I was really grateful for my friends, Jess and Luau and their beautiful girls who let me stay with them and are just fabulous friends. Again the whole autism sucks thing but wow I have made some amazing friends because of autism. (click their names and read their race recaps) I could tell you that their Katie gives me a glimpse into what it's like to have a tween cause shopping was hilarious (go to Sephora with her cause it was fun) and she is a smart charming beautiful compassionate young lady and hell if my girls are half of what she is I will consider it a job well done. Or that Brooke has quite the sense of humor and wow she can draw or that when she calls me Jersey in that sweet little voice of hers my heart melts. I could tell you that I finally met Paula and what an awesome person she is and that I'm so touched that she ran one of her miles in honor of my son.
But the morning of the race, we load up and head in. It was a quick ride. I'm shaking off the lack of sleep, fooling around being me, remind myself that this is my 3rd half marathon this year. (NYC Half and the Asbury Half, thank you very much) and that I am capable of this and want to beat my Asbury time. I think of my boy who they said would never speak and never connect and remind myself that he can talk and oh boy does he connect. I think of my girls who always ask when I get back from a race,"Did you win Mommy? Can I wear your medal?" and how they are surprising me already with just how much they get their big brother.
We find Sassy and Doug and make our way to the start line. Doug and I trash talk cause hey it's what we do. (I'm way better at it though ssshhhh) Sassy is all cute and sassy in her running skirt. We hug Jess and promise to look for her on the course and we are off. We are moving along the four of us. Me cursing, Sassy looking cute, Doug and Luau chatting like tween girls. (Sorry boys lol) At some point Doug tears his calf muscle and pulls over but he makes a comeback. And somewhere around mile 8 or 9 I can't keep up the 9 minute per mile pace. The sight of all the Team UP shirts is starting to get to me. It's an overwhelming sight and yet it's only a very small piece of the enormous pie. Sassy takes off and Luau stays with me cause he's good like that. And Doug comes tearing past us and I know I'm losing my bet to him.
We get to the last half mile or so and Luau says, "After this hill, you've got it. We're almost there." I may have screamed at this point,"What the fuck you said the course was flat?????!!!" really really loudly.
And I finish in 2:04:44 beating my Asbury Half time by a whole 3 seconds.