Thursday, January 21, 2010

Once Upon a Time...

Welcome to the new blog! I decided to start it to chronicle my training and my feelings as the date for the Princess Half-Marathon approaches. This way, I can write things out instead of driving my friends and family crazy with non-stop talk about pacing, Sport Beans, and The Penguin. :)

First things first, in case you stumbled here by accident, let me take a minute to introduce myself. I'm Jennifer (aka Niffercoo), almost 38 years old (Yikes!), and I have 3 children. I have educated our children at home since 2002, and I started due to our children's special needs. My son and my younger daughter each have Autism Spectrum Disorder (I also have another daughter who doesn't have special needs). In addition, my son has Epilepsy... which brings me to the beginning of this story!

It was a dark and stormy night.

Well, no, it wasn't, but I love saying that! Actually, it was just a dark night. Dark in terms of what was happening in my life at the time. It was Friday, August 29th, 2008 and I had been up since before dawn to take my son down to the children's hospital for an EEG. 2 weeks before he had lost consciousness at the swimming pool, and when he came to he couldn't remember who he was, where we were, and what we had done that day. Paramedics took him via ambulance to the ER, and by the time he arrived, his memory was restored. It was terribly frightening. I took him to our pediatrician a few days later, and she suggested having an EEG to rule out seizures.

Two weeks later, we were taking our sleep-deprived son down to Atlanta for this test. By the time my husband and I had arrived back home with Austin, the EEG had already been read, our pediatrician had been called, and she called us twice and left messages. I, however, already knew something was wrong - even before we left the hospital. There were notations on the EEG screen that popped up during the test which said "Spike" and "Event" and both of the technicians were watching Austin very carefully each time one of these popped up. I was determined to Google as soon as we got home, but didn't have the chance. My baby boy (OK, so he was 12 at the time but he's still my baby) was having seizures and needed to be on heavy-duty medication.

It was later that same evening when my friend Jan sent me an Instant Message. It went something like, "Disney is going to be starting a new race called the Princess Half Marathon - let's run it in 2010 when I'm 40." After I laughed heartily, I reminded Jan that I don't run. I have genetically bad knees. And I don't like to be outside. And... and... I gave her lots of reason why it wouldn't be possible!

I read her IM out loud to my family, including my mom and dad who had come from out of state to watch the girls while my husband and I took care of Austin that day. My dad laughed and said, "Yeah, you can't do that. No way." Hmph. That was all it took.

So it was that comment from my dad, combined with my apparently altered state of mind from having been told that my autistic son was now also having seizures, that led me to determine that I would Run Through the Castle in 2010.


  1. I'll at least nod and pretend to understand what the Penguin is.... ;)

  2. How funny! I was mulling over starting an exercise blog too. Though I don't have a Princess Marathon. LOL And I do know who the Penguin is!

  3. Sadie, the Penguin is John Bingham! He's a runner and an author and he is AWESOME!

    Lisa, you definitely need to start an exercise blog!!

  4. Great blog. I am also a homeschool mom of a son on the spectrum. Running is a great outlet for me but I struggle with feelings of guilt and balancing my responsibilities with my own needs! Would love to hear more about that.