Sunday, July 5, 2015

My Running Chronicles: What's Next - What You Think You Become



After manifesting a day better than imagined at the Finish at the 50, we decided to revisit Team McManus' race calendar.

Spectacle Island was a spectacular day last year. It was my first trail race ever. I received an email about this year's race and put out the word to my dear friend and chiropractor, Ryan Means to see if he'd like to join Team McManus for the race. His reply on Facebook was, "Mary This look so awesome! And registration includes transport and lunch? All we have to do is show up kick butt? I'm IN! How do I register for #TeamMcManus"

I am deeply grateful to Dr. Ryan as he likes to be called for helping me to get back on the roads. His confidence and belief in the body's tremendous healing power, his kinesiotaping technique and his suggestions for cross training exercises were a huge factor in my successful run on Friday.

Before I started working with Dr. Ryan, I was about ready to accept my new baseline of not running, of being afraid of my knee injury, not having confidence in my body and starting to believe myths about aging, and settling to use a cane to walk Spectacle Island with Tom since I wouldn't be able to run anymore.

One of my Facebook friends and Dr. Ryan were each recommending that I read You Are the Placebo by Dr. Joe Dispenza. Reading the book and watching his videos have been a huge game changer in my journey. It reminded me of what I know to be true and turbocharged what I set out to do 8 and a half years ago after receiving the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

Through the grace and blessing of the Universe, I found my way to Jeffrey Spratt, principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies.

With Jeff I run unencumbered and heal all that went before reprogramming my system that was once hard wired as a survivor of paralytic polio and violence. I am rewiring with love and so excited to share the spectacular day on Spectacle Island with Tom, Ryan, Race Director extraordinaire Alain Ferry and whatever other surprises the Universe has in store.

Tom and I love Falmouth on Olde Cape Cod. We had thought about doing the Cape Cod Marathon Relay with me doing the first leg of the relay but that's when I was setting limits not goals. Once we decided that I'd be running the Newport Marathon in 2016, we decided to do Falmouth in the Fall. It is the same route as the Falmouth Road Race but without the crowds. It's a time to enjoy the splendor of Cape Cod. It's a 7 mile scenic race that I have always wanted to run. Tom ran it twice and it will feel great to be off of the sidelines and run the race by his side. Back in 2010, we ran along the course together as part of my training for the Tufts 10K. We will be doing a lot of long runs on hills as we train for Falmouth in the Fall.

The Rock 'n Roll Marathon in Washington DC in March was going to be our next race but Spirit has other plans. We are heading to Bermuda in January for the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. We will be doing the Half Marathon! Bermuda holds many special memories for us. There was a legally blind veteran I met when I first started working at the VA as the Visual Impairment Services Team coordinator. He had suffered a massive stroke and was in coma for 3 months. When he emerged from the coma he was at first totally blind and then slowly regained his sight. His brain had difficulty processing information. He had been the Director of Pharmacy for the City of Boston and told me in no uncertain terms that he was sick and tired of being treated like a patient. So I put him to work as a volunteer for the Telefriend program at the VA. He had a gift for counseling that he discovered only after his stroke. Funny how life works sometimes huh? I taught him how to dial a phone with a large print overlay and got very creative in how he could achieve success in his volunteer role to accommodate to his other challenges that were a result of the stroke. We had a lot of fun and he also helped to save lives being a peer support to other legally blind veterans and elder veterans who were housebound and isolated. There were two veterans in particular who told him they were thinking about suicide and we were able to get them hospitalized. One of them is alive and thriving today.

Herb fished with the Sea and Surf Anglers Club of Boston and they competed against the Blue Waters Anglers Club of Bermuda. There was racism in fishing tournaments back in the day and so they started their own fishing tournament alternating between Bermuda and Falmouth. When Herb heard that I hadn't been on a "real" vacation, he brought in a map of Bermuda and said that my family had to take time and spend some money and go there. He would hook us up with his friends on the Island. That was 18 years ago. We took several trips with the Club and hung out on the dock. Here is the link to his obituary that is a tribute to an inspiring man.

The last trip I took to Bermuda was in October 2007. I had my first training session the day before we left with a personal trainer and had muscles I had no idea existed in my body. I could barely walk off of the plane I was so sore and couldn't wait to get into the pool at the Rosedon Hotel. I was still in my leg brace and used a wheelchair when we traveled. How phenomenal to return whole, vibrant, transformed and running a race I said I would run since 2010.

In February we return to Olde Cape Cod this time to Hyannis where Tom will run the Hyannis Half Marathon take two after last year's race was cancelled. I'll be delighted to be support crew and enjoy Camp Hyannis as it is affectionately called.

We want to return to Finish on the 50 next July and make that an annual tradition for Team McManus which will be our last race before toeing the line at the Newport Marathon 2016 next October.

Training has become a top priority for me.

Sunday - strength training
Monday - cross training in the pool with combination of swimming laps and strength training in the pool
Tuesday - strength training
Wednesday - evening run with Tom 3-4 miles working on speed
Thursday - muscular therapy with Jeff and rest day
Friday - plank, crunches and sit ups and rest day
Saturday - long run

We'll increase weights and reps as my body lets me know I am ready.

I am enjoying every moment of this fantastic journey now. My heart overflows with gratitude and my Spirit is on fire!

I am going the distance this time because I know in every fiber of my Being that what you think you become, what you feel you attract and what you imagine you create.



Here's to faith, magic and manifestation...

Cheers! To Life! Love yourself well!



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.


I am writing "Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems," and "Going the Distance," chronicling my journey on the road to the Newport Marathon 2016.

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