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It’s Getting a Little Green in Here!

27 Mar

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Well, I missed out on wishing everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day last week — so a belated Slainte to all!! When I was growing up, my parents would have a party for St. Patrick’s day and it was almost bigger than Christmas! It was a Par. TAY! To this day I try to celebrate in some way, big or small!

The last few years, my big celebration has been to run the Hartford Marathon Foundation‘s “O’Trinity” — a series of 5Ks run during the “holiday” season.

To start things off, there is the Courthouse O’Putnam 5K, in the northeast corner of the state. The Courthouse is actually a bar, not a courthouse, which makes it a little better than the name would make you think! The first few times I did this one I would stay at my friend Kathy’s. She lives about 25 minutes from the late-starting 5K so…more sleep, less drive? Yes please! Plus I get to spend time with friends and Phred gets to visit his friends too!

Putnam, CT is a “typical” New England small town and I really should go there more often! And, I say this every year 🙂 The morning started out pretty chilly, but the sun was out. By the time we started it was actually warm…

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Ended up taking off my long sleeve top — LOVE my new Emerald City Lotta Breeze Capri!

I did intervals of 45:30 and kept them up, most of the time – except for the big freakin’ hills! I didn’t have a great time, but I had a good run! Post race beer and corned beef sandwich always help!! And then we headed to this little dive bar we found one year for a couple more — by now it was time for me to drop Kathy at home, pick up Phred and get back home before it was *too* late!

The next weekend was a two-fer – 5K Saturday and the grand finale on Sunday

Saturday was the O’Niantic 5K — Niantic is a cute shore town that I also don’t visit enough 🙂 The run was delayed due to a funeral on the course but not a long delay. This one was a little cooler, but still VERY sunny! This one didn’t start out great, my blood sugar tanked right at the start and I had already eaten my sugar so I had to stop and make some adjustments but managed to get back on track pretty quick. Same intervals, same caveat re: hills 🙂 Did a little better than the week before but still not so great!

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Stuffed pockets but keeping warm in my Go The Distance tights under my Free Love Lioness! #IrishPrincess

Sunday is the biggie – the O’Hartford 5K. I actually do visit Hartford more often than the other two towns! This is another late starter but we still headed in early to find (cheap) parking. We hung out waiting to catch  up with friends. I hadn’t seen Meg since a 5K last year on my birthday weekend – so it had been awhile. We ended up deciding to “run” together and it turned into more of a chatfest than a run, but that’s what happens. We had a great time – waited in a huge line for our post race beer, pretzel, and stout ice cream (new this year!)  then hung out eating and drinking before heading over to a pub for…you guessed it, another drink.

**No outfit pic for Sunday — but I wore my Heartbreaker Skirt in Grey. It was another cold one and it’s ALWAYS windy in downtown Hartford (or at least it seems like it!)**

For the last few years, the Hartford Marathon Foundation has given out medals for these 5Ks and then at the end of Hartford they make a special design – there has been a pot of gold, a shamrock, and this year it was the Irish Flag!

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The spoils!

And, instead of t-shirts, a few years ago they also started giving out winter beanies — but this year, if you registered for the Trinity, instead of ending up with 3 nearly the same beanies, you got a beanie, socks and a pair of gloves!!! Pretty neat swag and a really great idea!

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The swag!

This is a series I have enjoyed every time I’ve run – and I’ll keep it on my yearly running calendar for sure!!

Though belated, I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day!!

And don’t forget, you can grab some great comfy running gear at Skirt Sports and get 20% off with code ORF20

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!

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