Friday, January 3, 2020

Happy New Year on Heartbreak Hill!

The Art of Being Present From 'Feel the Heal: An Anthology of Poems to Heal Your Life':

Each moment is a blank canvas
smudges and splotches only in mind's eye
raindrops from the heart
wash away the past.
Each moment is an opportunity
overflowing with possibility.

How shall I paint this moment?

My portrait once a still life
in stillness
life force leaps

lover of life
a geyser of joy
a river of happiness
gratitude flows
fragrant flowers sweetness
strong roots
lit with softness of sun's tender embrace
back from the edge
the ledge between life and death
creating the masterpiece of my life
one breath at a time.

With only two weeks until Ruth Anne and Tom toe the starting line of the Bermuda Triangle Challenge 10K, we knew they needed to simulate race day and have time to taper in order to have fresh legs on race day.

What better way to usher in a New Year and a new Decade than with a run to train for a new goal?

Tom and Ruth Anne inspired me to add to my word, Simplicity for 2020. I looked at my mileage from 2019 and although I brought much compassion to the lower mileage, I knew I needed to make a change for 2020. By taking charge to simplify my life, I have more energy for new goals!

Tom and Ruth Anne had the Bermuda 10K course map to guide them:

They planned a route to simulate the elevation on Heartbreak Hill and run for 6.2 miles. I opted for a 2 mile out and back route for 4 miles. I had been keeping my distance at a 5K but it's a new year and a new decade which is an awesome time to shift gears and reach out for something new.

They warmed up with me and took off with fuel and hydration that they will use on race day using the map to nail down race day strategy.

As I got close to the Johnny Kelley statue, Tom texted me to let me know I should turnaround at the statue. My Nike+ already said 2 miles so I decided to go with Ruth Anne's Garmin for distance.

I remembered when we reached this spot on Marathon Monday 2009:

There were many many runners out on Heartbreak Hill. As we passed each other we smiled and wished each other Happy New Year.

I saw one runner in a Striders shirt. We have become friends with many Merrimack Valley Striders through the years and our running friendships grow thanks to Facebook. I called out to him and said "Go Striders." I asked his name and told him mine. We'd been Facebook friends connected through other Striders but had never met in person. We recognized each other and wished each other Happy New Year. He told me after the run on Facebook that he'd done the entire Boston Marathon course!

I loved the sunshine streaming through the bare trees to offset the wind chill.

As I neared mile 3, I saw the steep, long incline loom before me that would take me to the top of Heartbreak Hill near Boston College.

"Oh this will be so awesome to simulate the Bermuda 10K for Tom and Ruth Anne but why am I doing this?" I laughed to myself.

I chose to go the longest distance I'd done since the 2018 Bermuda Half Marathon on the Newton Hills!

Slowly and steadily I kept an even pace needing to stop only once before the downhill that would take me back to our car.

My Nike+ read 4.28 miles. I stretched, hydrated and within a short period of time, Ruth Anne and Tom were running towards me arms triumphantly in the air.

I cheered them on as I will when I see them come into the Stadium after they conquer the Bermuda 10K.

What a fantastic way to start a new year and a new decade! What a contrast to last year when Ruth Anne was critically ill without a clear diagnosis or treatment plan. What a contrast to January of 2007 when I was told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair after the diagnosis of Post-Polio Syndrome, a progressive neuromuscular disease.

How will you paint the masterpiece of your life?

It was indeed a Happy New Year on Heartbreak Hill.

From my heart to yours
In health and wellness

Be sure to visit my website at

Be inspired by my interview with Kendra Petrone on the award winning Exceptional Women Show by following this link

To experience an epic race weekend and hear me share my journey from a wheelchair to the finish line of the 2009 Boston Marathon and beyond come to the Hyannis Marathon Weekend February 21-23 2020.

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