Race Recap: Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon & 5K

Race. Beer. Repeat. The theme of my Dublin Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend.

I was lucky enough to run my first Rock ‘n’ Roll remix challenge in another country! It was one of my favorite race weekends to date and I thought I’d share a little bit about why.

Rock ‘n’ Roll races are always a lot of fun. I’ve done a few different ones now, but never in another country. I originally signed up for the half marathon, but as the trip got closer I figured why not run the 5K the day before too? I’m always up for extra bling.

The expo on Friday was low key and easy to get through. I actually paid for the 5K when I went to pick up my packet. Couldn’t make it out without purchasing an extra shirt, but hey I was in vacation mode.

I didn’t have any time expectations for either race. I wasn’t planning on any personal records with the way I had been fueling throughout the trip, but I wanted to at least have a little bit of speed.

Saturday, August 12th – 5K

11 AM start. 55 degrees. No rain. I toed the start line and felt ready to give it a go. The 5K is a tough distance for me because I feel like “wow this is uncomfortable” the entire time. I much prefer the marathon so I can ease into the discomfort, but at least the 5K goes by really quickly. I felt great my first mile. A 7:05. My second mile I started having some pretty bad stomach cramps. I wasn’t nauseous, but I wasn’t feeling great. I slowed down a bit as I hoped it would pass. 7:20. By mile 3 I knew I just had to get to the finish line. The sun was shining and I was warm. I started thinking about how badly I wanted some water and decided to just pick up my pace a little bit. Mile 3 ended up being my fastest at 6:50. I crossed the line and felt proud of my effort. Was it a PR or all I was capable of? No. Was it a great effort? Yes. 21:55. I’m so glad I decided to add this race in!

Sunday, August 13th – Half Marathon

The energy walking over to the half marathon start line was incredible. Everyone had a smile on their face. The corrals were pretty crowded, but I was able to slide into mine about 10 minutes before race start. Music was blasting. People were excited. I didn’t have headphones in. I actually haven’t run with music in a very long time. I feel better racing without it so I can really pay attention to how I’m feeling and take in the atmosphere.

I crossed the start line and settled into a comfortable pace. I wasn’t going to run at my fastest speed, but I wanted to hold a strong pace. My first few miles were all 7:25 and I wanted to ease off a bit. It was such a beautiful place to run and I was seeing parts of the city I’d never seen. We ran from new Dublin, through old Dublin, to Phoenix Park. I slowed to about a 7:40 average and held it.

The weather was in the 50s and we had overcast so it was just about ideal running conditions. I did have one complaint for the day though: the water. Instead of paper cups at the water stops they had plastic water bottles – rows and rows of plastic bottles. I’d guess they were 10 oz. bottles and most people would take two sips and then throw them. Not only did this bother me because of the waste of plastic and lack of recycling, but also because they were so easy to roll your feet on. They were crowding the streets and rolling all over. It seemed like such a hazard to me. I’ve never ran a race with so many plastic bottles before. Not sure how common this is abroad? But at least I was able to have water.

The energy was high the entire race. Everyone around me seemed to be having a good time. The bands along the course were great. Live music really adds something to a race course.

I was suffering some digestive discomfort. I tried to eat a couple Clif Bloks but could only stomach one. I was going to peel off the course to find a bathroom, but I realized I only had a few more miles to go so I should just tough it out. This happens. I’m sure no runner is a stranger to it – but it’s not fun!

I chose to ignore it and focus on the finish line. The end of the course was pretty and had a lot of enthusiastic spectators. I picked up my pace a bit as I cruised through the end of the race.

With the finish line in sight I booked it. Threw my hands up. Smiled. I live for that finish line feeling. I crossed in 1:40:40. A strong time all things considered.

I didn’t just get one medal – I got THREE! My half marathon medal, my remix challenge medal, and a world rocker medal for completely two Rock ‘n’ Roll races in 2017 in different countries. It’s fun to earn so many medals in one weekend.

Post-race area was open and grassy. The band was playing. Beer was served. Really impressed by the way the end of the race was handled!

Kyle finished his 10K just a little before I finished the half due to a little bit of a late start on his end and a lot of weaving for starting so far back, but he had a great time. This was the farthest he’d ever run and he looked happy after. I was pretty proud.

Destination races are always fun, but I love knowing I can count on how well run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race will be. This race weekend just made me want to run all the other races they have! It’ll take me awhile, but it’s a goal I’d love to complete. And I’m always trying to add states to my 50 state goal, so knowing these races are all over will help.

Highly recommend this race weekend!

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Nine (38.89 miles)

Week nine was a stressful one in terms of balancing life with marathon training and trying to get everything done before I left the country on Friday. I had to make some shifts in my schedule and relax if I didn’t hit my miles exactly as planned. That’s okay. I’m proud of the work I did get done even if my sleep schedule suffered because of it. 

Here’s the week breakdown:

Monday – 5.20 miles + Yoga class

I snuck in 5.20 quick miles after work right before meeting my friends at True Food Kitchen for dinner. Then we went to Katy’s yoga class at Studio Three. I loved taking them to my studio and sharing the best kind of class with them. Such a fun girls night! 

Tuesday – 8.29 miles (speed work)

I work up early and did Carly’s speed work with her since I wanted to get it out of the way. I thought it made sense because I was pushing up my long run too. I met her in the zoo parking lot and we did 1 mile tempo, 0.75 reps x 4, with 2 minute rests in-between. With warm up and cool down it was 8.29 miles. Happy to have had a buddy and have it out of the way on Tuesday. 

Wednesday – 4.40 miles

Today was super hectic, but I convinced Kyle to join me for 4.40 miles in the drizzly rain after work. I love having his company for easy runs. 

Thursday – Hot Yoga class AM + Cyclebar class PM

Found some groundedness in Katy’s 6 AM hot yoga class despite my high stress levels. My to-do list for today was insane, but I knew fitting in exercise would help me mentally. So I made time. Yoga is an amazing way for me to start my day. I was at work later than usual since I was trying to wrap everything up before vacation, but I still made it to Cody’s 7:30 PM cycle class at Cyclebar. Kyle joined me and made the class a lot of fun. We left feeling energized, which was great since we both had all our packing left to do. 

Friday – 17 miles

I had to get my long run done super early on Friday before working a half day and then getting on my plane to Ireland at 3:30 PM. When I set my alarm for 4:50 AM when I got in bed after midnight on Thursday, I had my doubts. But I had supportive friends who were joining me and I knew I had to show up. We had to run the first few miles in the dark, but it was a chilly morning that felt like fall. I am so grateful I had complany to get me through this. My legs felt great. It was a strong run despite the lack of sleep. 17 miles at 8:09 average pace. I really didn’t think that pace would feel as comfortable as it did day of. Sometimes I surprise myself. And great long runs make me happy! 

Saturday – Rest day

This rest day was anything but restful. I flew to Ireland in the afternoon on Friday. I couldn’t fall asleep on the plane, but it was 6 AM in Ireland when we landed and we couldn’t check into our hotel until 3 PM which meant 29 straight hours of being awake!! This was really tough for me. Especially after the 4:50 AM wake up call and 17 miler the day before. I don’t exactly recommend this behavior, but it’s what I had to do to make everything work. Worth it!! And I still hit 20,000 steps on a rest day thanks to all our exploring. Going to be hiking and walking a lot the next couple weeks. 

Sunday – 4 miles trail running + hiking

Our entire day was spent outside enjoying the rainy day. I ran 4 miles along the cliffs of Ballycotton and hiked an extra 3 or 4 miles after. I LOVED being back on some trails. They were rocky, it was windy, I had to jump around a bit – and it made me so happy. Exploring new, beautiful places is so much fun. I’m grateful. This week is going to be a great one. 

I’m proud of how I handled this week. I made some changes, but I didn’t let it stress me out too much. I got in the miles I needed to. I had an awesome long run. And I set myself up for another week of success. This week will be tough because I’m traveling, but I’m determined to make it work. We will see how it goes. 

Week 9 – 38.89 miles 

Chicago Marathon Training: Week Eight (35.40 miles)

We’re almost half way there! This week had one of my strongest long runs yet and left me feeling really positive about this training cycle. 

Here’s the week breakdown:

Monday – 4 miles

I opted for shorter mileage today than planned. Just 4 miles, but my legs felt pretty good! 

Tuesday – 7.09 miles + Cyclebar class

I split this 60 minute easy run in half with a cycling class in the middle. 30 minutes before. 50 minute cycling class at Cyclebar. 30 minutes after. I actually really liked this combination and it was a great way for me to get everything in. 

Wednesday – 8.32 miles (speed workout)

I think this was the best speed workout I’ve had so far this training cycle!! It was the ladder – one of my favorites. 200m x 4, 400m x 2, 800m x 1, 1600m x 1, 800m x 1, 400m x 2, 200m x 4. Every single rep was sub 7 minute average pace except for the mile in the middle which we clocked at a 7:04. This was a tough speed workout, but I felt so strong. Running fast is fun. With warm up and cool down it was 8.32 miles. 

Thursday – Hot Yoga AM + Cycle PM

Cross training day habit has become hot yoga in the morning and a cycling class in the evening at Studio Three. I love both of these types of classes and don’t like to choose, so I do both. They both help me in different ways and are a great compliment to my running. 

Friday – Rest day

Added a rest day to Friday this week since I wanted some more rest. It helps me to be flexible with my schedule. 

Saturday – 16 miles

Longest run since my marathon in April!! 16 miles with the girls at 8:06 average pace. I was surprised with how great I felt during this entire run. I love that we can chat and run 8 minute miles as a comfortable pace. Running with friends help the long runs go by quick and they push me to hold the pace.  I was smiling all day after this run. I got back my confidence. 

Sunday – Rest day 

Still took my planned rest day because my body needed it. It’s okay to listen! 

I felt confident throughout week 8. I felt more like myself. I was reminded of why I love marathon training so much. This week held my best speed workout and long run of the training cycle so far and I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks hold. 

Week 8 – 35.40 miles