Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2013

Some Day…

One of the rituals I have acquired over the course of #AutismStreaks is to post a post-run picture on social media, usually stating the distance, time, average heart rate and pace, along with an occasional random thought or event that happened during the run.  It’s been my way of “proving” to the world that I am in fact running these runs.  One of the places I have been posting these pictures is on Instagram, where I have a small but supportive and friendly following.  On Instagram I will mostly post running related pictures, but I will occasionally throw in a picture of the latest kitchen creation, something the kids did that I thought was cute or, one of my favorites, a #throwbackthursday pic.

After my run this morning, I posted my usual self-portrait and while refueling on some brunch browsed through what others had put up.  It’s always a wide variety, ranging from the hysterical to the sad, from the serious to the ridiculous, but then I came across this photo:

download

I stopped chewing my food, put my fork down, pulled out my soapbox.  There were already several dozen “likes” on the photo and the typical string of “LOL”‘s.  I understood the sentiment, I could not abide by the use of the word.  I left a comment:

Dislike! Not a fan of using that word – further marginalizes those that are genuinely mentally challenged.

I then added a link to my post when Ann Coulter thought it would be funny to use the R-word in her tweets.  I then followed that up with Getting off my soapbox now…sorry about that.

A few minutes later somebody responded: Not sure why everyone needs to tell others what they dislike.

I took a deep breath.

I reached back down to get my soapbox.

And I wrote this:

I hear ya….and honestly, the PC Police go way overboard almost all the time.  I am a proponent of teasing.  I think it builds character and teaches kids to stick up for themselves, but when people use the word “retard” to put something or someone down and label that thing or person as stupid (which I assume is the implication), it also says that those who are mentally retarded, like my daughter who is on the Autism Spectrum, are less than their neurotypical peers.  The problem for me lies in the fact that these kids, very often, cannot defend themselves because they are non-verbal and cannot speak…that doesn’t mean they are necessarily less intelligent.  In fact, if given a means of communicating (a tap board, an iPad, etc), these kids often prove to be of above average intelligence…but constantly using their label to put down others has an effect when they can’t defend themselves.  Now, if you truly believe that…my daughter is less of a human because of her disability, well, go ahead and use the word and we can part ways knowing we fully disagree on the subject; but if you DO think my daughter should be afforded the same dignity as anyone else, I will only ask you to reconsider the use of the word.  At this point in her life, my girl still can’t defend herself…that is why I feel the need to tell others that I dislike the word.  Regardless, if you’ve gotten this far in my comment, I appreciate the time you took to read this.

I know I could have worded it better.  I know I could have done a much better job explaining why calling someone “retarded” to make them feel bad or laugh at others is offensive (Jess is the wordsmith in the family, not me).

But I also know the poster of the pic did not have any ill intentions.  In fact, she apologized and said she would take it down.  I’m not sure if that would be the right decision.  Were she to keep it up, then other might see my comment, my argument against using the word “retarded” in such an offensive way.

To me, there is nothing wrong with the word itself – it is the way people use it.

My hope is that some day, in the not so distant future, that people, ALL people, will understand that.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

It’s hard to believe that #AutismStreaks is already 12 weeks old – 84 straight days of running!

A busy couple of weeks highlighted by a fun 5K on St. Patty’s Day and an easy 16-miler with my buddy JB this past Sunday.  I don’t think we stopped talking the entire 16 miles.  Hope it’s been a good couple of weeks for you and that those who are running Boston this year aren’t going too crazy with their tapers.

Coming in to the finish line at the Inaugural Leprechaun 5K - 20:20 (8th overall, 3rd in AG, 1st in LHR - Leprechaun Hat Runners)

Coming in to the finish line at the Inaugural Leprechaun 5K – 20:20 (8th overall, 3rd in AG, 1st in LHR – Leprechaun Hat Runners)

With Julie C. - she did an amazing job directing her first race!  AND it was for a good cause - raising funds for the Nashoba Learning Group (click this picture to learn more about NLG)

With Julie C. – she did an amazing job directing her first race! AND it was for a good cause – raising funds for the Nashoba Learning Group (click this picture to learn more about NLG)

Me & JB after 16 miles where we didn't stop yapping for a minute.

Me & JB after 16 miles where we didn’t stop yapping for a minute.

Week 11:
March 12 – 7.0 miles 51:32 7:21 pace aHR 141
March 13 – 5.0 miles 38:50 7:46 pace aHR 129
March 14 – 7.0 miles 56:00 8:00 pace aHR 135
March 15 – 10.0 miles 1:19:32 7:57 pace aHR 138
March 16 – 1.0 miles 8:03 8:03
March 17- 5.0 miles warm up and cool down with a 20:20 5K in between
March 18 – 1.0 miles 9:00 9:00 pace

Week 11 Total – 36.0 miles

Week 12:
March 19 – 3.0 miles 25:52 8:37 pace
March 20 – 6.0 miles 50:32 8:25 pace aHR 122
March 21 – 5.0 miles 44:30 8:53 pace aHR 123
March 22 – 7.0 miles 50:24 7:12
March 23 – 5.0 miles 41:41 8:20 aHR 131
March 24- 16.0 miles 2:14:00, 8:22 aHR 133
March 25 – 1.0 miles 10:28 10:28 pace

Week 12 Total – 43.0 miles

#AutismStreaks Total – 457.0 miles (as measured by Garmin 610)

***

If you want to start your own #CharityStreak pick up the Charity Miles app and start raising money for your favorite charity simply by walking, running or biking:

Get the Charity Miles app:

  • Download App
  • Download App

Read Full Post »

My first thought was a stream of Woohoo’s and Yahoo’s and Yes’s and Woot Woot’s!!!  I couldn’t actually do it out loud because I was sitting in the waiting/observation area of Brooke’s gymnastics class.  When I received this tweet from Mophie, it was all I could do to contain myself:

download-1

But as I worked to keep my sense of excitement, joy and accomplishment inside, another thought popped into my head.

Oh Crap!!!

Don’t get me wrong.  I was super excited.  I am STILL, over 12 hours later, giddy over the news that yesterday’s post not only reached the fantastic people at Mophie, but that those fantastic people are sending me two, TWO, of their Juice Pack Pluses.

The conversation went something like this:

Mophie: We’d love to help you out! Send us a DM! #mophielovesyou

 

Me: I am sitting in my daughter’s gymnastics class lobby and I just yelped!

Mophie: …We saw your post and we wanted to help by sending you 2 of our juice pack pluses…

 

Me:…I cannot tell you how thankful I am!

Mophie: We’re happy to help! Now you just have to run your heart out and rack up those miles. 🙂

And that’s when it hit me.

Oh Crap!

There’s no turning back now.  There’s no deciding in May you know, my training hasn’t been what I wanted so I’m gonna do something else.   There’s no bailing.  Now my name is on the line.  On June 14th I’m running 100 miles or running for 30 hours, whichever comes first!  If I don’t follow through, then why would anyone even think about supporting me in whatever it is I decide to do the next time.

So there you have it.  Be careful what you ask for, because sometimes, just sometimes you get it…and when you do, you have got to follow through with your end of the request.

***

On what I feel is a pretty cool result of this whole thing is that many of you didn’t even know what Mophie was or what Mophie made.  Many fellow autism parents, who often rely on their iPhones to help their children wait in lines or transition from one part of the day to another sent texts or left messages that said they were extremely excited to discover that this product existed – in the end, I feel like this was a win-win-win situation for everyone.

Thank you Mophie for helping me in my endeavor – on race day there will be a sharpie tattoo on my shoulders that reads “Powered By Mophie”.  I know that the folks at Charity Miles and at Autism Speaks will truly appreciate the fact that I will be able to run the Charity Miles App for 100 straight miles, and I truly appreciate the fact that you are helping me make a better tomorrow for my Brooke.

Thank you,
Luau

Read Full Post »

mophie-iphone-5-juice-pack-air-battery-case-1

Dear Mophie,

(For those of you who do not know what Mophie is, they are a company that makes an iPhone case that doubles as an extra battery)

I need you assistance in a footrace I will be running in June.

I suspect that this is not a request that you get often, if at all, but it is true – I need your help.  I have been a user of your product for a few years now, first with my iPhone 3G and now with my iPhone 4G.  Your product has allowed me to use my phone worry-free throughout the day – it is a rare day that I crawl into bed at night with little or no charge on my phone.

I used my Mophie Battery Pack at the 2011 New York City Marathon to record my journey through the five boroughs and I STILL had enough juice to edit my recordings on the iMovie app and upload it to the web.  Yes, YOUR product made that possible.

But I am now in a pickle.  Between the built-in battery of the iPhone and the your battery pack I get about 15 – 18 hours of moderate use.  That’s well and good when running a marathon, but in June I plan to tackle the 100-mile distance.  The winner of that race just may finish within that time frame, but I am not nearly that fast.  The cutoff time for the race is 30 hours.  A few friends and I are each hoping to run 100 miles in less than 24 hours, but ultimately, we would just like to be able to finish.

You may wonder why it is so important that I have my phone while I am running those 100 miles – yes, it would be nice to have some music or a podcast playing, and I would definitely like to be able to record the highs and lows of our 100 mile journey, however, the main reason why I would like to have my phone with me is that I run with an amazing little app called Charity Miles.  This app allows me to raise money for charity with every mile that I run.  25¢ per mile may not seem like a lot, but the quarters eventually add up.

My daughter has autism.  Autism has impacted our lives in a very real way – forcing us to alter plans; causing one parent or the other to miss a performance of our older daughter; keeping us from being able to sit at certain restaurants or participate in dance recitals or engage in play dates…the list goes on.

When I run, and I’ve run every day this year so far in part thanks to your product, I have my Charity Miles app set to raise funds for Autism Speaks.  They are conducting ongoing research that will hopefully one day soon help alleviate the difficulties my daughter and those like her face on a daily basis.  Autism Speaks, while funding a broad range of scientific research is also working to help raise Autism Awareness.  This awareness has pushed people to think twice before simply dismissing my girl as a spoiled brat when she is having an anxiety fueled meltdown or calling her awful names because she sometimes seems to be intellectually incapable of grasping certain concepts.

I don’t know if anyone has every run 100 miles straight while running the Charity Miles app and frankly, I don’t really care – I just feel like this could serve as inspiration to ANY walker, biker or runner to get the app and start using it for their charity of choice (Charity Miles has a wide range of charities they raise money for)…and hopefully, some of those inspired folks will choose the same charity I choose, and bring closer the day that my soon to be 10 year old baby girl will find an easier, less anxiety inducing environment.

I am hoping that you will consider donating 2 of your most powerful battery cases for the iPhone 4 so that I can keep my phone humming at full strength as I attempt to cover 100 miles on foot in 24 hours.  Please feel free to contact me at runluaurun at gmail dot com (written out to avoid spammers) if you have any questions or need any specifics clarified.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read this,

Luau

***UPDATE!!! I received this tweet from Mophie – THANK YOU!!!***

download-1

Read Full Post »

The Struggle…

The moment my foot hit the pavement I knew this was going to be a struggle.

***

It had been a long day of errands, housecleaning, refereeing the kids, dealing with local PTO politics, picking up dog poop, shuttling the kids back and forth services and extacurriculars…

…the family had been fed, dishes were done, the kitchen resembled a distant cousin of clean…

…the kids were tucked in, Jess was on her way to what I hoped was not a fitful sleep…

I had 10 miles in front of me.

I was tired, frustrated and beaten by the day.

***

The moment my foot hit the pavement I knew this was going to be a struggle.

***

As I almost silently moved through my neighborhood, mash ups of Journey & Lady Gaga, the Smiths & Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson & Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones & Adele playing through my earbuds, I thought of the Brooke’s new diagnosis of Rolandic Epilepsy; I thought of Jess and Katie and how they often reflect and amplify the stress and anxiety they each feel on a daily basis – both a blessing and a burden.

The thoughts kept rolling in and then rolling out of my head as I moved from one neighborhood to the other.

The struggle was coming.

Just as I reached the other side of our town center, I hit 2.5 miles – halfway to halfway I thought.  The next 2.5 miles would be on a straight, hilly stretch of road – one of my favorite places to run.

As the tunes kept playing, my mind kept wandering.  What happened to the fairy tale?  Why are all three of my girls struggling so much?  Why do they have to struggle?  Why does everything have to cost so much? Where are the answers?  I attacked the hills as if THEY were the issues my girls were dealing with. If only it were so easy.

***

As I rapidly approached the mile 5 marker of my run, the struggle came – what if I just kept going?  what if I just kept running?  what if I didn’t turn around?  what if I just ran forever?

Part of me, the boy in me, the 16 year old without a care in the world wanted to just run; run for the hills; run into the proverbial sunset; run away with the circus…

Yes, the moment my feet hit the pavement I knew this was going to be a struggle – this point in time.  As my watch beeped to tell me it was time to turn around I thought of Forrest Gump…

Run Forrest Run…

…Run Luau Run…

…run away…

…just run away…away…away…

unpopular-forrest-running

***

I let the fantasy linger for a moment…

no responsibilities, no demands, nothing but the open road and the sound of my two feet softly beating in rhythm beneath me…

***

…and then I turned for home.

Home…where I am needed, where I am loved, where I belong.

Read Full Post »

I sometimes wonder, what the Hell did I do?  What did I do to deserve this?

***

Oh, Luau…the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  We cannot know what his plan is.  We can only have faith that he has us on the right path and that he will only put challenges in front of you that he knows you can overcome.

Yeah?  Tell that to the guy who disappeared down a sinkhole last week.

***

Last night Jess, Brooke and I went to go see Katie in a school production of a musical.  Katie had been fighting a bad cold all week, but was determined to perform.  Little Brooke was even saying that she was excited to see the show.  Everything was going great – Brooke was singing along, watching, keeping an eye out for Katie – yes, everything was going along just fine…that is, until it wasn’t anymore.

Just before intermission Brooke turned to me and said, this show is too long. 

I hushed her and said that intermission would be soon.  She then said she needed the restroom.

Fine, I thought, no problem.  We slipped out of the auditorium and were back in our seats in minutes.  When intermission arrived, I went to get a snack.  I was gone maybe 10 minutes at most.  When I returned Brooke was in full meltdown mode.  She was done, cooked, finished.  Jess walked her outside to try to calm her down but to no avail.  About 5 minutes later she came in alone.  A friend was watching Brooke in the lobby.

Can you take her home, she asked.

I sighed.  I wasn’t going to get to see the second half of the show.

I wondered, what the Hel did I do?  What did I do to deserve this?  To be clear, this question wasn’t directed at Jess.  There was no way I was going to let her miss the closing act of her baby.  Those two have a bond that is beyond special, beyond your typical mother-daughter relationship.  No, my question was for the Big Guy Upstairs.

What did I do?

WHAT HELL DID I DO, “LORD”???

I took little Brooke by the hand and trudged out of the school, shoulders slumped, on the edge of tears.  Upon arriving home, Brooke wanted to draw.  I told her one picture and then it was time for bed.  I slumped to the floor feeling sorry for myself.

I again wondered to myself, what did I do to deserve this? But then it struck me.  Maybe I did do something to deserve this; maybe at some point in my life I treated someone poorly or used terms that were inappropriate – who knows?  It didn’t matter.

My question morphed.  My thinking changed. My anger at the Petty Guy Upstairs grew.

The real question I should have been asking is What the Hell did Katie do to deserve this?  Why does she have to suffer collateral damage?

The answer?

Nothing.

She didn’t do anything to deserve this.  This whole “sins of the father” crap is just that…crap!  Petty, Vindictive Crap!

7 miles at 11 o'clock at night while blasting Zepplin II helped my mood a little...but not much.

7 miles at 11 o’clock at night while blasting Zepplin II helped my mood a little…but not much.

 

Read Full Post »

photo(13)

for the back ground on who The Blue Afro is, please read https://runluaurun.com/2012/09/17/boston-13-1-2012/ or just click on the picture

It’s still 6 months away, but the Blue Afro is thinking about September.  Where will you be this coming September 15th?  The Blue Afro and I hope that you will be here in Boston, with us, with one of those cool Autism Speaks singlets on, sharing 13.1 scenic miles along the shore through some classic Boston-area neighborhoods.

That’s right, Boston 13.1 is on September 15th this year and once again Autism Speaks is the sponsored charity of the race.

I (not the Blue Afro) have been running every day in 2013, in part for #AutismStreaks, in part to train for the TARC 100 and Vermont 50, but also to make sure that I am in shape and ready to go in September to once again help lead a team of amazing runners.

Last year Autism Speaks fielded 250 runners and raised over $186,000.00!  This year we are hoping to top that by recruiting 500 runners and raise at least $250,000.  All that needs to be done is that every one of you who ran last year grab a friend, a relative, a stranger off the street and convince them that THEY TOO can run (or walk) 13.1 miles!

You may wonder why I am once again leading the charge for Boston 13.1.  There is of course the obvious reason of running for a better, ever improving future for my little Brooke, but there is a less obvious answer as well.  Last year, as one of the team leaders, I had the privilege of leading weekly training runs every weekend throughout the summer.  Throughout the course of those runs I got to meet and get to know some pretty incredible people, many of whom I still interact with on at least a weekly basis, if not more often.  These runners were all running for different reason – some were parents or relatives of autistic children, some were educators, some were family friends of someone affected by autism, others were researchers – they all came from different backgrounds, they all came with different perspectives, but they all came with the objective of making the world a better place for their autistic children, siblings, friends, co-workers, students.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Group shot of some of last summers regulars after a preview of the course.

Once again this year, I will be leading weekly “long runs” on the weekends leading up to Boston 13.1, probably starting sometime in late April/early May, and I cannot wait to share the pavement on a weekly basis with some friends, both old and new.

Just like last year, I am not asking for your money – my close friends will be getting the donation letter shortly – no, once again, I am asking you to donate yourself, your body, your time.

I want you to:

  • help me raise autism awareness;
  • help me fund programs that help newly diagnosed children and adults and their families;
  • help me drive the research that could open the doorway to a better understanding of just what autism is;
  • help me make sure that autistic adults live in a world that embraces their differences and understands that everyone can be a productive, integral part of society.

Will you running 13.1 miles in September make that much of a difference?  It may not seem so at first glance – I mean, how far can the $500 raised really go, right?  You would be surprised.  You can fund 1 minute of research for as little as 10¢.  If we hit our goal of $250,000, multiply that 1 minute by 2.5 million dimes!  That’s a lot of minutes!!!  Every rain storm is made up of droplets and we have all seen what kind of effect the cumulative power of rain drops can be.

So I hope you will join me and my Blue Afro this September (and if you’re local, come join us every weekend – distances and pace will be individually based so don’t worry about how fast or how strong you are!).

Here are the details (pretty much the same as last year):

2013 Team Up! with Autism Speaks benefits include, but are not limited to:

* Guaranteed Race Entry

* Team Up! with Autism Speaks Runners Tank or Long Sleeve Shirt and an Autism Speaks hat/visor

* Private Team Celebration Dinner for you and a guest on September 14th. Location TBD – where you’ll be subjected to a motivational speech by yours truly AND we’ll get to break some bread together!

* Customized online fundraising page

* Team Up! Facebook Page

* Virtual Coaching by a certified running coach

* Fundraising Tips and Opportunities

* Dedicated Autism Speaks staff to answer questions you have and assist

* Race Day Cheering Section

* Team Handbook – In a PDF form and downloadable for reference at any time.

**Team Up! with Autism Speaks does not cover travel expenses to and from Massachusetts for the race. We strongly recommend the usage of the race’s official travel partners for making all reservations.

Autism Speaks will have a block of rooms available for booking at a local hotel shortly.

Here’s the link to the registration page: http://events.autismspeaks.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1055963

And one last note – it DOESN’T MATTER if you are not a runner!  Boston 13.1 is walker-friendly.  I won’t lie to you and say it’s a leisure walk in the park; it is a faster-paced 16:00/mile walk, but I guarantee that if you start walking regularly today (or when Spring hits your neck of the woods), then YOU will be able to cover 13.1 miles in less than 3:30.  So saying, “but Luau, I’m not a runner,” is not a valid excuse!

Join me.

Join the Blue Afro.

Come out and have some fun.  If you are from out of town, you’re going to get to see Boston at the best time of year and if you are local, well, you’re gonna be here anyway!  I hope to see you out there.  There were 500 slots – the Blue Afro just took one of them.

See you in September.

She is why I run...who will you run/walk for?

She is why I run…who will you run/walk for?

You can find the Blue Afro on Twitter at: the Blue Afro

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: