I have read comments on Twitter, Just Finish and runners' blogs that we all cannot believe that it is only 23 days until the start of the 113th Boston Marathon. A mixture of excitement and nervousness seem to be the prevailing emotions as well as the sense of reality that we are all going to be part of an amazing tradition - The Boston Marathon on Patriots Day 2009. This year two Americans have a shot at winning the race. How blessed am I to be a part of this event? The sense of this reality is reinforced by receiving our numbers, and then the bib number pick up card and for me and for Team McManus - confirmation that we have an early start at 9 am with mobility impaired runners.
While I pride myself on my miraculous recovery from post polio syndrome, I want to acknowledge and honor that in the context of the Boston Marathon, I deserve special consideration because of the diagnosis of post polio syndrome. There is no need for me to stand for two hours prior to the start of the Marathon and lose precious energy; there is no need for me to read through the booklet and feel a knot in my stomach as I read that even at a 15 min/mile pace (which is my plan) the that it is time to reopen the roads and course infrastructure will all begin to be closed and cease operation. Runners on the course after this time accept the condition they will be on their own. The BAA will have a team of cyclists in the rear of the pack to assist runners who are at or slower than 15-minute per mile pace. There is no need for me to revisit those feelings of trying to keep up and be a part of the pack knowing full well that it is a miracle I am out there running to begin with and I just need to run my own race. I have been in enough road races now where the water tables were taken up before I got there, where people commented "well someone has to be in the back of the pack" and crossing the finish line dead last and I have had the blessed opportunity to do this with great grace and dignity. I have been blessed by Tim "Derv" Doiron's comments in his blog about the tremendous courage it takes to be out on a course longer than anyone else and to brave the New England elements. And now, I bathe in God's grace that Team McManus receives an early start. I am so grateful to our team trainer, Domenick and for the support from the B.A.A.
As the sun sets on this Friday, I reflect and give thanks for so many blessings in my life. One more long run tomorrow and then the all important taper. I relish in every moment now of this amazing journey wanting to remember it all! Thank You God, thank you Team McManus and thank you to everyone who has helped us on the Road to the Boston Marathon.
You can still donate to Team McManus by visiting www.firstgiving.com/teammcmanus
To purchase the book of inspirational poetry which inspired my body to heal and which is a gift I would love to share with you, visit www.newworldgreetings.com. Remember, I donate 20% to Spaulding Rehab's Polio Fund.
Spring is a time to celebrate - Easter, Passover, birthdays, Mothers Day, graduations and more - go to www.newworldgreetings.com for creations you won't find in any store.
See you at the finish line