Today marked the beginning of building miles for the Bermuda Half Marathon in January.
Having a destination race of 13.1 miles on the calendar makes a huge difference in my mindset about running. I've already printed out the race course map:
Every night before our meditation, Team McManus reviews the course map with the handy reference Bermuda map we received at the Finish at the 50 Expo.
During today's training run, the longest run since my injury in December, I felt myself going the distance. I felt joy in running and excitement about building endurance.
A chance meet up with one of our dear friends who is part of our running family, Margo Feeney, ran with us for part of our run. Her presence was a gift and certainly made the miles fly by. I usually stop at one mile on training runs and take a water break but not today. We were so busy chatting, enjoying the beautiful summer's day and running that I didn't take a break until mile 2. I ran up each of the rolling hills around Jamaica Pond and was so grateful for the shaded parts of the run. It was 88 degrees as we ran.
Tom and I reminisced about our training runs around Jamaica Pond when we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon. Perhaps one of my favorite memories was when we lost each other a-round Jamaica Pond, the operative word being around because how can you really lose someone when you are running around a Pond? When you are Team McManus it's easy - From "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility:"
And who could EVER forget us losing each other around - emphasize the word a-round Jamaica Pond. Tom had stopped at the car to fill up the water bottles and get some snacks. He had his iPod on really loudly. I was in the zone and ran by him. I saw him looking for me in the opposite direction and yelled to him that I was over here. I felt so great and the weather was wonderful that I did not want to interrupt my rhythm. Finally, my daughter who had been going at her own pace came running up to me - where were you she asked? (well duh, we're going around in a circle) Dad is worried sick about you. He thought that since you had to go to the bathroom (and the bathrooms were not open yet) that you went off the trail and went to pee in the woods). We finally all caught up with one another and laughed so hard.
Running around Jamaica Pond inspired this poem which is included in the soon to be released, "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life":
Courage - January 5, 2009
The fear of ice and snow and slush embedded in my soul
a training run in winter - the path to Being whole.
A winter scene - Jamaica Pond - a feast for eyes' delight
to witness nature's splendor and behold this glorious sight.
A leaf - a tiny dancer - skating free without a sound
God's breath directs her movements, as She guides her twirling 'round.
Families of ducks decide to walk or take a dip
a comedy of errors into icy water slip.
The branches now bejeweled with ice bend with loving Grace
sparkling diamonds' anchor water's surface hold in place.
God's hand a glove of glistening snow
hugs rocks along the wall
their heads peek out reminding me I'm answering God's call.
A scene I'd never witness if I let my fear take hold
courage triumphed, steppin' out with footsteps sure and bold.
Knowing that the pain subsides and Spirit can prevail
the Marathon is beckoning - through those miles I shall sail.
There are rolling hills, shade and sun; a perfect place to train in summer.
I can feel the heal and feel the ease now as I run. I love training this body and am so excited for the physical and emotional transformation that happens with every run.
I'm building confidence, strength and happiness feeling the joy in the journey.
It's amazing what happens when we focus our energy, intention and attention on a goal. All obstacles melt away. The happiness and joy I feel on this journey sends a healing message to my cells to do whatever is necessary for me to go the distance.
4.5 miles in the books! We are up to a 2'20" plank, 50 crunches and 2 sets of 30 clams before we go on a run. Tomorrow we strength train. Monday is cross training in the pool for me. Tuesday strength training again on land and Wednesday the core and hip flexor work before an early morning 5K run to work on speed.
Next week - 5 miles -- As Helen Keller said:
It all feels so right and good to me! Our time today was 1:11:11 - a sure sign from the Universe that I am in sync and in step being exactly where I am meant to be open to the awe and mystery and magic of this wonderful life.
Cheers! To life! Feel the heal!
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.