One week from tomorrow -- Team McManus races again at the Finish at the 50 5K at Gillette Stadium. After we cross that finish line with a time of 46:52 or better, we will have dinner at Patriot Place and then watch the fireworks.
How appropriate that my first race since being told I really shouldn't run again and if I did I certainly shouldn't train for another marathon and well I really shouldn't plan on racing before September is a celebration of Independence Day. I am free from my past, from the beliefs and the body generated from experiencing paralytic polio and violence. I am building a new superhighway of new neurological and neuromuscular connections through meditation and the blessing of partnering with Jeff Spratt of Spratt Muscular Therapies. After our first treatment on 4/19, he said these words that melted my heart and settled into my soul and the cells of my body, "I want you to run unencumbered."
On 3/23, I knew it was time for me to get out on the roads again. I ran 2 miles at an 18'40" pace. It was more of a race walk than a run. Once I started clearing out fear, images of what the MRI showed and the voices of the naysayers (including my own), my times began to improve. I went from the cautionary tale of race walking to finding my running gait.
And then another major shift happened; I declared that I no longer wanted to run as a mobility impaired runner, as a survivor of paralytic polio and violence. I declared I am a runner and I want to be the runner I was always meant to be running at a 12-14 minute/mile pace and seeing where I could go from there.
After 6/6, 15 became the new 16 and during last Wednesday's evening training run under ideal conditions, I ran an average 14'30" minute/mile pace with mile 2 at a 12'40" minute/mile pace.
Last night it was 86 degrees and I managed to bring home an average pace of 15'09" - 8 seconds within striking range of my PR. That was after running a 15'23" pace on Heartbreak Hill last Saturday and doing a two hour workout in the pool on Monday along with core, upper and lower body strength training.
I can only imagine what's going to happen on race day when I am on fresh legs. This week I will of course continue with my meditation practice and do strength training and enjoy my time in the pool keeping everything loose.
I'm going to celebrate this taper time knowing that for the last 3 months I have built strength, speed, confidence, mental toughness and the belief that everything is healed and everything and I mean everything is possible!
I am free to enjoy this body of mine now. I am free from the feelings of polio shoes and a long metal leg brace, free from the violence that did not allow my body the freedom to heal after paralytic polio; free from the wounds of beatings and threats to my life and free to recreate a new body free from all that went before. In every treatment with Jeff, I come home to myself reclaiming my life, feeling the power of Divine Love and Divine Intelligence unleashing the healing power within me that bathes my nerves, my muscles and every cell in my body.
It's taper time.
No more runs until that starting gun goes off one week from tomorrow.
I have trained hard and the hay is in the barn. I AM READY FOR 46:52 OR BETTER ON JULY 3, 2015.
Baby I'm a firework and I'm free.
Born to Run from the soon to be released "Feel the Heal:An Anthology of Poems"
born to run
unencumbered untethered unshackled
pouring energy into my running form
liquid gold once fired in the crucible
now my treasure born of my Spirit molded with alchemy
my precious treasure once buried
the map safely tucked away
X marks the spot
a new starting line.
Poised and ready
to go the distance
all out without hesitation
all is healed at last
my pace swift
Mercury and Hermes pace me on winged feet
born to run
joyfully crossing the finish line with ease.
My books that capture the spirit of my healing journey since being diagnosed with post polio syndrome in December 2006 are available on Amazon.. I am writing "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems" and "Going the Distance" which will chronicle my journey on the road to the 2016 Newport Marathon.
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.