The last time we had attended the L Street BBQ it was September 14, 2011. I sat and I listened as fellow Club members regaled stories of marathons past, hopes and dreams for future events and remember how Mac, founder and former President of L Street made me feel so wonderful that I was "just" power walking and was not training for any event. He reminded me of the Club motto, "Maintain. Maintain. Maintain." and "No pace too slow. No Distance too short."
Fast forward to Sunday. Tom and I did another magnificent eight mile run as we train for the Bermuda Half Marathon coming up in January. I can feel the excitement build. This year I am embracing the change of seasons knowing that in just a few short months Team McManus will be Bermuda bound. We relish every mile of this wonderful journey. It is so exciting to be working again. I used to dread the winter months as a retired person but now I have energy and momentum to carry me through the cold weather in work and at play.
We ran 5 times around Jamaica Pond and took 4 minutes off of our time from the previous week thanks to 20 degree cooler temperatures. We also took much less time for water stops and were able to fuel on a half a Luna bar for the 8 miles. Tom wore his BAA Half Marathon shirt and I wore my Tufts 10K Start Strong Finish Stronger shirt. It seemed as though everyone was wearing either their BAA shirts or Tufts 10K shirts. We would nod and wave as we passed because that's what runners do.
Here we are after finishing our run:
I pushed hard during the run and I felt wonderful but could feel that even though the temperature outside was cooler, smart money said to take an Epsom Salts Ice Bath to help recover. Tom captured the moment:
After a hot shower, refueling with salad and a smoothie, we went to the Columbia Yacht Club for our end of summer BBQ with our L Street family.
Four years later! I was astounded by my transformation. Four years ago I couldn't run and wasn't training for events. I could feel that I was heading into a downward cycle after my nephew's suicide in March but felt a lot of comfort being surrounded by my L Street Family.
At Sunday's BBQ I was Boston's local empress of enthusiasm. I had so much energy despite having run 8 miles earlier in the day. It was wonderful to be with everyone and to be a part of the conversation about upcoming events. L Streeters are trained for the BAA Half, Chicago Marathon and a few other Fall races and some talked about their recent accomplishments as ultra marathoners. I was delighted to introduce my running family to Jeffrey Spratt, MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC many of whom knew Jeffrey when he was at Massage Works in Quincy andd had done post long run sports massage for the Club. I loved hearing him talk about the importance of sports massage for runners. Several members of the Club are seeing other massage therapists and Jeffrey's message was, "As long as you're getting the work done...that's what is important." He's been the game changer in my life and many knew of how he has helped other Club members through the years to reclaim advantage and reclaim life.
It was a perfect weather day with a slight chill in the air but we could sit on the dock and enjoy the warm sun. The food as always was fabulous and I sampled foods that I ordinarily wouldn't eat. "That's why we run" was a common comment as we ate with gusto and sampled treats from the dessert table.
While the motto of our Club is No pace too slow. No distance too short. we should have another motto. No matter how long it's been since we've seen each other, when we get together it's like coming home and being with family.
Here are more photos that capture the love and Spirit of the day:
And even though Mac and Alma are now in Florida, their presence was palpable and they were able to enjoy the day vicariously through our Facebook photos.
We are running family. The bonds of love are strong. This wonderful Club fuels every step of my journey and we love and support each other to go the distance whatever the goal and whatever the challenge.