I was so excited for the Leprechaun 5k race in Freehold, New Jersey, but I feel like it was doomed from the start. At first, I didn’t have a ride and was worried I would have to cancel. I was able to secure a ride, but then woke up at 5 a.m. not feeling too well. After an oatmeal breakfast, I was feeling better and headed off to the run.

When I got there, I was freezing and confused about where the start line was. The 10k runners started first, but the 5k start line was a short walk away from their start line, so it was a scramble back and forth to figure it out. I didn’t have anyone there with me, so threw on my race shirt ad put on my bib, not realizing that my time clip for my shoelace was on the back. I was in the front of the pack before the two mintue warning until they announced time chips must be worn. So I became frazzled and drop it while putting it on as I moved to the back of the line. When I looked up, the race had begun and I was pretty much the last runner.

So I gave it my all to make up for lost time, running sub 10 minute miles according to my Garmin. I stay within the 9:30-10:15 min/mi pace, but it was cold and there were hills which made my lungs a bit sensitive. Plus, booking it in the beginning made it hard for me to find my groove and steady my breathing.

But I caught up quickly, running close enough to see the runners leading the pack. I really ran my heart out, and actually the 3.1 miles went by so fast. I was so happy to have ran faster than ever it seems all while feeling like it was almost effortless.

If it wasn’t for the minor hiccups, it would’ve been an overall amazing run. I was listening to music during the run and headphones were asked to come off as you finish, but in the heat of the moment, I forgot and had one of the race organizers yelling at me. I was just focused on finishing strong and that’s all that mattered to me. When I was crossing the finish line, the time was 32 minutes, which is 2 minutes slower than my last race, but still impressive after starting late and climbing a few hills.

I wish I got to stick around for the award ceremony because those who placed received adorable four leaf clovers and leprechaun-like garden gnome statues that were engraved.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 12.09.47 PMI am proud that I was able to get over the hurdles this race threw at me, finishing strong with another 5k in the books! Fingers crossed I was able to place in my age division and will give an update with my official time soon!

Anyone else do a St. Patrick’s Day race? Ever get flustered before a race or had something go wrong? How did you overcome it?

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