It all began 6 months ago today on July 3, 2015 at the Finish at the 50 Race Expo. My bucket list item to run during Bermuda Marathon Weekend got taken out of the trash after we met Race Director Anthony Raynor and his assistant Clarence "Stoker" Smith.
After almost setting a PR at the Finish at the 50 5K, my comeback race after a serious knee injury last December, I got serious about training for a half marathon. In my treatment following my triumphant return to running, Jeffrey Spratt, MT, Owner and Principal of Spratt Muscular Therapies said, "So you set your intention for your next race." "The air fares, flight times and hotel reservations seemed to all fall into place," I told him. "That's the Universe telling you that you are meant to do this!"
What an amazing training journey from coming back from that knee injury to running a 5K race, to slowly building miles each week and now being in taper mode. We started out doing the same mileage for two weeks and then as my body became conditioned to running long again, increased the mileage by .5 miles each week. On our last few long runs I would play a game. "Oh wow only 6 more miles to go. Do you know how many times we have already run 6 miles?" counting up from each long run. We would count down until it was too many times to count how many times we ran 3 miles.
There were dragon flies and butterflies to accompany us as we built mileage in August.
There was the moment when I hit the pavement running a quarter of a marathon, 6.5 miles, yet I got up and finished the run. Tom isn't wearing his t shirt because he let me use it to clean myself off (not seen in the photo bloody hands with skin scraped off and two bloody knees):
Jeffrey often commented about me finding the superhero within me in being able to triumph and overcome all that happened to me. This image became one that accompanied me on the road to the Bermuda Half Marathon:
There was my first sweaty and sweet 7 miles since 2009 when I was able to run Tom's favorite route from our home to Jamaica Pond, along the Muddy River and back:
How amazing that just as we finished our 8 mile run along Wollaston Beach, we happened to bump into Caitlyn Doherty, a fellow L Streeter who coincidentally was wearing the same singlet that we wore on our run:
It was that hot and humid 8 mile run that inspired me to do my first post long run ice bath "L Street Style":
Nine divine miles became a milestone for me when I realized that a half marathon was well within my reach.
Tom was support crew for me as I ran a solo run around the Reservoir because he had his BAA Half the next day:
Double digits was a thrilling milestone when we took a right on Hereford and a left on Boylston:
10.5 miles in the rain made me feel badass:
and I knew that nothing could stop me now:
On 12/25, my 62nd birthday we did our longest run - 12.5 miles!
The weather was a glorious 65 degrees; a gift and a blessing.
Friday's 11 mile run really kicked me. It was cold and there was a strong headwind. It was my mind and heart getting those last miles in.
And now it is officially taper time. My body is ready to maintain my strength training and allow my body to rest and recover from 6 months of grueling training getting myself to a place of health and fitness I've never been before. After Bermuda it will be the Hyannis 10K in February and then focusing on strength training and cross training, maintaining my base and getting ready for the Harvard Pilgrim 5K Finish at the 50 come July.
I feel accomplished and excited. I am sore and looking forward to these two weeks of taper time to get myself ready mind, body and Spirit to go the distance two weeks from today. 13.1 miles along that Bermudaful Island.
Two weeks from today ... I'll be savoring every moment, enjoying the anticipation and looking forward to taking my victory lap on January 17th.