Surprise St. Pat’s Day 5k and 10k

Happy Sunday, y’all!  Guess what I did this weekend?  I suspect that you read the title of this post and that means you probably guessed correctly!  I wasn’t really “planning” to run a race until 2 weeks from now (Virginia Beach Shamrock), but I did have a 9 mile training run on the schedule for today that I was originally planning on running locally.  On Wednesday I received an email reminder about an upcoming race in DC, the St. Pat’s Day Race.  This race includes a 5k and a 10k and was scheduled for Sunday.  Better yet, the 5k was scheduled for 8:15 and the 10k was at 9:00, so you also had the option to run both (the double)!  9 miles!!  That’s the perfect training distance for me, plus it will satisfy my race bug and get me another medal 🙂  Sam and I ran the GW Parkway 10 miler last April and I really enjoyed it.  This race is sponsored by the same group, so I really wanted to give it a try.

I sent the email to Sam and asked if she would be interested.  , she declined due to a conflict.  I also asked Steven.  He was going to be having friends over on Saturday night for the UFC fight so he also declined.  Crystal was having knee problems so I knew she was out.  I thought about inviting Ashlee, but I knew this would be her weekend to work.  This race had pretty strict time limits so inviting someone to walk wasn’t really an option.  Hmmm…what’s a girl to do??  I thought about registering anyway and just going by myself, but figured it would be a last minute decision.  So…fast forward to Friday and we were invited to one of Makayla’s best friend’s house for dinner.  Come to find out, Keeleigh’s mom, Daniele is also a runner!  I’m always so happy to find new runner friends!!!  And she said she wanted to run the race with me!!  So, by Saturday morning we were both registered!  Fast forward to Saturday night, and I received a text from Sam saying she was able to race after all!!  Woot Woot!  I love it when things just fall into place.

We decided to meet up at 5:20 at my house and head up the road.  Like I mentioned before, we were having people over for the UFC fight and I would have liked to watch it, but it didn’t start until 10:00 and I knew it was going to be a late night.  So I went to bed around 10:45, while everyone gathered in our basement to watch the fight.  I was worried they would wake me up all night, but I only woke up once around 1:00 am because the yelling and screaming that was coming through the vents (2 floors below).  My alarm went off at 4:30 and I actually got up pretty easily.  We headed out right on time.  We decided to drive into DC and find street parking since this wasn’t a HUGE race.  It was actually easier than I thought it would be to find parking, although we had to walk about ¾ of a mile to the Washington Monument.

On our way to the race start


We were walking to the Washington Monument with more than an hour to spare, but I was starting to get paranoid.  I’ve been to races where the port-a-potty lines were 45 minutes long and we still had to pick up our bibs and had no idea how long those lines would be!  Lucky for us, they have plenty of port-a-pots and there was hardly anyone there when we got there!  We hit the bathrooms and picked up our bibs very quickly and had plenty of time to kill.  It was very cold (30’s), but they had coffee and warm apple cider to help warm us up.  We took some photos, hit the bathroom again, and checked our bags before heading to the starting line.

The starting area was pretty crowded, but we found a good place to wait!  At 8:15 we were off for the 5k portion of the race.

At the start line


We all ran at our own paces for this race.  Sam really wanted to see how fast she could push herself (spoiler alert – very fast!).  I honestly didn’t have any goal pace in mind.  I had no idea what to expect so I just went for it.  For the first mile, we headed out on 15th street towards the Lincoln Memorial.  I was feeling pretty good, although Map My Run had somehow paused itself so I was not getting the feedback I am used to every ½ mile.  My music also cut out.  I thought my headphones had died but after a couple of minutes, I pulled my phone out and tried turning the music on again and they worked just fine.  Thank goodness!  During the 2nd mile, we turned around and were headed toward the Jefferson Memorial.  I was still feeling pretty good.  For the final mile, we ran around the Tidal Basin and headed back to the start.  I was feeling really good during most of the last mile.  I did start to tire out towards the end while battling the only really noticeable incline.  I was very happy to see the finish line and sprinted towards it with everything I had.  My official time was 31:13/10:03 pace.  Here are my splits according to my Garmin:

Mile 1 – 10:10

Mile 2 – 10:07

Mile 3 – 9:40

Mile .15 – 1:17


I had about 12 minutes to cool down before the 10k was scheduled to start.  I found Sam (and found out that she had a MAJOR 5k PR!!!  Way to go Sam!!) and we started looking for Daniele.  We finally caught up with her just as the 10k was about to start.  I decided that I would run the 10k at a slower, more comfortable pace.  I was even planning on stopping to take some photos (yeah…that didn’t happen).  Sam and I started together, but I thought she would end up running faster.  Luckily for me, she stayed with me.  I think it was good for me to run with her so that I would push myself a little faster than usual.  I’m still not as strong or as fast as I was in the fall, but I feel like I am making progress.  The route was similar to the 5k route, only we ran further past the Lincoln Memorial, down Rock Creek Parkway and past the Kennedy Center before turning around.  We also had an extra loop down Independence Ave and then headed back to the finish.  I felt pretty good for most of the race, but around mile 4.5, I was ready to be done. I had to fight the urge to walk a couple of times.  We ran faster than I had planned, but I felt pretty good.  Right at the end around the hill, Sam started pushing faster (9:30) and I was just not ready to go that fast.  I was struggling to control my breathing and told her I would need to taper back until I could see the finish line and then I would sprint, which is what we did.  My official time was 1:03:47/10:16 pace.  Here are my splits according to my Garmin:

Mile 1 – 10:26

Mile 2 – 10:08

Mile 3 – 10:11

Mile 4 – 10:08

Mile 5 – 10:03

Mile 6 – 9:55

Mile 6.31 (Garmin was a bit off) – 2:55

My total overall time for both races was 1:35:00


Sam and I collected our medals, grabbed a water and headed over to cheer Daniele on at the finish line.



After she finished, we grabbed a quick picture with our medals, grabbed a muffin to eat and then headed home.  We were home by 12:30!


Overall, I really enjoyed the race.  It was well organized and just about the perfect size.  I am not a big fan of the super crowded races.  They offered post-race massages and a free beer at any local Shake Shacks, but we were really cold and ready to get home so we passed on those.  The only issues with the race today were the cold temps after we finished (just 39 degrees) and the fact that my skirt rode up and ended up rubbing against the skin around my waist.  My entire waist is chafed to the point of blister.  I have never chaffed this bad in my race career.  Go figure!  My body is finally feeling much better and now my waist is on fire!  But it was worth it 🙂


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