Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ode to Marathon Training-Countdown to Boston

I looked through my blog posts from 2009 as I was counting down the days to running Boston. I can feel the excitement throughout social media land and in real life with my runner friends as everyone counts down to this year's Boston Marathon: 32 days now.

The range of emotions that anyone experiences leading up to Boston is amplified in the wake of last year's bombings. The themes I noticed from five years ago were that I just wanted the day to arrive. I was mindful about really listening to my body because the last thing I wanted was an injury or to get sick. Even before taper time, there was a restlessness I was feeling throughout my body and in my heart.

Here is an excerpt from my 33 Days and Counting: The Waning Days of Training blog:

They say the final stretch of anything can often be the hardest to get through - I can attest to that! On Saturday night we were so incredibly blessed to have a marvelous turn out for our benefit concert. We are so close to our fund raising goal - only $332.80 left and we know people are sending in donations. We are certain that we will exceed our fund raising goal of $9,000. The concert was magical and we are so grateful to everyone who made it a success. As I look back on what we have accomplished in the past year - going from running 30 seconds to running 20 miles; hosting two benefit concerts; running several road races and meeting incredible people along the way I know it is a result of incredible faith, courage, determination and overwhelming love and support from so many sources - the most incredible Source of all being our Loving Creator.

Today, my daughter and I went out and ran 3 times around the reservoir - about a 3 mile run and we ran it in 38 minutes. That's about a 13 minute mile pace. I did not want to run today but once I got out there something happened and I knew we had to give it our all.They say that in the waning days of training, it is a time of great challenge - you just want the starting gun to go off! This is a journey of the mind as well as the body and my mind can take me to magical places as well as the memories of how polio affected my life. I know that I am going to finish what I set out to do - to raise money for Spaulding Rehab and to cross the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon. Along the way, the fears, doubts and feelings of being a polio survivor have emerged. I am, thanks be to God, able to place these feelings where they belong rather than project them onto the fear of the future or if they begin to creep in, can realize their source.

It was indeed, a very sad day, when I collapsed in the gym and my life was interrupted and changed forever by the polio virus but I learned life's lessons of overcoming challenges at a very early age and discovering that God is with me to guide my footsteps and give me the strength that I need to carry on. And then, in December 2006, my life once again was interrupted - this time by post polio syndrome and life since then has never been the same. It has been phenomenal - overflowing with blessings, triumphs, tribulations, trepdiations, and more growth than I ever dreamed was imaginable in one lifetime.

This time in thirty three days as the sun moves lower in the sky, we will have crossed the finish line of the 113th running of the Boston Marathon and I give thanks to God for this amazing journey.

And five days later, I wrote this poem:

Ode to Marathon Training - March 22, 2009

Blisters, black toes, aches and pains
A change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints
Keep running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal
Power gels and gatorade
No matter what the weather
No time to be afraid.
Humid – hot or freezing cold
Snow against the face
Wind or sun or raining
Those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out
Check heart rate drink H20
Meltdowns joys and triumphs
Only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart
This year has been the best
Found myself and made new friends
I feel incredibly blessed.

As a way to manage my restlessness this year, I am volunteering at the 3/29th water stop for the last long training run of Spaulding's Race for Rehab Team.

It seems like only yesterday we were at 100 days until Boston. It will be here before we know it and as the sun sets on 4/21/14, and the city has run again, we will know, unequivocally that we ARE Boston Strong.

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