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O’ – All the Shenanigans

26 Apr

Happy April and belated Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Haven’t been so great about keeping up in March, and most of this month,  but let’s turn over a new leaf. Again 🙂

Every year around St. Patrick’s Day, the Hartford Marathon Foundation puts on a few 5K races. In the past, there were three. This year, FOUR! So that meant 2 weekends of 5 K’s. Starting with…

The O’Shenanigans 5K

This was the new one. Run in Cheshire/Southington CT and finishing up on the rails to trails path behind the Kinsmen Brewery (a new not even open at the time brewery!) It was cold this Saturday morning — well, not cold actually. It was FAH REEZING!!! Like…11 degrees air temp with a wind-chill near…1. So it was a layer up and hope for the best kind of day!

Swag was a colorful buff which came in handy in the cold!!

The course was, as advertised, a flat out and back. The back was on the path which was really pretty. I ran my new favorite intervals of 45:30 which seems to be working for now. The finishing snack was a Kinsmen beer and some really delicious pizza along with the usual Main Street Bakery bars/snacks and water!

After we finished snacking, Kathy and I headed back to the house to warm up. She headed home to RI while I showered and got ready to head over to RI for the night. Tomorrow’s race would be in Putnam, CT which is closer to her house than mine – plus I hadn’t visited in a while so it would be a nice time!

Sunday afternoon’s race is …

The Courthouse O’Putnam 5K

Putnam is a nice little town up in the northwest corner of the state. This is probably the 4th or 5th year I’ve done this one and it’s a fun day. This one is no where near Flat. But I kept to my intervals, mostly – there’s one or two pretty hefty hills to get up!!

And, it was another chilly day for sure!

And today’s swag was a great knit cap! They’ve learned from prior years and this year it’s a hat that will actually stay on while running!! Bonus!

Post race is a delicious corned beef sandwich (really the only time I have one!) and, of course a beer – which I enjoyed!

We also have a post race tradition of stopping into the little hole in the wall bar (literally, if you didn’t know it was there you’d miss it!) – we stopped in here after our first O’Putnam and have come back every year since. This year we sat at the bar and had a great time talking with the bartender/owner? learning some history of the building and hearing some great jokes!  At one point she commented on the fact that she thought we were familiar and so we told her we come in every year!

As we were leaving she hollered out “See you next year!”

Then it was time for me to gather my things, and my dog, from Kathy’s and head home. I had a big week ahead. In addition to the 2 final O’Races, I was throwing a Skirt Sport Trunk show open house and needed to get the house somewhat presentable!

The O’Niantic 5K

Saturday morning following St. Patrick’s Day, I headed south on Hwy 9 to meet up with Kathy for Saturday’s 5K – Niantic is a great little beach town and this 5K is another fun one!

Once again, I bundled up – though fortunately it was a *little* warmer than last weekend – I think we were getting up into the 30’s this week! It was supposed to be a fairly sunny day, but the clouds moved in before the start and didn’t really go away at all.

Swag report – great green gloves! The kind that you can keep on and still be able to take pictures and use your phone!

Again I kept to my intervals, except for that one big hill!

At the end of this race, we got our doohickey to hold our medals together and we also got our “Lucky” mug for doing all 4 of the races!! We also got some vegetarian chili and a beer! After hanging out at Smarty’s for a bit I headed back towards home to grab my voucher for the Trunk Show food and go get that picked up at Noodles and Company!

Then it was time to shower, finish setting up and wait for friends to show!

And, finally, the last race of the series:

The O’Hartford 5K

This year was a year of many changes for this race! New location, new craft brew festival put on by Small State Great Beer.

O’Hartford is a late starter …like 1 in the afternoon late! Which means we got to sleep in, which was nice. And the sun was shining fairly brightly too so there was some hope it would be a little warmer.

But the wind was also blowing so it was still pretty chilly out-

Final Swag – a Pair of Run Irish Socks! And also, I got a replacement for my “Lucky” mug that I managed to shatter in my driveway the day before…

We headed down an hour or so early, to beat road closures and park. Then my friend Pam let us hang out in her office before the race to stay warm (and, bonus! Indoor potties!). Her parents were meeting her down there so when they arrived we headed over to the start.  I was curious to see how I’d like this new course.

Again, kept to my intervals except on the bigger hills (I know, I just need to get over it..see what I did there?) and had a fairly decent finish.

Post-race we grabbed some sort of soup…and beer. This time we could choose from multiple CT breweries and I think I chose well (except at this late date I can’t remember though I think it was from 30 Mile Brewery)

After goofing off a bit we went back to Pam’s office where I may have had a second beer – but a smaller coffee mug sized beer 🙂  And by now it was getting pretty late – so we all headed to our respective homes.

All in all, it was a really great couple of weeks! I had hoped that it would motivate me to get back to a regular running schedule but so far, I’m still hoping…I’ve been feeling really scattered and like there are other things I need to get under control before I get my running back in line — more hoping that Spring will snap me out of my slump!!

All Of The Pictures – 

Using our awesome new buffs to help stay warm…#foggyglasses

All the Skirt Sports winter gear! Love my Toasty Tights, my Toasty Vest and my beanie!! I wore those pants every race during the series!

Swag from the first two races…

PreRace Niantic…I need to get back to Dublin one of these days…SOON!!

Post race Niantic!

This outfit again?!!

Swag from last 2 races…

All the medals, and extra glass. For drinking. Water

 

Coming up next — the Greater Hartford Quarter Marathon!!

A NYC Kind of Day

23 Mar

I have to say something first off, get it out of the way…

I-love-NY

When I was in college I had dreams of graduating from law school and being a big city International Lawyer  in Manhattan.  I ended up instead teaching school/working computers/Project Managing in Southern California. Yeah. I know!! 🙂

Eventually, I needed a change of scenery. So I did what any normal person would do. Sold my house, quit my job and moved back to my parents’ house on my way to relocating to the East Coast! I didn’t end up in NYC (I stayed with a friend for a month and realized that maybe I *didn’t* want to live in the city!) but I am close enough to go down whenever I want.

And whenever I can motivate myself to go! I’ve been saying for the last several weeks that I needed a day in the city — maybe I’d see a show, do some shopping. Just enjoy the city!

So finally, yesterday, I went on down!!

I knew I was going to see a show but didn’t know what I wanted to see. I figured I’d hit the TKTS booth and see what they had. Somewhere along the way I decided I wanted to see “Cinderella”. However, the ticket gods were against me — even the TKTS discounted price was more than I was willing to pay. While I was trying to decide what else I’d like to see, someone was shouting for “Jersey Boys” — when I asked how much he said “45” and I was …SOLD!  He couldn’t sell on the street and when we started walking up Broadway I got a little nervous. But we went into a very neat little storefront  and introduced me to Thomas — my new theater connection!   The Forty Five dollar price included ALL fees and ALL taxes as well as the ticket itself!

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My new ticket connection — everyone, meet Thomas!

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Note the face value on the ticket….yeah. I KNOW!!!

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And when I got to the theater and looked in my ticket envelope…

I had some time to kill before the show so I stopped in at my favorite shop in NYC — The Hershey Store thankyouverymuch! It was a big day for free samples (no picture since I ate them on the train home!) –but let me tell you, coconut Kisses? Oh yeah. #LoveandKisses for sure!! Then I headed to Rosie O’Grady’s for a pre-show beverage.  There was a nice Irish boy behind the bar, and lots of friendly folks who had the same idea as me!

Since time flies when you’re having beer, before I knew it it was time to head up the street to the theater –

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The Theatah!

where my plan was to have another (overpriced) beverage during the show! And, it’s like they knew I was coming – spillproof beer cups!

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Yeah. I KNOW!!!

I have a few friends who have seen Jersey Boys” and all gave it rave reviews – and they were right! I LOVED the show! Loved it. And I had a pretty good seat!

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Not a bad seat, except for the really tall guy sitting in front of me…

When the show ended I did some more NYC wandering. Took a detour through Macy’s but nothing really caught my eye. It was beautiful out so I just really kept walking around, popping in to random stores until I was getting tired and ready to head home.

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Macy’s Flower show starts this week I think — the store turns into a floral wonderland for a couple of weeks…

All in all, it was a really nice day — I haven’t had one like that in a long time. Now I have to just hope to hurry up and get a new job so I can do it more often!!

Hope everyone has had a great weekend whether you were running or relaxing. Or both!!

If You’re Lucky Enough to Be Irish….

21 Mar

You’re lucky enough!!

Zazzle dot com

Thank you zazzle.com!!

And even though St. Patrick’s Day has passed, there’s some St. Paddy reporting to be done!!

Each year, the Hartford Marathon Foundation puts on the O’Races! This year, as an added bonus, they added medals. And at the end of it all, if you did all three races, you’d end up with a fabulous “key” to put all of the medals together. So…of course I was doing all three!!

First up was the O’Putnam – the weekend BEFORE the weekend before St. Pat’s Day. Now, Putnam is way up in the Northeastern part of my tiny state! My friend Kim – at Maker Mother Marathon Runner – had just had surgery and was told no big driving so we were going to met at my house and drive up together. So, of course, minutes before she got here (luckily since I had told her the WRONG STREET!!) I went to pull the car out of the garage and it wouldn’t start!! I felt AWFUL – but Kim happily agreed to drive and we decided if she was not up to driving back then I would take care of that.

So after what seemed like a bazillion years, we finally made it up to Putnam, grabbed our bibs and super great hats and decided to hang out in the sponsoring bar to wait for the start. Kathy was coming over from RI and had a much shorter drive. We ended up meeting her at the starting line. By the way, Putnam is a really cute little town with a great bakery/coffee shop and a dive bar or two!

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Me and Kim, reppin’ the Sparkle Athletics!

The air horn went off and we all went on to finish our own races! I didn’t do TOO bad — at least I’m guessing – since my watch wouldn’t work. Side note- I might need to replace my 15 year old Garmin soon…

Now, these St. Patrick’s Day races all have one thing in common — that’s right. Beer. Not green beer. Just plain old beer! And, you’d be surprised (or maybe not!) how tasty a beer tastes at x o’clock after a short run! They were also offering corned beef sandwiches but I passed on that for this race.

After chatting with Kathy and her husband for a bit, and getting in some dog petting, Kim and I headed back home and I can’t say enough how much I appreciate her driving when she thought she wouldn’t be!!

The big weekend is actually the one closest to St. Patrick’s Day is the biggie. A 2 5K weekend!

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Pre-Race hijinks with Meg, Kim and Kathy!

First up – the O’Niantic in…Niantic CT — down on the shore, it’s a cute little town. Kim and Meg (we met her before at Princess but in case you forgot, you can find her at Runaway Royalty — and definitely check out her recap of this weekend! Link down below!) came to my house since it’s really on the way down south and we headed down to the shore. We were there early, got bibs and hats (I missed out on this one  -BOO!) and then went to sit in Dunkin to pass the time. Kathy met us there and we eventually headed to the start line (via the potties – which we ended up asking a store owner if we could use his and he kindly let us!) where there was not a lot of waiting for things to get going!

Meg and I stuck together for the first mile or so…then she was feelin’ it and took off during a walk break for me! I was having some wheezing thing going on which was not exactly new but completely unexpected!! It’s a gorgeous course through a residential neighborhood  with a hill or two thrown in…which means one good downhill!! 😉

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Showing off some more bling! And our great caps!

Kathy finished, then Meg finished and it made me happy to see her face when I headed across the finish line  – then we waited for Kim, who wasn’t too far behind me!  Again, St. Pat’s = Beer so we headed to the After Party at a local restaurant! Today our snack offerings were chili, bananas and some fantastic granola! Which was good to have while we waited in Line. For. Beer!!

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‘Tis the season…the beer season!

Eventually got a beer and found a place to keep warm and enjoy our beers before heading home again!  Kathy was gonna spend the night instead of going home  so we grabbed a(nother) beer and watched some DVR’d shows before going out to lunch at the diner around the corner. It was an EARLY night – cause we’re old and it had been a long day!

On Sunday, we were happy that the race wasn’t starting until 1 in the afternoon. After a relaxing morning and breakfast we headed downtown. Where it was FA.REEZING! Seriously, with the wind it had to be in the  20’s. Thank goodness for another knit hat!! We met up with Kim (and her kids!) and Meg in the XL Center, out of the wind but eventually had to head outside.

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Hey! Where are you? I’m outside in the green cap!!

This race is the biggest of the whole series and it was a sea of green out on Trumbull. Today we all started separately, knowing that we’d meet up at the finish!

I had a fun time, and did a little better than the day before. Slow and steady — I think that’s what will help me improve and get back to where I used to be! The sun was shining and once we got moving it warmed up pretty well.  Lots of people out on the streets of Hartford made for an interesting run too!

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The State Capital — in the right light that dome is BLINDING!

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I love this arch — love it!

Crossing the finish line, I saw Meg in the food line and got a text from Kathy that she was picking up my medal “clip” — see, for the first time ever, for the three O’Races, Hartford Marathon Foundation gave out medals – and at the last one, we got a clip to hold all three together!

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Three Medals — very pretty on their own…

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And when you put them all together…gorgeous!!

Really fun and some nice Bling! Kim and Kathy eventually got in line with Meg while I grabbed my beer and then joined them.

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Freezing cold bling!

We grabbed our corned beef sandwiches and tried to find someplace indoors — trying the XL Center and immediately getting kicked out so they could lock up! Kim ended heading to her car while those of us who didn’t bring our kids (that we don’t have!) headed to the nearest pub!

Had a great time having another beer and chatting with the girls – eventually though, even the most fun weekends have to wind down and that’s what happened to this one. I will say though that I had the MOST amazing time! I’m generally a lone runner but it’s always nice to know you’ve got friends out on the course and, in my case, waiting at the finish! I loved the weekends’ races and can’t wait to run with my girls again!!

And for ANOTHER great recap of our weekend check out Meg’s blog at Runaway Royalty  – she’s got some great pictures too!

Race Review – X-Treme Scramble #3 “DISCO”

23 Aug

So, yeah…this song was in my head all week. Why? Well, I’ll tell ya why

Last night was the final HMF X-Treme Scramble and this month’s theme was “Disco”. The general idea of these Thursday evening, after-work weekend kick-off runs is that the course is never the same as last month and you never know what you’re getting into until you’re well into it

This one was a pretty straight-forward course – head north along the river, past the boathouse, through the woods and back. Easy peasy. No stairs, no hills, no bridges. A great course and some decent weather. We missed out on the expected storms/rain and there was a nice breeze.

I decided this time to stick with my intervals and NOT half-ass it like usual “Oh, this is uphill and I should be running but I’ll walk and just tack it on to my next run interval…” and so on 🙂 And, amazingly, knocked about 3 minutes off of my last 5K so, lesson learned.

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What I wish I looked like doing my intervals up the hills…

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What I felt like after running my intervals up hills…

Post race, talked to a PT that was on-site about a pain I’ve been having, he poked my butt a little and showed me how week my glute muscle is. Suggested squats and that sort of strengthening to help things out. Glad I took the 10 minutes to talk to him for sure.

squat

Grabbed my Harpoon UFO and my burrito from Moe’s – and headed up the stairs to find a seat and enjoy dinner!

As always, the Hartford Marathon Foundation did an excellent job with the series and everyone had a great time this summer! I’m pretty thrilled that I FINALLY managed to do ALL THREE events! Usually I miss out on at least one!

Up next – the Old Wethersfield 10K (At least, I think I registered for the 10K, it might just be a 5K!)

Have a super great weekend ya’ll – and get out and enjoy the sun!!

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