Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 14 Jan WTF Half Marathon Training…Fly Me To The Moon

I had a good training week.  Meaning, I did everything I set out to do.  Whether that means I did it well, you can judge for yourself:-) Definitely more miles this week but I still didn’t get out on the bike.  Definitely, will be changing that next week for sure.

I have added three to four days a week of weight training to my program and happy to say I have stuck to it.  I have always lifted weights in the past, but sometimes when you’re training for a long race it’s easy to put that on the back burner.  Getting in the car, driving to the gym, etc, etc.  So this year, I’m determined stick with it and this week was a banner week.

Started off with two smaller runs of around 3 and 4 miles each.  The weather is still cool here (in the morning) and I was able to keep a good steady pace around 10:37.  I was happy with that pace because it’s usually up around a 11 or 12 minute pace.  One of my running goals is to keep the pace constant around 10:30 this year.  Working hard!

My long run was not so great.  What’s good about writing about all this is, if you’re a runner or cyclist, you can feel good in knowing that some days aren’t the best.  Everybody has those days.  This weeks long run was around 6 miles and I waited a little later in the day to run.  First, I was tired.  Didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before and I’m an early riser.  Around 5 am.  I have four cats, so you get my drift there.  I could really feel the drag after mile two.  Legs were just heavy.  After around mile two it was the run some walk some day.  Second, it was hot.  Oh yes….it’s back.  I started off without any water.  You know it’s funny.  During this time of year when it’s colder in the morning and hot in the afternoon I always play this game with myself.  Hmmm, can I do it?  Can I do it without water?  And always the answer is…….NO!  Every dang time.  But that doesn’t stop me from going and trying.  It’s only six miles.  My mind says ~ “you got this girl” and my dehydrated mouth says “no, no you don’t”.  On one of my routes I make a pass by my house at mile two and I swung in to get my water belt.  It was thrown in the back of the pantry looking at me like…yeah that’s what you get.  So I strapped her on and finished the run.  Good grief.

Normally Sunday is my rest day, but I wanted to keep going.  One thing I do like hiking.  I went out to one of our trails today and decided to do the mountain rim and one of the trails to the base of another mountain.

Mountain ridge.

I started off by climbing a couple of the mountain ridge lines.  I know this picture doesn’t really look high but I was pretty high up!  It’s nice to be out there because even though there are plenty of people hiking, cycling and running you still have plenty of path to yourself.  Plenty of time to think and just be.  I originally thought to bring music but decided against it.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes to disconnect is the best option.  I like hearing all the sounds, especially any animals that might want to sneak up behind me!  For the most part the path is good footing.  When you are climbing and descending it can be a bit daring!

 

 

 

Even when a cactus is dying it is pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat down to do some journal writing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And my favorites…

It’s like I’m on the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hiked a total of 4.63 miles this time around.  I logged a total of 19.22 miles this week with 6253.12 gratefully waiting and 3111.53 for the year.  (I hear you laughing….don’t count me out).

I do find some beauty in the desert.  Sometimes when I’m walking or running it’s invigorating other times when I look out its easy for a wave of sadness to rush over me.  I sometimes see just rock, but I know there is beauty in all things, sometimes you just need to look a little harder to find it.  When I got back in the car to go home this song was playing.  I laughed because I thought it was appropriate.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 1 – 7 Jan WTF Half Marathon Training

How was everyone’s first week of 2018?  I hope that so far, everything is going well.  I’m excited to get some more miles under my belt this year.  One good milestone that will happen is I will make my half-way mark.  I can remember when I was just starting out and 11,315 miles didn’t seem like that long of a way, but…. it’s long.  Very long.

I started this week off with training runs around the neighborhood with the longer run on an actual trail to prepare myself for the WTF Half Marathon.  My first two runs went well and I’m maintaining a solid pace around 10:30.  Here we are just in January and guess what is beginning to happen?  Surely, you must know….It’s already starting to get….hot.  When I was training for the Dublin Marathon, I followed a flatter route closer to home and this time I decided to do one of the mid-week runs on more of an incline.  I have run this route before but it takes me closer to the mountains.  Half-way through I could really feel the heat.  It wasn’t really hot, but it’s already starting.  Still a good run.

I made goal of going to the gym three days a week for strength training.  I really love to strength train, but sometimes you get busy and getting there can fall by the wayside.  I have been going pretty regularly and I’m already beginning to see a difference.  I’m one of these people I go in do what I have to do then I’m out.  I’m in there from 30 – 45 minutes then done.  Arms, legs, abs/back each have their own day and that makes it easy.  Sunday I’m leaving for a rest day.  Which is hard because I feel like I should be doing something.  It’s important to rest.  Too much can leave you with injuries and then the rest is just a struggle.

I went down to Pima canyon trail for this weeks long run only to find the park closed.  It was kind of funny because everyone was parking out on the street and I just thought it was full.  It’s very popular and since the temperature is pristine right now everyone is out and about.  I attached my water belt and started running from the car.  I get about half a mile down the pavement right before the entrance and it’s all blocked off.  Under construction until Fall.  Hmmm.  With that I turned on my heel with the annoying sloshing of the water belt and ran back to my car.

I won’t lie, I was thinking…just go back home, but ain’t nobody got time for that.  There are miles waiting.  I drove to the next trail head I knew that is actually a little closer to the house.  The last time I ran “off-road” was the Grand Canyon Half and that was no joke.  It was in May, snowing, muddy and 6804′ elevation.  It took me almost as long as a regular marathon.  I believe it was around 3:45 or somewhere close.  So, I am always very impressed when people talk about trail running.

This weeks longer run was good.  I really had never run there so I wasn’t sure how many miles it was to the mountain.  I also wasn’t very familiar with the terrain so that cause a little bit of nervousness on how far I wanted to go.  There were moments that I was all alone and a few times I heard noises that actually made me stop and turn around.  Nervous much….uh yes.  I was grateful for the occasional cyclist or people walking. This trail was hilly so there was a lot of energy expended.  It’s just amazing the difference mile 2 to 3 can be as far as burning energy and the body getting tired.  It’s also a little harder on the body and I made sure to concentrate on how hard I was pounding.  Consistency breeds success.

A few photos:

Action video!!!

That’s really funny.  I took a lot of pictures.  I guess I’m more interested in the experience and process than the time.

I was able to finish 10.84 miles this week.  I have 6272.34 miles waiting and 3130.75 for the yearly goal.

Happy Miles to You!!

I thought this was appropriate:

Monday’s Motivation… When One Door Closes… ~ 2017 Mileage Recap

Happy New Year ya’ll!  I had to throw the ya’ll in there because I’m a Southerner…and that I shall remain.

There are usually a couple of things that are happening on New Year’s Day.

  1. You are recovering from a hangover.
  2. Starting to take down the holiday decorations.
  3. Getting ready for the upcoming work week.
  4. Dreading the upcoming work week.
  5. Making lists and smiling about all the “epic” shit you’re going to do this year.
  6. Reflecting on the following year.

Okay that was a bit more than a technical couple, but you get my drift.  I think every year I write how I don’t make resolutions.  I don’t.  I stopped doing that a long time ago.  I make goals.  Sometimes I reach them other times not.  I find goals are different from resolutions.   Perhaps a goal is something that can be started at any time and any day.  Not like some voodoo that needs to happen on a particular day of the year in order for it to happen.  The main gist of this…goals

  1. Start now.
  2. Write the goal down.
  3. Create a time-line for completion or metrics of completion.
  4. Understand your fear and face it headfirst.
  5. Stop taking advice from people who don’t know you, don’t care about your success, or don’t understand your life or dreams.
  6. Follow through.  (The most important ~ a lot of people spend a lot of time “getting ready to get ready” and never really leave the planning stage.

The beginning of a new year is all about the “re” words:

  1. Reflect
  2. Renew
  3. Rethink
  4. Refresh
  5. Re-energize
  6. Reinvent
  7. Rebuild
  8. Regroup

What are your “re” words for 2018?

I had a pretty good year “mile-wise”.  I had a goal to complete a race abroad when I first started this journey and I did it this year.  I would have liked to complete more miles this year, but I did what I could do and was able to follow through to my goal of completing the Dublin marathon.  This year was peppered with some physical discomfort, but now it’s time to re-energize, rebuild, and regroup for then next year.

This Monday’s motivation:

“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed-door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

~ Alexander Graham Bell

Encyclopedia Britannica

I will admit this one blew me away.  I had no idea that Alexander Graham Bell penned this quote.  None.  How often do we spend so much time lamenting change?  Instead of embracing it and allowing new ideas and experiences to flow into our life?   Alexander Graham Bell was born in 1847, Edinburgh, Scotland. He was an American inventor, scientist, and teacher of the deaf whose foremost accomplishments were the invention of the telephone (1876) and the refinement of the phonograph (1886), https://www.britannica.com/biography/Alexander-Graham-Bell.  His mother was almost deaf which influenced his career as a teacher for the deaf.  Very cool.

While I was researching this quote this also popped up…

“I know that when one door closes another opens…but man, these hallways are a bitch!”  ~ Ahhh deep thoughts from Pinterest.  

I completed my year with 789.96 miles.  I am almost half-way home.  My goal is to complete the remaining miles in the next two years.

A girl has to have dreams right?  Here’s to making those dreams “re”ality.  I have completed 5031.82 miles in my journey.  I “re”joice that I gratefully have 6283.18 “re”maining!

Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow me throughout the years and provide motivation and comments.  May your 2018 see goals met, your happiness grow, and peaceful, exciting and “epic” year!!!! Happy Miles to You!!

Time is on my side….

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 11 – 28 December… Keep On Rollin’

Finally made it back to blogging after a brief illness…aka – cold.  I won’t call it the flu.  If it was, it wasn’t a full-blown knock out drag out.  Head cold and running nose was about the extent.  I’m sure I got it from my daughter who did have it for four days.  She teaches young children dance and most assuredly that’s where she picked it up.  So, I’m back.

The big news is…du…du…dunnnnaaa….I changed my bike tire.  All by myself.  Yep, I finally got around to doing it.  It only took me, hmmm about two hours.  How’s that for some speed.  So glad I didn’t have a wild animal lurking around.  I’m glad it happened, because there were some items that definitely did NOT work or was spent in my tool bag.

I began by watching a 4 minute “refresher” video from Trek (the brand I own).  There was this lovely female giving the demo.  As I’m watching I notice that she is holding the tire towards the camera (obviously) and just seemed to be zipping through everything with ease.  Of course I know she has probably done this many times but she was holding the tire with one hand and using the release tool with the other.  Easy peasy baby!.  I slapped my knee and went down to the garage.

Step 1.  Take the tire off the bike.  First release the brakes…ahhh…then the tire release, yes…oops the chain, hmm okay a little tricky but no worries (uh huh) and tire is off!!!

 Looking good.

Step 2.  Take the actual tire (you know the rubber part) off.  I used these little beauties:

Okay just wiggle…wiggle a little more… some more…dam**!! okay okay it’s off.  Great, just get this off.  Whew.

Step 3.  Remove the old tube and insert the new one.  On the video it said to blow the new tube up just a bit to make it easier to place.  She also used her carbon pod so I decided to try mine too.  Nope!  First one was dead as a door nail.  The guy at the bike store told me they lasted FOREVAHHH…I knew it was BS when he said it but still….  Okay let’s get the tire pump.  I slip the new tube in the rubber tire casing and place one side of the tire back on the rim.  This is very important…because that was the easy part.  The hard part was getting the other side of the tire on the rim before you can inflate the tube.  You didn’t think that was going to be easy did you?  If it was the tire wouldn’t stay on the rim like it should.  This process took an incredible amount of time.  Let’s see, video again…ah ha “if the wheel is to tight going back on…”  ok, ok hmmm.

Don’t even ask why I have the pliers out… I don’t even remember.  Finally, I got the tire on the rim.

Step 4.  Inflate said tire.  Easy peasy.  Nope!  Sunnuva… tire pump is not playing nice.  I don’t like this tire pump anyway.  It’s weird and too big.  For some reason I couldn’t get it seated on the valve properly.  After much finagling I get the tire inflated!

Step 5.  Put the tire back on the bike.  May I present the first piece of evidence:

It just seemed easier.  Okay this is the easy part ya’ll!!  Nope!  HOW THE HELL DID I GET THIS THING OFF!  VIDEO!  I actually took another bike and flipped it upside down so I could see the placement.  It’s interesting the way the chain was laying because visually I thought should have looked different.  Eventually, I figured it out and got everything put back together. Proof!!!  Yeah that plastic glove really helped.

Step 6.  Step back and say damn….I’m good.  And test that baby out before you go on a long ride.  I feel confident that I can change my tire out on the road.  Maybe a little slow, but I’ll get it done.  As they say, “now you know”.

I’m just going to say that all women need to know how to be hands on with their equipment.  Whether it be a bike or a car tire.  You need to know how to take care of things yourself.  Does it suck?  Yeah, sometimes it does, but you never know when you need to rely on your own two hands when help isn’t around.

Running was a little more than last mileage recap.  I even was able to get on the recumbent bike. I was able to log  19.87 miles this time around with 6286.27 miles gratefully remaining.  Thinking about changing my tire brought one song to mind.  If you do a crappy job changing your tire then you can’t keep on rollin’!  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Mileage Recap ~ November…And Some Rambling Thoughts

It’s always good to have a bit of a blogging break.  Sometimes you just need to get the creative juices flowing again.  Thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support and congratulations last month.  Going to Ireland was a great experience and has renewed my love for running and the reason why I do it and I’m reading to do more.

I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my miles and it’s amazing that I have been doing this for 5 years now.  I haven’t been blogging that long – or at least I don’t thing so!  Reflecting, I have mixed feelings about the 5 years. I would have liked to be further along, but 11k plus miles is a lot of miles when you add in everyday life to the mix.  But no worries, it’s all good and it will get done.  The more I do this the more interesting I want to make the challenges.  Why just go through the hum drum of tracking regular mileage.  It’s almost like there needs to be a prize at the end.  Thus, races and rides right?

It was good to have an easy month in November, but now it’s time to gear up again.  The weather is nice in Phoenix….now.  So, time to dust of my trusty bike (which I didn’t get to ride much while training) and get moving.  I covered 15.74 miles in November and 4.95 miles for the first week of December for a total of 20.69.  Not much, but it was a much-needed break.   I have 6318.78 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!!

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!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Trip to Ireland Part Dhá ~ Aer Lingus

Now that I’m back and recovered it’s time for the whole recap and nothing but the recap of my latest adventure.  For this post I will cover the second part of my trip to Ireland.

I arrived in Chicago with a three hour layover.  One of my biggest fears was the possibility of losing my luggage, but with a three hour layover you would think that there would be plenty of time to get my bag from one plane to the next.  One would think.

In an earlier post I spoke about wanting to experience Ireland…including air flight.  I decided to try the Irish airline Aer Lingus that is now owned by British Airways.  Admittedly the reservation process wasn’t especially easy.  I tried to book my flight through the website, which also wasn’t easy and ended up having to call anyway because the order wouldn’t submit online.  I got the confirmation email but when I checked my account it said it wasn’t booked.  After holding for about 30 minutes a nice Irish lass helped me out and the ticket was booked.  The flight ended up being smooth sailing.  The flight attendants were friendly and the aircraft wasn’t packed.  The only criticism I had was the metal box that took up half of my leg space and was a little cramped.  The flight took about 6-1/2 hours before landing in Dublin.

If you have traveled to a foreign country before you know you just don’t get off the plane, collect the baggage and hail the taxi.  There is a process for foreigners and it usually involves very long lines.  I had forgotten how it felt when you get to customs and nationals fly right through the lines and everyone else is in a very long line for passport check.  Even though the line was long it moved very quickly and I was on my way!  Now to collect my bag.

I go to the baggage claim and patiently wait for my bag.  I’m sure everyone has experienced the nervousness of watching others pick up their bags while you wait for yours.  There I sat and waited as the bags got less and less.  Finally, I came to the bad realization that my bag wasn’t coming.  Trying to placate myself I went to other turnstiles to see if MAYBE something got messed up.  No, the realization finally hit me that my bag didn’t show up.  Somewhat frantically, I walk over to the baggage information center and filled out my claim.  They were very nice and I told the attendant that it was very important I got my bag because I was running the race in two days.  She found out that the bag was still in Chicago (really Chicago) and that it may be here tomorrow but technically they have 72 hours to get it to me. 72 hours!  Uh, no.  I need my bag.  I will admit panic started to take over.  There I was in Dublin Ireland with the clothes on my back, a toothbrush (thank God) and a pack of Doritos.  All my running gear (and clothes) were in my suitcase.  There was nothing more to do but wait and hope that my suitcase got to me on time.

I exited the terminal to find my friend, Diane who would be meeting me for the trip.  After a lot of Facebook IMing we finally found each other and were ready for our Ireland adventure to begin.  We hailed a taxi that took us to our first stop the Hilton at Charlemont.  I chose this hotel for two reasons 1) it was close to the start line for the marathon and 2) you pretty much know what you’re getting with a Hilton.  The hotel was great and reasonably priced.  Best of all I could walk to the start line.

Once settled in the hotel it was time to go to the marathon Expo and check in.  I had some important decisions to make.  If there was a possibility that my bag didn’t come in I would have to buy all new gear at the Expo. I had two days before the marathon and a scheduled tour the next day, so there wouldn’t be any time to go buy gear.  I made the decision to buy all new gear at the Expo.  When I say all, I mean shoes, clothes, underwear, and sports bra – the whole shebang.  I had trained so hard and had come so far that I couldn’t take the chance that I might not have my stuff.  The silver lining to all of this is I bought….more shoes.  This time the Hoka brand.  There were no Brooks or Asics to be found.  So Hokas it is…  I liked them…a lot but I didn’t want to run the race in new shoes.

 

Signing my mother’s name, Karen Dennis, on the dedication board.

My friend Diane enjoying the expo with me.

Woke up the next morning and no bag.  Trying to put that aside it was time for a little Irish sightseeing.  We booked a trip to take us to the Wicklow Mountains and Kilkenny.  Once out of Dublin, we traveled to the Glendalough Monastic Site originally built in the 6th century by St. Kevin.  It truly was a beautiful placae in the Wicklow Mountains with streams, trails and ruins.  It was truly beautiful.  Here are a few pictures.

My favorite photo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just love all that Irish green.  Happy Miles to You!!