I just completed my first official race for Team Momentum! I finished a 10k at the Brewers Mini!
We had a very busy day the day before the race. The day started early in Chicago. I went to Lurie Children’s Hospital for my weekly appointment. Then we drove to the Milwaukee area to the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin to see a specialist about my back. I feel at school the other day and have been in a lot of pain. They checked me over and took a look at my x-rays. Sure enough, I have at least 3 compression fractures. They said I’d have to wear a brace for the next six weeks and the only place I could get the one I needed was in Green Bay. So we hit the road again and drove another hour and a half north. We made it just in time and got the brace before they closed for the weekend. This brace is huge! It’s so bulky that I have a hard time moving around in it. Anyway, I was just glad to have it and begin healing. I also thought it would make it easier to complete the run since I know it can get pretty bumpy on the course sometimes. My Dad and I got home and packed everything up that we’d need for the race. By the time we were done, it was time for bed. It was a very long and tiring day and we had to be up at 4am to get to the race on time.
4am came real quick and even though I didn’t get much sleep, I was full of energy and ready to go. We arrived at Miller Park around 6am and began getting ready since our start was scheduled for 7am. Putting the chair together doesn’t take much, but my Dad always likes to be ahead of schedule just in case anything goes wrong. He had everything set and ready to go with a lot of time to spare. We were assigned to Corral A and started right at the line alongside other push chair participants including My Team Triumph. My Team Triumph is actually how I got started in all this. Well, it actually started by watching my Dad and all the other Team Momentum athletes in the 2014 Chicago Marathon, but My Team Triumph was the first time I rode in a push chair. Some friends who are volunteer camp counselors at MDA Summer Camp asked to push me in the 2015 Fox Cities Marathon. I loved it so much that I wanted to do more so my Dad looked into getting me a chair of my own. I was able to get one with the help of the Challenged Athletes Fund and also an online fundraiser led by our running coach, Sarah Dudek (thank you all so much!).
Anyway, here I was back on the line with My Team Triumph at the Brewers Mini at Miller Park. My Mom joined us at the start line and decided to run along with us too. I watched as the clock counted down and as it hit 10 seconds, we all started yelling out loud 10, 9, 8, 7,6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 we were off! We got off to a great start and led the race for about ¾ of a mile. Mom was doing well keeping up with our pace, but then started to fall back. Dad and I said we’d slow down and wait for her, but she wanted us to keep going, so we did. Our first mile was done in 8 minutes and 3 seconds. We started to have to climb a bunch of long, steep hills after about mile two. They were very difficult and I know my Dad was working hard to get me up them as quickly as he could. I kept cheering him on and saying everything I could to give him the energy to get to the top. By the time we hit mile 3, our pace had slowed to 9 minutes 43 seconds. It was all because of the hills. We usually don’t practice on too many hills and didn’t expect to have any in Milwaukee either. We don’t know that area of Milwaukee very well. There’s a Miller beer plant not too far away that is in a big valley. We ran through this area, which was cool to see, but very hard to get through. It started pouring rain around mile 5. I got soaked! It passed over us pretty quickly though and soon it was gone. We got to run into Miller Park and out onto the field as part of the course. There were a lot of people in there and they started cheering for me. They were clapping and shouting really loud. It was awesome! That’s something I forgot to say earlier. There were so many people that kept saying how good we were doing while we were out on the course. Lots of runners would say something like, Good job! Keep going! I always waved, smiled, and said thank you. It was so nice to hear them say that.
We only had about .2 miles left after we got out of the stadium. The announcer started saying my name when we got closer. People were clapping and cheering for me as I got to the finish. I did it! I finished my first race as a Team Momentum athlete! I was really excited to get the finisher medal. It looks good on me!
We met up with some MDA staff that ran the race too. We had fun talking with them about everything that went on during the race and then took some pictures together. I was so proud of myself, my Dad and Mom, and all the MDA staff that joined us. Soon we were back on the road heading home. When I got home my brother said he got me something and asked me to follow him. I did and he led me to some balloons him and my little sister got me to celebrate my first run. I was so happy they thought about me and were proud of what I did. They both really liked the medal I earned at the race and I had fun talking about it with them.
It was an amazing day!