This post is a week late. I’m finally off my “I finished my first half marathon high” and am settling back into reality. My plan was to do a bunch of vlogs throughout the entire training process, all the way to the finish line. I kinda slacked on that, so you get my typed out thoughts instead. Lucky you.
It was a very quick weekend. I flew to Dublin on Saturday evening and flew out after the race on Monday. Get in, get out. We tried to make it a week long family affair, but the logistics of getting the entire family over there with the car seats, extra bags, travel bed, ETC…too much. Literally. It would’ve cost more money than we were willing to spend at the moment to get everyone over there. So, it was just little ‘ol me with three other totally amazing girls.
Girl weekend? asked the stay at home mother. What is that??? You know how long it had been since I had one of those?! It was very much needed. And although I missed my boys, I can’t tell you how exciting it was to sit on a plane with my Kindle and be able to read the entire time, go to the bathroom whenever I wanted, get an actual drink without being in fear of it spilling all over the place… I soaked it all up.
First, I have to give a shout out to my friend who decided to meet me in Dublin on a whim the weekend before. Literally, I emailed her about something else and mentioned the half and she immediately said she wanted to go. I kind of laughed it off, but she was totally serious. She even showed interest in registering for the half marathon. When asked if she ran her reply was, “I have run before…” And let me tell you, that girl stuck it out and finished that half marathon with me! She’s unreal. And it was so great to see her again after 3 years!
So I arrived in Dublin at 9:45 in the evening and took a cab to my hotel to check in. I stayed at the River House Hotel in Temple Bar. If you don’t know anything about the Temple Bar area (which I didn’t), it is the party district. Trinity College is close by and Temple Bar is where you go to stagger down the street drunk, dance a drunken jig to live pub music, or just get drunk. My friend was staying right down the street and met me at my hotel. (If you want a nice, quiet, safe place to stay that is worth your money and still in a good location, look up the Eliza Hotel.) We then took a taxi and met up with my other friend and her friend (lots of friends!) to pub crawl for the rest of the night.
It’s been a really, really long time since I’ve stayed out late at a bar. But being our first night in Dublin, in the center of pub central, you kinda have to. We found THE Temple Bar, but it was packed, so we went to Farrington’s right across the street. There was an amazing duo there and we sat and listened to them for a good couple of hours. David Browne was the guy you see in the picture, and he holds a Guiness world record for speed on the guitar. These two were bloody fantastic.
Got to bed around 3:15 in the morning to the sound of drunken lover quarrels and that stupid high pitched laughter girls produce when they’ve had one too many. It is a wonder I was able to fall asleep at all.
We slept in then met up to go pick up our running packet–number, t-shirt, and a ‘goody bag’ which consisted of absolutely nothing but flyers and a bag of salt and vinegar chips.
We walked around the city taking in the sights. They love their flowers in Dublin! Tons of hanging baskets at every corner full of them. We saw the famous Molly Malone statue, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and more pubs than we could count.
That evening we met up with the girls for dinner and turned in early to get rest for the big day.
I’m not going to do a play by play of every moment of the race. What I will say is that it exceeded my expectations ten-fold. To be honest, even up to the start of the race I was very nervous. I thought I would be at the back, would fall behind, not finish. I had been having trouble with my knee for awhile and got brand new shoes the day before I left for Dublin (there is a story there, but I won’t bore you). I hype myself up way too much for things like this. I over-think ALL the time and become anxious. It’s just in my nature.
It was all for nothing. Because I did finish. I wasn’t last. I wasn’t even close to being last. I ran it and it felt AMAZING.
The atmosphere was so much fun. It was a rock-n-roll, so there were bands every mile that helped break it up. We saw everything from people dressed as cows to old ladies in fringed bras. The energy was palpable and kept me smiling the entire time. The weather was perfect and the course went through equal amounts of city and nature. At mile 10 I was still energized. I felt like I could do anything.
I finished the race in a humble 2:57:14. I am so proud of that. I just wanted to finish before the cut-off. And I’m even prouder of my friends. The girl who convinced me to try it with her killed it in 2 hours and 19 minutes! And my friend who just decided to run it without any training finished it with me. I’m so glad I can look back on this memory and see her right by my side. It made the experience just that much sweeter.
Will I do a full marathon? Heck no. I have realized I am not a long distance runner. It’s not enjoyable to me like it is for others. I really wanted it to be, but it isn’t. Does that mean I will never do a half again? Heck no! My only hesitance in doing another is my knee. But I am not going to rule it out.
It was a great time, and I’m so glad I did it. I never in a MILLION years thought I would be able to say I ran a half marathon. But I did. I DID.