Saturday, December 26, 2015

Countdown to Bermuda: 12.5 on 12-25 on Setting and Achieving Goals

When I saw the weather forecast for December 25th - sunny and high of 60 degrees - it was a no brainer to move our 12.5 miler from Saturday to Friday. Our son and his girlfriend were coming at 1 pm so that meant we had to get up early and get our run on. It was a wonderful opportunity to simulate race day!

On Thursday, we skyped with Clarence "Stoker" Smith and as if I were not excited enough, talking with our Bermudian friend about race weekend got me really well stoked! He said that he will provide us transportation to the hotel if I could please forward the itinerary to him. That's what Bermudian hospitality is all about. We met Clarence at the Finish at the 50 Race Expo and became fast friends.

Thursday was my rest day and mental preparation for the last long run before taper time. I woke up at 3 am and meditated. I fell into a deep sleep before the alarm went off at 6:15. Tom and I meditated together. We did our plank, our crunches and our clams (thank you Dr. Ryan Means) to reinforce our core strength and to give our hip flexors a boost. We had the pre run meal that we will have in Bermuda although on race day we'll need to eat a little earlier because gun time is at 8:00 and we have to be at the starting line no later than 7:50. I wore the capris I plan to wear on race day unless it's warmer than yesterday then I'll be in shorts. I had on long sleeves but could have easily worn a t shirt. It was chilly when we started out but the day quickly warmed up.

Tom and I had no specific route planned. We had a general idea of the loops we wanted to run. I could feel how well trained I was and that I was definitely half marathon ready.

I've been working day in and day out, week in and week out for 6 months. Running, cross training, strength training, weekly massage and most importantly of all, listening to my body has been my recipe for success. As we built the miles, I would lessen the intensity of my pool workouts but continued to increase strength training.

As we ran in the glorious warm December sunshine and the miles flew by I said to Tom he needed to keep pinching me as I realized that I am trained for a half marathon after believing that I might never run again or if I did it would be a 5k but never more than 5 miles after I had run the 2009 Boston Marathon and after a knee injury one year ago this time, I thought that was it.

Here we are after finishing our run:

Running Bermuda was on my bucket list 3 years ago. I had given up but then the spark first ignited with Dr. Ryan was set ablaze when we talked with Anthony, the race director and Clarence at the Finish at the 50 Expo. Did I ever doubt that I would go the distance again? There were moments sure but I learned to trust my body and feel confident and strong. Tom ran by my side, stride for stride and focused on my will and determination rather than the time on the clock.

And what a village!

The running community has embraced my journey and cheered me on every step of the way. One of my dear Facebook friends, Nicole is running her first Marathon in Houston the exact same day I run the Bermuda Half. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. We both start taper time and are counting down the days until we triumphantly cross the finish line of what we set out to do.

We set the goal. We have done the work and now we get ready to run our victory laps on 1/17/2016!

At 62 years old I decided that you're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. I have made manifest what I set out to do 9 years ago after receiving the diagnosis of post polio syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease; to heal my life.

It's not going to be about the time that it takes me to finish it will be about crossing that finish line.

It will be a personal best because I will have achieved what I set out to do!

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