Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Running of the Irish

Today was the Ras Na Heireann USA - a 5k race that is run in Somerville, MA as well as in Ireland. (Literally - according to the internet dictionary I found - the running of the Irish, idiomatically - the race of the Irish.) I like calling it the running of the Irish... it makes the race sound, I don't know - cooler I guess.

Now a week ago it was beautiful out. Spring was certainly in the air as the temperatures got as high a 70* and I was loving it. Then Friday a Nor'easter blew threw and dumped about 6-8" of snow. I was NOT loving that. Not only that the predicted near 50* temps for today began to decline until this morning the prediction was for the low 40's. It's 2:18 and just hit 30* - which means it was below freezing when the race started at 11 am. Since Nini is in England right now, her mom was there at the starting line with me and Gazelle Boy was way ahead in the front of the pack... no surprises there.

Because Gazelle Boy left his inhaler in the car, I gave him mine and borrowed a cell phone to call Mr. Bear and ask him to be waiting with Gazelle Boy's for when I ran by.

Within a quarter mile or so, I told my sister I'd see her at the finish line and let her run ahead. I was feeling a little slow today - maybe it was the weather, maybe it was just all the stress and such of the week catching up with me. But the idea of relaxing and taking my time was fine with me. After all, there 3200 registered runners, there's no way I'd be last so no worries on my end.

As we ran up the hill on Holland Street out of Davis Square, there was a pipe band playing, which made me happy. I'm not sure why, but it did. As we ran past the fire station, the firefighters would sound the siren and beep the horn. As we turned and came down College Hill (Powderhouse Blvd), there were people on their porches cheering for us, again, one of those things that just felt great. We came down through Powderhouse Circle and started up Broadway, where my brother in law waited with my inhaler since maneuvering around the road on crutches was a bit too tricky for Mr. Bear.

About that point there was a guy who reminded me of Scotty Dog from the Runner's World forums. For that last mile, I stuck with him while we did run/walks until the end of the race. It really was a pleasant way to finish up the race and I earned that sweaty hug at the end. According to my Nike+ I averaged a 12:37 mile. I do know my final time was 40:30 - but that was gun time. I have no idea what my chip time is yet as the only race up is the Southie St. Patrick's day race.

I should add they gave us a way cool medal with the race logo and it doubles as a bottle opener. More medals should be this cool!

I linked up with my sister. We couldn't find Gazelle Boy, so we figured he must have gone back to Ball Square to find us.

Once there, we couldn't find our husbands. So we ducked into one of the race party locations - The Powderhouse Pub - and didn't see them. I borrowed a cellphone (again) and called Mr. Bear to find out they were in a coffee house across the street. My sister and I grabbed a beer and then headed over to find the men folk. While debating what to do, since no one had seen Gazelle Boy, someone looked up and said, "There he is." He was across the street looking for us.

My sister took off, and Mr. Bear managed to hobble out of the coffee shop when I told him we were picking up some Zeppolis for St. Joseph's day (which is tomorrow... and it's my dad's birthday). I ran into my sister at the bakery, who was picking up a Zeppoli to ship down to my dad, so I ended up only getting enough for desert tomorrow night.

I have to admit, I liked this race but I was glad to get home to a warm house. I haven't decided if I want to soak in a hot bubble bath or take a hot shower... I'll figure that out in a few minutes when I amble into the bathroom and decide there.


Pat said...

So what's a Zeppoli? I've never heard of them.

ARizona, USA

Nini said...

Isn't it a great race!?! I'm actually a little sad I was in England and missed out...

Sounds like you did really well! And mum said she had a great time!

GB said...

Now that sounded like a lot of fun Pika! You're a girl after my own heart... drinking the beer right after a race! I have to say I love the bottle cap opener/medal idea. That's one I'd definitely display.

Less than 4 weeks to Boston!!!