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.

"What leg are we rehabbing?" Jeffrey Spratt,MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies, LLC said to me in my first treatment with him and as soon as he put his healing and therapeutic warm hands on my legs and I experienced the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy, I smiled and knew I could go the distance again.

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! We were having so much fun chatting about our jobs, the excitement for the growth of Spratt Muscular Therapies and the work Tom is doing at Boston College and 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 to Jeffrey for partnering with me to go the distance. His tag lines are Reclaim Advantage. Reclaim Life. This time a year ago I would have said you are crazy if you think I will ever run more than a 5K again yet here I am counting down to the Bermuda Half Marathon running 9.5 miles pain free experiencing only the normal soreness one experiences after running 9.5 miles. I forgot how 9.5 miles could hurt so good and it's great to remember!

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. I know I could not do it without my regular treatments with Jeffrey where we clean out the pain from the past and treat my body to the best sports massage I have ever experienced!

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.


  1. Wonderful! And I'm excited to learn about the Bermuda marathon! I think you are going to just great. I'm going to start following your journey...I'm glad to have found your blog!

  2. As always, Mary - you are such an inspiration! 9.5 miles WOW! You just blew the doors off the Lobster Dash! ;) Isn't life amazing how it can just turn you around and put you back on the right track - you've definitely found your newly paved road in life. Blessings to you! <3