Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why?

There's a reason for every decision. Simple decisions are made with your brain. French fries or a banana for an afternoon snack? That's pretty simple. French fries are awesome but a banana is healthier and will mostly likely not cause you to crash in the middle of work.  French fries all the way. Brain and banana win. The crazy decisions though, generally have a more emotional reason behind them.
Want to run a marathon?

Why?

I've heard lots of different reasons:

"I want to test my mental and physical stamina."
"I want to brag about it."
"If Oprah can do it, why can't I?" (She did the Marine Corps Marathon in 4 hours, 29 minutes)
"Eating whatever I want sounds awesome."
"Why not?"

Two years ago, I was training for the exact same marathon that I am now. I was 25 pounds heavier and had all of these reasons and more in my head.  I ended up getting injured and not being able to finish my training.  I did the MCM 10K and after that, ran all over DC even more to cheer on my dad while he finished what we both started. It was exciting and disheartening.  I felt like I had failed the both of us, but I was/am SO proud of my dad.
Dazed marathon runner... with banana


Fast forward 2 years. I've done many 10Ks, a half marathon and I have become that girl that has become kinda crazy about running.  I'm reading and following multiple blogs, I have my own blog, I have a running diary, I've read books on running form, I want compression socks.  I'd annoy myself if I wasn't myself.

I figured though, after my dad had signed us both up for the MCM this year that I didn't want to do this for me.  I mean, in the end, my body and mind will reap the benefits.  Pretty sure Hubs doesn't mind it either.  But there's more to running 26.2 miles. I can't just do something that crazy with no reason. I'm more of a Phidippides, not someone who just happens to really enjoy running long distances. I need a message to deliver. (I am hoping though, that my training and diet will prevent me from Phidippides unfortunate end.)

I've been pretty lucky in my life to not have encountered many chronic diseases or disorders in my life or in the lives of those closest to me.  The last two years however, I have come face to face with a disorder that I only knew from one week of my one special education class I took in my Masters program.

I could tell you facts. Like how the CDC just came out with new numbers that say 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed on the spectrum. Or how early intervention is KEY.  Even that it is more prevalent than Down Syndrome, Childhood Diabetes, or Childhood cancer combined.  (This is not to discount any of these diagnoses, I know people who have been affected by all three of these things.)  But facts don't get to the heart of the matter.

Two children in particular have gotten me to the point I'm at today, an advocate and champion of early intervention and diagnosis for autism.  Eli and Olivia came into my life at very different times for very different reasons, but they've both profoundly affected my heart in very similar ways.  I have my story with both of them here. This month is especially important because it is Autism Awareness Month.  I know I'm kinda late to the April party, but like I said earlier: This is a jumble of emotions.

So what's the point of all this soul baring?  The point is, I made a commitment, shortly after my dad signed us up for the MCM to raise money for the Organization for Autism Research.  It was not a decision I took lightly.  Just ask Hubs about how much I mulled over the decision.  Not because I wasn't sure, but because I didn't want to let anyone down.  

Like I said earlier, I've tried this marathon thing before with a less than desirable outcome.  

So I'm asking you, my friends, family and blogends (blog friends) to support me in this journey I'm taking.  I think it's super fun to make the amounts donated to be related to either running or autism.  5, 10, 13.1, 26.2, 88, anything would work. My goal is $1,000 dollars and I really hope to surpass that. So, if you can, please click on the link above or the widget that is always in the top right corner of this blog and donate!  

If you've made it to the end of this blog entry, congrats! I'll talk more about my runs this week later, but I had to get this out because really, this is why I'm running 26.2 miles in October.

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