Friday, April 30, 2010

April Autism Awareness: Running For (And Away From) Autism

To celebrate autism awareness month this year I participated in my first sprint triathlon for Autism Speaks. It was the perfect way to celebrate.....raising money to support autism research while finding a healthy outlet for my autism-induced angst. I was truly running (and biking...and swimming...) for and away from autism.

I was pretty strict about following my training schedule, but I still lacked confidence in the weeks leading up to the big event. It didn't help that my bike was buried in a snow drift until March and the Reston rapist caused havoc to my trail running routes.

But the day of the race, I reluctantly got my game face on, loaded up the car with my equipment and drove up to Bethesda in the early morning darkness. My three biggest fans cheered in their sleep (that was my decision....Ed had worked most of the night and had to head back to work that afternoon I did not want to deal with two sleep deprived kids after the race). It was freezing cold and I was all nerves until I hit the water. Then I was all least until the last uphill running mile when my smile turned to more of a grimace.

The atmosphere was awesome. Everyone was so encouraging and supportive. I did not get swam over and left for dead, or taunted on my bike as I had feared. Hearing my name called amidst a cheering crowd at the finish line? Awesome.

Others celebrating Autism Awareness:

My sister's tribute to Noe on her blog (added bonus: cute photo of 2 year-old Noe).

Brutal truth of autism, from the wife of Ed's Wash Post colleague (and a fellow Restonian).

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