Saturday, September 5, 2015
My Running Chronicles: My Longest Run Since 2009-Releasing Fear and Gaining Confidence
Fear and anxiety were my constant companions. Collapsing from paralytic polio at age 5 and then experiencing unrelenting abuse and violence for 9 years took a toll on mind, body and Spirit.
During these past 8 years on my healing journey after the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease by Western Medicine standards, I'd say fear has been the greatest challenge to overcome.
As I prepared to run the longest distance I've run since 2009 (I had run some 7 mile runs while training for 10K's), I felt a sense of panic come over me. I shared it with Tom who lovingly said to me, "Welcome it and by welcoming it you can also welcome all the beauty and love that surrounds you and us on this wonderful day."
He was right. It was the first time that I was able to identify, name and claim that experience and then let it go.
As we began our run, I could feel myself focusing on little twinges here and there. I shared with Tom my fears that mercifully no longer get a grip on me but still rear their little head. Can I really trust my body? Is something going to come along and try to wipe me out again? Well knowing as I do that the energy we put out there is what comes back to us, I certainly didn't want to dwell there but I wanted to honor what I was feeling. Once I was able to say it loud and not harbor the feelings or fear, I was able to move forward.
With each mile I gained more strength and confidence.
Tom and I talked about work, our kids, visualizing what it was going to be like to run the half marathon in Bermuda in January, my incredible healing and I also enjoyed my music.
I kept a steady pace and took less time to stop at water stops. At 6.46 miles, I felt an energy drop. We had fueled at 4 miles and our plan has been to fuel with a half a luna bar at 4, 8 and 12 miles and walk through every water stop but today, I needed an energy boost to get me through that last mile. I took a little bit of the luna bar and water and finished strong. We did the last mile at a 15:21 pace and that included an uphill to the finish.
I know that running long is helping me to heal. While many talk about the "dangers" of running long, I know in every fiber of my being it's the best medicine and the best therapy I could ask for given the experiences of my past and my desire to live long and run long and prosper. I love how my body is transforming now with the rigors of training for a half marathon. I love the sense of accomplishment I feel with every run and every workout.
I left a lot of fears on the road today and can feel that I am gaining confidence in myself that I CAN and WILL go the distance again.
It was my longest run since 2009. 7.5 sweet sweet miles!