Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Running for Autism...Running for Danny...& Friends!

 So I ran my first 5k about 1.5 years ago, and last August I was supposed to train for/run a 10k in October. But my body (my hips to be specific) gave out on me at the wrong time and I could not physically exercise for the next 6 months while I went through some chiropractic therapy.  I was in soo much pain that I honestly thought that it was possible that I wouldn't even be able to go back to walking in terms of exercising, let a alone going back to jogging. But, Instead of giving up on myself and my body, I made the conscious choice that I was Too. Damn. Young! And I wasn't going to let this pain win the battle! So with Jerry's support, and the help and encouragement of Dr. Bob (my chiro), I really learned how to be patient with my body.  He helped me understand how my body works, how its all connected, what it needs, and I learned how to stretch it properly everyday just so I could just feel normal, and I began to bring my body back to life!! YAY! Thank you, Dr. Bob!

In March, he finally gave me the ok to start jogging again, and so I looked for the just the right 5K to run for, and I found it!

This past Sunday, I was privileged enough to run the Culver City 5/10K run for Autism. I was also privileged to have 4 others join me and my team that I named after my sweet son Daniel that, as most of you know, was diagnosed with Aspergers/High Functioning Autism at the age of 5.  My Danny having Autism has taken us from some very stressful moments to some awesome moments over the years. To this day Danny lights up our lives in so many ways, so to get the chance to run for him was such an honor for me as his mom.  

I ran for: Danny, Buck, Duncan, Declan M., Holden, Lucas, Noah, Julian, Evan, John-John, Luciano, Danny R., and Sammy

Our family also belongs to a community of families who have special needs kids of their own, and have had to live with the effects of Autism, Down-Syndrome, and other disorders in their lives. So I felt it important to also name the team after all of Danny's friends and their families. I had found a true and meaningful purpose for this run!

However, this run had started off as being a physical goal for me. You have to understand, there is nothing about jogging/running that comes natural to me. My past weight had always kept me from thinking I could ever jog, but I have accepted that I was probably NEVER destined to be a runner either. Its the fact that I have learned to really enjoy running, that it makes it necessary for me work really hard to accomplish any part of it for myself. My body is just not the same anymore, my hips need to be conditioned continuously, and I have to take care of them to even be able to jog a 5k. There are days when I train that I honestly feel like I'm starting over each...its not always fun, but its worth everything I get out of it.

And listen, I am fully aware that a 3 mile run in the scheme of "training" is a cake walk for most runners, so it may not be a big deal for most. But as I mentioned earlier, coming from the state of feeling physically incapable of jogging, this is a big accomplishment for me. Will I ever realistically get to run a 1/2 or full marathon...not likely; at least not without the possible consequence of hurting myself permanently. I will however, carefully push myself as much as possible (maybe a 10K? I don't  know). But if all I ever get to run are 5k's for the rest of my life...I will be ecstatic! Each one will be just as important of a goal as the next! That's for sure!

Our Team...
Jacob Counter, Zack Counter, Sergio and Katarina Coronado, and Christian Camacho

Sunday came and I was ready. I had trained via the C25K phone app for 6 weeks and I felt strong and excited. It was Fathers Day to boot, but even then Jerry and the boys came to support me anyway.  The best part of the boys coming with me was that Christian decided to run the race at the last minute and I couldn't have been prouder. Our dear friends, Jacob and Zack Counter, were the first to join my team and I was so excited to have some seasoned runners join. My brother, Sergio also came out for his first Fathers Day to run it with my 4 month old baby niece. What a great way to celebrate!

Zack (12 yrs.old) was planning on being my pacing partner, but I had warned him that I was pretty slow and sure enough he, Jacob and Chris were long gone ahead of me at the start of the race, but it was totally ok. I knew my pace and I kept it the whole way.

The boys did great...

Jacob's official time came in at 22:22 and placed 44th overall for the 5k! Wow!! Nicely done, Jacob!

Chris's official time came in at 25:45 mins (awesome time for not having even trained)


Zack's official time was 29:01. And he thought I was going to beat him...yeah right!

Sergio came in with Jellybean just after me at 39.22.  Great time for the new stroller team! 

and me..

My time to beat: 40.51 min from my first 5k (3/17/12)
My goal this time: 37 min according to my training times
My official time:  38.06 according to my chip

Overall: I beat my time by just under 2.5 minutes....Woohoo! I can't complain considering it all!

I finished it! Jerry and the boys were proud of me, I was proud of our team, and I was proud of myself!! That's all that mattered.

It was such a great event, I had such a great time that I cant wait to do this run again next year. It was well organized, and it was just beautiful to see just how many people were out there running for this cause. The race had been delayed 15 minutes because they had so many extra people signing up. That's awesome!

But more importantly, we will hopefully come back year after year to run for this guy...

our Danny boy... and all his friends!

 Thank you to the Counter Family, Sergio and family, and Christian for joining the team 
for this special run. I hope you'll join me again next year.
Thank you to all those special people who generously donated to this wonderful cause,
please know that we ran for all of you as well!

Thank you to my Jerry for supporting me especially on Fathers Day,
and to all my boys for cheering me on.
I love you guys!
Thank you to everyone else for your well wishes and FB messages.

It was a Father's Day to remember and I'm looking forward to my next 5k.

From my corner to yours...Thanks for stopping by!

Pictures taken by Jerry Camacho and Jen Counter...Thank you guys!!

1 comment:

Nat said...

I would have totally ran it with you! You are a runner no matter if you run for a mile or 26! great job Sandy. And what an awesome cause. Hugs for the team!