Sunday, July 24, 2016

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! The more I run....Narrangasett Bay 5K & Half Marathon Race Report

It's official - running is in my blood. It's a way of life. It's my medicine and my therapy; my joy and my pain but mostly my joy especially on a race day like today.

Charlie Breagy and Geoffrey Smith know what runners need and want in a race. I love how their races are for every body where every body can participate and feel good about themselves as runners. If there is a time limit for a race, they are sure to specify it on their website.

Had life not happened and I would have run the Finish at the 50 5K as I had last year and was planning to run this year, I would not have experienced the beauty, splendor and specialness of the Narrangasett Bay 5K and Half Marathon.

I woke up at 3:15am without an alarm clock. We were planning to get up at 4:30, meditate, do core work and clams, have breakfast and hit the road to arrive in East Providence with plenty of time to spare for the 7:00am start of the Half Marathon and 7:15am start of the 5K. Fortunately I had seen Geoff Smith's post on Facebook yesterday about the set up for the race and felt Spirit nudge us to take a road trip to do bib and t shirt pick up.

We got to meet a legendary runner, Steve Jones (who I wrote about in yesterday's blog) and did not have to stress about bib and t shirt pick up on race morning.

I meditated and drifted in and out of sleep until the alarm went off...15 more minutes of meditation focusing on getting myself mentally and physically prepared for the race, choosing a song of the day for plank and core work and clams to wake up the body.

We had our usual pre race breakfast, loaded up the frozen water bottles, fruit, directions and off we went!

What a glorious morning to experience day break as we drove easily to the race site. I snapped this photo after we got out of the car and posted on Facebook #reclaimadvantage #reclaimlife With a full and grateful heart to Ryan J. Means DC and Jeffrey Spratt, MT and dedicating this race to Ruth Anne's healing with the fierceness of a mother's love. Perfect morning!

There was a little confusion about where the starting line was and we were told it was down the road about a mile but we met up with other runners and realized there was a short cut to the Stadium. One of the runners was running her first half marathon. I shared my story for some inspiration and she said, "Well now I know I can do this! Thank you for inspiring me."

We saw our friends who we met in January as part of the Bermuda Marathon Weekend, Mona and Shawn. It always amazes me how we seem to find people among a thousand or so runners without technology.

We watched the start of the Half Marathon:

and headed over to the start of the 5K:

It was a relatively small field and we started in the front of the pack. I settled into my pace and enjoyed being part of a race again. I love how you can start up conversations with total strangers and share in the joy of being a part of a special breed of people who love the sport of running.

There was a slight uphill, a downhill and then a stretch of flat road. I felt strong, confident and I was running unencumbered; the intention that Jeffrey Spratt,MT set for me during my very first massage therapy session with him.

His words, "piece a cake" echoed in my ears and I marveled at how well I felt in my body despite the heat and humidity and early morning wake up call.

My heart rate was up there for sure and I was running without my Nike+ enjoying the freedom of running from the inside out. It was an out and back kind of route and we passed our friends Mona and Shawn as we were going out and they were heading back. We also made sure to enjoy the panoramic view of Narrangasett Bay, the beautiful bike trail and trees. Tom and I commented how it reminded us of Bermuda with the water on the left and running among the Half Marathoners. What an exhilarating feeling to be running as part of the pack.

Tom needed to make a pit stop and I knew I needed to hydrate. Tom told me to go on ahead and he'd catch up to me after I finished my water stop. When he caught up with me he said that he was amazed at how far up the road I was and how hard he had to run to catch up to me.

We enjoyed the downhill knowing that when we turned the corner we were going to have that steep uphill heading back to the Stadium.

We ran up the hill together and I could feel how cross training on the Arc Trainer and Bike was paying big dividends.

Time for the final 1.1 miles.

I could feel the heat of the day but did not dial back my pace. I told Tom that I wanted to break 16:00 minute/mile pace and that I was running with my heart for the healing of our daughter.

I did opt to walk through one more water stop and then we poured it on to the finish.

How awesome to enter the Stadium and run around the track to the finish line.

My tank felt empty but I knew I wanted to sprint to the finish and leave nothing out there.

I couldn't even compute what the finisher's clock said in terms of my pace. I just knew I had given it all I had and had a wonderful time opening up my body and running on a beautiful course with beautiful energy in a race orchestrated by two extraordinary race directors.

The results:

253/273 TOM MCMANUS CHESNUT HILL MA 1708 64 M 6/8 60-69 49:25.5 49:30.9 15:53/M
254/273 MARY MCMANUS CHESTNUT HILL MA 1706 62 F 6/8 60-69 49:25.2 49:31.1 15:53/M

Yes - I had attained my goal through hills and heat. And we met some wonderful people along the way including a woman from Florida who offered to take our photo at the finish:

I feel a deep sense of satisfaction having this race in the books and now begin training in earnest for the Bermuda Half Marathon happening in January.

With every race, with every run I feel more strength, more confidence and more joy in relishing the sport that is everything to me.

To think that in December of 2014 everyone, including a massage therapist I was working with at the time told me no more need a total knee replacement....well don't run any farther than a 5K - maybe 5 miles. I fired the doctor, the physical therapists and the massage therapist. Two healers came into my life, Ryan Means, DC and Jeffrey Spratt,MT to remind me of my body's natural capacity to heal. They saw in me that I wanted to go the distance in healing in my life and on the roads. They would not allow the effects of paralytic polio and violence to plague me any more.

Today I ran a race I'd never run before totally trusting in Geoff and Charlie to have a well marked course with volunteers and water stations for runners of every pace. There were bands along the course and a festive atmosphere reminiscent of the Bermuda Race Weekend.

Of course none of this would have been possible without partnering initially with Ryan and now Jeffrey since April of 2015. It was a beautiful day to take all the goodness that happens on Jeffrey's treatment table and reclaim advantage and reclaim life out on the beautiful Narrangasett Bay 5K course.

To your health and wellness!

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