Sunday, April 26, 2015

Running Family and The James Joyce Ramble

We are so blessed to be a part of the running community. It's an amazing sport where whether you are an elite runner or a back of the pack runner like myself, we inspire each other to be the very best we can be. We share triumphs and tribulations. We talk about and share the frustration of injuries and tips to recover from injuries. We love to regale each other with our war stories and our stories of how running has transformed our lives.

Reno Stirrat is known as the Master of Boston. He’s one of 31 people who have logged a sub-3:00 marathon for five decades in a row. We belong to L Street Running Club and connected on Facebook, meeting at the Boston Marathon Expo a few years ago when he was at the Outside Interactive Booth. He posts daily inspirational quotes about running and life on Facebook and we became close cyberspace friends. He moved to New Jersey to care for his elderly mother but when I found out that he and his wife Susan would be coming to Boston for the James Joyce Ramble this weekend, I signed Tom up for the race.

We had an amazing dinner at the Yard House in Dedham last night.

Two and a half hours seemed to fly by. There was never a gap in the flow of conversation and there was such comfort and ease along with delicious food. Reno and Susan are both coming back from injuries. They are using a combination of acupuncture, chiropractic care, PT and cross training exercises to heal and recover from their injuries. Tom is emerging from 3 1/2 years of incredible job stress so that he now has the time to train and enjoy running again. I have been helping him cross train using the exercises that Dr. Ryan of Elevate Health Cambridge has recommended to help me with recovery from my knee injury and to complement my running. As we said good night, we all felt the energy and inspiration generated by our get together that carried us into Sunday.

When we arrived at the Endicott Estate, it was like walking onto a movie set:

We bumped into one of our fellow L Streeter's, Mary Scherr:

and were able to find Reno and Susan:

The Masters Championship runners went off 3 minutes ahead of the regular field and I was able to capture these two photos of Susan before and during the start of the race:

I took a video of the field taking off:

And then moved to the finish line to see Reno run a sub 6 minute mile taking 2nd in his AG by 4 seconds:

In a stunning upset, Susan took 3rd place in her AG. Here is Team Stirrat with their medals:

And then there's Tom's PR by almost 8 minutes from his last 10K, the BAA 10K in October and I have a story to share:

Recently, Tom and I have been talking about him taking me on a run with him. In today's race, he told me that I was with him - pure Spirit - light, easy and free and he visualized me running side by side with him keeping pace at an 8:48 minute/mile pace. I could feel it. Being with Reno and Susan Saturday evening, reminiscing about when I trained for Boston and sharing my goal to run another marathon, being around the energy of the race and feeling myself running with Tom out on the course is fueling my healing and transformation. During a meditation, I had this awareness. "It's so simple. All I have to do is remember. Remember how I felt in my body before paralytic polio and violence took its toll." And with remembering how I felt combined with incredibly hard work of training and cross training, we will create the reality of us running together - running together - with ease and a steady pace.

That's what happens when you have the unconditional love and support of running family who believe that anything is possible - regardless of age or circumstances.

Be blessed. Journey well. To all good things....

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.

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