I’m not an athlete. I never have been. Not even in my school days.
Over the last 12 years I knew that I’d do just about anything for TACA. When the TACA development team (love Violette, Trang & Ana) brought the OC marathon to me in 2011 I laughed and quickly added don’t ask me to participate! I was first to let them know that I run no more than 3 miles at a time. Maybe 8 miles total on a good week. My motto “I only run when being chased.”
Well no was not an option. So I signed up. And I am glad I did. So did many on team TACA.
There was some interesting discoveries for my first race:
1) Who knew the first mile of a race was a strip tease? There were hundreds of shirts, sweatshirts and other garments in the first mile left by runners.
2) It was really cool to run in the streets I usually only drive on.
The cheer parties were great. Absolute strangers encouraging you to go on. It made me cry. But mostly it encouraged me.
3) The signs by spectators were hysterical. My two favorites signs:
“Your training lasted longer than Kim’s wedding”
“Make this mile your bitch”
There were many others.
My first 8 miles were just simple. No fuss just a simple jog. My 8-10 miles were pretty ugly. Team TACA had a cheering station at mile 12 that lifted me up in a nice way. They made me feel like a hero when I felt like a zero.
What’s cool is there was 200 runners making there way in the 5k, 1/2 marathon and full marathon running for autism. The wonderful part was that about 80% of us were doing it for the first time. That means you reading this blog could do it too.
The training was not hard. 225 miles in training since Jan 1 added up fast. The best part Jeff started running with me 5k’s each week.
The only thing I lost was that muffin top. I’d encourage other TACA moms and dads to look at Train4Autism. They have a plan to get you thru the race. Get healthier. Do it for you. Do it for your kids. Just do it (thanks Nike.)
My Twitter post for me encapsulated how I felt at the end of the 13.3 (course was longer than 13.1): Ran OC 1/2 Marathon. The entire time I thought about knowing kids with #autism work 100x’s more than my sorry run.
It’s true. Individuals with autism run a marathon everyday.