Tuesday, November 2, 2010

You Know You're a Runner When

Hi everyone. It's me @gracefullady and I am so fortunate to be the guest blogger today for @kissing_frogs. I am a polio survivor, class of 1959 at age 5 ½ and in 2006 was diagnosed with post polio syndrome. I had a decision to make. Was I going to curl up in a ball in fear and wait for my body to deteriorate as was the grim prognosis, or was I going to do something to turn my life around. I chose the latter. I had no idea, however, that after going through intensive outpatient rehab I would hire a personal trainer and get this notion that I was going to run the Boston Marathon. I had never run before in my life and in February of 2008, I turned in my 'polio shoes' with a short leg brace, my cane and the wheelchair I used at times for mobility for my first pair of Nike running shoes.

On April 19, 2009, my husband, daughter and I (Team McManus) crossed the finish line of the 113th Boston Marathon. It took us 7 hours and 49 minutes. We started with the mobility and visually impaired runners but we did it and raised $10,535 for Spaulding Rehab in the process. But until recently, I did not really feel like a runner. The turning point came when my husband and I ran Lexs Run for Muscular Dystrophy. The energy was phenomenal and the group of runners totally embraced me.  My husband is going to run the Boston Marathon next year for Childrens Hospital as part of the Miles for Miracles team. We are officially runners ... because you know you're a runner when....
  • You run the race course the week before the race to get the feel of the course. I did this with the Tufts 10K this year.
  • A well stocked bar means you have several flavors of Gatorade
  • During morning meditation the words fartlek and hill training come to mind
  • You have a jar of ginger and a bag of epsom salts by the bathtub
  • Laundry is done in small, frequent loads to ensure clean training clothes at all times
  • A shopping spree means going to Marathon Sports to get new running shoes, bra and capris.
  • You have your massage therapist on speed dial and have booked all of your appointments through Christmas Eve, and have scheduled all of your husband's appointments through marathon Monday.
  • Your closet has more schwag t shirts than street clothes and you prefer your race schwag shirts to designer clothes any day.
  • The only watch you own is a Polar which accompanies your heart monitor.
  • Your shoe wardrobe consists of the running shoes you wear for training runs and races, the worn out pair of running shoes you wear for walking and the running shoes you have in case you have to train in the rain.
  • You have to make sure that you always have Gel in the cabinet that has not yet expired.
  • Instead of destination vacations, you and your husband are looking for runcations - where can you go that will have a great race you can run.
  • Your circle of friends includes runners.
  • You have bib numbers entered into your cell phone to get text alerts and cheer them on in their races.
  • You check out your friends' status on Facebook to see race day photos. You follow their blogs to follow their running odyssey. 
  • You visit Just Finish to report your workouts, training runs and to share your blog.
  • Someone says, "Hey you have a great tan...where have you been?" and you answer - I'm a runner.
  • Losing toenails is considered a rite of passage and something to be proud of!

5 comments:

Monica said...

Haha I love these.

Clearly, I don't fall under any of those, therefore I am not a runner, but that's fine with me. I'll let you lovely ladies carry that banner for me!

I cannot imagine overcoming something like Polio and becoming a runner, but it's beyond admirable. Thumbs up to Team McManus for running the Boston Marathon!

Great guest blog!

Every Little Thing said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing, both of you :)

Caffeine Queen said...

Great guest blog post. Thank you for sharing such an amazing and inspirational story!

Booksnyc said...

Thanks for sharing - I am so impressed by your determination! I used to run marathons (and could identify with all your "how I know I am a runner" traits) and have been trying to get back into it - your post has inspired me!

j. said...

Basically Mary is awesome and an inspiration to all. that's what I've realized :)