Race Recap: Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K

On Sunday I ran my first repeat race, the Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K.  I looked back and verified that my time from last year was 30:02.   My goal for this race was to beat my previous time, but also set a new PR.  My previous PR, 26:11, was set back in May of 2012.  I thought I had a chance to do better, but I was utterly ecstatic when I realized that I majorly kicked my own ass coming in at 24:42.

This race is super close to my home, so I decided to drive myself instead of being dropped off by my family so I could enjoy some solitary time before the race.  There was plenty of on site free parking, but a little walk to the start line was required.  I decided I would start with the 8 minute milers, but before taking my place along the starting line I met up with a friend who was running her first 5K since having her 3 boys.  I wanted to make sure I told her good luck and snapped a picture of us together before we started the race.  We were both cool with running our own races.  I love friends who understand me.

I took my place, started my music and was anxioulsy waiting to begin.  When the gun went off I pressed start on my Garmin and ran my little heart out, but not before holding back some tears of joy.  I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to run a race at the arboretum without being overwhelmed with emotion.

For the first half a mile I was weaving in and around people so that I could run at my pace.   Once I was in front of the crowd I was able to sail through the remainder of the first mile.  However, it was a challenge to get my breathing under control during this time.  Then my Garmin buzzed and showed that I had run my first mile in exactly 8 minutes.  That was an awesome moment to see that number.  I wondered if I could keep it up for the rest of the race.

I was able to get my breathing under control as I got deeper into the second mile.  I ran the second mile in 8:17.  This still amazes me.  At the 2 mile marker I realized that I was running side by side with these two kids who were maybe 10 or 11 years old.  I told them they were doing awesome and to keep it up.  I decided to quit looking at my watch and let these two kids set the pace.  They were sailing along so I just made sure to keep in line with those two little speed demons.

Once I saw the 3 mile marker I pushed myself into a full on sprint.  A few yards from the finish line my husband and older daughter notice me.  I ran while looking backwards and shouting my youngest daughter’s name so she could see her mommy run.  Our eyes finally met so I turned toward the finish line and gave it my all.

I looked back at my splits and found that the last mile when I was inspired by those two youngins I ran in 7:45!  Thank you athletic kids who run 5Ks for fun on Sunday mornings.  You rock!

This race is awesome and will forever be one of my favorite 5Ks.  It was a year ago that I started to gain confidence in myself as a mother and began developing a healthy self image. This year I feel strong and confident and proud of the mother I have become.  I am also gaining confidence as runner.

How far have you come as a runner?

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8 Responses to Race Recap: Morton Arboretum Fall Color 5K

  1. Judith Warren says:

    This was my first year here since I’ve always done Bucktown. I will be back. It was a fantastic race and since I do my long runs here I really felt at home in “my” trees! I’m glad the repeat didn’t disappoint you. I’ve found that some races are best as one and dones and some are repeaters for me. We stuck around for all the kids’ races and had an awesome day!

  2. Maggie says:

    Great job!

    I have come really far as a runner. My first half marathon was in 2010 and it was really hard. I didn’t train properly, I didn’t pace properly, and I ended up walking the last 5 miles. My finish time was 2:48. This past June, I ran a PR in the half, and my time was 1:53.

    And when I started running, even when I did my first half, I never NEVER thought I would do a marathon, and I’m attempting my first one on Sunday.

    So, I’ve definitely surprised myself MANY times over the past couple years.

  3. brooke says:

    holy crap that’s fast!!! great job 🙂

  4. kilax says:

    Oh my gosh! What a super awesome new PR! Congrats!

    I have really come far in terms of endurance! Not so much speed, but I can run forever (did my first ultra last month).

    Found you on Chicago Running Bloggers! 🙂

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