Monday, September 1, 2014

Sweet Seven Miles!

When I trained for the 2010 Tufts 10K, my beloved coach Domenick D'Amico suggested that I have at least one 7 mile run in the books. I knew yesterday was the day to go farther than the 10K distance. Tom is running the Around the Cape 25K today. Since yesterday was his rest day, he offered to be my support crew for my longest run since 2010.

Jamaica Pond is always my go to place when I need a good training run. I can feel Bill Rodgers' presence when I run around Jamaica Pond, the beautiful and sacred sweet spot he used to train for his Boston Marathon runs. It's a mix of shade and sun, runners, walkers, dogs, ducks, rocks, trees, tree roots, uphills, downhills and flat parts of the course that winds around Jamaica Pond.

Tom dropped me off, parked the car and found a shady spot on a bench.

I wasn't concerned about time. I wanted to see how my body felt going a longer distance than I had in 3 years. I have a PR playlist and recently added the Rocky Theme and We are the Champions by Queen. I used the time to visualize my running of the Tufts 10K. When I went to buy a new pair of my Altra 1.5 which I have been wearing since last year, I was really concerned that they were no longer making them. I get very nervous about changing shoes but the 2.0 Altra and in pink no less provided a lot of cushion and support as I journeyed 5 times around Jamaica Pond. Oh and if anyone is interested, it's 1.47 miles/lap.

There have been some challenging situations in my life as of late and I was really in a quandry of what direction to go in to diminish the stress I was experiencing. I told Tom after my 2nd time around that I needed to get this feeling of a brick off of my back. As I picked up my pace and allowed the magic and medicine of running do its thing, the solution that had been evading me became crystal clear. I couldn't wait to get back to my water stop to share my insight with him.

He said he would go the last two laps with me saying it would be a good warm up for today's race.

We also "picked off" walkers and runners in front of us as Tom encouraged me to do some fartleks. I was amazed at how much I still had left in the tank.

When we got home, I took an ice bath and knew that my reward of a spinach feta croissant from Saturday's road trip to Gloucester along with my chicken leftovers from The Abbey were waiting for me.

I hadn't felt the way I felt yesterday in my body since training for the 2009 Boston Marathon. I was hungry yet full and satisfied. I was tired and invigorated. I had a runner's high and I felt peaceful, happy and content.

My lunch tasted delicious and we fixed a chocolate smoothie to refuel.

A part of me got the endurance running bug again feeling like I could definitely train for a half marathon but right now I am thrilled with going the distance at the Tufts 10K in 6 weeks. Tom helped me to map out my training plan as we set our sights on my PR body and conditions willing.

I run for me now. I run for health. I run to feel that indescribable feeling in my body that comes with a seven mile run. I run to discover what's possible for me now and I run to push the edge of the envelope. I run to experience clarity and calm, exhilaration and wonder. I run because it is a part of who I am. I am so blessed to be able to run and to have the opportunity to express my life through my running. Sweet seven miles. It was great to feel you again.

"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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