Monday, November 4, 2013

Dublin Marathon

Dublin Marathon

Sight seeing before the marathon and learning to draw our own Guinness

             We had a good couple of days before the race seeing the sights, but the weather was awful so I have almost no pictures. It rained, the wind blew, and it was COLD! I was seriously worried about this race. There was a storm brewing that had the news channels all warning everyone to batten down the hatches, they were saying it would be the worst storm since 1987. I had not packed particularly warm running gear and thought perhaps I would have to drop out with hypothermia. I bought a pack of disposable rain ponchos and headed for the start line. 
Fearing rain, I was prepared with a poncho,
if I could get it open!
Reluctantly shucking my coat
and revealing my goofy outfit 
                Despite the dire warnings, the morning dawned brisk, but beautiful with the promise of a great race. My husband stayed with me at the start until the last minute so I could keep a coat on as long as possible and then waved me off to join the throng of the third and final wave. I was a little sad that I had missed the group picture for the Marathon Maniacs, but I spotted Anders in his red shirt, standing up on an island, surrounded by a sea of people. Even though he had a bib for the first wave, he had waited to look for other Maniacs (have I mentioned what awesome people Marathon Maniacs are?) Anders had run Frankfurt the day before so he was ready to take it easy and hang with the slow pokes at the back. Dublin was his 112th marathon and also rounded out 12 marathons in 12 countries in 12 weeks. (At the writing of this blog, he just finished the New York Marathon so that all bumps to 13!)
                ALL of the following photos were taken by Anders  Forselius. He is an awesome Marathon Maniac and writer for Runner’s World Sweden! He was such fun to run with and totally kept me going with his boundless energy, (despite his having run the Frankfurt Marathon the day before!)
Anders has fun with the spectators and helpers

                A short time later, we heard a shout and found Danielle “T-Rex” Hastings catching us up. Wow, another legend in the Maniac community! This was shaping up to be an amazing day! Not for my running though, I seemed to be struggling from the get go. Thanks to two days of speed walking though rain and wind to get from one tourist attraction to the next, my legs were far from fresh and I was totally exhausted. Anders and Danielle, on the other hand, were fresh and daisies and chatted along like they were out for a walk in the park, LOL. It was so awesome to just be able to listen to them. They stuck with my through my Galloway style run/walk with 3 minutes of running to 1 minute of walking even though they could have gone much faster.

      I also met Lichu Sloan. She has run over 150 marathons all over the world, including the amazing feat of 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 weeks (I’m seeing a trend here, LOL)!  I can’t wait to see her again in Florida when we run the Jacksonville Marathon!

                There were so many Maniacs on the course it was fantastic, I met another when I was looking for my start coral, and ran a bit with James Daly who was having a blast taking in the sights. I really do love finding Maniacs at races, they are always so friendly and upbeat!

                At about 18.5 miles I really started to struggle. Since the wicked bouts of bronchitis in Korea, my lungs have not been the same. I was hoping moving the clean air of Yorkshire would help, but it looks like the problem will be with me longer term. I have had great results with taking Singular, but of course, in the race morning excitement I forgot to take it. I do carry a dose of Sudafed to deal with allergies en route so I took that, along with a good dose of salt and pushed forward. It made a huge difference and by mile 20 I was ready to get it done!
                Anders and I caught up to the 5:00 pace group and then started moving ahead, still maintaining that 3/1 run walk. When I stopped to take my salt and Sudafed we fell behind the 5 hour pace group so Danielle decided to go on ahead. Her boyfriend was expecting her to finish in 5 hours and she did not want to miss him. It was so awesome of her to stick with me for so long! She is such an amazing young woman, very accomplished in her work life, not to mention running 43 marathons in her young 27 years!  Danielle’s is a great writer and blogs here, (finding her boyfriend did not end up going so well): T-Rex Goes International
Spectator support was great!

I think Anders ate his weight in candy during the race, LOL

Danielle was having a bit of knee trouble
so I showed her my favorite mid race stretch

There were some impressive costumes!


                Crossing the finish line I gave Anders a huge hug for all his help and motivation and we ambled though the gauntlet collecting our medal, shirt, and goody bag. I had not spotted my family yet, but the crowds were thick and it was getting colder by the minute so I went straight for my check bag where I had smartly stowed sweats that I could throw on over everything. Eventually, my husband and daughter found me and we headed back to the hotel for a hot shower and a cold Guinness, YUM!  Guinness is totally different in Ireland; it is fresh and has no preservatives so it is smooth as silk with a light sweetness and no bitterness.
                Even though the running did not go as well as I hoped, the weather was better and the company was extraordinary! I had such a good time making new friends and seeing Dublin in the way that only marathoners do.

(pronounced 'slawn-cha', meaning Health! ‘Cheers’)
RA report: Despite the cold, exhaustion, being on my feet for two days, and living on tourist junk food, my RA was tolerable. I definitely felt the fatigue that came with eating too much junk and I was stiff and sore before I got to the start line, but I did not have any acute joint flare ups and even the knee that has been bugging me stayed quiet. I did use KT Tape on the knee, and even tried taping my hip, but I managed to pull it mostly off the first time I dropped my tights to go to the bathroom, LOL. It is time to stop slacking and get more serious with my training! I've been lazy with the move and not gotten back on track like I should, but I have a month before the next race and it will be an easy one so my focus is on doing a good job at Jacksonville! 

Onward and upward! Next race is Newcastle Race Course with the North East Marathon Club and then on to the Jacksonville Bank Marathon in Florida.