There is no "I" in Team but there is an 'e' in we and I am so blessed to experience and witness what happens when there is team work. Last night Tom and I ran the Team Hoyt 5K. The photo above is from the New Charles River Run of Tom and me in 2010. That was my first road race after a running hiatus from October 2009 until June of 2010 to build a foundation and heal after the Boston Marathon. The last road race I did before the hiatus was the Team Hoyt 5K and boy was it awesome to return there last night.
Race conditions: Love, laughter and joy. Sharing of inspirational stories. Meeting up with people from facebook I hadn't met yet and seeing Dick and Rick Hoyt and Kathy Boyer again. A wind of a YES YOU CAN attitude prevailed from the north, south, east and west. Oh and the weather - HOT!
Running a race in the evening is not my strong suit. Figuring out to fuel before the race is a little bit of a challenge but thanks to Tom, my team mate on Team McManus, he made suggestions and I did not need to use any gel during the race. I'm not sure if having the hummus with crackers about 15 minutes before 'gun time' was a great idea but the salt in the crackers probably helped me get through the heat.
I met Justin O'Connell who has had surgery for scoliosis and has rods in his back. He has been running many road races and on Sunday he runs his first half marathon - The Race to Remember and I know it will be his race to remember. I was blessed to also meet his mother. They overflow with love and light. Todd Civin and I have been connected on Linked In through the Team Hoyt group, then we 'met' on facebook and last evening had a chance to meet in person. What an incredible guy! We appreciate a dry sense of humor and a passion for doing what we love regardless of the 'monetary' pay we may or may not receive. Todd is a lover of people and life, honest (okay well let's hope he's not too honest because I bought a raffle ticket to support his wife's Three Day Walk and the prize is four seats behind home plate for a Red Sox game) but you get the idea.
Justin, Todd and I spend most of the pre race time together psyching each other up for our 5K and sharing stories. Then it was gun time. Justin, Tom and I were going to run together but we told Justin to just take off if our pace was too slow. He indeed did take off and ended up doing a PR but he was there to greet us at the finish line. Now this is where team work really comes into play. Tom could have easily won the race in his age group but he stayed with me, checking in with me, pacing me, pushing me but also helping me to pace myself. I kept an eye on my heart rate and with the combination of heat, being an end of the day run and my desire to feel good, I took time to walk to recover and bring down my heart rate. I did not look at the clock. I was not running for a PR. I was running for joy and health and okay for that slice of pizza that I knew was waiting for me at the end of the run.
Tom commented that the kind of effort I have to put out on a run, is the equivalent of him running a 7 minute mile. Talk about love and team work. He said that it is so inspiring to see me out there giving a road race my all while at the same time honoring the need to run safe. I am so grateful for my yoga practice because I can easily translate all that I have learned on the mat to when I am out on the road. Challenge myself but don't suffer is the wisdom from Anna Ward that echoed in my thoughts during our run. Know that all you have done is all that was needed to be done in today's practice is what is said at the close of every practice. I knew that every thing I needed to do during yesterday's road race was exactly what I needed to do and one thing, that because of my pacing I did not need to do, was to get sick.
Tom and I stayed for the awards ceremony. Dick and Rick honor age category winners but they also have a category you won't find at most road races. They have awards for runners who are pushing someone in a wheelchair. I was blessed to briefly meet one of the 'winners' and we exchanged our Yes You Can stories. If we could bottle up the love, energy, YES YOU CAN attitude, the heart and the feeling of Team Work that was evident at the Team Hoyt 5K road race last evening, all of the world's problems would be gone!
God bless, be well and remember - Yes You Can
From my heart to yours with love and gratitude,