Saturday, April 19, 2014

Egg Shell Shuffle 5K recap

So the Egg Shell Shuffle was this morning and I won't lie - I was so nervous I slept terribly last night! What a great start, right? My PR going into this race was 35:17, from the Warm Your Heart indoor 5K at McCormick place in January 2013 (before this blog was born! but not much before!) and I knew I was going to break that unless something really weird happened. My pipedream goal was sub-30, my realistic goal was sub-31, and my back up goal was just have fun and PR. This is a cute race with an egg hunt afterwards, one for adults with real prizes amongst the candy and a free one for the kiddos with just candy.

(Usually I talk about packet pick up in my recaps, but this time, my husband picked up for me since the pickup was right near his office. Score! The race premium is a pair of bright blue Asics shorts although I could have opted for a tech top.)

The race started in Grove 5 of Busse Woods, same place as last year. I had forgotten how much GPS doesn't like finding places in there, but luckily my husband knew exactly where to go and dropped me off near the start line around 9 so I could hop in line for a bathroom. (There were both portopotties and a building with 2 retrospect they were probably about the same since they were forest preserve toilets that aren't like normal indoor toilets, but oh well - still nice enough and there were plenty to go round so at least for the 5K people the lines moved along fine. The half started 45 minutes earlier so if they had issues I wasn't there for them!)

After finishing in the bathroom line, I met my uncle, aunt, and two cousins, all of whom were running the 5K too (my aunt signed them up again). My husband showed up just in time to send us off to the start, although my garmin nearly didn't catch on in time! It seemed like it just wouldn't catch the satellite, and I started nearly 2 minutes after my family and the gun went off. It did start though and we were off; I knew from the previous year that the first 2 miles were a good out-and-back, fairly flat with a slight downhill the first mile about halfway through and a slight uphill on the way back.

Hi Aunt Jody!!

I didn't check my garmin at all the first mile, just tried to keep it easy and dodge and wave into an empty space. The first half mile or so felt pretty crowded but it smoothed out. When the first mile beeped I was both thrilled and irritated - my fastest mile EVER, a 9:10! That was exciting, but I knew my goal of negative splitting the race was not happening...I'd gone out way too fast. I knew better but I guess I just wasn't quite paying enough attention as I tried to get my footing. I consciously slowed myself down for mile 2 knowing I could never maintain 9:10s for the rest of the race.

Mile 2 was just the way back in, so it wasn't really anything new and about 2/3 through I was really feeling how fast I'd went out. But last year my husband had showed up around mile 2 to cheer me on so I figured I'd see him this year and I kept plugging along, the last stretch of it being on the grass. My second mile came in at 9:30, which was more reasonable - but a terrible stitch had me feeling like if I didn't walk I was not going to finish. And! My husband didn't show up :( Boo! I walked for about 40 seconds and was off again.

Mile 3 was a smaller out and back onto a bike path - last year it irritated me because I got stuck behind people who blocked the path walking. (I have nothing against walking in a race - obviously. But if you're going to do it, please don't block the people behind you - especially if the path is narrow, like this trail was!)  I was definitely feeling how fast I'd gone out even with the walk break and had to argue against stopping again. I knew I had a chance to grab the sub-30 at this point if I could just hold on, so I fought to distract myself. I found myself singing (in my head! not outloud! I don't believe in torture, and I know I'm tonedeaf!) bits of, of all things, the Psych musical episode. Hey, whatever works, right?

I kept watching my garmin as the distance ticked 28:00 my garmin read 2.92 and I know that it would be close but I should get it...just dig down deep. Mile 3 clocked in at 10:11, which considering I walked for 40 seconds felt pretty good to me. The finish line was in sight so I did my best - it was going to be agonizingly close, my garmin read 29:52 as I ran into the finisher chute, going as fast as my poor little legs could go.

My final garmin time?

29:59.8. .8! Talk about cutting it close!

I can't describe the feeling. I BROKE 30! Holy hell, I broke 30! That was a goal I set back during the Couch to 5K - some day, I wanted to run a 5K under 30. At the time it seemed impossibly fast, my first 5K was 40:18. I don't think I would even recognize myself any more. The best part is - I feel like the sky is the limit now; I always felt like I was making such little progress but things are definitely clicking this year. I was 14th in my age group, which is the highest I've ever placed (other than in really small races, haha)., would the chip time match my garmin??

My final chip time? 29:56. That's a 5:21 PR. It's official - I've run a sub-30 5K. I need some new running goals - I broke all of my HM and all of my 5K goals in the space of 2 weeks!

Of course, the egg hunt after was fun too. For one, I got to meet Lindy!

 Hi Lindy! Meeting you and V was fun!

My daughter got a bunch of eggs in her egg hunt!

That would be 18 eggs in that bucket!

And I got a good bunch of eggs in mine - plus, one of my eggs had more than candy!

And that would be $10 wrapped around that jolly rancher!

Plus, a sweet new piece of bling for my medal rack, commemorating an awesome PR!

Yep, it all comes down to bling. Even at 5Ks.

The one thing I am disappointed today is that I positive split the race. I have negative split almost all my training runs so I am disappointed that when it came down to race day I got so excited I made a mistake I haven't in a long time. But I'm not overly mad or anything - it just shows that as awesome I did, I have room to grow still! Onwards and upwards!


  1. You did amazingly! I think it would be hard to not do the proper splits on this course, the first mile is downhill, so of course it would be the fastest mile.

    It was so awesome meeting your uncle, before you...LOL Anyway, yes it was completely awesome seeing you and your wonderful family. I had to take a nap mid back to working on it now.

    OH and huge congrats on beating 30!

    1. That's a very good point! I didn't think about that.

      And that was too funny! He started talking to you and I was like, wait a second, what?? Lol!!

      Thank you!!!! I still can't believe it!

  2. wait, I think I said that wrong, I think it would be hard to do it properly

  3. Sub-30 is quite the accomplishment, isn't it!!! I don't know why, but that seems to be a big one for most runners (it was mine too-- but I have always REALLY wanted 24:59 tbh... whether it's a possibility or not. Are we ever done with goals? :-p ). I am so happy for you!! I remember mine and I burst into tears at the finish. The feeling is incredible and I'm so happy for you!!!!

    Reading all the goals you are hitting, and all the progress you're making, I keep saying "Heather, you're time is NOW." You patiently watched those you inspired reach their goals when you were pregnant (people that never would have even thought of running but you sparked something magical in them. YOU did that <3 ). NOW it's YOUR time and boy have you earned it! In effort, dedication, and karma. I'm SO proud of you!! <3

    With the positive time splits- Do you think your garmin played a role in that? Not that anything was read wrong, but rather, I'm wondering if the delay in waiting for it to start (sitting there at the start line hoping the darn thing syncs! "come on... come on" ...if you're anything like me!), and perhaps starting at a different point in the lineup (if you were?), along with the normal adrenaline in a race, kinda set you up for that. The fact that you still met your "pipe dream" goal is even more of an accomplishment! Not that you want a repeat (you will learn from this) but to still make sub-30 after all that is seriously incredible!! You had a LOT going on!!

    The sky is the limit with you! It really is. I had no doubt in my mind you'd do it. None at all. But the fact that you ran a 9:10... and you're totally not at your peak... this is just... WOW. Yep, WOW is the only word I have for it. <3

    1. Ooooh you are ambitious! My next goal is sub-29. I am just going to take it by minutes, haha! I feel like I broke a ceiling here...I always thought I'd top out around 10 minute miles. And I did run a couple high 9s - 949, 955, etc, but that's pretty close to 10 so I didn't think it was significant. But that 9:10 followed by a 9:30...I'm not at my limit yet!

      Thank you Barb <3 You saying that means so much and I just...I am feeling so good. I have no idea why the strides I have made on running have been SO big, but I really just feel incredible.

      I think it was totally possible it was that being "zomg gotta catch up" plus race excitement plus me just being really, really nervous! I am only a little bummed I positive split, only because training had gone so well, but really if that was the worst thing that happened..!

  4. congratulations! sub 30 is on my goal list, too, but i'm still a few months out from that one. i can't wait to hear what's next on your goal list since you keeping crushing them!

    1. Thank you! I have no idea now...I need a new goal list, haha!

  5. Woo hoo! Congrats on that HUGE PR! I love that it left you with that feeling of the sky being the limit. And that your whole family had a fun time at the race :)

    1. Thank you!! I know it sounds silly but I always thought I'd top out at 10mm - now I wonder - is there a top out, or if I keep working, where will I get?!