Sunday, November 29, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: 10.5 Miles in the Rain - Nothing Can Stop Me Now

It was raining and we knew we had to deposit 10.5 miles in the Bank of Bermuda as we count down to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. The race is 50 days away but it's only 47 days until race weekend! The weather forecast called for sunny skies today and it is indeed sunny but it could rain on race day and we need to be well trained in all sorts of weather.

Fortunately I had bought new socks and they kept my feet toasty and dry through the first 7 miles or so. I'll be keeping a pair in reserve fresh for race day.

It was sheer will and determination that got me through those 10.5 miles yesterday. My left foot, ankle and shin were hurting. I realized that I had tied my shoe too tight for the weather conditions and stopped to loosen it up. When you get this close to race day, it's easy to start worrying about what if's but I replaced those thoughts of worry with affirmations of my body's tremendous capacity to heal and recover.

For some reason, my Nike+ did not turn on my playlist so our soundtrack for the run became our conversation and the sound of raindrops falling on our head and in the puddles. The scene was majestic as rain drops bounced in the Reservoir.

Our pants, marathon training jackets and Janji hats held us in good stead. I was stunned to feel the weight of our clothes as we peeled off layers once we got back home.

Instead of an ice bath, I took a warm Epsom Salts bath for recovery after icing my knees and quads and then post bath, elevated my left foot and iced it while doing ankle circles. (Thank you Dr. Ryan for reminding me that it's not just RICE but MICE - Movement, Ice, Compression and Elevation).

We feasted on a delicious post long run meal of farm fresh eggs, chevre on bagels with lox, (compliments of Autumn and Michelle from Diggers Bend Farm), juice and bananas:

I have all the tools I need now to go the distance mind, body and Spirit. I am deeply grateful to my running and life partner, Tom, who runs with me week in and week out at my pace and wholeheartedly supports every step of my training for my first half marathon since 2009. He literally and figuratively cheers me on and tells me how proud he is of me for going the distance.

After 10.5 miles in the rain, I know in every fiber of my being that nothing can stop me now!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Giving Thanks for a Rustic Thanksgiving at Diggers Bend Farm

When our son Autumn invited us to his farm for Thanksgiving for a farm to table dinner, we were beside ourselves with excitement. We haven't done a road trip for Thanksgiving in years.

My good friends will tell you I'm not much of a mountain girl; the ocean calls to my soul but I was excited to experience our son's farm and to be together to share Thanksgiving.

I knew we were probably going to hit traffic driving on 90 West on Thanksgiving morning. At first I put on my playlist but then we decided to channel surf and hear the different radio stations as the Boston radio stations faded away in the distance. We played car-aoke and sang along with whatever tunes happened to come on the radio including all Christmas favorites all the time.

When we got bored with that, we decided to play a version of McManus family trivia pursuit reflecting on holidays past as well as reminiscing about our relationship through these past almost 40 years.

We took in the beautiful views from the highway:

and then played when is the traffic going to break. I won because I predicted once we passed I-84 so everyone heading to Connecticut and New York would exit the Mass. Pike.

We chatted with Autumn giving him updates of what towns we were passing through and then returned to the radio. "It's 95.5 Albany playing" you guessed it - "all Christmas favorites all the time."

I could feel my excitement mounting as we wound our way through country roads. Tom and I were joking about us City Slickers heading to the Country for Thanksgiving.

We could not have imagined the beauty, the sights, the sounds, the scents and the fresh air and the joy that our road trip would bring.

Autumn and Michelle went all out in preparing a magnificent farm to table feast for us. We brought a turkey to cook but because of the traffic we knew we wouldn't have time to cook it for our dinner. Fortunately Autumn had prepared a roasted chicken with gravy. We started out with chevre which for those of you who might not know is a cheese made from goat's milk. I could have made a meal out of it. We munched on kale and brussel sprouts as we made stuffing and Michelle made biscuits from scratch. Autumn had picked the squash and potatoes and made a savory butternut squash dish and au gratin potatoes with goat's milk and cheese. He did admit they bought the cheddar cheese to add to the au gratin potatoes. The room was warmed by a wood burning stove. Autumn splits the wood and they have a pile of it by the farm house that was built in the 18th century.

As everything was simmering and biscuits were baking, we went outside to breathe the fresh air and Autumn and Michelle told us more about the history of the farm and farming because Tom and I, as city slickers were clearly lacking in knowledge about how all of this works.

Back inside this rustic home, Bucket, Michelle and Autumn's cat wanted to see if she could sample the Thanksgiving feast as Autumn put the finishing touches on an arugula and another type of lettuce salad with mozzarella cheese made from goat's milk and mashed the squash.

She went from table to Autumn's shoulder and got a bird's eye view of the feast:

We took our time savoring each dish with its unique flavors after serving ourselves family style from the table and then dishing up our gravy from the pot on the wood burning stove.

The turkey continued to cook and would provide us with the necessary Thanksgiving leftovers. Autumn made a turkey gravy that was second to none that I have ever tasted.

After enjoying our meal and being completely satisfied with every dish, we took a walk out onto the farm.

Autumn had suggested we bring boots and I'm glad he did. The first frost and thawing left the field muddy; the kind of mud that would suck your shoes right off of your feet if you weren't careful. We received a tour of the chickens, roosters, Pumpkin the cow and the female goats along with their kids. Hey does that make me a goat grandmother? Well they did have two sets of twins.

We sat around the table having coffee and drinking in the warmth and love of being together for a real old fashioned rustic Thanksgiving.

We carved the turkey, made the gravy and divided up the leftovers. Autumn also sent us home with bagels, chevre, lox, and farm fresh eggs.

It made for one terrific weekend of pre-long run meals and this sumptuous post long run meal after today's 10.5 miler...but that's a story for another day:

Friday, November 27, 2015

Anticipation and Imagination

It takes work to stay focused and keep one's eye on the prize. It's easy to allow fear, worry and doubts to creep in but when we anticipate positive outcomes and harness the power of our imagination to create the outcomes we desire, we can put a blanket on fear, worry and doubt.

Tomorrow I take on 10.5 miles. I am well trained and cross trained.

As I consistently take on longer distances each week I focus on that post long run selfie that Tom and I take each week. I reflect on all that I have accomplished and realize that nothing is going to stop me now.

Just as I have had to create new habits with my physical body, I have had to retrain my mind to believing in my body's tremendous capacity to heal and to respond to whatever challenges I put it through as long as I train from the inside out.

I have to harness the power of trust and faith that as long as I am anticipating positive outcomes and feeding myself well in mind, body and soul and train smart, my body won't ever give out on me again. I believe and know that I am healed. To quote Emile Coue, "Every day in every way I am getting better and better."

It's coming up on the anniversary time of my knee injury this time last December. It's the anniversary of when I was diagnosed with post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease in December of 2006.

I allow those images and memories to come and go in my mind and replace them with how strong and able bodied I have become; how I have so many tools at my disposal mind, body and soul to ensure that I go the distance.

I anticipate only positive outcomes. I imagine myself crossing that finish line in Bermuda in 49 days.

Tonight I shall watch my guilty pleasure of West Wing Season 4, meditate, get a great night's sleep and tomorrow - tomorrow - I love ya tomorrow whatever the day may bring we are going the distance of 10.5 miles!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks: From Why Me to Try Me

As I was standing underneath the hot shower yesterday, I started wondering..."What is up with this challenging situation that reminds me of several other challenging situations I have been through before?" My mind started wandering to maybe it's karma from a previous lifetime or what am I doing to attract this into my life ... and then the hot water showered grace upon me. I felt Bernie Siegel's presence saying to me, "It's life. Remember what I talk about - say try me instead of why me. Would you want someone else to be going through what you are going through right now? You have the strength to handle anything life sets before you."

Peace and gratitude and yes even a sense of unbridled joy washed over me.

As synchronicity would have it, one of my dear soul mates on Facebook, Stacey Chiew posted this today:

Life is holy shit. God may prefer the term "compost" but it amounts to the same thing. We all have our problems but those problems redirect us and teach us to grow. Our difficulties fertilize our lives. The enlightened individual--and the happy family--knows that possibilities grow out of problems. People who know how to be happy say, "Thank you, God, for the fertilizer," while the unhappy cry out, "Oh God, why us?" - Excerpted from Prescriptions for Living, Bernie Siegel

Shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome 9 years ago next month, I returned to the teachings of Bernie and started writing poetry to heal. I remembered what he said about turning challenges into gifts and this is one of the early poems I wrote:

The Gift of Polio

Thank you God for the gift of polio that brought me so close to you
while paralyzed I saw your face no matter what I’d do
Many wonderful healers you sent them to me at age 5
perseverance and triumph life’s lessons learned
but my Spirit could not yet thrive.

At age 53 the gift was sent to me a second time
having time to sit and feel to heal I started to rhyme.
The second time felt worse than the first
yet your love and wisdom I found
out of pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable spirit rebound.

Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such
I discovered remarkable healers who brought a loving touch.
I had no clue I had such strength and the ability to grow
no matter what the outcome deep gratitude I show.

This gift so precious I live a new life gratitude flows from me
my heart and soul are filled with grace each day’s a gift from thee.

More recently I wrote this poem:

Gratitude Tingles

Heart opens in quiet, eyes are closed gratitudes trickle then flow
the basics a home, good food and love awareness begins to grow.
Each beat of my heart reminds me I’m a miracle of life
grace showers constantly upon me relieving alleviating strife.

Goosebumps with each reflection every breath a moment to pause
gratitude tingles feel the warmth relaxing unclenching jaws.
Grateful to now be fully alive so blessed to be kissed awake
appreciation flows in every vein for granted nothing I take.

What joy there is in this journey let Spirit within ever reign
trusting in goodness and kindness erases all fear and pain.
Memory traces from the past pale and fade when connected to Loving Source
gratitude overpowers correcting direction on my life’s course.

In moments of meditation happiness joy and peace
from the depths of my soul a fountain grateful blessings increase.
Lips upturn into beautiful smile from head’s crown to tip of toes
gratitude tingles tickling trail of delight everywhere gratitude goes.

The holidays can be a magical and magnificent time but they can also be a time filled with sadness and heartache. We may not get to choose the circumstances of our lives because life happens but we can certainly choose how to respond to what happens.

I choose gratitude and giving thanks. How about you?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: Feeling Accomplished

As I went to bed last night feeling sore and tired, I had an incredible feeling of accomplishment.

I thanked my sore and aching muscles and my entire body for doing me proud and going the distance of ten miles.

With each run I feel more and more confidence.

This morning I did my core workout and strength training.

I used to be afraid of pushing my body too far.

I know in every fiber of my being I can and am going the distance of 13.1 miles.

It's getting close and I am counting down to Bermuda.

I am feeling accomplished and satisfied and so very happy that I am able to, at last, reclaim my life.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Ten Terrific Miles - Learning to Trust My Body - Right on Hereford Left on Boylston

Well it may not be the greatest pleasure in life but it sure was amazing and gratifying to get out there and run TEN terrific miles today. Unlike last week there was no headwind but I didn't want to "just" run around our reservoirs. I needed to get out on the open road and simulate running on a course. We chose a course that is so much more challenging than the run we will be running at the Bermuda Marathon Weekend. We ran from our house to the finish line of the Boston Marathon and back again. There are rolling hills out and back. The weather was glorious today with the sun shining and moderate temperatures. Definitely a gift for November 21st. I remember this time last year we ran in driving snow and a slushy road as we were training to run the Boston Volvo Village 5K on Thanksgiving day.

So much has changed from last year after working with Dr. Ryan J. Means - an incredible chiropractor/healer.

Several years ago I dreamed about running the Bermuda Marathon. It was on my bucket list. I looked at photos and the race website and talked about running it for my 60th birthday. I felt it in every fiber of my being and knew how amazing it would feel to experience running in Bermuda after having traveled there in a leg brace and wheelchair in 2007. And then I let go of the dream. I didn't believe it was possible for me to run long and strong again. Because I didn't believe in the possibility, I found myself surrounded by people who were telling me I couldn't and shouldn't run long again; that I shouldn't run at all.

The dream was dormant but never died. I sat in Ryan J. Means, DC office getting my knee taped after the blessings of a knee injury in December. I remembered how it felt to train for and run the 2009 Boston Marathon. I felt that familiar flutter in my soul and the spark was lit as I looked into Ryan's deep blue eyes and he asked me, "Why are you setting a limit on yourself?"

He gave me all the tools and guidance I needed for a successful training program to once again go the distance.

My right IT band got very tight during today's run. I had a lot of strong sensations in many different parts of my body as we ran the longest distance I have run since April 20, 2009. In the past I would have doubted and been fearful that something untoward was happening in my body and that I could be injured again. Since partnering with Ryan, I know that I have the ability to harness the power of my mind and the Divine power within me to work with my body rather than in opposition and fear to it.

Rather than my thoughts going to, "Oh no something is going to happen" to what can I do to bring ease and comfort to my body in this moment.

During the training run, Tom and I were talking about where I was a year ago. The massage therapist I was working with said to me, "Right now your right leg is leading the dance and your left leg is just going along. I am waiting for your left leg to speak to me."

Well did it ever and while it was painful and I went through a time of incredible uncertainty making my way back to my healing path, what an amazing day today. Ten Terrific Miles. Running along the Boston Marathon route and once again taking that right on Hereford and Left on Boylston. I can trust in my body because I can harness the power of my mind and am partnering with a master muscular therapist. I am going the distance counting down 54 days to Bermuda!

Don't ever let your dreams die!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Where there is kindness..." Heal the World!

there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic!"

I had a wonderful opportunity to pay it forward yesterday and practice a random act of kindness. My heart felt full knowing that the Universe is vast and abundant. I felt gratitude for all that I have in my life and wanted to share it with someone I had briefly met in a moment I know was orchestrated by the Divine.

I can only imagine the ripples that my one small action sent out into the Universe from beginning as a prompting in my heart, to the people who helped me execute the random act of kindness, to the person who received it and then all the people she will tell about her experience.

The Boston Marathon bombings and the recent violence in the world created ripples of terror and fear in the world but those ripples were consumed by the tsunami of kindness and heroism and outpouring of love.

I have borne witness to the darkest side of humanity from the time I was 5 years old but I was also touched by grace and had amazing helpers seen and unseen to get me through.

Let us look to the light. Let us allow our hearts to be broken and then open into the fullness of gratitude and love.

Let us create ripples of kindness and goodness in the world.

And remember - where there is kindness there is goodness and where there is goodness there is magic and hope and healing.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Creating Positive Habits

It takes 21 days to create a positive habit. Getting started and believing you can change are often the hardest parts of getting on the road to success.

I had been programmed from an early age to not be able to trust my body after contracting paralytic polio and then experiencing years of violence at the hands of family members. It was a struggle for me to get traction on my healing journey until I was blessed to find my way first to Ryan J. Means,DC who introduced me to the work of Dr. Joe Dispenza.

My default programming habit had been one of fatigue and anticipating that my body would break down.

It was a constant effort and struggle to make the shift to believing in my body's tremendous capacity to heal everything that went before and to create positive habits that would become an optimal healing environment for myself mind, body and soul.

This morning when my alarm went off at 6:15am and it was still dark outside, my brain is now wired to meditate for 20 minutes, do plank, crunches and clams, have a piece of toast, banana and hydrate and go out the door for a 3.1 mile run.

Oh sure a part of me would have loved to stay snuggled in the blankets but the scale has shifted from weighing heavily on the side of fatigue and pain to one of gratitude and feeling vibrant, whole, healthy and strong motivated by knowing that two months from tomorrow, Team McManus lines up at the start of the Bermuda Half Marathon.

It's funny how the change kind of sneaks up on you. There's not one specific moment when the change happens. It's a cumulative effect of working to create the change and then realizing wow, I've created a change in my body, in my lifestyle through meditation, my strong will and determination, and consistent actions creating the outcomes I want in my life.

Change is not easy. We get hard wired into believing that things have to be the way they are and then when we believe things have to be the way they are, the hard wiring gets reinforced.

Once we change our beliefs, find amazing people to partner with us and support our desire for change, we can reclaim our lives and create a lifetime of positive habits.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Running is My Therapy

Last Tuesday it was time for Team McManus to head out the door at day break to get in another training run for the Bermuda Half Marathon happening in just two months. I had a restless night but knew that nothing could shake off a bad night's sleeep like a run. Something fired up inside of me and we literally hit the ground running. We usually take a right out of our door and warm up first but something told me to take a left and do a different route than our usual Tuesday morning twice around the small Reservoir run.

I was amazed at how my body went on automatic pilot and I felt that I was running free.

These runs are a sacred time for Team McManus. With both of us working, it's rare we have a stretch of time and a stretch of road together that is unplugged. We cherish our training time together. I used to apologize for my "slow" pace but now I've learned that it's not the pace, it's about the time. It's just us breathing in and breathing out running side by side and stride by stride.

As with any relationship, we have had our share of ups and downs but now, in our later years, we run in sync. We are training for our half marathon but we are also training our minds to live and enjoy the present moment. We practice gratitude and talk about challenging situations in our lives.

By the end of the run we were sweaty and had a feeling of accomplishment. We deposited more miles in the Bank of Bermuda and left our troubles out on the road to God.

Last December, I contemplated hanging up my running shoes for two weeks after a knee injury.

I am so blessed I found my way to Dr. Ryan J. Means, a beloved healer chiropractor who encouraged me to set goals not limits.

As Bill Rodgers said to me as he signed his book, "Marathon Man," "We are runners. Let's run forever."

You know why I plan to run forever? Because running is my therapy!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day - Thank You Is Never Enough!

Every November 10th, John, head of housekeeping for the VA Outpatient Clinic at 251 Causeway Street would stop by my office and do a trivia quiz about the Marine Corps. I would put the birthday of the Marine Corps on my calendar. We'd pause and take some time for him to share the good, the bad and the ugly of what he experienced and despite the ravages of war, he seemed to walk a little taller and a little prouder every year on the Marine Corps birthday.

I left the VA to heal my own life and to leave the work of caring for those who served to the next generation of social workers. There are so many wonderful, caring people available to serve those who served. Recently I was blessed to reconnect with Renee Gallagher who initially replaced me as the outpatient medical social worker and is now providing support to the caregivers of the post 9/11 veterans who live with the effects of modern warfare including brain injury and post traumatic stress. Renee likes to think outside the box and we talk about how complementary therapies, especially the power of positive touch, can heal trauma and provide care to the caregivers.

When we first began to treat trauma at the VA back when I was an intern in 1983-84 there was a sense of hopelessness and frustration in treating trauma. My mentor, Sarah Haley, LICSW fought to get the diagnosis of PTSD into the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Psychiatric Disorders to begin to remove the stigma associated with the manifestation of PTSD such as rages, drinking to self medicate, suicidality and bring compassion to those who experienced trauma.

We have come a long way in understanding trauma and how to treat trauma. There is even a movement to remove the "D" in PTSD saying that the effects of trauma are not a disorder but rather a normal reaction to extraordinary events.

Research is being done on the effects of meditation, yoga, massage, and acupuncture on the effects of trauma. Neuroscientists are touting the good news that the brain and nervous system have neuroplasticity which means that once something happens to the body or the brain, it is not the end of the road but a new beginning. The mind, body and soul have an enormous healing capacity and through love, kindness, compassion and support trauma is transformed into resilience!

As I scrolled through my Facebook feed this morning it was filled with photos of veterans past and present. I thought, someone should share these in one place ... what better place than this place?

Thank you to all who served and to all who continue to serve to protect and defend our freedom. To you I bow! I salute you with hand over heart!


US Air Force
Integrity First
Service Before Self
Excellence in All We Do

US Coast Guard
"Semper Paratus"
(Always Ready)"

US Marines
"Semper Fidelis"
(Always Faithful)

US Navy
"Honor, Courage, Commitment"

US Army
"This We'll Defend"

Through 11/15 please join the #Give2Veterans campaign that donates $1 for every hashtag #Give2Veterans to the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Veterans Day is every day and we need to find ways to support and help our veterans on the home front because thank you is never enough!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Remember to Remember & Live As If Your Prayers Are Already Answered

During this morning's meditation, the phrase "Remember to remember" came to me. Remember who we are at our very essence and to remember to tap into that connection when things look like the wheels may be falling off the wagon.

There is going to be a replay of Project Coherence next Sunday and I'm looking forward to tapping into the Divine and the feelings of expansiveness that I was able to access during the meditation feeling the beauty, wonder and awe of being connected to 4000 souls across the globe. Whenever I meditate and whenever I meditate with Tom or a community I remember something far greater than myself yet that is the Force that is right inside of myself and each of us that we can all tap into when we step aside and allow the magic to happen.

During my meditation I remembered an incredible moment with Dr. Ryan Means or Dr. Ryan as he likes to be called. He was helping me recover from my knee injury earlier this year and was using the Graston Technique on my feet. I made a strong nonverbal comment and he asked me if he was using too much pressure.

"No," I said emphatically. "I just remembered how it felt to train for and run a marathon."

Ryan smiled and his eyes sparkled.

His hands reignited the spark within me to set goals not limits.

I remembered!

And here I am steadily moving forward to the Bermuda Marathon Weekend in January.

By all appearances I should have hung up my running shoes or capped my distance at a 5K. After working with Ryan and now Ryan sending me positive energy from across the miles in China, meditating with gratitude and runner affirmations, the love and support of my village along with me reminding myself to remember to remember, I will soon be in double digits in miles.

It's easy to get swept up in the fear and the nay sayers of the medical community. It's easy to forget the power that we have inside of us.

But when we remember to remember, all things are possible despite outward appearances.

Through my poetry, through my unconscious speaking through the power of my pen - my divining rod of healing - I was creating health, wholeness, running unencumbered and free and reclaiming my life. I did not know the who,how, when, what or where it was going to happen but I lived as if my prayers were already answered - and now they are!

I was searching on YouTube for the song It's Possible from Cinderella and instead this clip from a talk by Dr. Joe Dispenza popped up:

Remember to remember! The Universe is always speaking to us especially when we live as if our prayers are already answered.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Who Knew 9.5 Miles Could Hurt So Good: 68 Days and Counting to Bermuda Half Marathon

This time last year I was an injury waiting to happen. I wasn't doing core work or cross training. I was receiving nay sayer messages both from an Aqautics Instructor at Spaulding Rehab and my previous massage therapist. He said to me this time last year, "Your right leg is doing all the work and your left leg is just going along for the ride. I'm waiting for your left leg to speak to me." And so it sure did to the tune of swelling to the point where I could no longer bear weight on it. It turned out to be an incredible blessing.

How blessed am I to have found my way to Dr. Ryan J. Means, in March of this year, a chiropractor extraordinaire who reminded me about what I knew to be true; that we are the placebo and I can harness the power of my mind for healing partnering with like minded and like hearted professionals who can support my body's natural ability to heal.

It's been a slow and steady building of miles and today Team McManus hit a new milestone! 9.5 miles - the longest distance we have run since we ran the 2009 Boston Marathon. I woke up this morning feeling like it was Christmas getting ready to unwrap the gift of a long run.

When we arrived to Castle Island the wind was brutal and the air was much cooler than the predicted highs of 60 degrees. We modified our plan and started our run farther down Day Boulevard in South Boston where we had some protection from the wind and cooler air. Note to self always bring extra layers, head gear and gloves because after all, this is New England in November. The sun popped out from behind the clouds and the buildings insulated us from the wind.

In mile 2 I commented to Tom that I couldn't talk comfortably while we were running and given that we are now going the distance, we should slow down the pace. As I reviewed our pace/mile, we were doing a 14:00 minute mile for the 2nd mile. Way too fast for an endurance run. I could feel my hamstring tighten but once we slowed the pace and I was warmed up, we found a wonderful comfortable rhythm. We ran along the ocean and I imagined what it is going to feel like when we are in Bermuda.

There was a lot of wind and Tom suggested we lean into the wind rather than resist the wind. Great advice on the roads and in life. He said that the wind would be at our backs going back but the wind changed direction and became a head wind again. We smiled and I thought to myself that this is great resistance training and will build strength.

The miles seemed to fly by relishing our unplugged time together enjoying the view.

Bermuda Marathon Weekend's
hashtags are #runbermuda #runhappy #letsdothis!

I ran happy. I ran long, strong, unencumbered and free. I've got this and my heart is full of gratitude.

Here is Team McManus with selfies in Southie:

One of the big questions that comes up during every long run is, "What's for lunch?"

We decided to go to The Paramount where my craving for a good veggie burger and Tom's craving for an omelet could both be satisfied. And it just so happens they have the most amazing sweet potato fries which I just had to sample to go with my burger.

I came home and had my ice bath, a hot shower, and a light dinner.

As I write this, a feeling of deep contentment stirs in my soul. I am tired, sore and filled with hope and excitement for how my body is responding to this training plan.

And yes 9.5 miles hurts so good. I have total trust in my body's ability to recover, to meet every challenge of training and to cross that finish line in Bermuda healthy and happy.