John and I have done the Shorewood Scoot for 4 years in a row now. The main reason we do it is because it is literally 10 minutes from our house. In the Chicago suburbs where everything seems to be a minimum of half an hour away, finding something so close is a gem. The past few years John and I have leisurely run it together; last year Jamie was a tiny baby and we walked the whole thing. This year though, I am probably in the best shape of my life, I weigh less than I did before having Anne (thank you for that gift you gave me Jamie while I nursed you!), and I am really fast with running! Before this year, I was running at a comfortable 11 minute mile pace. Maybe a 10:30 if I was having a good day. In the running world, that's practically walking. This year, I am comfortably running a 9 minute pace. Much much faster than I ever hoped I could run.
Back when I started doing races, I knew that I was-at best-a 10 minute miler girl. So I always thought it would be cool to run 3 miles in under 27 minutes (or in under a 9 minute mile). That translated over into wanting to do a 5k in under 27 minutes, even though that meant doing an 8:45 or so. I never ever thought I would even come close to doing that. But this year, since I was already running so "fast" I thought I might actually try for it. I made up a training schedule for myself that included one day of speed work, one day of mock 5Ks at a faster pace and one day of a "long" run. Last week I ran my final training 5K in 27:35 and thought I just might actually have a (long) shot at making my ultimate goal for time in a 5K.
So today was the race. I was totally nervous. Even though we paid for John to do the race too, he decided to stay at the finish line to watch me come in (since we were both so excited that I might actually make my goal). The first mile I was incredibly fast. I finished it in an 8:20. The second mile I finished in an 8:40, still well within my goal. By this point, I was feeling it big time in my gut. When I exert myself with running, I get what's equal to the worst side stitch but in my stomach. So I was feeling that a lot. The beginning of that mile started with a hill so I slowed my pace for a few minutes and ended the 3rd mile in 9 minutes. I had only 1 tenth of a mile left to go-about one minute to finish that, give or take a few seconds. My watch said I was at 26:05 or so. I didn't think I'd finish that tenth before 27 minutes but I still picked up my pace. The last 30 seconds or so I debated slowing down and jogging it in because I thought I wouldn't make it anyway. But then I thought of finishing just a few seconds over 27 minutes and didn't want to be kicking myself for not giving it my all. So I sprinted it in-and made some nice breathing noises-I'm sure my co-runners thought I was giving birth. But I did it! I finished it in 26:55 (and actually even faster since I didn't start their start line right away). Awesome! I almost cried! I cannot believe I actually beat what was basically an unattainable goal. I have absolutely no desire to beat my time-I think this may go down as my fastest 5K in my life and I plan to run until I die. I had a great time and am so thrilled my training paid off!
Later on Anne and Jamie ran a race. Anne actually came in 4th out of probably 20 kids. That's my girl! And Buddy came in dead last, but in his defense he had no clue what was happening. Here's some pictures of our fun morning.