O’Hartford 5k – Running a Race as a Workout

Another Friday – Another Finish Line Friday Recap!

Last Sunday, I ran the O Hartford 5k in Hartford, which was actually the FIRST 5k I ever ran 10 years ago (thanks Facebook for the reminder).

Coach had finally noticed that I had put a lot of races on my calendar (whoops), which apparently did after running the Colchester Half Marathon in February SO I ran Sunday’s race as a workout.  I knew this was bound to happen since I know racing EVERY weekend is not healthy. I do love the atmosphere that surrounds a race, especially since I am getting back into it this Spring, so I had no problem until I saw the workout.  

Warm Up

The O Hartford 5k is put on by the Hartford Marathon Foundation.  They put on first-class events (even if their prices are a bit steep) and this race was the culmination of their 4 race St. Patrick’s Day Series.

I had not run this race in several years and knew that the course had recently changed.  No longer running through the streets of Downtown Hartford, the race course now started and finished at the Colt Building – the perfect location for those wishing to grab a beer after at the Thomas Hooker Brewery at Colt.

Sunday was sunny and bright, but windy so I prepared to layer up (only to take off layers once I started running).

I loved the swag (as did Harley) and after a warm-up of 2 miles (and a quarter mile with Harley), I headed to the start line.

The Workout

So the workout was supposed to be 2 x 3.1 (5k) at 7:34 with the second “loop” slightly faster.

From the start I just felt off – my head and heart were just not in the workout and it felt “tough”.  As Coach said afterwards – emotions play a role in how you approach not just a race but a workout as well.  Even though my pace was pretty good I hated each person that passed me.

Since I had never run the course I also did not know the “lay of the land” so each turn and step was a new experience for me.  

The course was pretty flat although the hill about half way through was a b*itch to climb.  I came through the finish at a 7:35 pace and got a 4-5 minute break before I had to run the course again.  I fueled up with some Honey Stinger Gummies that I had with me and before I knew it I was off again.

Now I love running races but there is something to be said about running the course when everyone has finished, you are passing the sweep car, and the Hartford PD are starting to open up the streets again.  (Side note – Thanks to the Hartford PD for radioing each other while I was still out there – I think that was one of the reasons why the streets remained closed until I passed)

I won’t lie, it was lonley.  What felt hard during the first loop took all my energy and concentration to plug along for the second.

Giving Mark the Peace Sign (except he thought it was the middle finger.)

Finally pulled through the 2nd loop at around 7:40 – definately not faster as the workout was written.

The Cool Down

Cheering SEction
My Cheering Section

I found Mark and Harley and headed to grab some water.  I also checked my time and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I placed 3rd in my age group.  Yeah!

Yea for AG wins and Pint Glasses!

After picking up my “prize” I was supposed to do a 2 mile cool down but honestly, I was done with running for the day, so we headed home where I had the most delicious sandwich for dinner.

Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Dinner

A few days later I had a conversation with Coach after my Quality session earlier that day also did not go as planned.  He decided that the paces I have been trying to “hit” are a bit too fast for me right now and changed my Vdot.

I was a little disappointed but as Coach likes to remind me I am running better than I was in the Fall BUT you can’t outrun the fitness you’re currently at.  So my paces were adjusted and to be honest – they are more doable at this stage in my training.

I just have to keep working and showing up so that someday in the future – that workout that I ran on Sunday will be a challenge but not so tough.

Onward we go!

Keep moving forward!



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