Tuesday, May 30, 2017
A New Decade Begins - Team McManus' Hyannis Adventures Part II - Race Report
We woke up at 5:30am on Sunday morning. I reminded myself, Tom and Ruth Anne that there is no such thing as only a 5K. While the distance may be only 3.11 miles, the Great Hyannis Road Race Michael Aselton 5K marked the ushering in of a new decade of healing for me and the reunion of Team McManus. We had not run a race together since we ran the Boston Marathon in 2009.
We did core work on Saturday along with a lot of walking but spent the afternoon resting up. It was an extra rest day added on to my usual Thursday and Friday rest days.
After core work on Sunday morning, I was inspired to use our in room coffee maker to boil water for our oatmeal. Since gun time was at 7:30 and Starbucks in the hotel lobby didn't open until 6:30, I wanted to make sure that we had enough time to eat at a leisurely pace and get to the starting line without stress.
It was a gorgeous day for a race and as one finisher we passed on Main Street after the race said, "What better way to start the day than by getting up and running a 5K race?"
We totally agree!
Parking was easy and we had plenty of time to stretch our legs and take a pre-race photo:
After a beautiful rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and welcoming remarks from a Barnstable Police Officer, we were off.
Ruth Anne was my pacer as she had been at our first 10K together - the Tufts 10K in 2008. After not running together in 9 years it was amazing to feel the muscle memory fire up as we ran together, Running with God. Seeing her pacing me, running with ease and joy fired up my mirror neurons to make for an incredible race. Tom checked his Garmin and I was running sub 16 minute miles which I hadn't done in over a year!
Thanks to race director Paul Collyer of BA Event Promotions, the course had spectacular views:
Ruth Anne kept checking in with me about the pace as she had during the Tufts 10K in 2008. She asked me what my goal for the race was. I decided that if I broke 50 minutes which I had been trying to do for the past year on the treadmill and on tempo runs without success, I'd be thrilled.
I ran from the inside out being mindful of when I needed to ease up on the throttle of my pace feeling my heart rate soar. We walked at each mile taking a water break and decided to stop at the water stop.
A sign of a great race with perfect weather conditions is when you wish the race were longer than a 5K!
Tom happened to catch a glimpse of the finisher's clock as we turned a corner to come into the finish. "Hey it's 49:14," Tom said and we kicked it through the finish line. 49:49! SUCCESS! I broke that 50 minute mark that had been bugging me for the past year.
As always, however, it's not just about the time on the clock but about the time we share together on the roads and what we learn about ourselves as runners.
Sunday's race was the first time that I didn't have that trigger fire up from lugging my leg brace after I contracted paralytic polio. We were last in the back of the pack. It was a my race, my pace moment for me enjoying running with Ruth Anne and Tom by my side. I didn't feel the pressure to speed up and push myself to catch up. I was running at a great pace for me during that first downhill. We caught up with a woman of short stature who was coming off of an injury. We both felt proud and honored to be running with each other. We passed her and then came upon a mother with a little girl wearing a t-shirt, "We run this town." As we ran along we chatted about the running club in Connecticut that has children ages 3-12 in it. We talked about the joy of running and how wonderful it is to get kids interested in running at a young age.
We passed them and went onto a very strong finish for our race being cheered on by spectators, volunteers and runners who had already finished the 5K.
What a wonderful way to begin a new decade of healing!
In tomorrow's blog - how we enjoyed our post-race celebration....
To going the distance with strength and courage!
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My books are available on Amazon.
Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life
Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing Hope and Possibility that chronicles the first 7 years of my healing journey:
And my latest and greatest book - Going the Distance: The Power of Endurance (With a Foreword by Jacqueline Hansen):