Dublin Marathon 2017 Race Recap

“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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then there is always that guy….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

My wonderful friend Diane wore her Wonder Woman shirt and had this support sign!

Wrong time on my Garmin, but I just needed it to track the run. Plus my running rosary received by a fellow runner years ago. I love it and wear it to most of my races.

Can you see “believe” on my shirt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

People shedding their clothes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 race

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.

Completed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 8 October…”If you do not sow in the spring, you will not reap in the autumn – ~ Irish Proverb

My week 13 marathon training plan calls for a long run of 20 miles before the taper period begins.  When I trained for the Saint Louis Rock and Roll Marathon in 2013, I fell short of the 20 mile mark by 3 – 4 miles.  I’ll be honest, I thought I had mapped it out, but I think my training week timing/calculating was off a bit and I just didn’t have time to finish or make it up and I never ran the 20 mile training run required in the plan before the actual marathon.  I was determined this time around not to deviate from the longer runs.  Things happen such as injuries and life but I really wanted to at least complete these longer runs this time around.  I was looking for an appropriate quote to fit this run and I couldn’t believe I found the one I placed in the title.  The story goes like this….

There is no doubt that this time around has been a little tougher to train for a marathon.  I just seemed to have some things working against me that I’ve made note of and will try to improve next time.  (Yes, I plan to do another one)  Some things you just can’t change, like the environment.  It was very important to me that I complete the majority of the runs outside, which I did.  There were a few smaller runs that I completed on the treadmill at the gym, but mostly to give my feet a break.  But I’m happy to say 99% were out in this hot-assed weather!  Not carrying that around as a badge of honor, but let’s be for reals ~ it wasn’t no picnic.  I was lucky the 20 mile long run took place in October where there was a little bit of relief.

Pain and recovery ~ I had a lot of little pains this time around.  Started off with the resurgence of the calf-injury, then the right leg pain and finally the feet.  The physical therapy did help, but also brought about things that needed to be tidied up and addressed.  Of course there is always the time factor, which there seems to never be enough.  I feel that I did well in this training, but I always feel I could have done a little more.  A little older and a little slower….but still ready to keep going forward and achieve this goal.

This weeks run was a pretty good one.  I woke up with a bit of a headache and I won’t lie I did think to put it off until Wednesday.  I ran on Sunday this time because the race will be on Sunday October 29th.  But the first thing I said to myself was “pay now or pay later“. With that I rolled out of bed at 4:15.  When I started off it was chilly (that never seems to last long) clear with no wind.  One thing I need to work on is my warm up, meaning I could do more and better.  I think I don’t like wasting time with the warm up.  Just ready to get this party started.  Not really sure why though, because it seems to take me until mile 5 to start feeling “it” so a proper warm up would be a good thing.  I opted for gel blocks, a couple of Stinger™ gels, and some banana chips for my fueling.  I’m not a big eater before a run or during.  Had my…you guessed it…Eggos™, a cup of coffee and tried to chew down a fourth of a left over power bar for breakfast.  I make good meals after, but the before might be due for an upgrade.  Any way I felt fine.  Around mile 4 or 5 I was feeling pretty good – or maybe that’s when the Aleve™ kicked in ~ pretty sure that’s what it was.  The right foot started hurting early on – pinching – and I adjusted my stride and was feeling good and running pretty steady.  Around mile 15 I just decided that I wasn’t going to run past some of the same houses – again.  I literally was like – uh no.  “Pay now or pay later“.  I can’t stand to see this same route for the 3rd time today! So, I mixed it up and ran around the field at the park while people were playing cricket.  With one eye on the ball and the other on mud puddles from over watering – it wasn’t pleasant and I canned that after three times around.  Then I decided to run up this other road that circles the back of the neighborhood.  It has a pretty steep hill “pay now or pay later“……………………………………yeah that sucked, I won’t lie, but I did it.  Oh this was nice too, while I was running up this hill I was already at mile 19 – I’m telling you this so I don’t feel too bad.  There was this guy and his kid riding bikes on the road up the hill while I was running on the sidewalk.  This is a steep hill.  I remember riding up this once and it wasn’t easy.  I was impressed this little kid was attempting this hill.  So, here I am shuffling along and what looks to be a 7-year-old kid passes me on his little bike that I think he just took the training wheels off.  Yeah, good times.  But, hey what do I care, that Garmin™ buzzed on my arm and I was like ~

Eat that!!!

Yeah baby – 20 done and done!  My average pace was about 13.37.

So, what does the quote and my saying have to do with anything?  I thought it funny, because there were a lot of times I was just like man…this is tough…but I would tell myself “pay now or pay later” every time I started to feel a little overwhelmed.  I was looking for snappy Irish sayings and “If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn”  popped up ~ “pay now or pay later“.  I want to reap on 29 October – so I paid now.  Overall I completed 35.87 miles for the week.  Let the taper begin!!  So happy to just say I have a 9 mile long run this week.  Despite the drawbacks, I am enjoying the process and forever grateful.  There are 6409.52 miles waiting in my journey.  I can’t wait to be listening to music like this live!

Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 17 Sept Week 10 Dublin Marathon Training…Picking the Playlist

Like most people, I like to listen to music when I run.  I trained for a whole month without listening to music a few years back and I will say my running performance was definitely better.  Meaning that I concentrated on all the wrong things I was doing and corrected them while I was running.  Getting lost in the music is a great stress reliever, but I personally believe it messes with breathing and pace.  At least for me it does.  Some great song comes on and you find yourself running to the beat, then a slower song comes on and changes the stride.  I have read articles where runners say never to music…but I like to listen more than not.  I never plug-in when I’m cycling, but running is a different story.  I like creating a playlist for the event.  Every time I run I find myself in a different place figuratively and mentally so I create my playlist to how I’m feeling at that moment.

I like all kinds of music.  I mean I’ll listen to anything at least once and I have wide eclectic tastes on different genres.  My favorite music is…wait for it ~ classical.  Not the best to run to but there are some good ones you can.  For this run I was wanting to have fun and pick some good Celtic music.  Let’s face it, this little jaunt is going to last about 4:30 hrs…if I’m lucky.  So, that means a lot of music.  Not sure I can just listen to Celtic artists…but maybe I can!  If you have some suggestions I would love to hear them.  Matter of fact, help me pick my playlist!  That would be really sweet!

Week 10 training went well.  I completed three days of running and one day of walking.  I decided to use that fourth day for either walking or speed training.  I like it because it gives me two days and a little more recovery before the long run and that’s just something I need at the moment.  The long run was 16 miles this go round and for the most part I felt really good.  Pace is staying the same somewhere between 12 and 13 minutes.  My biggest drawback was at mile 8 I started to have some epic foot pain.  It was really weird because I didn’t experience that last week.  I hate to admit it ~ but it might be my shoes.  That will be another post.

I ended with 31.46 miles for the week.  I can’t believe how fast time is flying!  The marathon will soon be here!  I hope this finds you with much peace and love in your heart.  I have 6510.99 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

I leave you with this little diddy.  Safe to say this will not make the playlist….may afterwards at the pub!  “May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.”  

 

 

 

May you live to be 100 years, with one extra year to repent.

Mileage Recap ~ 28 Aug – 3 Sept…The 9/11 Heros Run

I decided to change-up my running routine this week and run the 9/11 Heros Run sponsored by the Travis Manion Foundation.  1LT Travis Manion was killed while serving in Iraq.  The Travis Manion Foundation is one of the more interesting foundations, in that it places veterans in mentoring roles with community youth that need positive role models.  The meaning of their motto, “If not me, then who…” stands for their mission to Redefine Americans Character through mentorship roles.  The Foundation realizes that many veterans experience difficulty reintegrating back into civilian society.  Often they feel displaced in their own community and mentoring youth without good role models provides purpose.  From the website:

You can check them out more here:  http://www.travismanion.org/character-does-matter/

When I signed up for the race it asked the question who is the hero you are running for?  There have been so many heros of 9/11 and unfortunately, there will continue to be more in a conflict that seems to go on endlessly.  We are very fortunate to have individuals military/civilian that will step up when called to duty.  We see it in all facets of life not just military conflict.  Look at the Texas flood.  The United States if filled with GOOD people.

 

A few shots from this weekend.  I ended up running around a 10:25 average pace and 11th in my age group.  My daughter made the sign!  She is such a great supporter!

 

 

 

Week eight marathon training went well.  My training plan called for 4/6/4/14 which ended up being 4/6/4/3.1.  I had every intention of “making” up the other 11 miles….and that pretty much went out the window Saturday night.  Yes, I know tsk tsk, but it will be okay.  Just clicking my heels three times….there’s nothing like mileage!

If I have to hold my Guinness with two hands instead of one, I – will – be – okay.

This is a picture of Jason Momoa from GOT looking like he’s holding a Guinness…it has absolutely nothing to do with this post…moving on.

So yes, training was good and I will be back on track Monday ~ meaning no more “side gigs”.  Pace is remaining the same in the 10 – 11 minute window for shorter runs and around 11 – 12 for the longer runs.  I’m glad I took the time out to do something different.  Stats are as follows:  17.70 miles for the week ending August with 96.11 total miles.  I have 6574.97 miles remaining in this journey!  There is always sadness when thinking about 9/11. Especially for all the life that was lost.  Every day is truly a blessing, we never know when it will be our last.  Celebrate every day.

Leaving this post on a high note, I’ve been looking for music for my run.  I’ve been erring on the side of native…if you know what I mean. Found this little diddy…I’m in the back. (Just kidding)  Happy Miles to You!!

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 19 August Week Six Dublin Marathon Training

I haven’t really been counting the training weeks for this marathon but I thought that I would start to quantify a bit.  I started my training early, sort of doing my own thing.  Running three times a week with a little bit of speed work added to the mix.  I am now on a more “solid plan” if you will.  I will be running 4 times a week following a defined plan.  I used this same plan for my first marathon and it worked for me.

This weeks mileage plan called for 4/5/4/11 with rest days in between.  I ran one of the 4 mile days on the dreadmill to give my legs a bit of a break.  My 5 mile run was a great run.  The weather has started to break a bit and it was 79!  I could really tell the difference and I didn’t have to stop and walk once.  My pace for that day was sub 11 and that felt good.

This weeks long run was pretty good.  It’s so funny how just last month I could get out the door at 5 am because it was light.  It’s now dark until 5:30 – 5:45.  I was able to eat two waffles (yes…Eggos™ I’m addicted), coffee (always) and a sports gel (ugh).  I was out the door at a respectable 5:45.  I’m doing a loop that is about 5.5 miles.  It takes me by my house so I can fill up on water and preposition snacks.  I don’t need too much water for the first 5 miles but after that I’m drinking it fast, so running by the house helps a great deal.  Today’s long run came to 11 miles.  I was good until mile 4 then my legs started feeling a little heavy.  I was wondering when my gel was going to kick in… I must have a high tolerance for things that are supposed to make you have energy.  I can drink three cups of coffee in a span of 30 minutes and nothing.  The same seems to be for the “sports” gel.  I didn’t really feel that umph until mile 8.  I took a gel before I started running, one at mile 5 and another at mile 10.

These last few weeks my piriformis muscle has been screaming.  Most likely because my pelvis is supposedly getting corrected and by hips are in full revolt.  We’ve been doing it wrong for so long why change now!  That started to hurt a bit at mile 8, but if I paid attention to my foot strike I could keep that pain at bay.  The last two miles were a bit of a slog.  It was starting to get hot and I was breathing heavy and I was thirsty.  During last weeks long run I lost one of my water pods.  It is safe to say the water belt is now on life support and I need to look for another one.  My average pace was….average at 12:36.  I did have to walk a bit, but I got it done.  I’m looking forward to next weeks runs. It’s hard, but at the end, when it’s finished, it’s joyful.

Total miles for last week and this week came to 34.04!  I have completed 4094.19 miles in my journey with 6620.81 miles gratefully remaining.

Had this song playing on my iPod today…like with many things in life this is so true….

Happy Miles to You!!

 

Chau Smith – Running Goals

In my humble opinion, running is 90% mental.  This is just me talking.  You have to 1) want to run, 2) have a goal, and finally 3) stick to the plan and follow through.  The first two are critical points that will help you get through number three.  There is always going to be a reason (for most of us) not to do something.  There will never be enough time, enough money, or enough energy ~ but there always seems to be plenty of excuse to not (apply your own verb here).

Age.  Getting older.  I’m too old to…  I went to this conference in Atlanta for work some years ago and the speaker was talking about getting stuff done.  Something to that effect.  It was a semi motivational but dealt with government work stuff etc…Maybe even a little boring, until he said something that I still think about to this day.  He said, “we all know 20 year olds that act like they’re 60 and 60 year olds that act like they’re in their 20s“.  The whole point was never giving up, continuing on and not letting age act as an impediment to keep trying, living and achieving your goals.  It’s strange how that line still sticks with me.  I was in my early 30s then and I just thought it was great advice.  If you want to do something, don’t let age be an excuse.

Meet Chau Smith from Missouri.

She is 70 years old and ran seven marathons in seven continents….in one week.  One week…did you hear that…one week.  Oh and don’t be bothered that she ran over 70 races…last year.  From the Huffington Post, “Smith’s legal age is 67. She told The Huffington Post that after her father was killed in the French occupation of Vietnam during the First Indochina War, her mother went into hiding while pregnant with Smith for their safety. After she was born in 1947, her mother didn’t report it for three years. That’s why she wanted to honor turning her real age ― 70 ― this year in a special way”.

Smith is part of a group called Marathon Adventures.  She basically would run a marathon in one country, board a plane to the next and start all over again.  Smith ran in Perth, Australia, Cairo, Amsterdam, Singapore, New York, Chile and King George Island, Antarctica.

She credits running to keeping her healthy and happy, clears her head and that helps her make better decisions.

Women On the Move ~ Crystal Clark – The Heartland Running Podcast

Happy Sunday everyone and of course Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads.  Next up on my Women on the Move is Crystal Clark from Heartland Running.  I came across Crystal on Instagram, of course, and was curious about her and the running podcast she helps host.  Crystal’s first run was a half marathon and as they say the running bug definitely has bitten her.  According to her Instagram page she has run 15 x 26.2, 1 x 100k, 3 x 50k, 2 x 50 miles and is currently training for 100 miles November in 2017.

Crystal is one of three hosts on The Heartland Running Podcast.  From the site:

Crystal did not grow up athletic and almost failed gym.  So everyone was pretty surprised when she signed up for her first race – a half marathon.  She fumbled her way to the finish line (despite not evening know how far it was) and was hooked.  Since then she has run 20 marathons/ultras including the Boston Marathon.  Crystal’s current goal is to chase down a 100 mile finish.

Crystal lives in Ohio with her husband, son, and their pet cat Geddy Lee.

You can follow her adventures on Instagram @seecrystalrun.

I really like the site because it focuses on the running life in the Ozarks (I lived in Illinois for eight years) and beyond.  Over the last few months I have enjoyed listing to podcasts in the car and wouldn’t mind doing it myself one day. Maybe interviewing women on the move!  They have some good podcasts consisting of inspirational and informative stories/information about running and other sports as well as gear reviews and basic advice.  Really cool and they are fun to listen too as well.  Enjoy (link at the top).  Happy Miles to You!!