Saturday, March 15, 2014

Something

I've always been more of a laid back kind of person, happy, upbeat, with a positive, optimistic outlook.  But sometimes, since CJ's autism diagnosis in July, I've had Autism Sucks Days.  These are days where the reality of what my son is living with all but swallows me whole.  Before it was "official" I could fool myself into thinking that everything would be okay.  But now it is official, and there is no fooling myself.  The reality is, when CJ starts kindergarten this fall, it probably won't be in a regular classroom, and he may never be in a regular classroom.  He may never drive.  He may never go to college.  He may never be able to pursue a career, live on his own, or get married and have a family.  I have realized this, and those things are hard to swallow.  But that isn't the worst part.  The worst part of my Autism Sucks Days is what I don't know. 
Did I cause this?
I don't know.
How do I help him?
I don't know.
Am I doing enough?
I don't know.  
Does he feel alone in this world?
I don't know.
Does he know how much he is loved?
I don't know.
I don't know.
I don't know.

When he sleeps, so calm and peaceful, I look at my beautiful boy, my child, and I feel my heart breaking with the weight of those questions.  When the reality of autism and these heavy questions smack me right in the face I lay in a heap and I sob, because there is nothing else I can do in that moment.  The despair and helplessness roll over me and I let it.  I need to let that out from time to time, I'm not made of steel.

But when that moment passes I find my resolve to do something.  I have to do something.  As you know, (or maybe you don't) I've already organized a race to fight autism and am currently organizing a team to run a different race to raise money for autism.  I'm also working with the local schools because I think CJ should have a classroom suited to his needs this fall.  But my something doesn't have to be a big deal.  Sometimes its something as simple as reading other autism parents' blogs to find encouragement, support, or ideas maybe I can use.  Below is an excerpt of one that really spoke to me.

"When you see that she can't master skills that come easily to others and that dark fear that it will always be this hard creeps into your heart, promise me to believe in her ability to learn and achieve."

"Please, just believe."  from Christine at Day Sixty-Seven Blog

So maybe my something could include this blog too.  Maybe this outlet for me can offer encouragement to others on a similar journey.  I'm still going to be writing about my adventures in running, but be prepared, you're about to get a more in depth look at me in the posts to come.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Frosty 5k 2014 & Humdinger 7.1 Mile Trail Race Recaps

I know I'm quite delayed in writing this. But finally I will just recap both races at once.  So the Lewisburg Sunset Rotary Club 2014 Frosty 5k was held on Saturday February 1st.  I had plans to meet up with Misha, Kelly, and Penny from Team CJ.  Below is a pre-race photo.

Penny, Misha, Me, & Kelly (overall female winner!)
Go Team CJ!
There was once a time when I swore off warming up before a race.  I mean, I'm about to run.  Why do I want to run before a run?!  But Misha and I met up early enough to get our bibs and fit in a warm-up mile before the start.  It was actually a pretty nice day, not as cold as the previous year's race.

The race itself was uneventful, which I guess is a good thing.  I went out too quick, which I always do and always swear to work on.  I looked up last year's finish times and found Misha's name above mine.  She was 23rd overall woman and I was 27th overall woman, with respective finish times of 25:16 and 25:38.  This year we did even better.  I should mention first that Team CJ teammate Kelly M. took first overall female with a time of 20:11.  Talk about speedy!!!  Misha got 5th overall female and 2nd in division with a time of 22:42 and I got 10th overall female and 3rd in my division with a time of 23:52.  It was a fun day and a nice local race that hopefully I can keep running in annually.

The Humdinger 7.1 Mile Trail Race was held Saturday, March 1st 2014.  This was my second running of the race.  There were four Team CJ runners at this race as well- myself and my hubs Aaron, as well as Glen and Brian.  See our pre-race photo in front of the pig barn below. 

Aaron, Me, Brian, and Glen.
So I'm glad I ran this race last year so I had that comparison for this year.  Last year was all mud.  This year was all ice and snow.  It was very treacherous!  See the warning from the race director below.

This is not a joke!!!
So not wanting to injure myself during marathon training, I decided to take it very easy.  The race is so much fun and draws a really energetic crowd.  After the "crossfire" start, we slowly made our way to the woods.  Once in the woods, the trail essentially became a single track.  Passing was not really an option in most locations, so there was a lot of walking, stopping, and waiting.  That was quite frustrating, but eventually we conquered the 7.1 miles, scaled the wall of the pig barn, and slid to the finish line.  We ate and drank our amazingly delicious Old Forge beer and headed for home.  I was much slower than last year.  My 2013 time was 1:38:31 compared to my 2014 time of 1:55:35.  But I walked away mostly unscathed (I did have one major fall and several small slips).  For that, I am grateful.  Check out some of the sites of the day below.  And as always, thanks for reading!  Check back soon for more!