Tour de Patrick Recap: St. Pat’s 5k in Providence and Celtic 5k in Worcester

I had back to back 5k’s this weekend as the Tour de Patrick series wrapped up. I picked up these festive laces for 60 cents. They look pretty cute, right? I may keep them on all month. Or longer. I live in Celtics territory so it’s probably acceptable:

Nike Free Run

The St. Pat’s 5k was in Providence. The morning started out cold. Among the crowd of almost 4,000 people, my partner and I somehow found the 3rd member in our running trio. We warmed up at the starting line and snapped a quick pic:

St Pat's 5k in Providence

Even though I love an excuse to wear a costume, I thought it was to cold to dress up. My Paul Pierce inspired headband was about all I could muster. However, by the time the race was on, the weather was perfect. This was my 2nd time doing this race and the course is an easy straight out & back, with one tiny gradual hill. I finished strong but didn’t sprint out the last leg. I probably could have if I had eaten properly but I was feeling out of gas. However at the finish line I was psyched when my Nike data showed this:
Nikeplus dataAt an 11:00/mi pace, This would have been a HUGE PR for me. But alas, I got home that night and saw that my official time was 35:58, or an 11:34 pace. This was only about 30 seconds off of my PR so I’m pretty happy with that. I bet by the end of the summer I can PR. After the race, I grabbed my medal, scarfed a slice of pizza & coconut water, then headed out to the pub for some celebratory Guinness.

My legs were a little sore that night but not too bad because I didn’t do any sprinting. Still, I wasn’t thrilled about heading into Worcester the next day for the Celtic 5k. I didn’t eat enough breakfast and I didn’t drink enough water the day before. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but it was cold. I think around 35 degrees at gun time. My whole experience in Worcester was awful. There was only street parking, which by itself is difficult when you have thousands of cars & runners coming into a mostly residential neighborhood. Plus the city had gotten dumped with a foot of snow recently, so you had to park in and around snowbanks. The area was so cramped that I felt like everywhere I drove, walked, or stood, I was in someone’s way. I was having some anxiety about the crowd. I tried to hold it in and focus on the task at hand:

Celtic 5k in Worcester

The course itself was very easy. Just out-and-back and barely any elevation change. What made it difficult was that there were so many people that I had to worry about dodging the entire time. I do the run/walk method so it’s a little scary during the first mile trying to find a spot to walk. One thing that kept my mind occupied were these people I was pacing who were jogging the entire way wearing these boot things:

Celtic 5k in Worcester

Can you see them? They look like this. Sidenote: shit, those are expensive! I amused myself watching them jog, peoples reactions to them, and also by imagining what they would look like falling. I’m no doctor but I can’t imagine that jogging 3 miles in those inflexible things would be good for you? Anyway, I slogged through til the end and finished in 38:01 (12:13 per mile) which is barely faster than my training pace. At the finish line, I was surprised to see they were handing out VOSS water. High class!

Celtic 5k in Worcester

No medals given at this race, so we met up with our friends who came to watch us run. We went to brunch at Maxwell Silverman’s. Here’s a tip: Don’t ever go there. Anyway, I just want to get that entire day out of my mind so I won’t go into detail about the rest of my day in Worcester.

I’m definitely glad that I took on the challenge of three 5k’s in 3 weekends, and I now have a whole wardrobe of Irish-themed long sleeve tech shirts (3 this year, 1 from last year). If I am still living here next year, I wouldn’t do the full challenge but still do Providence because it’s a great race right in my back yard. The events were a great excuse to kick off the 2013 race season, and I am now signed up for 1 race each month until the Fall. After being a lifelong couch potato, I’m proud to say cheers to my 2nd year of running.

Tour de Patrick
I got a medal for finishing my beer!

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