesan and pasta. It's funny how I get these cravings after a long run. See, I told you, this IS like being pregnant - lol. I decided to take two advil tonight. I have not used Advil since last April when our training began to 'intensify' - ha - I had no idea what intensify meant .:) Time to rest up for our next adventure - An Evening of A cappella Music to benefit Spaulding Rehab's Team McManus.

I am so blessed and so grateful for the magic and miracles in my life and for the outpouring of love and support from so many communities.

To purchase my book of inspirational poetry and to explore a new world of greeting cards, customized poetry for all occasions, visit my website at I donate 20% of the proceeds of the sale of my book to Spaulding Rehab's polio fund.

To donate to Team McManus on the Road to the Boston Marathon and to learn more about my healing journey, log onto

God bless and see you at the finish line!

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