Saturday, July 18, 2015

My Running Chronicles: I'm BAAACK and It Feels So Good!

Five miles in the Bank of Bermuda for the Bermuda Half Marathon that is happening in 181 days! Five miles! Team McManus mapped out a very challenging out and back on Beacon Street course with a lot of hills and elevation. It was warm and very humid but nothing could dampen our spirits as we build our mileage for first the half marathon and then going the distance a year from October at the Newport Marathon.

There is a sense of unbridled joy and freedom setting out for a long run. Today was one of those days when I wanted to run forever. I felt so amazing in my body and thoroughly embraced and enjoyed the challenge of the hills.

It's so wonderful to unplug and have time with my life and running partner Tom surrounded by green trees, feeling gentle raindrops tickle us and cool us off at times and having time to reflect and recap the week that's behind us. We visualize our upcoming races while relishing the joy of simply running.

There is nothing sweeter than the conversation you have while out running with your best friend - nothing.

During this morning's meditation, I had a realization that I used to celebrate my running accomplishments as a survivor of trauma and paralytic polio. Now I celebrate my running accomplishments as a runner.

This is the first time in my life that I am experiencing myself as a runner period, challenging myself while training my body to be healthy, strong, fit and experience wholeness and well being.

I can feel how cross training pays HUGE dividends especially when running on hills and I see and feel the transformation happening in my body. I have muscles and I experience the burn in those muscles knowing that my body has an incredible capacity to recover from a training run while also continuing to heal from paralytic polio and violence.

When I run and when I run long I am saying to my body, "I believe in you. We can go the distance together. Everything is healing and everything is healed. Running is our medicine that feeds mind, body and soul." Fears melt away with the sweat. Joy and happiness bubble up from the soul. Food tastes amazing after a run. I feel alive, vibrant, vital and optimistic. There is a natural high that happens from the very act of running and a sense of accomplishment that I set out to do 5 miles on this course and that is exactly what I accomplished.

I let go of any sense of a time goal today. I know that speed will come as I do speed work once a week with a 5K and also train in the pool to build cardiovascular endurance.

I can now feel in every fiber of my being that I am back to running - for good. I have a great team and training program in place now. Having the goal to #runbermuda #runhappy #letsdothis is infusing my training runs with such determination and joy.

It keeps getting better and better as I feel the heal mind, body and Spirit.

Five miles! Yup I am definitely back and it feels so good.

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.

Be on the lookout for "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," available soon on Amazon

I am writing "Going the Distance," chronicling this miraculous phase of my healing journey on the road to the Bermuda Half and the Newport Marathon 2016.

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