Saturday, June 11, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Race Report: The Quonset Air Show 4 Miler - Part I

I set a new record warding off pre race jitters until 3 hours before gun time.

It was a most enchanted evening.

Tom and I decided that we would make race day into a road trip to Rhode Island. The last time I went to Rhode Island was for my nephew's memorial service in March of 2011. I felt a little clutch in my stomach when we crossed the state border. He had taken his own life after many years of struggling with substance abuse. It was time to rewrite my association with Rhode Island.

I googled restaurants in North Kingstown Rhode Island. Tavern by the Sea came up high in the search. A review of the menu and the ambiance, the distance from the race start (7 minutes) made it the perfect pre race fueling choice:

I had a delicious chicken souvlaka wrap with pasta salad. It would serve me well through those 4 miles!

We walked around enjoying the charm of Historic Wickford Rhode Island and then headed to the Seabees Museum and Memorial Park.

"Do you see Geoffrey anywhere?" I asked Tom referring to Race Director, Geoffrey Smith with whom we traveled to Bermuda in January, 2 time Boston Marathon champion and the man who holds the Bermuda 10K record. "Hello Mary" Geoffrey said to us as he pulled up in his car. "I've got to go get this stuff out on the course and I'll see you soon."

Tom and I took time to meditate and prepare mentally for the race. We decided that a time of 1:04 would be very respectable since I had not done a lot of speed work of late. I hadn't thought about "going for a PR". My plan was to go out, open it up and just enjoy the run.

Geoffrey returned and we snapped this photo:

I was able to ask Geoffrey about the course to help with my pre race jitters of being a back of the pack runner and being concerned that we would get lost because everyone would take off in a cloud of dust and leave me behind. (A memory from when I was recovering from paralytic polio and the kids would take off leaving me behind to lug my full leg metal leg brace). I smile as I write this because those pre-race jitters no longer take hold of me. I recognize them for what they are and have learned to let go and trust in the Race Directors whose races I choose to run. Geoffrey reassured me that there were cones every 25 yards or so and there were military volunteers stationed at every intersection. We told Geoffrey that he reminded us of Clarence in Bermuda who took us on a tour of the Bermuda Half Marathon Course letting us know that as long as the water stayed on our right we were on the course!

We met many veterans as we picked up our number and race T-shirts. I felt right at home talking with them sharing that I worked for almost 20 years at the VA as a social worker.

We took photos of the memorabilia in the Seabees Museum:

Tom and I reminisced about his father who was a fighter pilot in World War II and Korea.

The pre race excitement began to build as we met up with my boss, our dear friend and master muscular therapist who helped get me to this starting line Jeffrey Spratt,MT.

Heidi, a Facebook friend who I connected with through Geoffrey Smith, saw me at the starting line. She recognized me both from my Facebook pics and because I was wearing my Bermuda Half Marathon race shirt. We hugged as though we were old friends and snapped these sassy photos:

Two more friends we made in Bermuda, Shawn and Mona, made their way to the starting line bantering with their friends:

And then we were off....

To be continued....

To your health and wellness!

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