Focus on the prize

It’s the night before we are about to run our first ever half marathon. I am giddy with anticipation and slightly in awe as to how far we’ve come. As I have mentioned in past blogs, in March of this year, I couldn’t even accomplish 3k…couldn’t fathom doing 10, let alone 21km of actual running and hadn’t ever experienced the runner’s high I had fictitiously heard about from those crazy kooky friends I have who are runners.

But so much has changed this year. It’s like a light switched on in my head and things that I had repeatedly ignored as “inspirational” messages throughout my life ACTUALLY came true. Brilliant EPIC amazingly simple statements like ” You just have to start doing it” and “Just take it one step at a time” (while completely rudimentary and filled with common sense) somehow managed to bypass my thought pattern in a way that I never actually stopped and listened to those mega words of wisdom.

And then I step at a time. I started with a small goal of a 5k race which we trained and ran in May of this year….huh..Not as bad as I thought. So we trained for a 10k…again, in small incremental increases of distance, it wasn’t nearly the excruciating experience I expected. When we started back & forthing on the prospect of running a Half Marathon within our first year, we were told it wasn’t possible, that we hadn’t trained enough…Well, for anyone who knows me, telling me I CAN’T DO something is the perfect way to get me to do something, if nothing more than to simply prove you wrong..

So…here I am…10 hrs away from being on the starting line and achieving a bucket list moment in my life. Ready with a refreshed & inspired outlook and working towards accomplishing this goal. Which I need to note, wouldn’t have been possible but for my dear sweet incredible husband, who has patiently endured this training regime of early morning runs, evening training practices, cross training, high protein meals, & grumpy gusses to simply provide as much support as he can.

Thank you to my family for all your support. I will keep you posted on results tomorrow!

Putting on a brave face

I’ve always been a glass half full kind of girl.

My life’s focus has for the most part been on the optimistic side of things, the cheerleader, the positive vibe, bringing everyone up when they’re down, making people laugh.

In an effort to be straight up through these entries, I’m not doing so good at that these days.

Since we began this journey, I have been frustrated, deflated, heartbroken, depressed, to the core sad, and madly, deeply in love with my son..and felt like I couldn’t really say that to anyone aside from my husband. Instead I would run to vent through the frustrations. Use physical energy to help dull the emotional energy that keeps welling up inside me.

When we tell people, we are experiencing what I would consider one of three reactions.

1) THE That’s really sad, tilt your head “oohhh’s”, pity look (which I hate)

2) THE No big deal, you guys are great parents and he’s lucky to have you, he’s not any different than he was yesterday, sweep it under the carpet, NEXT…

3) THE No clue what to say stumble..NEXT…

I want to talk about it cause I am aware that talking about it helps clear the air, get things of your chest, make you feel better. But I don’t want to burden anyone with talking about Autism and what we are experiencing because it feels uncomfortable. I’m embarrassed for having these feelings…I feel weak because every time I talk about it, I get a huge frog in my throat and usually start to tear up.

I wanted to tackle this head on. Become the model parent who has it all figured out and has truly taken on the form of “ADVOCATE” for my son.

A bit of a lofty goal as anyone going through this will attest. As much information as you can absorb, as many resources you can tap into as many blogs as you can read…there are some hard, heart-wrenching emotions you need to go through before you get used to something like this. Its been 3 months and we are just starting to get there. Where we are passing through the grieving period and getting down to business, trying to figure out what our next steps need to be for T. For anyone who is reading this with a new diagnosis, cut yourself some slack….you will need time to process this before it starts becoming something you can accept. But from what I read, and hear…nobody is alone in feeling this way.

If you haven’t come across it, a good starting resource is the Autism Speaks 100 Day tool kit

Its American but at least provides solid information on what you are dealing with in the 1st 100 days of diagnosis.

Competition is fierce..

This feels true on with so many elements of my life right now. The good side of competition..My friend and I have actually managed to start running and are currently out there every few days trying to get our groove on and waiting for this fabulous running high that is so famously talked about…Instead our comments are mostly, “Oh my god, my legs feel like lead” or “are we done this round yet?”

See part of the Running Room philosophy is working your way up to your goal distance and then exceeding it so you are not dying at the end of the race. Our goal is 5k and so far we have done a number of runs at 7-1’s…which means we run 7 minutes and recover for 1. Repeat. Except now are we on 10-1’s…& that sudden jump to 10 minutes of straight running has totally kicked my ass! But here in lies the good part…my dear friend is highly competitive.. and while I didn’t think I was that much, I find that I am enjoying her need to compete as an incredible way to egg us on and keep us going (cause there is NO way in hell either of us are going to be the one to give up first!)

The dreaded 10 + 1’s weren’t as dreaded as I thought but I also am noticing that I am out of breath by the time we are finished…(I think our pace got faster and faster as neither wanted to be the “Lagger”) which is good right? They say getting your heart rate up is key to getting healthy and staying fit. Quite hilarious given that its taken me until I’m 36 to realize that perhaps healthy is something we should have been concentrating on. This has been largely motivated by feeling like we need to be an example to our kids vs. heading down to the couch and throwing on the TV/PVR. We have been witness to WAY too many kids shockingly overweight at such early ages in their lives, and are keenly aware how easily it can happen to our children. So we are bent on getting healthy.

My husband is back playing hockey, I’m doing running, the kids are in swimming and gymnastics and we have lots of plans for exercising this summer..& another part of the competition? In an effort to stay grounded through everything going on with our son, we are working hard at maintaining our relationship (we had read odds of increases of 80% on the possibility of divorce with a special needs child). So we have upped the date nights, set aside time for conversations that are painful but essential and are working together on this weight loss drive..part of that is agreeing to meet weekly for a game of Squash at lunch hour..and it our first one today was awesome! Nothing like two parents completely frustrated with “systems”, red tape and bureaucracy having the chance to WHACK a little tiny ball HARD against a wall…over and over and over again…HIGHLY recommended.