Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Running Chronicles: Feeling My Edge

It was the first hot running day of the season. We went back to Wollaston Beach to get in our training run for the Finish at the 50 5K happening July 3rd at Gillette Stadium.

At the end of the Beach, there is a steep grade uphill. We could have opted to turn around before the halfway point of our run and go farther on the flat surface by the Beach but I suggested we tackle the hill. I started out walking the hill but then was feeling the need to run up the hill.

After tackling the hill and reaching the halfway point for our run, I spotted a walker who was walking at a brisk pace on the pavement along the beach in the distance who I wanted to pass. We increased our pace and as we got closer to her, I broke into a sprint and passed her. I took a water stop, caught my breath and then resumed our run at a fairly good pace. I was hot and nauseous. I dumped water on my head, hydrated and then slowed down the pace to make sure I didn't get sick but oh how I loved feeling that I'd gone right up to my edge. My overall time was one of my best since I returned to the roads in late March and I did negative splits.

I learned what not to do on race day especially if it's hot. I need to pace myself and not set out to sprint in the middle of the race and pass anyone. I'll leave it in the tank until we near the finish.

I also learned that I don't have to be afraid of pushing myself. I went into the ocean after the run and once again allowed the swirling cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean to dissolve scar tissue in my left leg and heal my knees. I felt One with all that is and a sense of peace and invincibility, strength and determination, deep gratitude and unbridled joy that once again I am pushing myself and feeling my edge.

We went to Marathon Sports on our way home to pick up the money from the sale of my memoir. One of the women working there asked me if I was Mary McManus and if I had participated in AccesSportAmerica last year. She had accompanied me on one of my bike rides in a recumbent bike around the Charlestown Navy Yard. I remembered her and we took a moment to get caught up. She asked me if I was back at Spaulding and the adaptive sports program this season.

I told her that I'm so grateful for the work we did together at Spaulding and AccesSport but I had to graduate myself from their programs. As long as I was in rehab and adaptive sports, I was not giving my body the messages for total and complete healing. I was still carrying my diagnosis of post polio syndrome and I was still being cautious in what I was allowing my body to do. While staff try to help patients feel "as normal as possible", in truth, I was still a patient and receiving the subtle and at times not so subtle message to be cautious. And the encouragement to take a risk was coming from the outside by a staff member rather than me being in tune and in sync with what I needed and wanted to do.

So now I'm on my own figuring things out garnering the wisdom from inside and from trainers, teachers and coaches. I see myself and feel myself as whole, healed and happy. I run unencumbered, fearless and feeling my edge enjoying every step of this journey.

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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