Sunday, September 7, 2014

I Run for Lobster and Bling-Life has a way of planning for us!

Life has a funny way of planning for us. Yesterday, even though it was hot and humid, I knew I needed to get in my training run. I had done a sweet seven miles last week. Tom and I decided to do 5 miles as I count down the weeks until the Tufts 10K for Women. It's always good to change up the route and we went to an old standby; part of the Boston Marathon course down and back on Beacon Street from our home.

We tried to stay in the shade as much as possible. Fortunately we have two water belts and I had frozen the water bottles. We drank and dumped water on our heads. There were hills and headwinds and yet, through it all, I was talking about how amazing it felt to be back on the Boston Marathon course.

"Don't even think about it," Tom cautioned me.

It is so easy to remember the thrill of crossing the finish line and receiving your bling and not remembering the pain of training.

I decided to enjoy the moment relishing my Boston Marathon run in 2009 and feeling ecstatic that I am out running again after time away from running and my beloved running community.

As Tom and I were leaving the Merrimack Valley Striders meeting on June 25th, Lyn Licciardiello asked us if we were going to do the Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash. She told us about the race and how it's a great time for the Striders to run together and have a great post race party.

When we got home, I registered Tom for the race.

I began to see the Facebook stream for the event. Something stirred inside of me. I was planning to be support crew for Tom and do my Tufts 10K training run on Sunday but why not use this race as a training run and preparation for Tufts? After doing the hills in heat and humidity, I was feeling very confident.

My only concern was whether or not it was a fast field.

I checked last year's results on Cool Running. The back of the pack runners were definitely at my pace.

When I asked the question was it a race for all paces on Facebook, I received the most incredible outpouring of support along with one Strider who decided if she couldn't run it she would walk it and enjoy the day.

I also asked the deal breaker question - was there bling?

I know it may sound silly to some but it's been a very long time since I ran a race where I received a medal. I think the last one was the Hyannis 10K in 2011. For me it's a symbol of running the race set before me with endurance. It's a tangible to remind me of my grit, my strength, my courage and my determination.

The answer was yes! And, one member said, there is also a lobster roll after a 5 mile race along the beach along with a great post race party.

I registered and will channel my inner Chariots of Fire as we run along beautiful Ogunquit Beach. The Lobster Dash was not on my race calendar as I counted down the weeks until Tufts nor was the Bill Rodgers 5K Run for Prostate Cancer or the Spectacle Island Run that just happened to be set before me after I volunteered at the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon and Festival Weekend. But somehow life has a way of planning for us. Next Saturday, I will be running for lobster and bling with my wonderful running family.

"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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