So says the video promo for the Finish at the 50 5 and 10K happening on July 3rd.
It will be my first race since the Tufts 10K in October where I PR'ed from my time two years ago.
I could have chosen a daytime race and/or I could have chosen a flat course but The Finish at the 50 has a very special place in my heart. We ran the inaugural 10K on July 4th in 2010 and it was my 2nd race after being told I shouldn't run again after I completed the 2009 Boston Marathon.
The race director is Dave McGillvray who wrote in my copy of "The Last Pick," set goals not limits.
There is bling and there is a thrill to finishing on the 50 yard line of Gillette Stadium.
I've come a long way in the past 5 years and a long way since I returned to the roads this past March.
During my morning meditation, I could feel that old familiar sense of fear creep in. What if the water stops are gone or there's no one to direct us. What if we get lost ... what if ... what if ... blah blah blah.
I told myself that this is a walker friendly race and they are expecting people to participate whose pace is greater than a 16 minute mile.
And then I smiled ...
"oh wait a minute," I told myself ... you are a runner now and you run with the pack. Look at your pace.
The phrase, "I had polio. It sucked. Now I am healed." popped into my head. I felt the growth of my new gastroc muscle and new neuromuscular connections happening everywhere especially from my central nervous system to my respiratory system.
I went deep into my meditative state and allowed the healing to continue to manifest in physical reality knowing that in my thoughts I am already healed.
So now the question of the day - where to train for our next to the last training run before the race.
Tom and I decided to train on Heartbreak Hill.
We hadn't trained there in about a year and it was great to be back!
I focused on my race day pace - a 15 minute/mile Universe - that's what I see. I allowed my body to meet the Universe for that pace which may seem crazy asking for race day pace while training on hills but I need to keep mind, body and Spirit in tune and aligned for my race day goal.
It was challenging but I stayed connected to God within me and to the greater Universe beyond me.
Tom and I realized that we are already trained for Finish at the 50; today began our marathon training in earnest for the 2016 Newport Marathon.
We celebrated the delicious downhill toward the finish of our run which we did in 14:30 and our overall pace was 15:23; one minute of striking distance for that PR happening on 7/3. Pretty impressive considering we were on Heartbreak Hill and went for 4 miles!
Here we are hydrating after our run and with our traditional runfie:
One week from Friday, I WILL be celebrating my independence:
My freedom from fear and now being able to trust in my body and trusting in being able to run with the best and rest of the pack.
Running free unencumbered by the past.
Independence from polio knowing in every fiber of my being that I am healed.
Freedom from the ghostly invaders who wreaked havoc on my body knowing that all of those bruises and scars are healed and transformed.
Freedom from the thoughts of the person I was to experiencing and celebrating myself transformed: healthy, whole, vibrant, vital and inspiring others on their healing journey.
Let freedom ring!
I chronicle the first 7 years of my healing journey after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease as a survivor of childhood paralytic polio and 9 years of childhood domestic violence in Coming Home:A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility.
In Journey Well, the journey continues in the wake of my nephew's suicide on 3/4/11 and the events of 4/15/13. Through my journey of healing and transformation, we learn that no matter what life circumstances happen to us, we can always find a way to journey well.