Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Magic at the Jingle Bell 5K

I know you are all wondering - did she do it? Did the trash talk come to pass or did she walk the walk of shame (said with a wink and a smile). Well those of you on Twitter and Facebook already know what happened. I PR'ed it with a vengeance - official time 42:21 which is one minute and 23 seconds off of the Super Hero 5K. There was Christmas Magic in the air.

The #NERTS were planning a meet up with Doug, Jessie, Ashley and Chris. We had a plan to meet in front of the Red Bones Pub. Tom and I had planned to park at a school building but all of a sudden we found ourselves at the race number pick up venue and there was a parking space so we knew that was where we were supposed to park. On the way to the starting line we 'just happened' to meet Jessie and then Doug! We couldn't find Ashley and Chris before the race because they were directing us all to the start. But what to my wondering eyes should appear but my team mates from the 2009 Spaulding Race for Rehab Team. Suzanne Showstack, Sarah Oulette and Suzanne's sister, Robin who I met at Suzanne's fund raiser. With almost 5,000 runners what were the chances that we would bump into them. Christmas magic was definitely in the air.

Tom and I took our place among the runners and I told him to kick my behind to the finish. Christmas music blared through Davis Square and at 11:04 we were off. I was so focused despite the cold air and cloud cover and I knew in my heart I was going to set a PR. We got to mile 1 and I looked at my watch - 13:21. I asked Tom what he had for time and he said, "Oh this has to be wrong; I have like a 13 minute mile". I said "no it's right." The 2nd mile had rolling hills and I only had to take one walking break after my heart rate climbed over 171. It was a fast course.

Mile 2 to the finish seemed like an eternity to me although I knew I was going to PR because our time at mile 2 was 27:21 - a 14 minute pace but something really strange happened as the officials told us we only had about a half mile to go. Unlike the Super Hero 5K when I heard the music at the finish and knew that I was going to PR, I was watching my time and for some strange reason the finish line looked like an eternity away. I saw my watch hit 42:00 and I heard this voice say, "don't worry if you don't do it, it's okay." The next thing I knew I was crossing the finish line and saw my watch 42:50. Doug was there to snap me at the finish and he said he was hoping I would have thrown my arms up in jubilant celebration. What he didn't know at the time was that I didn't think I was gonna make it despite the reality of time telling me I had plenty of time to spare. What a thrill to have Doug there waiting for me at the finish to take me picture and what Christmas magic to find Ashley, Chris and Jessie after the run just past the finish line. Everyone had a phenomenal day and there were congratulations all around. I am so grateful for the love and support that everyone shares. It's the best kind of family!

So how did I take 1:23 off of a race I ran not even two months ago. What is happening to allow this body to transform from finishing last to being able to run at a 13:38 minute pace? Well you know first of all I have to thank my life and running partner Tom. He talked me through the entire race coaching, coaxing, telling me what an inspiration I am. He really kicked my behind when he wouldn't let me stop at the water stop. He told me we had our own and it was a lot better for me than what they had a the water stop. He didn't want me to slow down my pace and I am so glad he did that for me. He kept me in the zone telling me to listen to the music and breathe with the music. He told me after the run these are the tricks he uses when he is on a long run especially in the cold weather which wants to take one's breath away. I am so grateful to him for sharing in my healing journey.My average heart rate was 167 with a peak of 185 - not bad for this girl who is going to be 57 in five days!

And of course I have to express my love and gratitude to my friends in the running community aka the #NERTS - to @adamm9, @reallynotarunnr (and you are you know), @anivs18, @kissing_frogs and @luau and all the rest of the gang.

Thank you Spirit for the gift of poetry in my soul that helped me to imagine myself free in my body despite being in a leg brace and using a wheelchair at times for mobility.

Christmas magic is in the air and thank you to all of the elves who fuel my journey!

Want to create some Christmas Magic of your own -- I have last minute holiday gift ideas that give while you give!

God bless, be well and live like you were dyin'
With the magic of Christmas in my heart,

1 comment:

Douglas Welch said...

Mary, I'm so glad to have been able to be there to share this AWESOME moment with you! Strong work lady! Strong work...