Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Finish Line

This is ten percent luck, twenty percent skill
Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure, fifty percent pain
And a hundred percent reason to remember the name!
(fort minor-Remember The Name

Sunday morning was fantastically perfect for a half marathon. I had packed the car the night before with a change of clothes for each child and snacks for them in the morning. I had everything set and ready to roll with at 5:30am when we had to leave. The Team Up! with Autism Speaks Boston 13.1 Half Marathon started at 7 am and the group photo was at 6:40.
I still ended up late after getting turned around and then missing the exit. I got to the race just after 7 am in tears and panicking. I had to pee and that only put me farther behind. 
+When I signed up for this race I had planned on running it and I had not planned on being pregnant.

This race was never about me though, it has always been about supporting Sammy. When I explained to Sammy that I was doing this for autism awareness he asked " So people know kids with awwwtizzm (he always says that word with a weird inflection) aren't just stupid?" Sammy's insight has always astounded me. This whole morning was about him and supporting him and yes, trying not to cry.

 I got there late and I had to hustle to catch up. My oldest boy came with me so I wasn't alone, he is a spectrum kid as well. Sometimes I forget that because he does so well. I had only two goals 

1. finish
2. not make an ass out of myself.

I did the first, not sure about the second. I am often as socially inept as Sammy. I don't like to be around people, I don't read social cues well. I always wonder if people are just humoring me when they  are nice to me.

I caught up about mile marker 3 or so and somewhere around MM4 This Awesome Lady here passed me. I was fine until about MM8 or so then I began to fall apart and my hips began hurting. My legs were almost numb and my hips burned. Then "Remember the Name" came through the i-pod. I saw This blue haired guy running the other way and he waved and it made me feel better... a little. I powered through anyway and just kept going.

It was so amazing to me that every person that had a team up jersey on cheered me on. I gave a thumbs up to every person I saw with one too. I met an amazing momma who ran in a tu-tu and cape, a woman who had a double hip replacement (who finished before I did BTW), another friend Paula, that I met through twitter ran by me. She check on me, made sure I was OK, and offered support.
My beautiful boy Tyler encouraged me and pushed me and made me laugh every time I thought about quitting. He even rubbed my shoulders. I sat down at one point near MM11 and thought about waiting for the sweeper van, but all I could think was SWEEPER NO SWEEPING (thanks Jess). Someone walked by made sure I had water, asked if I was ok and encouraged me. As I came up to end of the course, two other women were walking the other way and gave me hope that I was almost there in the form of an OREO COOKIE. you have no idea how good that freaking Oreo was~!

My family met me just outside the finish line and I crossed it, in tears, at over 3hrs and 35 minutes. 

Why was I crying?

No, it wasn't the amount of pain my body was in. It wasn't hunger, pride, pain or exhaustion, or anything of the sort.

 It was the distinct realization that I was done, I had crossed the finish line...and that Sammy doesn't have a finish line. There is no end of the race for him, every day he gets up he is in it. He doesn't get to just be done. I didn't quit because he can't quit. I didn't stop because he never does, but I crossed the finish line and that is something he will never really do. I was done, and tomorrow Sammy will still wake up and be autistic. He will struggle to get dressed and brush his teeth. He will still loose it every night when it is time for homework. 

I may have finished the race, but my work is not done. For that reason I will be doing this again... after the baby of course. 

not just chub 16.5 weeks pregnant with baby number 6