Monday, February 15, 2016

Team McManus All The Way

For the past 5 years I have been support crew for Tom's races. The 2011 Boston Marathon with fund raising. Fund raising for the Falmouth Road Race. Spectating the Falmouth Road Race when he got in the lottery. The Cape Cod Half Marathon. The BAA Distance Medley. And I loved supporting Tom watching him go for his PR's and moving up in his standing in his age group in the BAA Distance Medley. The Marathon Sports 5 Miler...

After Tom's 14 miles training run for the Sugarloaf Marathon in May this weekend which took a lot of time and energy leaving me to do a lot of the household chores and cutting down on the time we had together, Team McManus sat down and took a long hard look at what Tom's training for another marathon would entail. I got weepy as the emotional hurts from being a survivor of polio came to the surface. We realized how each of us had been feeding into a two tier system in running. The assumption was that Tom would run races with me at my pace providing that he would be able to have his own race schedule. Part of that was because I had not yet reclaimed my advantage and reclaimed my life by partnering with Jeffrey Spratt,MT, pioneer of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy that helps me to heal mind, body and soul and go the distance on and off the roads. Part of it was because I felt as though I was holding Tom back from achieving his personal best on the roads. Working with Jeffrey has helped to empower me to express my needs to Tom.

After running the Bermuda Half Marathon together, things have shifted. Tom told me this morning that running Bermuda with me was one of the best races he has ever experienced. There is something beautiful and wonderful running at the back of the pack and there is something even more beautiful and wonderful that I am able to run the half marathon distance again. While both of us could train for and run another marathon if we chose and while Tom certainly could train for and run another marathon we asked ourselves why?

We recalled the words of Bill Rodgers, Boston Marathon champion in a conversation we had in Hyannis a few years ago. He told us to find your distance and talked about the benefits of running a half marathon - "especially at our age." He pointed out that a half marathon is still a challenge but it doesn't take quite the toll that running a full marathon does.

I remember talking with Jeff about my choice to stick with the half marathon distance. He told me about the saying about climbing Mt. Fuji:

Climbing Mt Fuji is a unique experience that only 1% of the Japanese ever experience. Gaijin have been told that there is an old saying about Mt Fuji. "If you never climb Mt Fuji you are a fool, and if you climb it more than once you are a fool."

The same could be said for running a marathon - at least for me!

Tom and I have been through a lot together; especially in the past two years with a difficult family situation.

We need time to heal and we need time to enjoy our time together as a couple. Tom will still run his own race in local races and train at his pace during the week. But we both appreciate what it means for us to be able to run together regardless of the pace.

We have had a blast running races together as you can see from these photos:

I am blessed and grateful that Tom is inspired by what I have accomplished on my healing journey; especially since 9 years ago I was told to prepare to live the rest of my life in a wheelchair. I am especially blessed and grateful that we enjoy each other's company on our long runs regardless of the pace. He sees my hard work, my dedication and my diligence to my healing and to being the best I can possibly be on and off the roads despite or maybe because of the experiences I had to endure.

Team McManus is casting aside the two tier system of our running. We are going to train and run together and each challenge ourselves in our own way but honor the fact that we need our precious time together. I enjoy cheering him on at a race and seeing what he can do in his age group but he is going to do shorter distance races on his own. We are looking forward to creating new memories during Hyannis Marathon Weekend and then enjoy our upcoming races together. After we cross the finish line at the Finish at the 50 again, we will start training for Bermuda again.

It's going to be Team McManus all the way now and we are going to enjoy the journey on and off of the roads!

To your health and wellness!

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