A week ago I ran The Omaha Corporate Cup 10k. It was my second race and my first 10k. The morning was pretty chilly, we had to wear light jackets and gloves. There were around 4,000 runners. The elite runners got to run an hour before the rest of us. The seeded runners, of course, were in the front, then the regular runners (I'm not sure what we are categorized as) and the walkers at the back. Being in a race is very exciting, whether it's a small crowd or large. My first race was just over one hundred people, very small but the excitement was just as great as this one.
D2 and her friend N are faster runners and, even though they were several rows behind us, passed D1, W and me before we even crossed the starting line, which took us a minute or two to get across due to the large crowd. It's a good thing we had chips on the back of our bibs.
D1, W and I had decided earlier to use the Jeff Galloway method of running - to run/walk from the beginning, not to wait until getting tired before walking. D1 and W had originally thought they would run one mile/walk one mile but I thought that would make us tired too soon, after all, we're new to this running and racing stuff. So we decided to run 5 minutes and walk one minute.
Well, after about a mile or so at that ratio we were getting a bit fatigued and started using 5/2. After a few intervals at that ratio and getting a little rested, we decided to use what Galloway had actually suggested, a 4/1 ratio which worked pretty good for almost the rest of the race.
At one point I used my inhaler even though I had used it about two hours prior to the race. This caused the girls to get a little concerned about me so I had to assure them I was fine, just needed a little boost from the inhaler.
Sometime between the fourth and fifth miles I felt I needed to take an extra minute of walking (which the other two were glad I did as they were feeling it too) but then resumed our 4/1 ratio for about the next mile then we just ignored our timers and ran until we needed to walk but always tried to keep the walking short.
Finally I told the girls to go ahead, that I was just going to go at a slower pace and would be fine. They reluctantly left me and would occasionally look back to see how I was doing. I just kept running some then walking some, always making sure I ran more than walked. The last mile was up hill, not steep but a steady incline.
I lost sight of the girls as they turned the final corner towards the finish line. I wanted to be sure I ran the last half mile and that I came around that corner running. I was so happy after turning the corner because from there it went downhill! I could see D1 and W going across the finish line.
As I was running toward the finish I kept looking around for D2 and the rest of the family but couldn't find them. I picked up my pace a little and just before hitting the finish line I heard my granddaughter shout 'Go Gramma!'. I turned to my left and could see everyone standing at the finish line and I raised my arms in the air as I ran across the finish! I was so happy I had completed the race and I wasn't last!
When I stopped running my legs felt like wet noodles and almost buckled. I started walking toward my family, stumbled and almost fell on my face. D2 came over to me and gave me a high five then gave me a big hug. When I got to the side with the rest of the family I got big hugs from all of them. They said how proud they were of me for funning the race. The grandkids thought I was awesome!
As I was going across the finish I also noticed someone with a camera standing with my family and following me as I crossed and as I was getting high-fived and hugged. When I got to where everyone was standing I noticed it was a reporter. She had been interviewing D2 when she said 'here comes my mom. She has asthma'. Apparently the reporter asked her what made her decide to run this race.
The Corporate Cup is sponsored by the American Lung Association, so when D2 mentioned that I had asthma the reporter zoomed in on me. When I got over to where everyone was standing, and after hugging everyone, I needed to sit so I sat down on the curb and leaned against a light pole. She knelt down in front of me and started asking me questions. One was 'you have asthma and ran in this race. Would you tell other people with asthma and other lung diseases that they could do this too?' I told her yes, that I trained with the Omaha Running Club and ran my first 5k on Labor Day and this is my first 10k. Its hard work, but well worth it!
Then the reporter went back to D2 and asked her why she decided to run this race. D2 told her 'I had been doing a little running for a while but never felt I could run a race, but when my mom, who has asthma, asked me to run a 5k with her, I thought if she could run a race having asthma, than I certainly could run it too'. I felt so proud of her and had tears in my eyes.
Well, my part of the interview was aired on the evening news, but unfortunately they cut out my daughter's interview. I got quite a few positive comments and congratulations from friends and co-workers that saw that clip. Some of the comments were 'You're a TV star'.
There was a time during the race when I questioned my decision to run a 10k having just begun running and only ran one 5k. I felt I might have bit off more than I could chew but I never once felt like quitting. My race time was 1:21:22. I don't remember what my pace was calculated to be. The only thing I really care about is that I did it. As tired as I was when I finished, I felt awesome for the rest of the day.
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