Monday, March 10, 2014

The Joy of Running

Three years ago, if you would have told me that I'd be writing a blog today about the joy of running, I would have thought you were crazy! My running career began at the age of 53 and I thought it was a short lived running career because of the late effects of paralytic polio. On my seven year healing odyssey, I realized that it was not just the late effects of paralytic polio that took a toll on me mind, body and spirit, but 9 years of unrelenting trauma.

I moved mountains with a mustard seed of faith and trained for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon as a mobility impaired runner.

I had a "relapse". I went back into outpatient rehab and returned to the roads with a vengeance in 2010. By 2011, and in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11, I crashed again.

On 4/15/13, we had to evacuate from the Mandarin Oriental Hotel where we were watching the 2013 Boston Marathon with Spaulding Rehab's Race for Rehab team and get to our car about 3 miles from the Hotel.

Tom and I went on to do the #onerun on 5/25th and I realized that it was time for me to return to running and the running community. I learned that once you are a member of the running community, you are always a member of the running community even if you are not able to be out there running.

It was hard work to begin again and train for the Brookline Symphony Orchestra 5K on 9/29.

Seven months later, I am feeling the joy of running a 5K distance. I'm planning to run the Tufts 10K in October and 5-7 miles challenges me but doesn't overwhelm me. As I said in "Find Your Distance", find and celebrate your distance.

By not putting any pressure on myself to run beyond a 10K distance, and by signing up for mostly 5K races, I can feel the joy and magic of running. I enjoy being outdoors again and feeling the joy of moving with relative ease in my body yet I can also experience the joy that comes with a challenge like running on Heartbreak Hill, increasing my distance up to a 10K and working on my time. As the days get warmer and the earth comes back to life after a long, brutal New England winter, I feel the joy of Spring returning. I know how blessed I am to once again be able to experience the joy of running!

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