This past weekend, my sweetie and I knocked out the Irish 5k in Pawtucket, which is the first race in Rhode Island’s Tour de Patrick series. It was also my first race of 2013. This race took place just outside of Providence – in Pawtucket, which you may recognize if you’re a Family Guy geek.
The weather was 40-ish degrees and “felt like” (according to the Weather app) something in the 30’s with the wind. I tried to look enthusiastic about it before the race:
It was only March 2 so I decided not to wear my festive green flair yet. I sure felt left out though because people were sporting plenty of fun St. Patrick’s Day themed accessories. As the race started, I wasn’t even a half mile in when there was a long hill! My heart rate spiked to the 180’s and I don’t think I ever quite recovered. Even though the rest of the race was pretty flat and ended on the downhill, my speed didn’t quite pick up. I finished at 38:33, which was only barely faster than my training pace. I need to do more hill training.
For a small-ish race (900 people), the amenities were great. Not many spectators, but it was short and did run through a town center so it never felt empty. There was a big (heated!) hall reserved for pre and post-race festivities so it was so nice to be able to keep warm as long as possible before the race and to have a warm place to go right afterwards. At the finish line was free water, Vita Coco, and PIZZA. Rhode Island loves their pizza and so do I. They didn’t even bother with plates or napkins. Just a guy with a gloved hand tossing you a slice. I inhaled one piece so quickly I didn’t even snap a picture. Then I noticed that my dude and other dudes around me had two slices! I jealous that I was never given the option of TWO slices. There were also food vendors in the hall, so after my water I had a pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout.
By then, the town’s St. Patrick’s Day parade was in full swing and we knew that if we tried to leave, we’d just be sitting in traffic. The hall was so nice and toasty, so we got more beer and shared this corned beef sandwich, which looked so delicious in person.
And it was. The higher heart rate during the race helped in the long run though because according to my heart rate monitor I burned 477 calories, which is higher than usual for a 5k. And I needed it because all that food I scarfed.
I may not have set a personal record for this race, but what I lost in speed, I made up for in good food and good post-race chillin. I’d say it was one of the best experiences – run a little and hang out like you’re at a pub, no pressure. I also liked that there were enough people to make it feel like a good sized crowd but it was never overwhelmingly large. Cheers to 2013!
Next week I have the other two races in the series: one each on both Saturday and Sunday.