I ran my first 8K of my life on Sunday March 21st in Chicago. I participated in the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle. I've been training since January but had a set back on February 13, 2010. I was running in extremely worn out New Balance shoes and suffered a stress fracture. The doctor confirmed it through a bone scan on February 28th. Ever since that date, I have been in an orthopedic boot and going crazy because I couldn't run. On March 14th, I went out for my first run since and completed 3 miles. It felt great and I continued throughout the week and did 15 miles. By Sunday 3/21 I was ready for the shuffle. Technically, I was not supposed to run it as I am supposed to be in the boot until the first week in April but I couldn't help myself.
I toughed it out and went down to Columbus and Monroe to run the Shuffle. It was far too cold for my liking but what more can be expected in Chicago! The worst part was waiting for the gun to go off-I just wanted to run and warm up. The gun finally went off for my wave at 9:20 am and we were on our way. The first 2 miles were very easy and flat. The last 2.97 miles were challenging but my pain was non-existent. I definitely learned 90% of running is mental. I kept my head in the game and would not allow myself to stop and walk like a ton of people I saw. When I was in high school, I did not care much for running and would walk part of 5K's nearly every race. This race, I didn't allow it to happen. I toughed it out and made it through. The end of the race was the most challenging as there was a huge hill up Roosevelt at about .30 miles left. Once I got to the top of the hill, it was a downhill relief and the finish line was in sight. I gave it all I had and crossed the line at 46:29. This averaged out to about a 9:21 mile pace and I couldn't argue with that considering I have a stress fracture and it was my first race since high school. I would eventually like to race with 7:30-8:00 minute miles but I have to heal before that can happen. I am definitely ready now for racing season to begin. Bring it on.