It was 14 degrees with a windchill of -3 degrees as we made our way to the start of the Super Sunday 5 Mile/5K to kick cancer's ass.
As we drove down Beacon Street which is a part of the Boston Marathon course, we saw runners out getting their training miles in for Boston and other Spring marathons. We drove slowly much to the chagrin of the cars behind us, rolled down the window and cheered the runners on. Runners from our Club, L Street, were running by and I posted on Facebook:
L Street Strong and Boston Strong ... Driving down Beacon Street to Super Sunday 5 Miler runners abound gettin it done! Had to roll down the window to cheer them on!
— feeling proud.
When we arrived home there were posts from members of L Street saying how much our cheers and my smile gave them a boost during their training run!
Back to our story ...
We used Google Maps to drive to the race start. It was congested and there was a parking garage. I'm usually pretty good at manifesting a parking space but with the snow and not being familiar with the area we debated about whether or not to go to the garage. We decided to take a spin around the neighborhood and see what we could find. We got disoriented with directions and coincidentally google maps lost its connection. Oh well - we decided to rely on our inner GPS. We found a Handicapped Parking Space and decided to take it.
Because of my knee injury, I haven't walked around that much this winter. How amazing to walk from the car to the starting line and bump into one of the beloved members of our running family, Barbara.
From "Journey Well,"
I realized in my last treatment that there was nothing to fix and I was perfect just as I am. There was/is nothing wrong with me. Running around the Reservoir reminded me of when I didn't believe that to be true. Tom was amazing. He said let's get out of here and then he began figuring out a new route for us. As we came out onto Beacon Street, we bumped into my friend Barbara who was at last week's Bill Rodgers 5K and Prostate Cancer Walk. She won in her age group and was at the finish line cheering me onto my PR. We hugged. I thanked her for all of her support on Facebook and in real life. She told me it was an honor for her to be there at the finish line. Tom had run with Barbara when they happened to meet up during one of his training runs along the marathon route last summer. What a joy to share in that moment of reconnection. ... It was as if the Universe was sending me a reminder about all that is good and beautiful and right and true with my life now."
She went on her way to warm up for the race and Tom and I were planning out my spectating strategy. He was concerned about me being out in the cold for too long so we decided that I would watch the start and then go back to the car to wait for him to finish. We walked around at a fairly good pace. Being among the running community, the first time back since my injury, I could feel in every fiber of my being that with time and training, I WILL be back.
The energy, as it always is with a RACE Cancer Foundation/Race Menu Race was electric.
Alain got the thousands gathered pumped at the start asking who was a cancer survivor and thanking everyone for coming out to kick cancer's ass!
He counted down to the start of the race. As Tom crossed the starting line he gave me a high five and said, "Let's kick cancer's ass!" Tom is a survivor and we have friends who are living with cancer.
I went back to the car and saw a volunteer for the race come out with an arrow sign for the turn to the finish line. As good fortune would have it, not only was the parking spot it in the sun, it was at the corner where runners take their final turn to the finish line. The lead car and the lead runners came into view on my side view mirror. I had a front row seat to watch the race while keeping warm. The rhythm of feet pounding the pavement, frosty heaving breaths, the eyes of the tiger, the thrill of competition and runners supporting each other made me smile for the next 40 minutes or so. I was looking for Tom and figured that he would see me since he knew where the car was and the next thing I knew he called out to me from the sidewalk. He was in the zone and ran right by me! He crushed his race with an 8:34 minute/mile pace and even though we didn't get to see Barbara finish, she placed 2nd in her Age Group.
Alain puts together an amazing event complete with sweet trophies for the winners (although as he likes to say, everyone is a winner for kicking cancer's ass):
There was an after party with live music, hot wings and cold beer:
The sun was shining as Alain and his crew made this $14,000 check presentation to TargetCancer:
More proceeds will be donated to the Joe Andruzzi Foundation and Cancer Resource Foundation.
It was indeed a spectacular Super Sunday!
"Journey Well" and all of my inspirational books are available on Amazon.
"Journey Well" is a book about resilience, strength, courage and how we are able to journey well no matter what conditions life hands to us. I profile the people who are Boston Stronger and share how 4/15/13 was a wake up call to me to return to my healing path from contracting paralytic polio at age 5 and 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent.
50% of all book proceeds are donated to AccesSportAmerica where people of all ages and abilities achieve higher function and fitness through high challenge sports and training.