A friend of mine, recovering from an injury, posted on Facebook that she is a runner again. I pointed out to her that she was always a runner. For a period of time she was not able to run.
When we runners experience an injury and when we don't know if we will be able to make another running comeback, it's easy to say that we are not a runner. Truth is, once you become a runner, you are a runner for life. The soul lessons learned, the transformation that happens through running, and being a part of the running community remain.
Since December, I've been working my way back to running. I learned so many lessons from my knee injury. I realized that I needed to add in strength training to my training plan. Last week I got curious about how doing the recumbent bike as cross training was affecting my knee and realized that, contrary to popular belief, using a recumbent bike is not good for my knee.
At Monday's appointment with Dr. Ryan, I told him how running is in my blood. He gave me tips on what to do before and after a run to manage any swelling and to add in using theraband stability trainers to strengthen my core and help with balance and agility.
I decided to go in for a taping yesterday to support me for today's run.
As soon as Dr. Ryan finished the taping, I could feel the healing happening on my entire leg especially on the site where I had the incision for the reconstructive leg surgery over 20 years ago followed by hardware removal and arthroscopic surgeries.
A sense of ease and playfulness carried me through today's 2+ mile run at the BU Fit Rec Center track. It was snowing and slippery outside and even though I wanted to run outside on Heartbreak Hill, I knew I couldn't risk slipping and falling after all the hard work I did and am doing to get back out on the roads.
The BU Fit Rec Center was our go to place to get in miles when we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon when it was too cold or snowing outside.
I warmed up with a plank and the clam as Dr. Ryan recommended and then a cough to engage core and obliques before the run. It was great to wear shorts and I must say that I enjoyed the stares my taped leg received from others running the track.
I put on my new playlist which includes Carole King. I didn't time the run but Tom assured me that I was doing around a 16 minute/mile pace.
There were a few young girls power walking in front of us. I started to speed up and Tom asked me, "Hey girl ... where are you going?" I felt so good in my body; I felt so light on my feet and felt a bounce in my step that I just had to overtake them.
Tom totally understood and together we sped up and passed them.
Running and racing is in my blood. I thought about not racing anymore and focusing on learning how to ride a bike and doing other activities but that is simply not going to work for me. I did try the elliptical and upright bike at the gym but Aquatics and strength training are going to be my cross training activities.
I am easing back into running and will not do a distance longer than 5 miles. I will not push myself for time and PR's but work with my body to find my pace. I feel that everything is in place for me to celebrate my race-iversary on June 7 at the Corrib Pub 5K in style because....I am a runner!
“The distance runner is mysteriously reconciling the separations of body and mind, of pain and pleasure, of the conscious and the unconscious. He is repairing the rent, and healing the wound in his divided self. He has found a way to make the ordinary extraordinary; the commonplace unique; the everyday eternal.”
~George Sheehan, MD
My latest book, "Journey Well" is now available on Amazon along with all of my inspirational books. 50% of book proceeds are donated to the Massachusetts Resiliency Center, a safe, welcoming space for survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing to heal and stay in touch with one another; a virtual hub for a widely dispersed community whose lives have been impacted by the tragic events of April 15th and the events that followed.
When terror struck the world's oldest and most beloved marathon on April 15, 2013, it was a defining moment in Mary McManus’ life and the lives of all those in Boston and around the world. It was her wake up call to return to the sport and community that have been medicine and a lifeline for her throughout her marathon of healing the late effects of paralytic polio and experiencing 9 years of domestic violence as a child and adolescent. Mary captures the essence of Boston Strong through her experience of the 2014 Boston Marathon and as she profiles the people who are Boston Stronger. Through her blog posts, poems and journal entries woven together with excerpts from her memoir, “Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility,” you will experience, through one woman’s journey of transformation and healing, that no matter what happens to us, we can all learn to journey well.