Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A Little Trash Talk: Thoughts on Training for a PR

The last time I trash talked in my blog was before the 2010 Jingle Bell 5K Run. I was at the height of my running career feeling well in my body and taking such delight in being a part of the running community.

But life happened in March of 2011 with my nephew's suicide that shook me to my core. I took a little detour on my healing journey and have been working my way back to myself mind, body and Spirit.

I had not even entertained PR's or trash talk since April of 2013 when I began running again. At the Corrib Pub 5K and the Father Bullock Charity Road Race, I ran a 15:30 minute/mile pace. I feel so blessed to be back on the roads and a part of the running community.

But last Saturday, the spark of trash talk was ignited in my soul after Tom and I trained for the Inaugural Bill Rodgers 5K Prostate Cancer Run and Walk.

I put it out there on Facebook in the 5k Manics Group:

Anyone doing the Bill Rodgers 5K & Boston Prostate Cancer Walk this Sunday? I'm stoked and weather and my body permitting, I'm visualizing a PR.

My friend Ken wrote:

You will float like a butterfly on that course, Mary. This will make you feel good...
...and it will definitely extend the life of your running shoes!

I loved his butterfly image since Bill Rodgers used to chase butterflies when he was a boy.

I wrote about our training run in my post, The Best Time.

Yesterday I went out for an easy shake out 3.1 miler. I did a very easy 16'20" minute/mile pace. I remember when that was my best pace. Now it's in my comfort zone. I used the run to visualize Sunday's race.

I imagined the run I had on Saturday only this time, I added in spectators and the presence of Bill Rodgers.

I entertained the idea of Bill Rodgers coming back to run in the back of the packers and celebrating my PR with him and race director J Alain Ferry.

I thought about Tom pacing me and about seeing the finisher's clock at 47:00 minutes. I won't look at my Nike+. I am going to run from the inside out seeing what this body can do on race day. I even brought tears to my eyes imagining the feeling of having my best race since returning to the roads after 4/15/13.

But it's not all about imagining the outcome. I had last Saturday's run on the course, my shake out run yesterday and Aquatics Therapy this morning strapping on my 5 pound ankle weights and working out in the deeper water. I focused on building core strength and upper body strength crucial to good running. One more Aquatics Therapy class tomorrow for what I'd like to call my last chance workout before the race.

Friday and Saturday are rest days. I am going to make a playlist not to listen to during the race but to inspire me on the days leading up to the race. I will continue to visualize my run and know what it will feel like to run a PR. One word of caution to me though. I will not visualize my race before going to sleep.

In "Run to Overcome", Meb shares how he visualized a race the night before he was to run a race. He woke up sweaty and tired and ran a horrible race. He realized that visualization is important for racing but not the night before the race. His experience validates what I know to be true about the power of visualization.

It doesn't matter what the outcome of my race on Sunday will be. I'm having fun enjoying a little trash talk and prepping myself mind, body and Spirit for a PR. It's been awhile since I allowed myself this sense of fun and play. I feel a confidence in myself on this course and it's a delight to anticipate an all out effort on race day. It's been too long since I gave myself this opportunity ... way too long!

"Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility" is now available on Amazon.

"Wait, I have one more goal," Mary McManus told her personal trainer in February of 2008 shortly after coming out of her toe up leg brace. "I want to run the Boston Marathon for Spaulding Rehab Hospital." Mary traded in her polio shoes for running shoes and embarked on the journey of a lifetime. Mary McManus was at the height of her career as a VA social worker when she was told by her team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital’s International Rehab Center for Polio in December of 2006 that she needed to quit her job if she had any hope of preventing the progression of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease. In “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility” Mary takes you on her seven year healing odyssey as a survivor of paralytic polio and trauma from her diagnosis, to taking a leap of faith to leave her award winning career at the VA to heal her life and follow her passion as a poet and writer. You’ll experience her trials, tribulations and triumphs as she trains for and crosses the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and discovers the opportunity for healing in the wake of new trauma: the suicide of her nephew in 2011, and the aftermath of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. This is Mary's journey of coming home to her human form free from the influences of the ghastly ghostly invaders who had invaded her sacred earthly home. Her memoir includes journals and blog posts from her seven year healing odyssey. This is her journey of transformation and her message of healing, hope and possibility.

I donate 50% of royalty payments through on line sales to The One Fund to help Boston Marathon survivors and their families. Copies are also available at Brookline Marathon Sports. $5 of each book sold at Marathon Sports is donated to The One Fund.

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