The alarm went off at 5:00 am on Saturday. We got dressed and headed out for a pre-race breakfast at Mary Ellen's. They are so amazing. Just like in 2011, they let Tom bring his special pre-race cereal mix providing him with a bowl and milk. I enjoyed scrambled eggs and toast with OJ. Unlike 2011, I was dressed in running clothes. In 2011, we drove to the starting line making sure that I was dressed warmly and had a chair available to spectate. I remember I spent the time writing in my journal. In 2011, I missed Tom crossing the finish line because I was distracted and not living in the present moment. Before we left for the start I checked email and Facebook. To what did my wondrous eyes appear but a book review of Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility by my fellow L Street member, Alma McDermott, also known as Mrs. Mac. Unlike 2011 when I had stopped racing, I am running the Boston Volvo Village 5K for MS on Thanksgiving. I received several emails that donations were made to my fundraising page.
It's a mile from the Falmouth Inn to the starting line. We did about a 15:30 minute pace as a warm up for Tom and so I could get my run in. I walked around with Tom as he geared up for his race and took photos:
I was moved to see a Boston Strong t-shirt and snapped this photo thinking I was taking a random photo but more about that in tomorrow's post so stay tuned!
Cannon time - yes only on olde Cape Cod would they use a cannon to signal the start of the race and they were off. I ran back to the hotel, ditched some items we didn't need and headed back to the finish line. I found the perfect spot where I would be able to see Tom and my friend Jess as they came down the chute and then turned the corner to receive their medals.
Tom was nursing a calf injury and was expecting to run about a 10 minute mile. I was surprised to see him come in at a 2:06:19 just a couple of minutes shy of his BAA half PR two weeks ago! He cooled down and left me at the finish line to see if I could catch Jess coming in. We looked at each other and I knew it was her only her bib said Scarlett which confused me. We hugged and high-fived with beautiful photos to capture the joy at the finish line. She told me that she had officially transferred the bib of her friend who was injured but she still had to wear the bib with Scarlett's name on it. Jess waited for me at the finish line of the Tufts 10K and gave me that extra boost that carried me to my PR.
Unlike 2011, I was able to stand at the finish line standing for three hours and then we walked the mile back to the hotel.
While at the finish line, the announcer encouraged us to enjoy the Falmouth businesses. He told us to head over to the Quarterdeck to see Tommy Leonard. For those of you not familiar with Tommy Leonard, he is the founder of the Falmouth Road Race and was an integral part of the Boston running scene as he welcomed the heroes of the Boston Marathon into the Eliot Lounge. When we walked into the Quarterdeck, there was an elderly man sweeping the entrance. He said, "Come in. Come in. The water's fine." I thought it was Tommy Leonard but couldn't imagine him sweeping out the entry way to the restaurant. After we were seated I asked the hostess when Tommy Leonard would be there imagining this larger than life person having a special appearance time. She said, "That was him when you came in." Tom and I were in awe. The hostess told us that he spends his days working at the Quarterdeck helping out with different jobs. He has his meals there and 'holds court' as he talks about running then and now. After we had a delicious lunch we went over to where he was holding court. He used to run around the Cleveland Circle Reservoir and the Boston College Campus. He smiled somewhat sheepishly when we talked about reading about him in Bill Rodgers' book, "Marathon Man". He was deeply interested in us and what we ran, where we run and I shared my story with him. He is also a veteran who has no complaints about the care he gets at the VA these days. He told us to come back on Sunday; that he would look for a copy of his memoir to give to us so that he could autograph it.
I love how Facebook keeps us connected. Our dear friends Team Dilo as we call them, told us that they were going to be on Main Street for the Halloween Parade and would we be able to meet up? I met Marcie and Paul in person for the first time at the 2011 Cape Cod Half Marathon. Marcie did a cartwheel at the finish line. They are such special friends who we met through running and even though I lost touch with them during my running hiatus, we quickly reconnected after April 15, 2013 and our friendship has grown that much closer. Marcie asked if it would be possible to bring the kids over for a swim and then we could have dessert at her parents' house. We shared precious moments with this precious family:
What a difference between how I felt and what I was able to do from 2011 to now. Friendships grow stronger. My relationship with Tom is stronger. I am stronger in mind, body and Spirit. I am whole. I am healing. As Tom said as we packed on Friday, ""This will be like old times only totally different." Truth.
Join me tomorrow for Olde Cape Cod - Part III - Stories from the Finish Line.
Knowing the challenges first hand of living with a neuromuscular condition, on Thanksgiving, I will be running the Boston Volvo 5K Village Road Race to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society New England Chapter. When we unlock the key to one neuromuscular condition, we can unlock the door to many. You can donate to my run on my fund raising page.
The first 7 years of my healing odyssey are chronicled in Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility available on Amazon. I donate 50% of royalty payments to The One Fund Boston to help survivors and their families who were affected by the tragic events of 4/15/13.
I'm working on my 2nd book, "Journey Well," due out later this year: