Thursday, February 26, 2015

#tbt and a look ahead: Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash

Because of my knee injury last December, I got to choose one race for 2015. I thought long and hard about which race to choose. My race-iversary, the Corrib Pub Run seemed like the most likely choice and I have treasured moments of running it last year with Tom and the fabulous Feeney Sisters:

I certainly have a good base, could get back to the 5K distance by June but being mindful of not pushing things (the Spirit is more than willing but the flesh still needs healing) I decided that my one race will be the Oguqnuit Lobster Dash in September.

From "Journey Well":

"I have learned that there is no failure in running, or in life, as long as you keep moving." ~Amby Burfoot

I'm now off the sidelines...Race Report: Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash September 14, 2014

The last two couplets of "Running the Race," were:
I'm now off the sidelines, no need to sit and whine
so much gratitude fills my heart and love and beauty shine.
After all these years I can join the loving human race
I exceed all expectations and now I set the pace.

I love how the unconscious prepares the way for the future over and over and over again. It's been a rough road back to regain my speed and endurance after taking a running hiatus from September 2011 until April 2013, but it has been filled with glorious moments to treasure...We had checked the forecast for Ogunquit Beach and knew it was time to forego shorts and tank tops for layers as we dressed for success at the Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash. We arrived with plenty of time to get our race tees, put on our numbers and shared hugs, love and laughter with our Merrimack Valley Striders running family, have photo ops and for me to meet up with my race walkers Bonnie, Joanne and Charmaine.

Charmaine said that as race-walkers, we'd get an early start. My kind of race for sure. The Lobster Dash is an out and back route on the beach at low tide. There was a stiff head wind and a mixture of sun and clouds. The beautiful surf provided the soundtrack for our run. It was a very Chariots of Fire kind of moment -- only we weren't running barefoot or in the ocean or maybe not quite that fast but it was a majestic, magical and mystical run to experience the expansiveness of the ocean as the waves broke near the shore. We got to know one another as we set out ahead of the other runners. We expressed a shared concern that we would be holding the other ladies back with our pace. I had set an intention that we would all find a pace that would be both comfortable yet challenging for each of us...

Having the lead runners pass us on their way to the finish line reminded me of Marathon Monday 2009 when, after our early start for mobility impaired runners, we shared the course with all of the elite runners. I told Tom that I wanted him to run his own race. He came up from behind and gave me a high five. I pushed him forward and said, "Go!" Our Strider friends passed and cheered us along letting us know how strong we looked. As they returned, they cheered us on. Tom Licciardello in true Tom form said, "Don't go beyond the rocks." There was no beach beyond the rocks! We joked that if you made it to Canada you went too far on the course. A tailwind helped us on the return 2.5 miles. My Tom came out to meet us, run us in, and to document our journey with photos and videos. He showed us the bling.

We kept encouraging each other along as we picked up the pace to the finish. Mile 5 was our fastest pace. We couldn't see the Finish Line. They had taken down the sign that signified Start/Finish. Charmaine kept reminding us that it didn't matter...

As we finished strong, I saw Tom Licciardello at the chute. He hugged me and asked me how it felt to be out there. I cried tears of joy. "It was my first 5-miler since my return to the roads." ... Joanne said that the 16:25 pace was a personal best for her and today's race was the longest distance she had ever run. She had only run 5K's since she began running in recent years. She's 62 years old.

I could have opted to be my Tom's cheerleader as was the original plan, and done my own training run today but I decided that there was no need to be on the sidelines. The Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash is ideal for me where, I can set my pace and be a part of the running community. It's a far cry from the days when I was left behind lugging my leg brace desperately trying to catch up with my brother and his friends. We ladies checked in with each other throughout the race making sure everyone was doing okay. We'd back off the pace to accommodate each other when necessary and chase after each other when someone took the lead to set a brisk pace. There was harmony and ease among us. We vowed to cross the finish line together! We named ourselves the fierce foursome. We had the courage to run our race in our own way at our own pace being a part of the loving human race - a community of runners where unconditional love and support abound whether you finish first, last or somewhere in between."

Treasured memories from 2014's Ogunquit Beach Lobster Dash and an intention to be reunited with the fierce foursome is set for this year's Lobster Dash. And so it shall be!

Journey well!

"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.

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