Saturday, January 21, 2017

Reclaim Advantage! Reclaim Life! Bermuda Marathon Weekend - Part IV - Welcome to Paradise

Team McManus decided to take an extra day in Bermuda this year to enjoy and celebrate 10 years of my healing odyssey, Tom's Triangle Half Challenge and my second CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon. Little did I know how much we are going to need the extra day to recover from what turned out to be a grueling, yet magical and mystical race day for me.

Prior to race day, we stuck with our fueling plan for breakfast of oatmeal, banana, orange juice and toast. Fortunately The Rosedon Hotel's continental breakfast had the hot water, the juice and the bread for toast. We brought in our oatmeal and shopped at a little market to get our bananas. After our triumphant Bermuda Half Marathon run, we ordered the full English breakfast delivered to the porch of our room.


After a rain shower, the sun came out and we took advantage of The Rosedon Hotel's complimentary shuttle to Elbow Beach. When we arrived to get our beach chairs and towels, the woman behind the counter said, "Welcome to Paradise."


I went in the warm waters and allowed the powerful surf to help me recover from my race. Tom and I took a recovery walk on the beach and we sat with our feet up on lounge chairs covered with a luxurious towel reading for a few hours. There was a brief shower but as they say in Bermuda, "Not a problem." We put up our beach umbrella until the sun came out again. At 1pm our courtesy ride back to The Rosedon was right there where we had been dropped off.

When we got back to the hotel we went for a recovery swim in the hotel pool.


We showered and had our last tea time on the porch with friends we made during our stay regaling stories about our races and "what's next" on our running schedule. We took a leisurely walk into town to get gifts for our dear friends who were house and cat sitting for us.

"Can we please go over the route for the finish of the Half Marathon?" I asked Tom. His initial response was a curt no since he was worried about my recovery and going up yet another hill but he quickly recanted and said, "of course." It felt so good to be walking under my own steam noticing how quickly my body recovered from this:


to this:


It's a true testament to how far I've come in these past 10 years since first receiving the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome with warnings that I would be experiencing a progressive neuromuscular disease. It's a testament to my training hard and to reclaiming my advantage and reclaiming my life from the effects of paralytic polio and trauma through partnering with my master muscular therapist, Jeffrey Spratt, MT. He is also a trailblazer and a risk taker having the courage to partner with me to go the distance and to claim his innovative method of muscular therapy. While I am a case study for the effectiveness of the work, we also have a research study to explore "The Efficacy of the Spratt Method of Muscular Therapy in Trauma Recovery."

Many people asked me how come, now that I feel well enough to travel, I don't just take a regular vacation where eating the English breakfast every day and going to the beach would be how I'd spend my time. The people who ask are not runners!

There's something incredibly wonderful about training for 6 months and exercising discipline, honing mind, body and Spirit to take on 13.1 miles and then thoroughly reaping the rewards for that hard work with great food, savoring the sunset with our view from the Pickled Onion patio and even a glass of wine after lounging on the beach and by the pool. I can't imagine doing it any other way.



Ten years after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease, and two years after a knee injury that "they said" would end my running career and that I needed a total knee replacement I crossed the finish line of my second CONSECUTIVE Bermuda Half Marathon. While my medal will be mailed to me, we came home with t-shirts and most of Tom's bling:


along with new friends and a heart filled with treasured memories.

What's next? You'll have to continue reading my blog to find out!

To your health and wellness,
~Mary





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