Subscribe without commenting

St. Paddy's 5 Miler – Geek Turned Athlete

St. Paddy’s 5 Miler


This past Sunday, I participated in the St. Paddy’s 5 MILER with my running team, the Spokane Swifts. I had a great time and pushed myself more than I have ever pushed myself during a race. It was my very first race of the 2011 racing season.

We were the girls in the annoying pink headbands (that I LOVED by the way). It made it very easy to spot a fellow team member even though some of our jerseys didn’t come in on time.



We were also the annoying girls running around warming up weaving through the streets and the crowds of runners before the race started. I admit, we do have this “air” about our group. We work hard. We are proud. We took most of the slots in the age group awards too. :) If I wasn’t running with the Swifts, I would find us annoying anyway. haha (I’m on the very right in the green shirt.)


Even though I wasn’t one of the age groupers, I still had a great race. There are some pro-triathletes on the team, and I’m just not there yet! :)

After our warm-up (~2 miles near my race pace– HA!) , we had just enough time for some pictures, then we were off!!!

This was my first 5 mile race ever, and it has been so long since I have done anything less than a 10 mile race that I was afraid of blowing up. My “happy” goal was making under 8 min/miles for this course. My “ecstatic, jumping up in the air and screaming” goal was to average 7:24 min/miles (37 minutes to run 5 miles) to qualify for “second seeding” for Bloomsday here in Spokane.

Bloomsday is a huge race with over 50,000 runners , and you don’t want to get stuck in the back with the walkers if you plan on running it. You have to qualify (sort of like Boston) to start in a certain place for the race. Second Seeding is right behind the elite runners. It is also where most of my teammates start the race.

When the gun went off I took off like a bat out of hell. I looked down at my garmin and realized that I was running at a 5:50 min/ mile pace. WOW!! That is the “herd effect” for you. I slowed it down and realized that my shoe was untied. This is very scary when you are near the front of a race that just started. I made sure to pull off as far as possible to tie my shoe, and my teammates were gone by the time I stood back up. Looks like I’m by myself. Which I was fine with, by the way. I chased my teammates for 5 miles. It was like a fun childhood game. Sort of. Except I don’t remember my legs feeling like they were going to fall off when I chased peeps growing up. haha. Oh well.

The first two miles went by fast (7:15 and 7:36), and I was feeling good. By “good” I mean: My legs were burning, but not to the point that they felt like they were going to snap off. Mile 3 (7:47) even felt kinda good, but I could feel myself fading. The lactic acid in my legs was getting to the unbearable zone, and my pace was starting to show that. Mile 4 was horrible (8:20). I was feeling light-headed, and if I could have curled up in the underpass to take a nap in the fetal position, I would have been so happy. It was as if someone had sucked the life out of me.

At mile 5 (7:39) I managed to get my second wind, but by then it was too late to qualify for 2nd seeding. I just pushed it as hard as I could.

Even though I didn’t qualify for “second seeding” for this race by 1 min 37 sec, I gave my everything. I have another chance to qualify in about a month at a 5K (22:30). I know I can do that!

I have been training for 2 months after taking basically 3 months off from any real running. I can’t expect to be where I was at the end of racing season last year. The good news is that I am WAY ahead of where I was this time last year. That means that I can expect some massive PR’s from last year to this year.



COLD!! I think it was in the 30’s with at least 15 mile/hour winds. And we were all wearing shorts. Nice.


Trying to put on as many layers as possible while waiting for the awards to start.


Can you spot my annoyingly colored shoe??


Special Thanks to Linda and Heather for providing these pics!! 

Did you have any races this weekend? How did you do??

{ 33 comments… add one }

  • genesis March 14, 2011, 2:12 pm

    great race even though you didnt finish the way you wanted to. Im sure you’ll get second seed at the 5k. it does suck to be at the back during bloomsday. I was in orange last year and it was like middle of the pack and weaving through that many walker/runners was so tiring and then the bottleneck effect at the first downhill portion was just bad. i saw one man fall and roll down to the bottom of the hill causing a domino effect with people behind him. not good.

    didnt have a race this weekend but I did knock out a 6 miler after taking a 2 week hiatus…bad idea btw.

    • Nicole March 14, 2011, 2:16 pm

      Good job on getting back into it! Yes, your story only solidifies why I need to get my ass up to 2nd seeding!!

      Are you running Bloomsday this year?

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant March 14, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Congrats on a great run! Even though you finished just shy of your goal to qualify for Bloomsday start placement, you definitely ran a FAST 5 miler! (I can’t imagine running a sub-8 pace for even one minute, let alone more than one mile!) Truly impressive to those of us that are working our way up!

    The Bloomsday start sounds a lot like Peachtree – they have a handfull of ‘qualifier’ corals after the elites, and everyone else is pretty much a lottery system. I’ve started so far back before that I didn’t cross the starting line until almost 2 HOURS after the starting gun!
    Theresa @ActiveEggplant recently posted..Saturday Six

    • Nicole March 14, 2011, 2:23 pm

      Thank you, and Ahhhh! That sounds like a nightmare not crossing until 2 hrs later! haha

  • Erica March 14, 2011, 2:26 pm

    How fun! I always get wayyy too excited at the start of races and run like a bat out of hell! I think you did a rocking job. And your group is adorable! The pink headbands are fun. Enjoy the week
    Erica recently posted..E- POM Acorn Squash Mash

  • Lisa March 14, 2011, 2:32 pm

    Great race! Where did you all get such cute socks? Are they regular socks? Or special compression ones? I have a half marathon in 2 weeks (FREAKING OUT!!) and would like to wear some fun sock like that!

    • Nicole March 14, 2011, 2:34 pm

      Regular socks. I just borrowed my husband’s old soccer socks that actually had a hole in the toe area. I ended up using some duck tape yesterday on it, and it worked out just fine! If you are racing with anyone else, you guys could wear matching socks! That would be fun.

      • Linda March 14, 2011, 2:57 pm

        If you are worried about wearing tube socks the entire race, some girls bought socks and cut off the feet, so they wore regular running socks, and then had the tube socks from the ankle up :)

        • Nicole March 14, 2011, 6:16 pm

          That is a good idea too!!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In March 14, 2011, 2:36 pm

    Love the outfits! I too had a St. Patrick’s Day 5 miler this weekend in St. Louis! With 15 THOUSAND runners! SO FUN!

  • Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes March 14, 2011, 2:42 pm

    You did great, even if you didn’t make your second seeding goal! You’ll get it at the 5k!
    I love all of the green socks :)
    I have green compression socks, a Paddy’s day race would have been a good excuse to wear them but I was nursing a flu.
    Alanna @ Blood, Sweat, and Cupcakes recently posted..Reeses Peanut Butter Cupcakes!

  • Ali (Student On A Health Craze) March 14, 2011, 2:55 pm

    Congratulations on a great race, keeping that pace for 5 miles is both insane and amazing! Your running group look like a lot of fun, too – I imagine you have a right laugh at the races (when you’re not busy winning them!)

    22:30 in the 5k? I’m sure you’ll rock it!

  • Jess March 14, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Wow!!! I am seriously impressed by you (not that I wasn’t before btw). That is so speeeeedy running you’re doing with that running group of yours!! Must have been SO frustrating to come thisclose to second seeding – I mean really, what’s a one minute or so, really?? Stupid rules 😉 You are really pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, something I think we all need to do when it comes to running, it’s too easy to get into a “comfy zone” and never veer from it, you know??
    Jess recently posted..The mental game

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate March 14, 2011, 3:14 pm

    You had a great race dude!
    Matt @ The Athlete’s Plate recently posted..Shedding A Tear

  • Susan March 14, 2011, 3:56 pm

    Congrats on the race! I love the pictures! Everyone looks so happy and makes running look like the most exciting thing ever…so good!
    Susan recently posted..what happens in vegas…ends up on a blog

  • PB Addict March 14, 2011, 4:02 pm

    I think you did great and am sure you’ll rock the 5k :) I can’t wait til I can do under-8 minute miles, haha. I’m such a slowpoke now.

  • Spokane Al March 14, 2011, 5:33 pm

    Looks like you have the speed – perhaps some work on pacing is in order?

    Don’t worry about Bloomsday if you miss second seed. If you start in the yellow section you will be able to get a great start and will do just fine.
    Spokane Al recently posted..Self Discipline and Responsibility

    • Nicole March 14, 2011, 6:19 pm

      Yes. I agree. I think I had the pacing down when I was a little slower, but now I feel like I have some new race paces (especially with these shorter races). I wasn’t quite sure of how I should start out. I’m sure the Swifts will help me work on that.

      • Nicole March 14, 2011, 6:30 pm

        P.S. Al, did you run this too?? I saw some Team Blaze there.

  • Sana March 14, 2011, 5:55 pm

    I love that you were still chasing the girl while running so fast! They must be awesome for motivation!!!

  • Beth March 14, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Congrats on an awesome race! I love the socks and headbands your teammates wore! Looks like a lot of fun!
    Beth recently posted..Four Courts Four Miler- Race Report

  • Karolina March 14, 2011, 8:18 pm

    I LOVE the pictures. It looks like it was a lot of fun:)
    Karolina recently posted..I am only one- but I am still one

  • Kara March 15, 2011, 7:12 am

    I love your running group! I have a very informal running group here, basically we’re all just military wives who happen to run together on the weekends. We need matching handbands!

    Great job on that 5 miler, you should be proud!

    I did my first marathon this weekend, it was hard but I still want to do another!
    Kara recently posted..We have a Stage 5 Clinger on our hands here

    • Nicole March 16, 2011, 3:09 pm

      I wish the military wives in my hub’s squadron ran!! I had a core group of military spouse peeps that I ran with in Germany, but apparently no one at least around my husband runs at this base. ;(

  • Katy March 15, 2011, 7:51 am

    You are amazing!

    I love running with others…it makes me forget the clock and the pace and just enjoy the journey. :)

  • Sarah for Real March 15, 2011, 11:20 am

    Amazing! I’m in awe even if you didn’t qualify yet :)

    I’ve heard that the walker/stroller crowd at Bloomsday gets their own special section at the back, though it’s on honor’s system. I’m hoping I don’t get caught up in that mess!

  • Spokane Al March 15, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Sarah, actually the different sections are based on big colors and monitors will be at each section entrance to ensure the right color is in the right section. The entrances to the sections are very well blocked. It is not really on the honor system, and for example, if you qualify for the yellow section, you will find that most, if not all, are runners.
    Spokane Al recently posted..Self Discipline and Responsibility

  • Amy March 15, 2011, 6:25 pm

    Loving the Spokane Swift style! And I love your annoyingly colored shoes! Great job on your race!
    Amy recently posted..Whole Wheat Pasta &amp Greens

  • Toronto Girl West March 15, 2011, 6:30 pm

    It totally looks like you’ve found an amazing group of girls!!! Once my foot gets all healed up, I’m going to look for a running group. Here’s hoping I find one!
    Toronto Girl West recently posted..A Cleanse for the Body- Mind- and Soul

    • Nicole March 16, 2011, 3:10 pm

      You need to!! I will help you find one if I have to!!

  • Andy March 16, 2011, 7:23 am

    Didn’t have a race this past weekend, but I had a lot of friends participate in the ShamRock ‘n’ Run 5K in Atlanta this past weekend. My first race of the year is this coming weekend, the Publix Georgia Half Marathon/Marathon (I am doing the half :) Have a good rest of your week!
    Andy recently posted..My 2011 Race Season is Finally Here!

  • Karen March 16, 2011, 9:01 am

    Love it! You all are too cute!

  • Anne P March 16, 2011, 12:48 pm

    That looks like SO much fun! I love all the pictures and the cute socks/outfits :)
    Anne P recently posted..A Quickie Leftover Packed Lunch


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge