Thursday, March 20, 2014

O'Weekend of Irish Shenanigans

After the fiasco that was the first week of this month I realized I needed something to keep me motivated and get me out of the house. Well, lucky for me Hartford Marathon Foundation was having it's O'Niantic and O'Hartford races the weekend before St. Patty's Day. Kim of Maker Mother Marathon Runner and Anne of Outrunning the Fork live in CT too and had both registered!!! (How lucky can one girl get!?!) 

We all met up at Anne's house and she drove to Niantic. Thank you again Anne!! Signage was fantastic as always with HMF.

I could not wait for the post-race party!

Kim and I needed to pick up our bibs once we parked, Anne had hers mailed to her (so cool!) The nice man who gave me my bib told me it was the luckiest one they had. Haha boy was he right!

After we got our runners hats which are the best swag gift a runner could get we hung out at Dunkin so the girls could grab coffee and we all could warm up. It was a little chilly... And I was truthfully getting nervous. Me! Nervous! For a 5k!

We had about an hour or so to kill so we hung out in Dunkin a little longer and then decided to walk around the festivities. I love how races hang medals up, it makes even the tiniest medals all the more desirable!

Couldn't wait to cross this line and party like the Irish do!

Unfortunately with some of my nerves and the large consumption of Powerade I had to pee so bad. The lines at both Dunkin and the Port o potties were a joke. I walked in to this little antique shop and asked the owner if he had a bathroom and promised him we'd be real quick. He let us in and within 2 minutes flat we were out! If you stop by Niantic, show this man some love!!

We had to hustle to the start line because we were only a couple of minutes away from the race beginning.

I'm a simple girl. I like balloon arches. Enough said.

We ended up all the way in the back of the runners....and jogging strollers. I'm going to keep my comments to myself on that though...

It's always a good sign when you are behind a cop car and not in one.

AND WE WERE OFF! Anne and I stuck together for the first mile and then I started to feel amazing and didn't want to I didn't. I kept going. I apologize to Anne I was going to leave her and I blasted away! I don't know if It was the lucky bib number, the luck of the Irish or the pure fact I was finally running a real race (sorry runDisney) but I felt unstoppable!

I even snapped this photo as we were passing a Connecticut National Guard Base. 

As we ran through the neighborhoods it was heart warming to see little kids out with their grandfathers and parents setting up little tables with water I between the official water stop. I love races where the community really gets involved.

Also any race where there is a body of water involved I'm so there. I'm a Mermaid, what can I say!? #livelifemakewaves

After finishing I enjoyed the feeling of accomplishment at my 37 minute 5k. It'd been almost a year since my first 5k and to only be 7 minutes slower than my fastest time altogether well, ladies and gents... I'll take it!

The best part about finishing before Anne and Kim was that I got to cheer them on at the finish!

Here comes Anne!

And my new 'bud'!

And Kim!!!!

Something about this guy. Just clicked, we're besties now.

Finishers!!! Kathy, Kim, Anne and me!

We headed over to Smarty's, which was just down the street from the start and finish line. The free beer line was pretty long so we got in the chili line to grab something

Normally nothing about chili excites me. It's like a bowl of mystery substances... However if it's warm and I'm cold, you can rest assured that I will devour it! And boy was it good.

Here is the beer line.

We finally made it inside.

It's a sad day when someone doesn't know what 'I'm allergic to gluten, do you have angry orchard' means. Hello Coors Light....

I'm NOT a beer drinker by the way.

I posed with the beer and handed if off to Anne and Kathy to split. Yuck!

On our way back to the car I noticed this sign.

And a memorial of stones. Hooah!

Last photo for O'Niantic what a FANTASTIC DAY!

Intermission for this post has been brought to you by Leaps And Bones. Happy 3rd Birthday Kemmy Lou!


I can't believe I even complained about the cold the day before. It was frigid in Hartford before the race. We all arrived seperately, Anne and Kathy, Kim and her 2 nuggets and myself. I ended up parking right near an Irish pub. Yup. Luck of the Irish there. We all met up in the XL Center and grabbed our hats and tried to stay warm.

Photo of our group courtesy of Kim.

I was so psyched I found this tiara at Party City the night before the race. I snagged one for me and Anne. You can't beat a $2 tiara.

When we got outside I was so happy I had decided to wear the hat once I got to the XL Center, initially was just going to wear the tiara but the fact my ears were covered helped bit time. Same with the scarf. Keeping my neck warm helped me stay a little warm.

This would be the biggest race of the O' series. It was so awesome to see a sea of green. I love everything about Hartford and love when I get to run through it.

Waiting to start! Kim's Photo of us.

I realize this girls ass looks pretty darn good in this photo and that it looks like that's why I took it but I got so sad when I saw that she was looking for her two puppies. Miguel said he had seen these signs up all over Hartford. I hope she ends up finding her babies.

Yup. I'm in love with Hartford.

Hartford has my heart.

I ran my own race the whole 3.1 miles and wanted to really push myself. I had read in Runners World Magazine that the whole idea of focusing on foot strike doesn't matter as much as your hips when you run so I focused on running from my hips and I will tell you it made such a huge difference. I felt like I got a better stride and my footing hit perfectly. I will definitely be giving this new focus out in my half marathon this Saturday.

So psyched to finish and take a minute off my Saturday time. I completed the O'Hartford 5k in 36 minutes. It will take me time to get back down again. I know that, but I'm willing to work for it.

 Everyone wins in Hartford! I love Kim's photos of us!

The line for food and beer was much longer here and the wind was killer. At the time I didn't know what beer we were being given other than the fact it was from Thomas Hooker Brewery. Come to find out it's the Brutus Maximus Brew that we get for free not only at the race, but at Max Downtown with the coupon on the top of our bibs. I can't wait to go with my father and have him try it out. I personally was not a fan.'s beer. yuck.

While we were waiting in line I saw this lovebug and had to go over and say hi. It was the best post race kiss ever! He may have even slipped me the tongue....I might need to see someone with my habit of just walking up and kissing dogs on the mouth...What a beautiful pibble <3

Brutus Maximus Beer.

I definitely got hooked up when it was my turn to get my corned beef sandwich, the lady handing them out siad they were a little dry so she poured hte liquid from another pan in there. It was perfect.

The sandwich would have been delicious if it wasn't so cold out. We walked from the food/beer tent to the XL center to get out of the wind and within 30 seconds of sitting down everyone got kicked out because the building was closing. 

Kim and her nuggets went to their car and headed home and Kathy, Anne and I decided to hit the pub by where I had parked. 

We weren't the only ones with that idea though, it was PACKED.

Although we had been given beer I gave my cup to Kathy and Anne to split so I needed some Irish heaven myself. I went up to the bar and asked if they had any hard cider. The bartender looked at me like I had 5 eyes and said they had Magners. Well duh! Magners is Irish Hard Cider, but how many pubs that say they are Irish really follow through on that claim? I was psyched! 

In true Irish Princess fashion I got 2 to be safe. I didn't want to go back through the maze that was the walk to the bar.

I loved Anne and Kathy's O'Trinity stem, when you completed O'Putnum, O'Niantic and O'Hartford you got a stem that connected all three race medals together.

Here to get lucky! And I sure did! Magners in one hand, medal in the other.

The best part about the whole day though was getting to spend time with my girlfriends. I had a BLAST talking to Anne and Kathy. I love them! We laughed and had heart to hearts. I cannot remember the last time I had this much fun at a local race. I love going with people and meeting up. Although I have been a solo runner I need to get together with people more. It was an absolute blast.

Finally the bar started to clear out and we grabbed seats away from the door. I couldn't stay for too much longer but I wanted to stay forever hahah.

As I made the scary trek up some stairs and then down some stairs to the bathroom I saw this quote on the wall and had to snap a picture. "You can't kiss and Irish girl unexpectedly. You can only kiss her sooner than she thought you would." LOVE IT.

This O'Weekend had been exactly what I needed to get me back on my feet. Thank you ladies for the time we spent together it was the best medicine.

I headed to my parents house for a DELICIOUS corned beef dinner which included potatoes, carrots and my favorite...Irish Soda Bread. mmm mmm mmm.

On my way home I picked Ace up. He had spent the whole weekend by the beach with Miguel's parents. He was incredibly excited when I picked up him and made him wear my hat. <3

Ace and I hope you all had a fantastic weekend and St. Patty's Day!

May the luck of the Irish always be with you.


  1. Ace looks too darn adorable in that hat!! And HOOAH to that memorial for our amazing military service members!

    Congrats on your races this past weekend, and good luck at your half this upcoming weekend!! What half are you running?

    1. Isn't he friggen adorable!!! HOOAH is right girl! I'm running the Savin Rock Half Marathon in West Haven, CT. Never done it before but it has a shark running on the website so I am crossing my fingers that's on the medal...great motivation huh hahaha

  2. Looks like so much fun! I live in CT too, but I never realized they gave MEDALS at these races! I would definitely have done Niantic. Ugh. Next year! Leprechaun 5 miler for me this Sunday in Madison!

    1. Same here! It's my first time doing these 5k's. I wanted to do the Leprechaun 5 miler! Have a blast!!! Maybe I'll see you around the state!! :)

  3. Ace doesn't look impressed with the hat in the last picture. And I'm with you on the beer, yuck. Give me hard cider any day.

    1. hahaha he's never impressed when I dress him up but he loves me so he puts up with it hahaha.

      Hard Cider is the way to go!

  4. What a fun weekend! Girl time is always great...I'm looking forward to my girls time this weekend before the Publix half :) we shall toast a hard cider at Disney in 7 months! <3

    1. YES YES YES a toast to your birthday and to us finally meeting! Good luck at the Publix Half! I know you'll crush it!!!

  5. I love this post! You all look like you had a fabulous time and I'm glad you shared it with all of us!

    1. I had an absolute blast! I'd love to do it all over again it was so much fun! I'm glad you enjoyed following along :)

  6. Looks like fun! Love all the pics!

    1. It was the best time! Thank you :) Glad you liked them!

  7. What a great race weekend! I love the fact that the three medals connect together to make a shamrock! So cool!