Meeting My Buddy - I Run 4 Autism, I Run 4 Jadhiel

I have always been a runner.

Through middle school and high school I ran Cross Country and Long Distance Track. After graduating I would run off and on for exerciser, but when life got busy I would quickly give it up.

Once again I started running it was a needed relief for dealing with my son and his IEP and teachers.  It wasn’t too long after I started running I heard about I run4. I quickly signed up to be a runner for someone who has special needs. I figured it would give me an excuse to continue taking care of myself and in return I could share my adventures and love for running with my buddy.

I was paired with Jahdiel, a boy who has Autism, in December 2013 just a few days before Christmas. I cannot express how excited I was to meet this guy and his mother through Facebook; me living in California and them in New Jersey. Before I was paired with Jahdiel I had ran a 5K color run and though it was a fun run, I had got bit by the race bug. So, in March 2014 wearing a Cat in the Hat Shirt (Jahdiel’s passion at the time.) I did my first 10K, and I struggled through it. Determined to not stop running for Jahdiel; I finished but thought I was going to die!

Yet, now I was determined to run a half marathon for him and ran my first half marathon in June of 2014 where I was hoping to not get anything under 2 hours and 15 minutes for my time, and I finished 2:05 and my first half for my buddy! Now I was hooked and in 2014 I ran nine half marathons, a 6 hour endurance run, and a Tri Sprint!

In 2015, I had two goals running a full marathon and running a half marathon in New Jersey where my buddy could greet me at the finish line.

In March I ran my first full marathon. It wasn’t as successful as I had hoped. I had injured myself two weeks before the race. I was able to get out and run it, but I didn’t do as well as I would have liked too.

Our family planned a trip to the East Coast for October 2015. I had a race planned and finally would be able to meet my buddy in person! Two weeks before we left I fell off my bike while cross training and broke my elbow! Though I told all the doctors I was going and I was running. I was told I had to take it easy, because if I fell I would be down for good.

October 3rd, I ran a half in Brooklyn, New York where Jahdiel, his mother, and his little sister were waiting for me at the finish line.

I cannot tell you the emotion that ran through me breaking my PR by 3 minutes and 6 seconds and having Jahdiel there.

It was a dream come true and now going into November I cannot wait to run some Turkey Trots for Jahdiel!

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