Saturday, June 17, 2017

"This is gonna make a great blog post...Celebrating the miracle of healing!"

The title for this blog was said by our daughter Ruth Anne as we prepared to run 5 miles around Jamaica Pond on our road to the Bermuda Half Marathon.

Torrential downpours were the lullaby we feel asleep to last night. We planned to run our traditional Reservoir route but as Ruth Anne put on her new kicks and I looked at the puddles outside, I knew we needed a plan B! Spirit spoke to me and directed me to suggest we do our training run around Jamaica Pond.

Jamaica Pond holds so many special memories for us. It's where we trained for the 2009 Boston Marathon. At the time I had not realized that Bill Rodgers trained at Jamaica Pond. His runs around Jamaica Pond are well documented in his book, "Marathon Man."

As so often happens during a Team McManus training run, we find something to laugh about and today proved to be the rule rather than the exception. I had trouble getting my arm band on and couldn't decide whether or not to wear my jacket given the "in between" kind of weather. We started our run and then realized we forgot to stretch. We started in one direction but there were throngs of runners going in the opposite direction and decided we'd rather swim with the salmon upstream than try to dodge runners.

We fell into our rhythm and had our best training run to date.

We reminisced about our Boston Marathon training runs around Jamaica Pond which of course included this gem:

From my memoir, "Coming Home: A Memoir of Healing, Hope and Possibility":
And who could EVER forget us losing each other around - emphasize the word a-round Jamaica Pond. Tom had stopped at the car to fill up the water bottles and get some snacks. He had his iPod on really loud. I was in the zone and ran by him. I saw him looking for me in the opposite direction and yelled to him that I was over here. I felt so great and the weather was wonderful that I did not want to interrupt my rhythm. Finally, my daughter who had been going at her own pace came running up to me - where were you she asked? (well duh, we're going around in a circle) Dad is worried sick about you. He thought that since you had to go to the bathroom (and the bathrooms were not open yet) that you went off the trail and went to pee in the woods). We finally all caught up with one another and laughed so hard.

Today, our daugher observed, "Dad paced us, I'm keeping by your side running stride for stride and, We are celebrating the miracle of healing!"

As we passed by the rocks that formed a wall, we remembered how our runs during the winter of 2009 inspired my poem:

Courage - January 5, 2009
The fear of ice and snow and slush embedded in my soul
a training run in winter - the path to Being whole.
A winter scene - Jamaica Pond - a feast for eyes' delight
to witness nature's splendor and behold this glorious sight.
A leaf - a tiny dancer - skating free without a sound
God's breath directs her movements,as She guides her twirling 'round.
Families of ducks decide to walk or take a dip
a comedy of errors into icy water slip.
The branches now bejeweled with ice bend with loving Grace
sparkling diamonds' anchor water's surface hold in place.
God's hand a glove of glistening snow
hugs rocks along the wall
their heads peek out reminding me I'm answering God's call.
A scene I'd never witness if I let my fear take hold
courage triumphed, steppin' out with footsteps sure and bold.
Knowing that the pain subsides and Spirit can prevail
the Marathon is beckoning - through those miles I shall sail.

We kept an eye on our pace to ensure we did not go too fast given that we were training for distance and we nailed our pace. We improved on our fueling and hydration. We filled our senses with the waves lapping against the shore, the sweet scent of late Spring/early Summer in Boston, the lush green trees and allowing our bodies to train on the trails and terrain. It was our first training run where I felt a surge of optimism that we are and will go the 13.1 distance together.

Today's training run at Jamaica Pond DID make for a great run and a great blog post. Team McManus celebrated the miracle of healing!

To going the distance with strength and courage!

Be sure to visit my website by following this link.

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):

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