Who would have thought a few years ago that I’d be running races?!? There was a time that I couldn’t even run a mile.

The Georgia Race for Autism was my 1st road race, and my second ever running competition (Warrior Dash was my first). I was excited to participate in this event to support a worthy cause- Autism. I found out about this event just a few weeks ago, so we didn’t have a lot of time to fund raise. A few generous souls donated though, and we totaled $90.00 in donations.

I had Merritt and Remy on my mind during the race. I hoped to place in the Top 3 of my age division, and had my mental game planned. Imagining the cure for Autism existed past the finish line if I were fast enough to catch it made me pick up the pace.

I started near the front and hoped I didn’t overestimate my ability. I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way, but I really didn’t want to get passed. ;) I tried to pick the perfect pace as I ran…not holding myself back too much, and not wearing myself out too soon. I guess I picked a good spot in the crowd. I passed a few people and kept pace with a few runners for most of the way. A kid that must have been around 14 years old and an older teenager running together went past me between mile 2-3. I couldn’t help but smile. The younger one reminded me of Merritt in a way, and somehow I could just tell he was probably on the Autism spectrum. That kid was booking it and it was inspiring.

I have to admit, I was happy to split off from the 10k runners right after that. ;) Last mile to go, time to crank it up a notch!

With the end in site, I sprinted hard neck and neck beside another runner. Just after passing the finish line, runners were handed cards to write down name, bib number, and finish time that was shown on a screen as the finish line was crossed. Tables were set up with boxes for the cards, divided by age group and gender. I dropped mine into an empty box…Wait a minute, could it be? Was I really 1st in my age group? It took a minute to sink in, and I really couldn’t believe it until I was called up by the announcer during the awards ceremony. I won! Holy crap, I won!! I was ecstatic. :)

Just like losing weight, I surpassed my goal and it felt fantastic. You never know where life might take you, and usually the one thing holding you back is you. Surprising yourself by breaking through those self-imposed limitations is the sweetest victory of all.