Monday, April 6, 2020
Sunday Funday Runday
Working to maintain one's emotional and physical health while the world spins around us with stories of disease, death and doom and gloom predictions can be a challenge, yet for Tom, Ruth Anne and me, it is vital. Everyone is finding their own way during this time, making choices that are right for them and as has always been true in my blog, the stories and viewpoints I share here are my own.
Tom and Ruth Anne are training for the Cape Cod Marathon Half Marathon in October. When they have done their long runs on Sundays, I have stayed home and done my strength training.
But yesterday, even though I had run on Saturday, I felt the need to get out and do a 5K and then be support crew for Tom and Ruth Anne. There weren't many runners out on Heartbreak Hill at the time of year when runners would be in taper mode getting in their final shake out runs before the Boston Marathon. The barricades would have been folded on the side of the road eagerly anticipating two weeks from today when Boston was supposed to run again.
I passed a sweet older woman wearing a mask. "Good morning," she said smiling brightly with her eyes.
"Good morning," I said smiling back.
"It's a lovely day isn't it? And I believe the sun is going to come out!"
I agreed with her from the other side of the carriage road maintaining a safe distance.
I did an out and back from our car taking in the sensational sights and smells of early Spring. It's ironic that we had such a mild winter and are enjoying one of the most glorious times of Spring that I can remember and yet there is a surreal and eerie feeling that is present right now. But nothing can stop Mother Nature and I get to choose my perception.
I decided to experience the gift of the present during those delicious moments on my run.
While being in the present, I allowed my mind to sift and sort through Boston Marathon memories. Coincidentally, Tom and Ruth Anne said that they were also reminiscing about our 2009 Boston Marathon. They did the course in reverse which is a training run we often used.
We reunited at the junction of 135 and Route 16 in Wellesley:
On our ride home along the Boston Marathon route to our home in Brookline, we shared treasured memories of the 2009 Boston Marathon.
These are the poems I wrote on the road to the Boston Marathon to fuel my journey after having been told to prepare to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair:
Pounding pavement, feeling strength the journey now begun
training for the race of my life a 26.2 mile run.
Feeling God in every step in every beat of my heart
I undertake this challenge as a new chapter of my life I start.
I ran around in circles carrying baggage by the ton,
destination was survival hardened shell let in no one.
Fear and worry doubts prevailed, adrenaline in my veins
a headless horseman running wild no one to take the reins.
Stopping in my tracks I froze no longer could I move -
clawing, fighting had to cease there was nothing more to prove.
God's grace touched like a magic wand, a softness and a glow
emerging from a troubled past my blood began to flow.
Loving teachers lit the way their love a healing balm -
focusing on who I am now brings a sense of calm.
Stretching every muscle feeling God in every cell
wholeness now a blessing out of prison - no more hell.
The race is still a year away each day my dream I see
mind, body, spirit tuning turning toward the Voice of Thee.
Flexing what had once been stiff to brace against the pain
old habits die and I'm reborn to write a new refrain.
And when the starting gun goes off poised with strength and grace
the thunder of the running feet will help me set my pace.
But the starting line's the finish my race already won
achieving the impossible preparing for this run.
The healing power of self-love and faith to spark the flame
transformed me from a victim once filled with so much shame.
Unearth my buried treasures my inheritance I find
connected to my Loving God in my heart and mind.
And when I cross the finish line the greatest cheer of all
has been this magnificent journey of answering God's call.
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.
Branches now bejeweled though bare 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.
Ode to Marathon Training
Blisters, black toes, aches and pains, a change in my routine
Long training runs, the hills, the sprints running clothes fresh and clean.
Carbo load and plan each meal power gels and gatorade
no matter what the weather no time to be afraid.
Humid - hot or freezing cold snow against the face
wind or sun or raining those running shoes I must lace.
What mile is this how long we been out check heart rate drink H20
meltdowns joys and triumphs only a few more weeks to go.
Heartbreak Hill won't break my heart this year has been the best
found myself and made new friends I feel incredibly blessed.
It's Marathon Monday, it's my day to shine
with husband and daughter poised at starting line.
I know I can do this - there's no way to fail
tethered to God through this race I can sail.
For over a year, we've trained from our heart
mind, body, spirit - we're ready to start.
We know the course and we know the terrain
we're primed for the challenge - we know they'll be pain.
The glory's far greater than what we may face
we're living examples of God's shining Grace.
Shake out all the nerves - there's nothing to fear
let in all the love from the crowds as they cheer.
With prayers and angels our feet feel so light
Joy overflowing the finish in sight.
We conquered the course fueled by love in our heart
the race had been won blessed by God from the start.
Even though there were twinges of sadness that there is a different rhythm to the month of April here in Boston, Team McManus found and will continue to find ways to make Sundays our Funday Runday looking forward to when we see the runners return to Heartbreak Hill and the countdown begins again to the 2020 Boston Marathon September Edition.
To your health and wellness
From my heart to yours
Please be sure to visit my website at www.marymcmanus.com to learn more about my incredible journey of transformation from a survivor of paralytic polio to an endurance runner, poet, inspirational speaker and blogger.
My books are available on Amazon.