“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”
– George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian
So where were we….yes…in Dublin, Ireland a day before the marathon and no suitcase! While I was on my day trip to the Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny I did get a call from the hotel that my bag had arrived. A huge load off my shoulders but also a little annoyed that I had to go buy new stuff. It was a damned if you do, damned if you don’t type of situation. I didn’t want to get stuck so I made the hard call.
I ended up wearing a combination of old and new stuff. New running skirt, my shamrock compression socks and drum roll please….My Nikes. In the end, I decided to go with the shoes I railed most about. I felt that I had more toe space and they were a little more broken in then the Asics. What can I say….a woman is free to change her mind.
On to the marathon….
I really liked the fact the marathon didn’t start until 0900 for my corral. It gave me plenty of time to get ready in the morning and eat. The marathon instructions said be there at 0800, which I thought was a bit early, but then I decided to do just that because I didn’t want to get into any long porto potty lines. Right….
I stayed at the Hilton and it was a nice walking distance to the start line. When I got there people were already lining up for the bathroom. To put it in perspective there were 20,000 participants this year. I was in corral number four. This would put me at a finish time of around 4:30. The porto potties were lined up by the corral time so you could stay in your lane so to speak! I never miss a chance to have a potty mouth when it comes to portos at a race. Get it!!! I mean it’s like a box of chocolates…you just never know what you’re going to get! Man, I’m killing it today. Some photos:
Granted it was Halloween, but dude, really?
I was lucky – clean porta and done early. It was one of those moments you were glad you got there early to avoid the long lines.
A few pictures from the beginning:
For a while it was a little unclear what was going on and where the actual start line began. I started following the people in front of me at a slow pace.
We walked for about a good quarter-mile and then I could faintly hear someone on a loud-speaker with a heavy Irish accent. “Come on lads and lasses” it was really funny. As we moved closer to the start line it began to get packed. I mean nose to nose packed. Then just as I was looking around the gun went off and EVERYBODY started running. I mean damn…it was like a herd. In the back of my mind I was like wait, I’m still trying to process all this I’m not ready! But, the starting pistol don’t wait for no one. Time to get going.
The weather for the race started off at about 54° and slightly cloudy. I didn’t have any pain and I was tracking at a good pace. There were so many people there it really made it hard to “break out” of the herd. I’m not over exaggerating either. It was crowded. Instead of trying to break free and find some space I found the 4:30 pacer and just decided to keep pace with that group. It was funny because you had three people running with large red balloons with the pace time on them and a large group of people just clustered around.
The first half of the run took us through Phoenix Park and in front of a lot of sights throughout the city of Dublin. I was happy that I was keeping up with little effort. The amount of people who were out supporting the race was amazing! Hundreds of people lined the streets at different points all through out the race. Offering cookies, candy, and baked goods. It was a sight to see and a much-needed visual for support.
My fueling consisted of sports beans, gum, and I hydrated at the stations provided. There was no reason to wear a belt or bring a pod. There were plenty of water stations and support staff.
Things were good for me all the way up until the halfway point. There was a half marathon and a full at the same time. Nothing says “oh, I see you’re finishing” to the person next to you ~ “Yeah I don’t think I got the full experience, I’m going to go around one more time!” It was at this point I began to see the 4:30 pace balloon pull away from me. Sigh. I really wanted to keep up. I didn’t feel bad, I was just slowing down.
At least I was beating the gal in the full Wonder Woman costume. Yeah I’m good. I started to breathe a little heavy at this point. Everything else was good but the breathing was a little labored. The course itself was fairly flat. There were some hills that did provide a bit of a challenge.
Around mile 15 I was passed by Batman and Robin. I really wish I had my phone to take a picture. Batman was in a wheelchair and Robin was pushing him. It was one of the greatest scenes I have ever seen at any race. They were just so positive and happy.
At mile 17 I started to get hungry. The beans weren’t doing it for me. The streets were lined with people offering snacks or “jellies”. I had to laugh at the jellies because they were gummy sweets. I passed all of that for security reasons. I mean probably no harm no foul, but I thought better of it….until mile 18.
Yeah, let’s see….laced cookie? Yes? No? “The world is so much better with you in it, Clarice.” Hmmm, what to do…I ate the cookie. Heck, I ate a couple of cookies. Glad I did because they hit the spot.
I never really hit the wall. The definition ~ hitting the wall or the bonk is a condition of sudden fatigue and loss of energy which is caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles. I have before, but not now. I was just slow. I will say at this point it began to seem like the never-ending race. More so around miles 23 and 24.
I find during the last two miles you tend to play patty cake with fellow runners. You speed up, then slow down, only to be passed by the same runner about 30 times until you get to the finish line. It’s a little annoying. Then I was passed by this one girl and I just had to laugh out loud. Another camera moment! She had a crudely hand written note pinned to her back that said “I absolutely hate running, I will never f*cking do this again.” It was just too darn funny. I followed her until the very end and I kept laughing every time I looked at her. There were definitely some characters at the race!
The big finish ~ there is nothing better than having someone support you in an endeavor like a marathon. I was about 200 meters from the finish line and I hear my name yelled ~ and there was my friend Diane yelling and with the support sign. Such a great way to end a race.
In the end I finish in 5:11:50. I am pleased. It’s not easy flying to another country then running a race. I have enjoyed every step of this journey and the outcome. This post wouldn’t be complete without a little self constructive criticism. Did I think I did my best? No. It’s as simple as that. I felt that I could have done much better with everything all around. Food, training and gear. I look forward to analyzing my performance and seeing what things I could have done better. Running this race has fired me up to run another. I love the race energy and the people. I would like to train for another marathon in the not so distant future and try to improve my time and running experience.
If you are a runner and want a fun challenge I definitely would recommend this race. It was very well organized and the the people of Ireland were so friendly. The proceeds go to assist the Irish Cancer Society.
I want to take this time to thank those who have supported me in this endeavor. My parents Charles and Darlene ~ thank you for all the texts, love and support. You both have been a catalyst for reaching for the stars.
My brother and his wife Lori, my sister Elizabeth and her husband Eric for all the love and support.
My sweet daughter who ran out of the house to meet me on my return. Sorry I didn’t catch the Mr. Mime Pokémon.
Diane who waited patiently for over 5 hours while I completed this race. You are a great friend.
Thank you to all of my friends and blog followers who dropped by to offer support and kind words.
This race was extra special this year. One, in a few days I will turn 50. Where has that time gone? Two, to honor my Mother, Karen Dennis and her Irish roots.
I completed 47.24 miles from Oct 16 – 29 with an end of month total of 105.92. I have 6339.47 miles gratefully remaining in my journey. The body achieves what the mind believes. What’s next?
I leave you with one of my favorite songs….
Happy Miles to You!!